British hospital seeks 'Peter Pan' sequel

Aug. 20, 2004 at 4:29 PM

LONDON, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A London children's hospital, which inherited the copyright to J.M. Barrie's classic book "Peter Pan," is searching for an author to write the sequel.

Great Ormond Street Hospital already has asked two top British authors -- Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson -- to continue the famous story of Neverland adventures, but they declined. An invitation to Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling also is expected to be a "no," Britain's Guardian reported Friday.

A request has gone out to publishers and literary agents for nominations, with the writers submitting a sample chapter by Jan. 31. The winner will be chosen in the spring.

The idea of a sequel, to coincide with the original's 100th anniversary, is a means for the hospital to earn money for research and equipment.

The hospital would hold the copyright, including film rights, for the sequel, but would divide publisher's royalties with the author.

Copyright income from the original novel is important to the hospital.

"It helps us buy ... state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and treat the children we see. We care for some of the sickest, most complex children in the country. We need to ensure they have the best treatment," said hospital spokeswoman Jane Collins.

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