JK Rowling’s praise for Conor’s ‘spectacular’ artwork

Ciara Maguire


Ciara Maguire



IT'S not often you catch the attention of a world renowned author but for one young Strabane boy he has managed to do just that!

Conor McCay is a huge Harry Potter fan so imagine his delight when none other than JK Rowling tweeted praise of his artwork.

The author announced via her blog last week that she was publishing the story of 'The Ickabog' for free online for children who are in lockdown.

The book is due to be published in November but until then, Rowling has confirmed she will be publishing chapters in installments, over the next seven weeks.

Alongside the announcement, the author appealed for fans to help illustrate the book.

In a message to fans, she said: "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!"

Having been enjoying the segments as they have been released, young Conor, a primary three pupil at Strabane Controlled Primary School, has been busy putting his creations to paper.

His mum Ciara then tweeted the images to Rowling with the message: "My 7year-old son is loving The Ickabog. These are his ideas after only chapter one.

"Thank-you for bringing a new lease of life to homeschooling."

The much-loved author was suitably impressed by Conor's efforts and replied to Ciara's tweet praising the "spectacular" artwork.

Ciara, who is the director of Strabane Drama Festival, said young Conor was delighted to see the reply of one of his literary heroines.

"He loves Harry Potter so he was thrilled she liked his pictures. Proud mummy," she said.

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