On Tuesday (26), J.K. Rowling announced that she will publish a new children’s fairy tale book, The Ickabog, for free on the Internet. The book will have its chapters posted daily from today, the 26th of May, until the 10th of July.
J.K. Rowling says that The Ickabog “is a story about truth and the abuse of power”. The author emphasizes that the story was not based on recent events, as she had the idea over a decade ago.
“The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country”JK Rowling
In November this year, a printed version may hit the markets and all royalties from the book will be donated to projects and charity organizations that are supporting people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
J.K. Rowling’s writing
J.K. Rowling claimed she wrote the book while working on Harry Potter. The plan was to publish it after The Deathly Hallows‘ (2007) release, but she wanted to have a break from publishing. She then focused on publishing The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling and left the project in her attic.
When put into lockdown, J.K. Rowling decided to bring the manuscript back, after seeing children stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. She edited it and decided to publish it for free in a tentative to entertain those in quarantine.
The author said in her official website that she used to read the book for her youngest children, who are now teens. The Ickabog, according to herself, is a book written to be read to children out loud, but readers between the ages of 7 and 9 can read on their own if they want to.
“As I worked to finish the book, I started reading chapters nightly to the family again. This was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my writing life”, said Rowling.
J.K. Rowling opened a contest for children to illustrate the physical version of The Ickabog. Each publisher around the world will be able to choose the drawings they like best to add to their foreign editions.
The author will not judge the illustrations, but said she will keep an eye on Twitter, in case a mother or father send her an illustration for their child. She might comment on the illustrations sporadically.
Until now, only residents of the United States or the United Kingdom will be able to join the contest. Readers from other countries will be able to join it soon, according to the book’s official website.
Translations to other languages will be available as soon as possible, in the official Ickabog’s website.