JK Rowling Announces Illustration Competition for "The Ickabog"

Brenda Watkins
May 29, 2020

Harry Potter fans everywhere are going to be thrilled when they hear about this.J.K. Rowling has resurfaced an old story of hers and is publishing it online for all her readers to enjoy during these turbulent times. Rowling explains that the idea was rattling around when she was writing Harry Potter - although she stresses that "It isn't Harry Potter and it doesn't include magic".

The first two chapters of The Ickabog are already available on The Ickabog's official website, so make yourself a nice cup of tea and dive into this brand-new world.

Rowling revealed that she will not be making the final decision regarding the illustrations featured in the published book since that will depend on each country's publisher.

The writer is keen to emphasise that the new story is not a "Harry Potter" spin-off, but a "stand-alone fairy tale", she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. "I became busy with other things, and even though I loved the story, over the years I came to think of it as something that was just for my own children". "As I worked to finish the book, I started reading chapters nightly to the family again", she said.

A new chapter (or two) of the book will be released every weekday between May 26 and June 10.

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While Rowling has suggested The Ickabog is ideal for children between the ages of seven and nine to read themselves, she's also treating adult fans to a new story.

"Anyway, over the last few weeks I've done a bit of rewriting and I've chose to publish the Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these odd, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them".

She added: "I always meant to publish it, but after the last Potter was released I wrote two novels for adults and, after some dithering, made a decision to put those out next".

Rowling posted a statement on her website about the story and why she's publishing it. Parents or guardians of children aged 7 to 12 can then enter the finished pieces in a contest to have their art appear in the book, according to the book site. "Let your imaginations run wild!"

The competition was launched on Tuesday in India, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada. Rowling will not be part of the judging process but will be suggesting scenes and characters draw on a daily basis during the online serialization.

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