Sunday, May 31, 2020

JK Rowling and The Ickabog

On May 26th, J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter that she would be releasing an unpublished manuscript online, chapter by chapter, every weekday through July 10th.  The Ickabog is a standalone fairy tale and has nothing to do with the Harry Potter universe, according to the bestselling author.

"The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power. To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn't 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."

Not only that, The Ickabog will be traditionally published in November 2020, and Rowling is conducting an international competition for children to illustrate it.

"Having decided to publish, 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. There will be suggestions about the illustrations we might need for each chapter on The Ickabog website, but nobody should feel constrained by these ideas. 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!"

Royalties from the sold copies will go to organizations helping those impacted by COVID-19.

Read the Story

Friday, May 29, 2020

Getting to Know...Mady

Introducing another valuable member of our YA volunteer team, Mady Blakely! An 11-year-old 6th grader, Mady has accumulated 19 hours to date.

My Favorite Book Genre: Fiction

Someone I Look Up To: My mom

My Favorite TV Show: The Worst Witch

A Topic That I Can Talk About For An Hour: Iceland

An Invention That I Would Uninvent: Music

Person I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island: Emma

My Happy Place: Home

My Spirit Animal: Bunny

Something Interesting About Myself: I Am Scared of Dogs

Future Plans: I want to be a cartographer.

Favorite Quote: "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, May 22, 2020

Book Writing for Teens

Calling all writers! CreativINDIE is hosting a FREE virtual summer camp for teens. The creator, Derek Murphy, is a successful Young Adult author with a doctorate in literature.

Important details...

Class begins June 1st and runs approximately 3 months.

You'll learn:

  • How to write compelling fiction readers love
  • How to outline a book and hit the right turning points
  • How to increase stakes, drama and conflict
  • How to design characters readers can't help but love
  • How to keep pacing tight so readers are glued to every page
  • How to revise and edit your manuscript to make it perfect
  • How to breathe life into your writing.
You'll be expected to keep up with the video assignments, and invest an hour or two a day working on your project. The schedule will follow a "plot, write, edit" format.

Your goal will be a clean manuscript of roughly 50,000 words.


CreativINDIE is looking to support an amazing story through their imprint Urban Epics. The winner will get a $500 cash bonus, all publishing costs waived, and developmental edit from a bestselling author. More details to come on that front.

Click Here to Learn More!

Monday, May 18, 2020

YA(Y) For Takeout

Taking a look at some of the most recent additions gracing the shelves of our YA department.

Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette Ferrars. Ella Sommers. Which is the truth and which is the lie? Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong -- between Ella and Juliette -- blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The explosive finale to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shatter Me series.

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell

It starts before you can even remember. You learn the rules for being a girl. Marin has always been good at navigating these unspoken guidelines. A star student and editor of the school papter, she dreams of getting into Brown University. Marin's future seems bright -- and her young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. Beckett, is always quick to admire her writing and talk books with her. But when "Bex" takes things too far and comes on to Marin, she's shocked and horrified. Had she somehow led him on? Was it her fault?

"The book shines a light on the pressures of being a girl and the double standards that readers will immediately recognize and appreciate or learn from." -- Kirkus Reviews

Cursed by Jen Calonita

The evil Rumpelstiltskin is planning to cast a curse that will erase Enchantasia as the world knows it, and a fairy prophecy declares that Gilly Cobbler will play a key role. Never one to shy away from adventure, Gilly and her friends embark on an epic, swashbuckling journey to stop Stiltskin from getting the ingredients he needs before it's too late.

The sixth installment in the beloved Fairy Tale Reform School series where the teachers are (former) villains.

Crave by Tracy Wolff

Grace's world changed when she joined the academy. At the academy she is a mere mortal among gods...or monsters. She can't decide which faction she should join, or if she should join any of them. The one thing that unites them is their hatred of her. Then there's Jaxon Vega, a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn't felt anything for a hundred years. Jaxon has walled himself off for a reason. Does someone want to wake the sleeping monster in him? Is Grace the bait?

Top #1 Pick for Best YA of 2020 -- Glitter Magazine.

Votes of Confidence: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections by Jeff Fleischer

Every four years, coverage of the presidential elections turns into a horse-race story about who is leading, and who said what. Fleischer explains the past, present, and future of American elections; how the election process actually works and why it matters; and how young people can become involved - not just this year, but for years to come.

"Recommended for middle to high school students, educators, and others interested in becoming civically informed and engaged." -- School Library Journal

Click Here For More New Releases!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Harry Potter at Home

As part of its "Harry Potter at Home" series, Wizarding World is giving Harry Potter lovers a new way to experience the first book in the series.

Celebrities from the franchise and beyond have come on board to read aloud one chapter each of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

The first chapter was read by Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe.

Videos are being posted to every week.

Anyone interested in just the audio can find the Harry Potter at Home Reading Podcast on Spotify.

More Harry Potter actors on the roster to read future chapters include: Stephen Fry (Mr. Dursley), Claudia Kim (Nagini, Fantastic Beasts), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione, Cursed Child), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts). Non-Potter celebrities on board with the project include David Beckham and Dakota Fanning.

Wizarding World promises that "more surprises and special appearances" are to come.

Besides just watching the actors read their chapters aloud, special artwork created by fans is being showcased. Looking ahead for the next 16 chapters, the Wizarding World team is asking for fans to continue submitting original artwork to its social media pages using the #HarryPotterAtHome tag and mentioning @wizardingworld.

Guidelines for submitting your artwork can be found here.

Anyone new to the Wizarding World website can also join to be sorted into their Hogwarts house, learn what your Patronus is, and more!

This writing brought to you by Courtney Dobrzykowski