Rowling Talks ‘Lumos’ and Her Mission to End Worldwide Child Institutionalization

J.K. Rowling, 2014

Earlier this week, J.K. Rowling published a powerful article in The Guardian regarding her charity, Lumos. Headlined, “Isn’t it time we left orphanages to fairytales?” Rowling begins her column by recounting the heart-wrenching image of an institutionalized boy she saw in a newspaper ten years ago. Locked in a caged bed, the boy’s hands clutching at the wire surrounding him, the picture devastated her so much that she immediately began seeking a solution.

Founded in 2005, Lumos strives to shut down child institutions and “orphanages,” and help displaced children return to loving homes.

Through her research, Rowling learned that more than 8 million children worldwide are institutionalized, and the shocking fact that, in many cases, the children in these institutions have parents and family members who are still living. The main reason that children fall into these places is because their parents are unable or unwilling to take care of them. Growing up in these kinds of deplorable conditions has been proven to have a drastic, negative affect on the quality of life, education, and overall humanity of these children. Malnutrition, failure to thrive, abuse, trafficking, and even death are all common outcomes of child institutions. Rowling knew that she had to do something to put an end to the suffering of these children.

Related: J.K. Rowling’s Lumos charity launches campaign, #LetsTalkLumos

Named after the Harry Potter spell that produces light in dark places, Lumos has moved swiftly through Europe to bring hope to these children. Efforts in Moldova (Europe’s poorest nation), the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria have seen extraordinarily significant decreases in new admissions to institutions, as well as a vast increase of caregivers and foster care, providing much-needed loving family environments. If this kind of success keeps growing, the institutionalization of children can be globally eradicated by the year 2050.

In order to end child institutionalization for good, Lumos needs us all to keep the issue alive and create awareness in our own parts of the world. Last month, the charity and J.K. Rowling launched #letstalklumosa social media campaign that was created for the very purpose of keeping the issue fresh in the world’s mind. Just because we may not see what goes on in some corners of the world does not mean that it can be pushed under the rug, into the dark. Rowling ends with these simple, yet impactful words: “I recently committed to becoming president of Lumos for life. It is my dream that, within my lifetime, the very concept of taking a child away from its family and locking it away will seem to belong to a cruel, fictional world.”

Donate to Lumos’s campaign here to help children with disabilities go to school.

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Robert Galbraith novels to be adapted for BBC television

J.K. Rowling, 2014The BBC has announced plans to adapt J.K. Rowling’s crime novels centering around London detective Cormoran Strike, published under the name Robert Galbraith, for television.

Update: J.K. Rowling confirmed the news on Twitter.

The two Galbraith novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013) and The Silkworm (2014) will serve as the basis of a BBC One series that will be produced by Bronte Film and TV, J.K. Rowling’s production company that previously worked on the BBC adaption of Rowling’s novel, The Casual Vacancy. Bronte Film and TV chairman and J.K. Rowling’s agent, Neil Blair, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing these best-selling novels to the screen and to be working once again alongside the BBC.”

J.K. Rowling published the first novel under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith in April 2013, with the identity of the book’s author being kept secret until Rowling was outed in July of that year. At the time her name was revealed, Rowling said she had already received two offers from television production companies to adapt The Cuckoo’s Calling.

So far, not much is known about the project; the number and length of episodes are still being decided and no cast or screenwriter was announced. However, the BBC said that Rowling will “collaborate on the project.” Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, added, “It’s a wonderful coup for BBC Television to be bringing JK Rowling’s latest books to the screen. With the rich character of Cormoran Strike at their heart, these dramas will be event television across the world.”

Though no air date was indicated for the new series, The Casual Vacancy adaption is set to air in February. Recently, the BBC released promotional pictures for the series, which can be viewed here.

Find out more about the J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series here.

Source: Irish Times

Bloomsbury to publish ‘J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography’

via GuardianBloomsbury will be releasing a new comprehensive bibliography of J.K. Rowling’s writing, J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography, this year.

J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography will be published on April 12, 2014 in the UK, and December 18 in the US, and is written by Philip A. Errington, the Director for Children’s Books within the Department of Printed Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby’s. The book is 448 pages long, and Amazon.com lists it on their website for $114. It will be published by Bloomsbury Academic, so we take this as being more of a textbook than anything.

Here’s the synopsis, via Amazon.com:

This is the definitive bibliography of the writings of J. K. Rowling. In addition to complete bibliographic details of all her books, pamphlets, original contributions to published works and broadcasts, there is detailed information on Rowling at auction, on significant reviews and on scholarly work on Rowling. This will be the first source on Rowling consulted by textual scholars, book collectors, auction houses, critics and researchers. The aim of the book is to record fact and dispel rumour on the fascinating publishing history of the Harry Potter series.

J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury have not announced anything about the book formally, but we expect an announcement of some sort soon. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest, so be sure to return for the latest details.

$114 is a lot of money — Will you be purchasing J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography? Tell us in the comments below!

Bloomsbury to Release New ‘Harry Potter’ Children’s Edition Novels

normal_Harry_Potter_Philosopher_s_Stone_Jonny_DuddleFollowing the recent announcement on publishing fully illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series, Bloomsbury announced yesterday they will be releasing revamped editions of the Harry Potter novels on September 1 with all new illustrations.

According to the press release, these new editions will be “reset to create a child-friendly reading experience for a new generation of readers,” but there was no explanation of what this could entail. However, we do know that they will feature completely redesigned front cover, back cover, and spine artwork and that all of the titles will contain highlights from Pottermore.

For the thrilling task of reinventing the world of Harry Potter for a new audience, Bloomsbury and J.K. Rowling chose the award-winning Jonny Duddle.

On being selected, Duddle stated, “I’m hugely excited to work my way through the wonderful books. I couldn’t have asked for more enjoyable subject matter. It’s exciting, daunting, and I feel the weight of responsibility, and I’m just hoping that my illustrations faithfully reflect the characters and the world created by J.K. Rowling.” Duddle is known for such works as The Pirate Cruncher and The Pirates Next Door picture books, which are winner of the Waterstone’s Children’s Prize and shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, respectively, and his work has also appeared in Aardman films and Terry Pratchett novels.

Alongside the new hardback and softback Harry Potter novels, Pottermore will publish eBooks of all of the editions, with the new artwork, concurrently. Bloomsbury has also teamed up with Pottermore to show how much, much more can be discovered about the world of Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling on Pottermore.com. This information will be available to readers in the back of the new Harry Potter children’s editions.

Stay tuned to Pottermore News for more exciting Harry Potter news after next month’s London Book Fair!

Tell us below: What do you think about this re-mastering of the Harry Potter series for a new generation? How do you think these new editions will compare to the seven novels we know and love?

Image courtesy of SnitchSeeker

Sarah Phelps announced as writer for ‘Casual Vacancy’ miniseries

J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' hits stores September 27

J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ hit stores September 27, 2012

As we previously reported, J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, is being adapted for a BBC One television miniseries. On Monday, a screenwriter was announced for the project, and Sarah Phelps, who wrote scripts for BBC’s Great Expectations and Eastenders, will write The Casual Vacancy.

The BBC noted briefly of Phelps’ position in an announcement for another project she is working on, the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Partners in Crime.

SnitchSeeker reached out to BBC and Rowling’s reps and both teams confirmed it. According to SnitchSeeker, production for the miniseries will begin later this year, and the number of episodes as well as casting information will be released sometime in the near future.

Be sure to check back for updated information about this project!

J.K. Rowling talks with Emma Watson about Harry Potter pairings, Fantastic Beasts, and Harry Potter play

Selfies of J.K. (published in Wonderland, via JKRowling.com)

Selfies, J.K. style. (published in Wonderland, via JKRowling.com)

The full conversation between J.K. Rowling and Emma Watson has been published in Wonderland Magazine.

This month’s issue of the magazine was edited by Hermione Granger actress Emma Watson, for which she conducted an interview with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. In their conversation, they discussed the film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the newly announced Harry Potter play, and, of course, the pairing of Ron and Hermione. Comments made by Rowling during this part of the interview caused an uproar throughout the fandom, but for the first time we can decipher her statements in their entirety (it was originally excerpted by the Sunday Times).

The Hermione topic was brought on by Emma, who asked Jo if she had a new perspective on Hermione, post-writing. It was then that Jo made the “infamous” comments that sparked outrage, and new shipping wars:

Watson: I thought we should discuss Hermione… I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times but now that you have written the books, do you have a new perspective on how you relate to Hermione and the relationship you have with her or had with her?

Rowling: I know that Hermione is incredibly recognisable to a lot of readers and yet you don’t see a lot of Hermiones in film or on TV except to be laughed at. I mean that the intense, clever, in some ways not terribly self-aware, girl is rarely the heroine and I really wanted her to be the heroine. She is part of me, although she is not wholly me. I think that is how I might have appeared to people when I was younger, but that is not really how I was inside.

What I will say is that I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione with Ron.

Ah.

I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.

I don’t know. I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.

Yes exactly.

And vice versa.

It was a young relationship. I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it… I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility. I can’t believe we are saying all of this – this is Potter heresy!

Later on in the interview, Rowling admitted that Ron and Hermione would have needed marriage counseling. She also delves into the dynamics of Hermione and Harry’s relationship, specifically in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Jo and Emma also discussed the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film, and Jo revealed she wrote the first draft of the film in an astonishing twelve days.

Rowling: Warner Bros. came to me ages ago and said they wanted to do something with Fantastic Beasts. I could see the potential in it. I knew something about Newt [Scamander, the fictional author of Fantastic Beasts] having written a little something for Comic Relief. I had imagined a little bit of back story for him…

So when Warner Bros. came to me and said they wanted to make a film out of the book I had this simultaneous feeling of “it has a lot of potential,” and another feeling of slight panic that “I know some things about Newt and I don’t want you to ruin that for me!” because I knew who he was. So then I went away and sort of dwelt on what I knew about Newt, not intending to write a script but just trying to collect my thoughts so that I could at least give them the backstory I’d imagined, so that their vision was true to what I knew.

Then I really did have one of those moments that always make you phenomenally excited as a writer; but also that you know is going to end up being a ton of work. I thought, “Oh my God, a whole plot’s just descended on me!” But I wanted to do it as I was really excited about it. I wasn’t really thinking about writing the script myself, I thought, you know, I’ll give them this plot and then – fatally – I sat down and thought “I just wonder what it would look like…” and wrote a rough draft in twelve days!

Along with this, the two talked about the upcoming Harry Potter stage play, and her peculiar wishes for Fantastic Beasts.

You also announced that you’re going to collaborate on a theatre production.

Yes that was a really interesting idea that Sonia Friedman came up with. I’ve been so resistant for a long time about theatre productions. Quite a few people wanted to do a Harry Potter musical. I didn’t really see Harry as a musical so we said no to all of that, but Sonia came along with a very thoughtful, very interesting idea. I’m quite excited about that.

Will Hermione be in it?!

Well Emma if you are offering to play Hermione… [both laugh] I tell you what I really want. I want you and Dan and Rupert in really heavy make-up in the background of a scene in Fantastic Beasts, and I’ll join you and we’ll sit in a bar room having a laugh for an afternoon. Do you not think that would be fantastic?

That sounds like the most fun I can imagine having!

And we can mess around as extras in the background.

And then we can see if anyone can spot us. I personally would like to be in drag, just to make sure no one can spot me at all.

GENIUS!

As well as this, Rowling talks about her greatest achievements and getting ideas in the interview. You can read the full interview here on the author’s website.

What do you think about Jo’s comments having heard the full story? Would you like to see her in Fantastic Beasts? Tell us in the comments below!

Pottermore Reveals Time-Lapse Goblet of Fire ‘Moment’ Video, Audio Clips about Gilderoy Lockhart at ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’

Laptops in Orlando

The house-themed backgrounds that greeted Pottermore booth visitors at the event.

Over the past three days, Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl. has been hosting A Celebration of Harry Potteran all-ages event of pure fun that celebrates everything that is the wizarding world. In attendance were Evanna Lynch, James and Oliver Phelps, Matthew Lewis, and Mark Williams, who portrayed Luna Lovegood, Fred and George Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Arthur Weasley, respectively.

As previously reported, Pottermore was involved with the Celebration, hosting its own booth and event. At their presentation, Pottermore’s Creative Director revealed a time-lapse video of the creation of a Pottermore Moment. From the drawing board to the final splashes of color, it shows the making of a Moment from the final installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Pottermore.com, titled ‘Snape’s Dark Mark’ (from Chapter 36 of the book). You can watch the video below.

In addition to the video, the creative director also previewed three exclusive audio clips of J.K. Rowling giving a detailed account of the beaming, fraudulent Gilderoy Lockhart. In them, she discusses Lockhart’s family life and background, failed business endeavors, and the Sorting Hat’s first choice of house before it decided to put him in Ravenclaw. Rowling also examines today’s celebrity-championing culture, and shows a mischievous sense of humor as she candidly talks about the lavishness and overkill of celebrity.

gilderoy1

Gilderoy Lockhart

For those of you who were unable to attend A Celebration of Harry Potter, don’t fret! The audio clips are available for exclusive early listening on EW.com and theguardian.com. The clips will also be making their way over to their permanent home at Pottermore.com in a few days. Keep your eyes open for notifications from Pottermore Owl, and check Pottermore.com frequently to see if they have been uploaded!

In the meantime, let’s give our warm birthday wishes to Gilderoy Lockhart, as he celebrated his 50th birthday just yesterday! From all of us at the Pottermore News team: we hope you are faring well at St. Mungo’s, Gilderoy, and, of course, remaining happy signing autographs and receiving fan mail and weekly letters from Ms. Gladys Gudgeon (though you are still not quite sure why)!

Please share your birthday wishes to Gilderoy Lockhart below!

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Some fans at ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ wishing Gilderoy Lockhart a very happy birthday!

Images courtesy of Harry Potter Wiki and the Pottermore Insider.

J.K. Rowling Announces ‘Lumos’ Charity is going Global, at Fundraising Event

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J.K. Rowling and husband Dr. Neil Murray

On Saturday evening, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (in a very luminous and symbolic gold dress) and husband Dr. Neil Murray hosted a fundraising event for her charity, Lumos, at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Watford, where the Harry Potter series was filmed.

At this magical place, Rowling excitedly revealed that she plans to go global with her Lumos charity. Shining along with Rowling and Murray at the Lumos event were Harry Potter film veterans Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Warwick Davis, and Evanna Lynch. Fellow English actor Hugh Grant also showed his support and was immediately targeted for recruitment by a group of Death Eaters that snaked their way onto the red carpet. Don’t do it, Hugh!

J.K. Rowling with Emma Watson at the event.

J.K. Rowling with Emma Watson at the event

The attendees were treated to a lovely banquet in the beautifully decorated Hogwarts’ Great Hall, a part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. An auction was held to raise funds for Lumos, and some items up for bidding included a drawing of the Sorting Hat by J.K. Rowling and a sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor. All donations raised from this event will go directly toward Lumos, which helps European children who have been placed in decrepit orphanages. Rowling stated that since Lumos’ beginnings in 2005, it has successfully helped governments take almost 12,000 children out of these appalling institutions, across the world. “We have prevented the deaths of more than 400 vulnerable children with disabilities who were not receiving the care they needed in institutions,” she said. Lumos has also helped the European Union (EU) on the allocation of money to reform education, social, and health services and care systems.

In addition to the auction funds received, Rowling has gifted £25 million (over $33 million) of her Harry Potter fortune to Lumos. Every last penny from the £18.9 million (over $25 million) sale of Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard went directly to the charity. Anonymous private donors, believed to be Rowling herself, have contributed £5.4 million (over $7 million), as well.

J.K. Rowling will also be putting her “Lumos Maxima” bracelet up for bid at an auction being held at Sotheby’s in London on December 10. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the author revealed the bracelet was a gift from Rowling’s British editor, given to her the day the seventh Harry Potter book was released. The bracelet commemorates Harry Potter, featuring trinkets including a winged key, a spell book, and a bolt of lightning, and is expected to raise another £20,000 (over $26K) for Lumos. Lumos spokeswoman Vicky Gillings declared, of Rowling, “The power of one person to change things is incredible.”

Rowling admitted that there is much more needed to be done to significantly decrease the suffering of displaced European children, but that the Warner Bros. Studio event was a very large step in helping to achieve Lumos’ mission and goals.

Tell us below: What would you like to do to help Rowling with her Lumos efforts?

Images courtesy of DailyMail.co.uk and Getty Images

J.K. Rowling makes large strides for strengthened advocacy with charity, Lumos

Lumos1It is undeniable that J.K. Rowling has an immensely powerful, global voice. With about 450 million Harry Potter books sold in 67 different languages, Rowling has established herself not only as a brilliant author, but also as someone who truly understands the human condition and yearns to do as much as she can to ensure that those in need are able to have the best lives possible.

‘Suddenly you think, “I can give and I can do something for [charities],”‘ she declared. She is, in fact, taking this advocacy and desire to effect change to the next level: In a telling interview with Geordie Greig of Event Magazine, J.K. Rowling announced plans to re-launch her charity Lumos in Britain.

Lumos is a charity that works “to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalization of children.” Rowling started the charity seven years ago, naming if after the light-producing spell in her Harry Potter books. In a few weeks time, she will take the stage at Warner Bros. in Hertfordshire to kick off newly energized rallying.

Harry Potter’s own personal struggle of being orphaned and placed into the neglectful and bullying Dursley family serves as a direct inspiration for Lumos. Rowling recounted, ‘Harry has been left in a very hostile environment, so there are clear parallels [with Lumos]. He is a boy removed from his family by bereavement.’ The mission of what Rowling’s charity strives to achieve also mirrors Harry’s welcoming of Teddy Lupin into his family after Teddy, too, was orphaned.  It is strongly believed by many Potterfans that Teddy’s fate reflected a reprieve for the childhood of which Harry was deprived, and who better to show Teddy that he was, in fact, loved and cherished, than Harry himself!

Thus far, Rowling has donated millions of pounds to establish Lumos to liberate children from deplorable conditions, horrific caged beds, and prison-like “orphanages” so they may return to their families, and she hopes that, like the Harry Potter series, this mission will have the same impact in terms of global reach.

Since its beginning, Lumos has effectively cut the number of children living in care institutions in Moldova by 63 percent, as well as helped to close approximately one third of all workhouse institutions. All in all, over 7,000 children have been helped by Lumos’ efforts, and the charity now turns to Britain to help kids in need.

A mere twenty years ago, Rowling struggled as a single mother, sometimes forgoing food to make sure that her daughter, Jessica, got enough to eat. It is still difficult for her to talk about this time in her life, and to revisit the small flat that she and Jessica once called “home.” Said Rowling, ‘I was as poor as it’s possible to be… Now I am able to give… My situation has given me a lot of fuel for my passion in this area.’Lumos2

After reading about the interview on Daily Mail, Luna Lovegood’s portrayer Evanna Lynch tweeted, ‘It only takes a little dose of JKR to remind me of what life’s about and why we’re here. Best human on the planet.’

It is clear that J.K. Rowling will continue on this awesome journey to offer her own personal brand of magic to children and families in need in Europe, and we genuinely look forward to the re-launch of this wonderful charity, Lumos!

Images courtesy of DailyMail.co.uk

Three books, one author, a tweet, and a journalist: How J. K. Rowling was uncovered as the author of “The Cuckoo’s Calling”

The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling

The New York Times has published an interesting article explaining how J. K. Rowling was unmasked as the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling.

The newly released crime novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was believed to be written by ex British Army officer Robert Galbraith until yesterday, when the Sunday Times broke a story that is arguably one of the greatest literary cover-ups ever and a mystery that’s as intriguing as a detective story.

The New York Times reports that it was an anonymous Twitter tip that sparked the investigation. On Thursday, Richard Brooks, the Sunday Times‘s art’s editor noticed a Twitter conversation between one of his colleagues and an anonymous account. The colleague posted a tweet about how she loved The Cuckoo’s Calling, and that it did not seem as if it was a debut novel.

An anonymous person tweeted back at her saying that it was not a first-time novel, and that it was written by J.K. Rowling. When Brooks’ colleague tweeted back asking how this anonymous person knew, they replied, “I just know”, and then proceeded to delete all of their tweets and closed down the account. There is no trace of this person.

It was then that Brooks decided to take matters into his own hands. He didn’t want to alert Rowling’s people just yet, for fear of having the story leaked by a competitor, so he took to the Internet to do some Internet sleuthing.

While investigating, Brooks discovered a number of similarities between The Cuckoo’s Calling and J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, published last year: both books are represented by the same agency, The Blair Partnership. They are both published by Little, Brown, and also share the same editor, David Shelley. Brooks thought it seemed odd that the editor, David Shelley, “would be in charge of both someone as important as J. K. Rowling, and someone as seemingly unimportant as Robert Galbraith.”

He then sent three of Rowling’s books – The Cuckoo’s CallingThe Casual Vacancyand Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to a pair of linguistic experts, “who found significant similarities among them.”

Acting on this evidence, Brooks sent an email to a Rowling representative, who, on Saturday morning, emailed back that Rowling had decided that it was time to “‘fess up. Rowling announced that she was Galbraith with the following statement:

“I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.

“The upside of being rumbled is that I can publicly thank my editor David Shelley, who has been a true partner in crime, all those people at Little, Brown who have been working so hard on The Cuckoo’s Calling without realizing that I wrote it, and the writers and reviewers, both in the newspapers and online, who have been so generous to the novel.

“And to those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances.”

According to the New York Times article, Nicky Stonehill, a publicist for the author, said on Sunday that Mr. Galbraith and Ms. Rowling were indeed one and the same. “We can confirm it,” she said, “but we are not making any further statement.”