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15-year-old girl gets prize for literature

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TOKYO, Sep 06, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A 15-year-old junior high school student and a 22-year-old office worker have been selected as the winners of the 42nd Bungei Prize for literature in Japan.

Natsu Minami, 15, was picked for her work "Heisei Machine Guns," while Nanae Aoyama received the honor for her novel "Mado no Akari" (Light from the Window), the Mainichi Shimbun reported Tuesday.

Minami is the youngest recipient of the award, which is sponsored by publisher Kawade Shobo Shinsha. Natsu Minami is her pen name. Her real name, the name of her school and other details have not been released.

The Bungei Prize is often a step toward literary fame for aspiring writers. It was established in 1962, and the first prize went to Kazumi Takahashi.

The previous youngest winners, at the age of 17, were Akemi Hotta, Risa Wataya and Keisuke Hada.

The winning works will be published in the winter edition of the literary magazine Bungei, to be released Oct. 7. The prizes will be conferred in a ceremony in Tokyo Oct 14.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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