The First Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize was presented in Odense, Denmark, the birthplace of the fabulist, on October 19 to J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. The award includes a 5000 kroner prize and is given for work that can be compared to that of Andersen. The prize is distinct from the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, which was presented earlier this year.
The estate of author Adrian Jacobs is suing J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury for plagiarism, claiming that “substantial parts” of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire were copied from Jacobs’s 1987 novel The Adventures of Willy the Wizard — No 1 Livid Land. Bloomsbury has responded saying “The allegations of plagiarism made today, Monday 15 June 2009, by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs are unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue.” Jacobs died penniless in 1997 and his estate previously made the plagiarism claim in 2004. According to Bloomsbury, in 2004, “The claim was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books which was said to copy Willy the Wizard.”