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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 09:02 GMT
Potter agent offers novel prize
JK Rowling
Rowling wrote much of the first Harry Potter book in a cafe
The agency which discovered publishing sensation Harry Potter has created a literary award aimed at students.

The Christopher Little Literary Agency picked up JK Rowling's work after it had been turned down by several other publishers and agents.

Now it is offering a 1,500 prize and the chance of representation to students on the creative writing course at City University in London.

The agency said it wanted originality, talent and "not a Harry Potter clone".

Students in the final term of the MA in Creative Writing (Novels) will be asked to submit three chapters and a synopsis of the book they must write as a course requirement.

Patrick Janson-Smith of the Christopher Little Literary Agency said: "Considering the number of trees chopped down to feed this industry, real talent does not grow on them.

"We feel this is a practical way to seek out authors who are fresh and original, who have a particular voice and are not same old, same old."

The annual prize will be awarded for the first time before the end of this academic year.

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