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J.K. Rowling releases a new book, chapter by chapter

J.K. Rowling
J.K. RowlingBennett Raglin/Getty Images for for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

First “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer announced that she would release a book she’d shelved years ago. Now a decade-old fairy tale, written by J.K. Rowling, will see the light of day.

The Harry Potter author announced Tuesday on Twitter that she will release the manuscript, called “The Ickabog,” for free online, chapter by chapter, starting Tuesday.

“I always meant to publish it, but after the last Potter was released I wrote two novels for adults and, after some dithering, decided to put those out next,” Rowling said on Twitter. “Until very recently, the only people who’d heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children.”


The book’s first two chapters — King Fred the Fearless and The Ickabog — were released Tuesday, and the roll out will continue, according to Rowling, until July 10. No registration is required, and the chapters are available on a new website called theickabog.com.

The author takes pains in her first tweet to note that the book is “NOT A HARRY POTTER SPIN-OFF.” But for fans of her magical worlds, that surely won’t dampen the excitement.

In an interactive twist, Rowling has asked that young readers illustrate the book, submitting artwork based on suggestions she’ll be making as the chapters roll out. She added, however, that no one “should feel constrained by my ideas. Let your imaginations run wild!” The best pictures will be included “in the books we intend to publish in November 2020.”

Rowling said she will donate her royalties from the books to organizations “helping the groups most impacted by Covid-19.”

Hayley Kaufman can be reached at hayley.kaufman@globe.com.