At the request of UK bookseller, Waterstone's, JK Rowling recently wrote an 800-word outline for a Harry Potter prequel, all to benefit the British charity Dyslexia Action and English PEN. Dyslexia Action is the UK's leading provider of services and support for people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties, and PEN is an international fellowship of writers who are working to promote literature and defend the freedom to write.
Rowling's prequel, hand-written on both sides of a cream-colored A5-sized story card -- which measures 1.48 by x 210 millimetres (5.8 by 8.3 inches), which is slightly larger than a postcard -- will be sold at Waterstone's "What's Your Story?" auction in London on 10 June. Rowling, who already has earned more money than god from her Harry Potter series, has used her hero's popularity on several occasions to raise large amounts of money for other charities, most notably, her hand-written copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which was purchased by Amazon for $3.9 million in 2007 to benefit donated to The Children's Voice charity that Rowling co-founded in 2005.
In addition to Rowling, thirteen other famous authors and illustrators were invited to produce their own "What's Your Story?" postcard works for the auction, including Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing, novelist Margaret Atwood and playwright Tom Stoppard. Other cards were completed by children's author Michael Rosen, illustrator Axel Scheffler, graphic novelist Neil Gaiman, Lisa Appignanesi, Richard Ford, Lauren Child, Irvine Welsh, Sebastian Faulks and Nick Hornby, who covered his card with a collage.
Waterstone's plans to display facsimiles of the cards it its stores and on its Web site for everyone to enjoy before retailing a book containing all the authors' postcards. How much do you suppose this will sell for? How much money do you suppose this book will raise for charity?
Do you mean, how much in Muggle money, or how much in gold?
There are some strange inflationary pressures at work in the UK if A5 is about the size of a postcard. They must be getting bigger, either because everyone has so much to write to each other, or because handwriting has become larger. For those of you stuck on the wrong side of the Atlantic, it's about half the size of the Letter paper size (and hence slightly wider than 1.48mm :-)).
It's an interesting mix of writers there. Perhaps Neil Gaiman will start adapting the Harry Potter stories to his own style of graphic novel.
"Perhaps Neil Gaiman will start adapting the Harry Potter stories to his own style of graphic novel"
I think there's a limit to how graphic you can get with Harry Potter!