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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 March, 2005, 13:07 GMT
Briton to write Peter Pan sequel
Geraldine McCaughrean
Geraldine McCaughrean has won numerous awards for her work
British author Geraldine McCaughrean has been chosen to write the official sequel to the story of Peter Pan.

McCaughrean, picked from hundreds of candidates from around the world, said she was "delighted beyond words".

"It is an astonishing, daunting privilege to be let loose in Neverland armed with nothing but a pen," added the award-winning children's author.

Great Ormond Street Hospital, copyright holders to JM Barrie's classic, decided to commission a sequel last year.

'Imaginative entries'

The working title of the new story is Captain Pan, an indication of what happened to Peter Pan as he advanced in years.

The children's hospital has said that the book must feature the original characters, including Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook.

The judging panel also included David Barrie, the original author's great-great-nephew, who said choosing a winner was a "tough challenge".

Finding Neverland
Peter Pan has inspired many films, including Finding Neverland

"We were presented with lots of wonderfully imaginative entries. Geraldine had a real fight on her hands, but she won through in the end," he added.

"I think JM Barrie would have liked her style - if I'm wrong, he'll be back to haunt us," said Mr Barrie.

The judging panel, which revealed its decision at the London International Book Fair at Olympia, said the follow-up will appeal to both children and adults.

Londoner McCaughrean, 53, has won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year three times for reinterpreting classics such as Noah's Ark, Moby Dick and The Canterbury Tales for younger readers.

Royalties from the new book will be split between the author and the hospital, whose ownership of the rights to Barrie's work is due to expire in 2007.

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