JK Rowling Is Holding an Art Competition on Twitter for Her New Book ‘The Ickabog,’ Challenging Children Around the World to Illustrate It

The Harry Potter author is releasing 'The Ickabog' online in a series of free installments.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is releasing a new book online for free during lockdown, and inviting children to create the illustrations. Photo by Debra Hurford Brown, via J.K. Rowling.

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling is asking children to draw illustrations for her forthcoming fantasy book, The Ickabog. Rowling is publishing the story online for free as a gift for children who are stuck at home and isolated from friends.

“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,” wrote Rowling on her website. “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!”

The British author began releasing The Ickabog on her website on Tuesday, and drawings by her delighted young fans have already begun rolling in. Aimed at kids ages seven to nine, the book will appear in the form of 34 total installments, with new chapters posting every day between now and July 10.

To enter, parents and guardians are instructed to share their children’s artwork on Twitter with the hashtag #TheIckabog. When the hardcopy is published in November, it will feature the winning drawings from Rowling’s illustration competition.

J.K. Rowling is inviting children to create the illustrations for her new book, <em>The Ickabog</em>. Image courtesy of J.K. Rowling.

JK Rowling is inviting children to create the illustrations for her new book, The Ickabog. Image courtesy of JK Rowling.

The fothcoming book is actually an old one for Rowling, and has been collecting dust in her attic for nearly a decade. She began writing it when she was still working on the Harry Potter series, often reading it as a bedtime story to her own children. The Ickabog isn’t connected to the Potter universe or any of her other writings.

Rowling will be donating all of her royalties from the project to groups that are suffering as a result of the current outbreak. She previously launched a “Harry Potter at Home” initiative that offered activities for families to enjoy from home, including crafts, quizzes, and puzzles.

Here are a few of our favorite contributions to the illustration competition so far, including a few praised by Rowling herself.

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