Harry Potter author JK Rowling publishing new fairy tale The Ickabog

Lawrence Kim
May 29, 2020

On her website, Rowling announced that she first started writing the book "in fits and starts" while she was "between Potter books".

Breaking new ground, J.K. Rowling, the creator of the immensely popular Harry Potter series, on Tuesday launched the online serialisation of a new 34-part series, "The Ickabog", aimed primarily at 7-9-year-olds as bedtime stories but which will appeal to readers of all ages. However, the manuscript did not see the light of the day until a few weeks back.

In typical Rowling style, it ain't a pamphlet.

"The Ickabog will be published a chapter "(or two, or three)" at a time on its own website, every weekday starting today, May 26, and July 10.

And the good news doesn't stop there, she is inviting the public to illustrate the upcoming book. The author had written it over a decade ago, but, had dusted it off as at the time, she had chose to take a break from publishing. Then a few weeks ago, she made a decision to share the story with the public, joining a growing number of writers and artists helping to keep people entertained during lockdown.

According to the author, "The Ickabog" will be published in segments online for free, leading to the eventual publishing of a book. "Until very recently, the only people who'd heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children".

However, after deciding to take a break from publishing after the final Harry Potter book, which lasted five years, the fairytale ended up in "the attic".

"For the last few weeks I've been immersed in a fictional world I thought I'd never enter again".

The first two chapters are available to read now.

The story will run on a dedicated website for now and will be published in print, ebook, and audiobook versions in November 2020 with royalties donated to projects assisting groups particularly impacted by the pandemic. Rowling encouraged those participating to share their work with the hashtag #theickabog online so she can at least see and engage with it. Rowling has taken an unbelievable step to engage parents and children worldwide.

Announcing the financial contribution - which will be split between the Crisis and Refuge charities - Rowling said the money would go towards helping some of those hit hardest by the outbreak and the impact of the lockdown. "Further details will be available later in the year".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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