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J.K. Rowling Is Releasing Her Newest Book For Free, Seeking Young Illustrators

Image via Life In Pixels / Shutterstock.com

J.K. Rowling, author of the famed Harry Potter series, says she has one new children’s book up her sleeve, which she will release for free online so families stay engaged and creative amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The new “standalone fairytale,” titled The Ickabog, was planned for publishing after the release of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, but was placed on the backburner after the fantasy franchise became successful. Rowling then moved on to adult fiction after working on the Harry Potter books.

It was only until “a few weeks ago” that the author had unearthed the fairytale’s old manuscript in her attic and decided to complete it. “Until very recently, the only people who’d heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children,” Rowling shared.

The first two chapters are now up on a dedicated website. Each week until 10 July, Rowling will unleash “two, or three” chapters on the site so readers can unravel the tale in installments.

“It isn’t Harry Potter and it doesn’t include magic,” she disclaimed. “This is an entirely different story.”

Curious about how far young readers’ imaginations can take them, Rowling is leaving the book open for artistic interpretation and wants fans to illustrate The Ickabog for her, which she feels is “the most exciting part, for me, at least.” Drawing upon small prompts given by Rowling, creative minds can submit their illustrations for a chance to have their work selected by her publishers to appear in the book’s printed version.

Rowling added that all her royalties will be donated to people affected by the virus crisis when the published version of The Ickabog is released in November.

The first two chapters of The Ickabog are available for free here:https://t.co/afFEfRQQ5C

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 26, 2020

We are pleased to announce @JK_Rowling's story #TheIckabog is now available to read online for free at https://t.co/HJVrLd0KRI. .

Each weekday, over the next seven weeks, a new instalment will be published. We hope you and your children will enjoy this original fairy tale! pic.twitter.com/ddIIWKfeHL

— The Ickabog (@TheIckabog) May 26, 2020

[via Independent, cover image via Life In Pixels / Shutterstock.com]