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Calling All Harry Potter Fans! to Lend J.K. Rowling's Handwritten Book of Stories, ''The Tales of Beedle the Bard,'' to One Customer for a Weekend Review in London

Muggles around the World Will Compete for the Chance of a Lifetime to Spend a Weekend in London With "The Tales of Beedle the Bard"; Amazon Customers Will Select Finalists and Grand Prize Winner

SEATTLE, Apr 09, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- To the excitement of wizards, witches and Harry Potter fans around the world, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it would loan an ultra-rare book of handwritten stories by J.K. Rowling to the customer who wins its Beedle the Bard Ballad Writing Contest (, The contest invites Muggles to compete for the chance to win a trip for two to London, England, and spend a weekend with "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" (security guards included). The book is one of seven, handwritten and illustrated copies by J.K. Rowling written as a complement to the Harry Potter series.

The Beedle the Bard Ballad Writing Contest challenges Amazon customers 13 and older to creatively write a short, English-language submission of 100 or fewer words answering one of the following three questions:

-- What songs do wizards use to celebrate birthdays?

-- What other sports do wizards play besides Quidditch?

-- What have you learned from the Harry Potter series that you use in everyday life?

"Customers have been anxious to see, touch and read this rare, unique, and absolutely beautiful piece of literature," said Russell Grandinetti, vice president of books at Amazon. "We're thrilled to be able to offer our customers a chance to head to London, don a pair of white gloves and be one of only a handful of people in the world to have read these amazing tales. And of course, given the rarity of the book, security guards are included."

Contest submissions will be accepted for two weeks, from April 9 -22, in two age categories: 13-17 and 18 and older. The contest is open to customers in 24 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China and Canada.

An Amazon committee will choose 10 semifinalists from each age group based on creativity and originality of idea as well as the writing style of the submission. On May 5, Amazon will post the semi-finalist submissions from both age groups and allow Amazon customers one week to vote for their favorite entry in each of the two age categories. The winner in each age group will move on to become one of two finalists who will compete for the grand prize. In the final phase, Amazon customers will have one more opportunity to vote for their favorite submission and determine the grand prize winner of the trip to London and weekend with "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," which Amazon purchased at auction in December 2007 for $4 million. The proceeds of the purchase benefited The Children's Voice, Ms. Rowling's charity for orphaned children around the world.

The two finalists will be announced in mid-May. In addition to being eligible for the grand prize, each of the finalists will receive a $1,000 gift certificate redeemable at The grand prize winner is slated to be announced on May 22.

To enter the contest, visit or For contestants under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian of the participating child must complete the entry form found at and, and submit his/her child's entry using the instructions on the form.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, April 22, 2008.

The Amazon Beedle the Bard Ballad Writing Contest is sponsored by Amazon Services, LLC. For full contest rules and frequently asked questions about the Amazon Beedle the Bard Ballad Writing Contest, visit or

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