JK Rowling, above, shared adorable children’s drawings after launching a competition to illustrate her new book The Ickabog, a stand-alone fairy tale
JK Rowling has shared adorable children’s drawings after launching a competition to illustrate her new book The Ickabog, which she is releasing for free online for children in lockdown or back at school.
The Harry Potter author announced she is publishing the stand-alone fairy tale which she wrote 10 years ago, but kept the manuscript stashed away in a box in the attic after opting to publish her novels for adults instead.
Rowling has now shared pictures from parents and guardians posted to Twitter, and the best drawings will be included in the finished books.
She said: ‘I thought how wonderful it would be if children in lockdown, or otherwise needing distraction during the strange and difficult time we’re passing through, illustrated the story for me.
‘There will be suggestions about the illustrations we might need for each chapter on The Ickabog website, but nobody should feel constrained by these ideas. I want to see imaginations run wild! Creativity, inventiveness and effort are the most important things: we aren’t necessarily looking for the most technical skill!
A drawing from Sophie, 11, of what the Ickabog might look like. JK Rowling said: ‘I’m showing the Ickabog’s first ever readers these pictures as they come in, and this one got a big “aaaaah”‘
An illustration shared by one parent, drawn by their 14-year-old son, who it too old to enter the competition’ of King Fred the Fearless. JK Rowling said: ‘Your son’s seriously talented!’
Rowling added: ‘The best drawings in each territory will be included in the finished books. As publishers in each territory will need to decide which pictures work best for their own editions, I won’t be personally judging the entries.
‘However, if parents and guardians post their children’s drawing on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog, I’ll be able to share and comment!’
One social media user shared a drawing of the Ickabog from Sophie, 11, who is ‘so excited to read the next chapter of the story’.
Another parent shared an illustration from Jessica, 12, of their ‘vision of the bakery’ in chapter one, captioning: ‘She literally can’t stop talking about it! Haven’t seen her this excited since lockdown began.’
Children between seven and 12 years old can enter in the competition, and the entries are judged by Rowling’s publishers.
The writer previously outlined in a series of tweets on social media how she will be bringing the book, which will be published in print on November 2, to the public for free.
A drawing from Jessica, 12, of the bakery in chapter one. The parent wrote: ‘She literally can’t stop talking about it! Haven’t seen her this excited since lockdown began’
One social media user shared their vision of the Ickabog, saying: ‘Snake + dragon + wolf = Ickabog. I am not a kid but couldn’t resist drawing it’
The iconic writer said she will be publishing a chapter online every weekday, in order to help young children home from school during the lockdown period.
Fans erupted with excitement on social media and and said they were ‘super happy’ and ‘excited’ to read the new chapters.
As with every instance of Rowling producing new material, the burning question of whether it would be in any form Harry Potter related soon arose.
Addressing such topics, she began: ‘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.
She added: ‘Over 10 years ago, I wrote a stand-alone fairy tale called The Ickabog.
‘I always meant to publish it, but after the last Potter was released I wrote two novels for adults and, after some dithering, decided to put those out next.
The Harry Potter left fans in a frenzy this afternoon after announcing a new book
She said The Ickabog was previously just for her family and the manuscript was up in her attic
She is now publishing a chapter from the book every weekday starting at 3.00pm today
Chapters of The Ickabog are being released every day and people have already responded positively to the first two chapters
‘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.’
Sharing a photo of the book she kept the pages on, she added: ‘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.’
She continued: ‘Anyway 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.
Fans have reacted with excitement to the announcement this afternoon and have already been sharing drawings from The Ickabog
‘We’ll be publishing a chapter (or 2 or 3) every weekday, starting at 3.00pm today and ending on July 10th. You don’t need to register to access the story. You can read it for free on a new website we’ll be launching shortly. But there’s more…
‘I’d like children to illustrate the book for me! I’ll be suggesting ideas for pictures as we go, but nobody should feel constrained by my ideas. Let your imaginations run wild!’
Rowling stated that she would be unable to judge which illustrations go into the published versions, as this will be dictated by publishers themselves on grounds of what fits best.
She has, however, promised to share children’s attempts on Twitter, will also confirming all royalties from the published series will go to helping charities in the battle against coronavirus.
Earlier this month Rowling announced she was donating £1 million to help the homeless and those affected by domestic abuse during the pandemic.
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.
Rowling first came up with the idea for Harry Potter in 1990, though Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone only appeared in 1997.
The Harry Potter books tell the saga of a young wizard’s battle with evil in the form of Lord Voldemort. The series has been translated into over 80 languages and sold more than 500 million copies worldwide.
‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ has become one of the world’s best selling books, alongside ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘The Master and Margarita’.
Source: dailymail US