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Harry Potter prequel fetches $50K for charity

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  • 800-word prequel to Harry Potter novel series fetched nearly $50,000 at auction
  • The prequel is hand-written and signed by the author
  • Proceeds will go to Dyslexia Action and English PEN, a writers' association
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LONDON (CNN) -- An 800-word prequel to the blockbuster Harry Potter novel series fetched nearly $50,000 Tuesday for a writer's group and dyslexia charity.

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Author J.K. Rowling autographs a book for a student graduating from Harvard University June 5, 2008.

The bit of story by author J.K. Rowling sold for £25,000 -- just under $50,000 or $62.50 per word -- to an absentee bidder. The auction had started at 10,000 pounds and was driven up by two bidders -- one who was present and the eventual winner, who funneled his bids into the auctioneer's earpiece.

The prequel is hand-written and signed by the author, according to Waterstone's, a large bookstore in central London that hosted the event. It finishes with the words, "From the prequel I am not working on -- but that was fun!"

The storycard, which measures 5.75 by 8.25 inches, is signed "J.K. Rowling 2008."

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Waterstone's plans to display facsimiles of the cards at all its stores in Britain and online shortly after the auction, and a printed book featuring cards from all authors participating in the auction will go on sale in August, the store said.

The proceeds will go to Dyslexia Action and English PEN, a writers' association. Other authors include Margaret Atwood, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby, and Tom Stoppard.

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