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Bid your name into a Grisham novel

Leading American authors will auction character names in forthcoming books to raise funds for the First Amendment Project.

A group of American authors has decided to auction names of characters in their forthcoming novels, in a bid to raise funds for the First Amendment Project.

Using eBay, the authors will auction the character names using the auction portal's charity listings, Giving Works. People can submit bids on behalf of their own name or any other name they choose during the auction series, which is scheduled to run between Sept. 1 and Sept. 25. The money raised will be donated to the FAP, a nonprofit organization promoting freedom of information and expression.

The idea for the auction came from Neil Gaiman, who recently sold off the name of a cruise liner in his upcoming novel, "Anansi Boys," for $35,000 on eBay. The proceeds were donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Writers participating in the auction include Gaiman, Dorothy Allison, Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, Karen Joy Fowler, Andrew Sean Greer, John Grisham, Stephen King, Jonathan Lethem, Rick Moody, ZZ Packer, Chuck Palahniuk, Nora Roberts, Lemony Snicket, Peter Straub, Amy Tan and Ayelet Waldman. The auction is being conducted by Auction Cause, an online auction management firm for nonprofits.

"The authors who are helping us with this auction understand how fundamental First Amendment rights are and how without organizations like FAP being vigilant in preserving them, our nation's democratic and creative cultures will suffer," FAP Executive Director David Greene said in a statement.