University honour for Author of the Year

Monday 7 February 2000

Author of the Year J K Rowling is to receive an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews.

Joanne Kathleen Rowling, who is famed for the magical Harry Potter series, will be presented with a Doctor of Letters (DLitt) at one of the University’s graduation ceremonies in June.

The Harry Potter series, which started life while Joanne was daydreaming on a train journey to London, is based on the life of schoolboy wizard Harry Potter. So far, her first three novels have sold nearly 30 million copies worldwide while the fourth book has already reached the top of an Internet bestsellers list – six months before being published!

The honorary degree announcement follows two major successes in the life of J K Rowling. Just last week, Joanne won the Author of the Year title at the 11th annual Britsh Book Awards. She beat five others, including horror writer Stephen King and Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter. Meanwhile, last month, she won the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award for the third book in the series, Harry Potter and the Prince of Azkaban.

However, success is nothing new to the Edinburgh-based author. Her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone won the Nestles Smarties Book Prize Gold Medal (9-11 years), FCBG Children’s Book Award (overall winner), Birmingham Cable Childen’s Book Award, Young Telegraph Paperback of the Year Award and the British Book Awards’ Children’s Book of the Year Award. The book has now been sold in 14 countries and made the bestseller lists in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The second title in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was similarly successful.

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information, contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530 or mobile 07887 650072 Ref: hon2000.jkrowling/standrews/chg/7fe b2000/PR1886

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