Last December we told you that Amazon had purchased J.K. Rowling's Tales of the Beedle the Bard for £1,950,000 (USD$3,980,128.89). Now they are giving fans a chance to review the book for a weekend in a writing contest.
The contest is for the chance to win a trip for two to London, England, and spend a weekend with the book (security guards included).
According to the press release:
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:
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 www.amazon.com. The grand prize winner is slated to be announced on May 22.
The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 and you can enter here (in the U.S.) and here (in the UK). If you are under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian must complete the entry form and submit the entry using the instructions on the form.
Good luck to all who enter.
UPDATE: Thanks to BlogHowarts for letting us know that Amazon has answered the question as to why only fans from certain countries are allowed to enter the contest.
We conducted research to determine our list of more than 20 countries, and focused on those countries where there are large English-speaking populations and where laws would permit the contest. Some countries are legally ineligible for these types of contests. I hope this information is helpful. Thanks for your interest in the contest and we hope to see your entry! Good luck!