Experimental feature

Listen to this article

Experimental feature

This FT competition is aimed at every child who is potty about Harry Potter. The prize? A once-in-a-lifetime chance to review JK Rowling’s latest blockbuster, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, for the FT and to question her at a news conference.

The winning child - who must be aged between 8 and 16 - and a parent or guardian will travel to Edinburgh on Friday, July 15, arriving in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle in a horse-drawn carriage. Along with around 70 other youngsters, the FT’s representative will be taken to the Great Hall - a dead ringer for the one at Hogwarts - where on the stroke of midnight, as the new book is officially published, Ms Rowling will read extracts and hand each child a signed copy.

On Saturday evening the winners will gather for a banquet at the Castle while the accompanying adults are entertained elsewhere. At 11am on Sunday the children will be able to put the questions they have devised to Ms Rowling before filing their stories.

So how to unlock the magic? We have published three questions to which only the truly Hogwarts-savvy will know the answers and then a 400 word review of their favourite Harry Potter book must be submitted.

The closing date for entries is June 13 and our distinguished judges, David Cameron, Shadow secretary of state for education and skills, Martin Stephen, High Master of St Paul’s School, London and Andrew Gowers, editor of the FT, will select the winner who will be notified by June 20.

To enter by post fill in the application form below and submit your 400 word review, which may be handwritten or typed. Send to Shannon Lindsay, Financial Times, 1 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HL.

To enter by email, please send all the information requested on the form, the answers to the three questions and the review to harry.potter@ft.com. By entering, the child and his/her parent or guardian indicate their willingness to abide by the competition conditions listed below.

Question one: Who did Harry rescue from the lake?

Question two: What did Dumbledore do in 1945?

Question three: Which member of the Black family has a child at Hogwarts?



(To accompany 400 word book review)


Date of Birth:


Parent/guardian’s daytime telephone number: …

Please fill in the answers to all three Harry Potter questions:





1. Children must have parental consent to enter the competition.

2. Children must be aged between 8 and 16 on July 16 2005 and resident in the UK. Children with relatives employed by the FT or its parent company Pearson are excluded.

3. Children must have a parent/guardian chaperone to look after them for the duration of the Harry Potter Children’s Press Conference Weekend.

4. Bloomsbury, the publisher, and the Financial Times have organised this competition in good faith but do not accept any liability for the non-fulfilment of the prize due to events or circumstances outside their control.

5. Children must have parental consent to be filmed for a television programme about the Harry Potter Children’s Press Conference Weekend.

6. Bloomsbury will pay for all the activities at Edinburgh Castle over the Harry Potter Children’s Press Conference Weekend. The FT will pay for transport to Edinburgh for the winner and parent/guardian, two nights hotel accommodation in Edinburgh, and meals (apart from the banquet at Edinburgh Castle for the children and dinner for the accompanying parents/guardians on the night of July 16.)

8. The judges’ decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

Get alerts on Life & Arts when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Comments have not been enabled for this article.

Follow the topics in this article