JK Rowling Unveils 'The Ickabog', A Free Fairy-Tale For Locked-Down Kids

'The Ickabog' by JK Rowling is a story set in an imaginary land and aimed primarily at children aged between seven and nine.

JK Rowling Unveils 'The Ickabog', A Free Fairy-Tale For Locked-Down Kids

JK Rowling has released the first two chapters of a fairy-tale she wrote years ago.

JK Rowling took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce the release of 'The Ickabog' - a free online serialisation of a bed-time story she wrote for her children 10 years ago. The creator of the Harry Potter series said she decided to pull 'The Ickabog' story "down from the attic" and publish it for children forced to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

"My now teenagers were touchingly enthusiastic, so downstairs came the very dusty box, and for the last few weeks I've been immersed in a fictional world I thought I'd never enter again," she said in a statement.

The superstar British writer has released the first two chapters of the fairy-tale on a dedicated website -- www.theickabog.com. "We'll be publishing a chapter (or 2 or 3) every weekday," she wrote on Twitter while announcing the release.

Written to be read aloud, 'The Ickabog' is a story "in the fairy tale tradition" set in an imaginary land and aimed primarily at children aged between seven and nine. You can start reading it by clicking on the link shared by the author:

'The Ickabog' is unrelated to any of Ms Rowling's other previous works, though she noted it was penned "in fits and starts" between her "Harry Potter" books.

"'The Ickabog' is a story about truth and the abuse of power," she said, adding it was not "intended to be read as a response to anything that's happening in the world right now".

"The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country," she said.

While sharing the story, JK Rowling also announced a competition for young artists. The author invited budding artists to illustrate the story and enter their artworks into a global competition being run by her publishers. Illustrations have already started pouring in, and Ms Rowling 'retweeted' some that caught her eye. Take a look:

After unveiling all the chapters by June 10, Ms Rowling will publish 'The Ickabog' as a complete book in November this year. Winners of the competition will have their drawings included in the published book in their part of the world.  

The author also announced that she would donate author royalties from the published books to coronavirus relief efforts. 

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