I had the idea for The Ickabog a long time ago and read it to my two younger children chapter by chapter each night while I was working on it. However, when the time came to publish it, I decided to put out a book for adults instead, which is how The Ickabog ended up in the attic. I became busy with other things, and 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 Ickabogdown 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 will be published for free on this website, in instalments, over the next seven weeks, a chapter (or two, or three), at a time. It isn’t Harry Potter and it doesn’t include magic. This is an entirely different story.
The most exciting part, for me, at least, is that I’d like you to illustrate The Ickabog for me. Every day, I’ll be making suggestions for what you might like to draw. You can enter the official competition being run by my publishers, for the chance to have your artwork included in a printed version of the book due out later this year. I’ll be giving suggestions as to what to draw as we go along, but you should let your imagination run wild.
I won’t be judging the competition. Each publisher will decide what works best for their editions. However, if you, your parent or your guardian would like to share your artwork on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog, I’ll be able to see it and maybe share and comment on it!
When the book is published in November, I’m going to donate all my royalties to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus. We’ll give full details later in the year.
I think that’s everything you need to know. I hope you enjoy reading it and I can’t wait to see your pictures!
J.K. Rowling explains in her own words how, why and when The Ickabog was written in a special piece on her own website, www.jkrowling.com, which you can now read in full.
First written over ten years ago as a bedtime story for her younger children, she decided to share the personal family favourite now online and for free, in instalments, to help entertain children, parents and carers confined at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
She is also inviting children around the world to illustrate her story as the serialisation unfolds online. Parents and guardians can enter their children’s artwork into an official Ickabog Illustration Competition being run by J.K. Rowling’s publishers. For more details go to our Illustration Competition page here.
Calling all budding artists! J.K. Rowling is inviting you to help illustrate The Ickabog for her. Every day when chapters of the story are uploaded, she will be making suggestions for what you might like to draw or paint to illustrate the story as it goes along. You should let your imagination run wild!
The best bit is, if you are between seven and twelve years old, your parent or guardian on your behalf can enter your drawings or paintings into the official competition being run by J.K. Rowling’s publishers, for a once in a lifetime chance to be featured in The Ickabog book, which is published in November. The competition is now open in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, the US and Canada, and will be extended to other countries very soon.
Your artwork must be entered by a parent or guardian, via the publisher’s own competition website in your country (see below) – the publishers are going to be judging all the competition entries.
You cannot enter the competition here on this website. All the competition rules, guidelines, entry requirements, opening and closing dates and details of what you can win are available on the publishers’ websites too. Residents of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India can enter via the UK publisher’s competition. Residents of the US and Canada can enter via the US publisher’s competition.
So get imagining, and good luck!
Enter for the chance to have your child’s artwork published in the new book by J.K. Rowling!
How To Enter
1. Read J.K. Rowling’s The Ickabog with your child at www.theickabog.com. 2. Check out the illustration themes each weekday when a new installment of the story is posted.
3. Review the Guidelines below and the Official Rules.
4. Encourage your child (aged 7-12) to create a hand-drawn or hand-painted illustration based on one of the illustration themes, using a single sheet of standard letter-sized (8-1/2″ x 11″) unlined paper, in portrait/vertical orientation. 5. Scan/photograph your child’s artwork and use the official entry form below to submit your entry before 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, July 17, 2020.
Artwork will be reviewed by a panel of judges at Scholastic, who will select 34 winning illustrations based on the following equally weighted criteria:
- Interpretation of the selected illustration theme
We will not be judging based on experience or technical skill.
- The 34 winning illustrations will be included in the print and ebook editions of J.K. Rowling’s The Ickabog, to be published by Scholastic in November 2020.
- Each winner will also receive a copy of the book signed by the author and a prize package of $650 worth of Scholastic books for the entrant’s school or library of choice.
- All illustrations must be created by children between the ages of 7 and 12, and submitted by a parent or guardian who is a legal resident of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, or Canada (excluding Quebec).
- Artwork must be created on a single sheet of standard letter-sized (8-1/2″ x 11″), unlined paper, in portrait/vertical orientation.
- Artwork must be scanned or photographed and uploaded for submission. Entries will not be accepted by mail.
- Please keep the original artwork in a safe place! If chosen for publication, the original will need to be sent to Scholastic.
- Artwork created digitally will not be accepted.
- Parents/guardians are limited to one submission per installment of the story for each of their children. More than one parent/guardian cannot enter a submission for the same installment for the same child.
- All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, July 17, 2020. Winners will be notified on or about Monday, August 3, 2020.
- NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
- Click below to read the complete Official Rules.
- ENTRIES THAT DO NOT FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES AND THE OFFICIAL RULES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.