HarperCollins creates MySpace community

New community aimed at teens will include author blogs and custom message boards

HarperTeen, n unit of HarperCollins Publishers, Friday announced a new partnership with MySpace that aims to create a community that lets teen readers connect, interact and create their own online content.

The new MySpace/HarperTeen page, which is slated to launch next month, will include author blogs, message boards and forums, along with online polls, the publisher said. The site will also be used to market new HarperTeen book releases, it said.

The community will allow teens to create their own profiles, including photos. The teens can also post their own creative writing stories for review by other teens.

"With millions of teens spending their time online every day, it makes perfect sense for us to partner with MySpace to build the HarperTeen community," said Diane Naughton, vice president of marketing at HarperCollins children's books, in a statement.

HarperTeen is holding a writing contest for MySpace members through Jan. 7, it said. Users can submit original short stories, poems and song entries to become eligible for a US$5,000 cash prize and a phone call from their favorite HarperTeen author. A panel of HarperTeen judges will select the 10 best entries, and the MySpace/HarperTeen community will choose the winner from that list.

HarperTeen will use the community to help market its books through weekly recommendations and subsequent message board discussions, the publisher said. HarperTeen will work with MySpace to update the community with updated video trailers, polls, quizzes and information about new releases. MySpace will promote HarperTeen throughout its site.

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