Sometimes, authors write a book and then decide not to publish it for various reasons. Many authors have talked about doing such a thing, and it turns out Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is no exception!
Rowling is starting to release chapters of her new children’s book The Ickabog for free online, but the story has existed for many years. She originally wrote it and read it to her children chapter-by-chapter years ago, but shelved it in order to focus on an adult book she was developing instead.
On the website for the new book, the author explained what changed her mind:
…even though I loved the story, over the years I came to think of it as something that was just for my own children.
Then this lockdown happened. It’s been very hard on children, in particular, so I brought The Ickabog down from the attic, read it for the first time in years, rewrote bits of it and then read it to my children again. They told me to put back in some bits they’d liked when they were little, and here we are!
The Ickabog‘s official website will release one to three new chapters from the book each week and as children read along, they’ll be able to participate in a very cool art contest. Rowling’s UK and US publishers plan to release a print version of the story later this year, and all entrants will have a chance to have their illustrations featured in that edition!