J.K. Rowling is releasing a brand new children’s book and wants you to help illustrate it

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The author of the iconic Harry Potter series has announced today that she will be releasing a new book later this year and there’s an illustration competition you can be involved in too.

J.K. Rowling has confirmed that she will be releasing a new children’s book titled ‘The Ickabog’ in November.

According to the author herself, ‘The Ickabog‘ is a story about “truth and the abuse of power” and stated that whilst it may ring true to current circumstances, “the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country”.

Announcing the news via a Twitter thread today to her eagerly-awaiting fans and followers, J.K. Rowling began: “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. Until very recently, the only people who’d heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children.”

“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.”

She continued: “Over the last few weeks I’ve done a bit of rewriting and 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.”

“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!”

J.K. Rowling ©

Speaking further about the illustration competition via her website, J.K. Rowling said: “Having decided to publish, 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. Creativity, inventiveness and effort are the most important things: we aren’t necessarily looking for the most technical skill!”

If you’re looking to enter the illustration competition, then all you’ll need to do is submit your entries via Twitter using the #TheIckabog hashtag. For more information and competition criteria, head on over to J.K. Rowling’s official website here.

Keep your eyes peeled for the launching of The Ickabog website too as it’s due to go live very shortly.

The Ickabog will be published in English in print, eBook and audiobook formats, shortly followed by other languages, in November 2020.

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