J.K. Rowling has delighted fans all around the world with the exciting new announcement she will be releasing a new book called The Ickabog. And even more thrilling, it will be slowly drip-fed in chapters, with the first two being released today. The hugely popular author declared: “I have a small announcement, but before I get started, I want to head off one possible source of confusion. THIS IS NOT A HARRY POTTER SPIN-OFF.
“Over 10 years ago, I wrote a stand-alone fairy tale called The Ickabog. You can read more about how, why and when The Ickabog was written at https://jkrowling.com/j-k-rowling-introduces-the-ickabog/.
“I always meant to publish it,” Rowling continued. “But after the last Potter was released I wrote two novels for adults and, after some dithering, decided to put those out next.
“Until very recently, the only people who’d heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children.”
The author went on to explain her process with the book, sharing details about how it came to be.
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“Over time I came to think of The Ickabog as just for my family. The manuscript went up into the attic, where it remained until a few weeks ago. This is the very dusty box I got down from the attic. (It’s a Net-A-Porter box and might well have held a premiere dress.)”
“Opening the box was like opening a time capsule. Most of the story was handwritten, but bits had been typed up. When I put it into some kind of order (I’m not renowned for my filing skills) I had a patchwork first draft,” Rowling said.
“Anyway, over the last few weeks I’ve done a bit of rewriting and I’ve decided to publish the Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them. We’ll be publishing a chapter (or 2 or 3) every weekday, starting at 3.00pm today and ending on July 10th.”
Rowling assured fans they don’t need to register to access the story. It can be read for free on a new website launching shortly.
What’s more, the author revealed she wants children to illustrate the book for her, and she’ll be suggesting different ideas for pictures relating to the chapters along the way.
“Let your imaginations run wild!” she exclaimed. “The best pictures in each publishing territory will be included in the books we intend to publish in November 2020.
“As individual publishers will know best which illustrations work in their editions, I won’t be personally judging this competition.
“If parents or guardians would like to post artwork on the hashtag #TheIckabog, I’ll be able to retweet and comment!”
For full terms & conditions of the competition, participants can head to the publishers’ competition websites, which launch later today.
Rowling added she intends to donate her author royalties from the published books to projects and organisations helping the groups most impacted by Covid-19.
Full details will be available later on this year.
The first two chapters of The Ickabog will be going live at 3pm today.
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