J.K. Rowling Is Publishing Her New Book One Chapter at a Time on the Internet

jk rowling the ickabog

J.K. Rowling is releasing her first children’s book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and it’s coming way sooner than expected.

The 54-year-old author just announced exciting details about her latest novel, The Ickabog, which is completely unrelated to Harry Potter. (Sorry, folks.) Although it will hit bookshelves later this year, Rowling has decided to serialize the book, so fans can read the new story at no cost whatsoever.

If you have no idea what that entails, you’re not alone. All it means is Rowling will publish The Ickabog on a special website, releasing one or more chapters each day beginning May 26 until July 10. The novel will be totally free of charge, but there’s an incentive to purchase a hard copy (or e-book) when the full version gets released in November 2020, since Rowling is donating royalties from the project to COVID-19 relief causes.

To top it off, the author also launched an illustration competition and encouraged children to submit ideas for the chance to be featured in The Ickabog.

“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,” Rowling wrote in a blog post. “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!”

Is the illustration competition open to adults? Asking for a friend…

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...