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Celebrating 15 years of HARRY POTTER magic

UK and Ireland’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan revealed 

Alissa Howard, a 17-year-old from Somerset, has been selected as the UK and Ireland’s biggest Harry Potter fan. Her entry was chosen as the best in the recent competition run by Bloomsbury to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. 

Alissa’s entry was selected from over 6000 posted in bookshops and libraries throughout the UK. Alissa’s piece stood out for the originality in her poetic wording and in her colourful and neat artwork. Her last line of “You inspired a generation, now that’s magical” was especially loved.  

After hearing of her win Alissa said: "I was quite surprised to hear that I had won, and now I just can't believe it. It'll take time for it to sink in but I am really happy to have been chosen as the winner." 

Alissa has won a family holiday to experience the magic and excitement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ only at Universal Orlando® Resort, plus a leather-bound and numbered 15th Anniversary Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, signed and dedicated by J.K. Rowling. 14 runners-up have also won copies of the leather-bound and numbered 15th Anniversary Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, signed and dedicated by the author. With only 15 of these exclusive editions being signed by J.K. Rowling for the UK, the books will be a rare and unique item for the lucky Harry Potter fans.  

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury launched a nationwide competition to find the UK’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan. Bloomsbury invited fans to write a letter of no more than 50 words explaining why they love HARRY POTTER. Fans could only enter by visiting a local bookshop or library and posting their letter in the specially designed postboxes. Over 1800 bookshops and libraries signed up to take part.  

From an idea born on a train journey, to its creation in a small café in Edinburgh, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the book that started a global phenomenon.  Rejected by many publishers and with an initial hardback print run of 500 copies, it is the book that put Harry’s destiny in motion and created a whole new generation of readers. It is hard to think now that before 1997 none of us knew about Hogwarts, Quidditch or Voldemort (who was voted as the favourite literary villain in a recent Bloomsbury poll).  

The competition results will be available to view from Saturday 1st September on the HARRY POTTER competition website – www.bloomsbury.com/harrypottercompetition 

Alissa’s entry was posted at the Yeovil branch of WHSmith. 

The 14 runners up are: Holly Smillie from Manchester (age 12), Julie Mason from Hounslow (age 17), Megan Wright from Derby (age 16), Nina Hamblen from Southampton (age 21), Chloe Esslemont from Cumbria (age 16), Rhiana Purnell from Oundle (age 10), Mackenzie Steele from St Helens (age 7), Catherine Smith from Glasgow (age 13), Carina Haouchine from Glasgow (age 15), Thomas James Weightman from Derby (age 8), Shafaye Abbott from Kent (age 16), Cliona Stubbs from Dublin (age 16), Alana Chalmers from West Lothian (age 14) and Charlotte Couch from Essex (age 11).

Entry to the competition was only available through bookshops and libraries in the UK and Ireland. Terms and conditions applied  and no purchase was necessary. Other international competitions ran in other territories.  

The Harry Potter novels have now sold approximately 450 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 73 languages. J.K. Rowling has generated huge popular appeal for her books in an unprecedented fashion. She was the first children’s author to be voted the BA Author of the Year, and also win the British Book Awards Author of the Year. J.K. Rowling lives with her family in Edinburgh.


 


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