indica News Bureau-
Globally renowened author J.K. Rowling, known for penning down Harry Potter series has come up with a new children’s story called The Ickabog on Tuesday, May 26.
The most surpriisng thing about this new book is she’s offering the whole thing for free to help children and parents who are struggling to get through the pandemic.
The Ickabog, she says is a fairy tale and would be the first children’s story outside the Harry Potter series. She wrote it over a decade ago for her own children and has now dusted it off. The story is said to be set in an imaginary land, and carries a theme that revolves around “truth and the abuse of power”.
It was announced that this story will be serialized online, in 34 daily, free installments. The first two chapters are already on the website for you to read, and the rest will be released daily until 10 July on The Ickabog website.
Later in November, it is planned to be published as a book, ebook, and audiobook, with Rowling’s royalties to go to projects assisting groups impacted by the pandemic.
Rowling said that “the idea for ‘The Ickabog’ came to me while I was still writing Harry Potter. I wrote most of a first draft in fits and starts between Potter books, intending to publish it after ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’,” Rowling said in a post on the website.
However, after the last Potter book, she wanted to take a break from publishing, which ended up lasting five years as she decided she wanted to step away from children’s books for a while. At that point, the first draft of “The Ickabog” was in the attic, where it remained for nearly a decade.
“Over time, I came to think of it as a story that belonged to my two younger children, because I’d read it to them in the evenings when they were little, which has always been a happy family memory.”
“A few weeks ago, at dinner, I tentatively mooted the idea of getting ‘The Ickabog’ down from the attic and publishing it for free, for children in lockdown. My now teenagers were touchingly enthusiastic, so downstairs came the very dusty box, and for the last few weeks I’ve been immersed in a fictional world I thought I’d never entered again.”
The most exciting part of this series is, you can get to be a part of this series if you’d like. Meaning, Rowling’s publishers are running an illustration competition, where you can submit your drawings to potentially be included in the print edition of The Ickabog.
“I want to see imaginations run wild!” she wrote. “Creativity, inventiveness, and effort are the most important things: we aren’t necessarily looking for the most technical skill!”
The competition was launched on Tuesday in India, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Canada. Other territories will follow shortly. 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.