J.K. Rowling has a new novel coming soon, and she’ll be releasing it online as a serialized project: The Ickabog. Starting today and running through July, she’ll be posting up a small part of the story on her website for everyone to read.
The novel, Rowling says, is an “original new fairy tale for children in lockdown”, and is “about truth and the abuse of power.”
The Ickabog originated while Rowling was writing the Harry Potter series, with the intention of publishing it after the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hit stores. But she then decided to take a break and change things up by moving away from YA novels with books like The Casual Vacancy, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, Career of Evil, and Lethal White. The draft went into hibernation “where it’s remained for nearly a decade.”
That changed recently, Rowling writes, noting that she began contemplating returning to the book. “For the last few weeks I’ve been immersed in a fictional world I thought I’d never enter again. As I worked to finish the book, I started reading chapters nightly to the family again.”
Rowling will release anywhere from one to three chapters each weekday between May 26th and July 10th on a standalone website (which will presumably launch sometime today.) It’ll first roll out in English, then will be translated at some point down the road.
There’ll eventually be a print, ebook, and audio editions as well. They’ll hit stores in November 2020, with reader-submitted illustrations included.
Update: the first two chapters have gone live on the project’s website.