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J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling

Overview
Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born 31 July 1965), better known as J. K. Rowling, is the British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 author of the Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

fantasy series. The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies and been the basis for a popular series of films
Harry Potter (film series)
The Harry Potter film series is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by the British author J. K. Rowling...

, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment.
Rowling conceived the idea for the series on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990.

Rowling has led a "rags to riches
Rags to riches
Rags to Riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth, or sometimes from obscurity to fame. This is a common archetype in literature and popular culture ....

" life story, in which she progressed from living on welfare to multi-millionaire status within five years.
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Quotations

The wizards represent all that the true 'muggle' most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!

Salon (31 March 1999)

I don't believe in magic, either.

As quoted in "Success of Harry Potter bowls author over" at CNN.com (21 October 1999)

I've never set out to teach anyone anything. It's been more of an expression of my views and feelings than sitting down and deciding 'What is today's message?' And I do think that, although I never, again, sat down consciously and thought about this, I do think judging, even for my own daughter, that children respond to that than to 'thought for the day.'

Interview by Lizo Mzimba (February 2003)

If you need to tell your readers something...there are only two characters that you can put it convincingly into their dialogue. One is Hermione, the other is Dumbledore. In both cases you accept, it's plausible that they have, well Dumbledore knows pretty much everything anyway, but that Hermione has read it somewhere. So, she's handy.

Interview by Lizo Mzimba (February 2003)

I've given you more than I've given anyone else which I probably shouldn't probably say on — on screen, or they'll kidnap and torture him, and we need him.

To screenwriter Steve Kloves, in an interview by Lizo Mzimba (February 2003)

It would be one way to kill off the merchandising.

On Newsnight, about the possibility of killing Harry in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, June 2003.

And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

Harvard University Commencement Address (June 2008)

We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

Harvard University Commencement Address (June 2008)
Encyclopedia
Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born 31 July 1965), better known as J. K. Rowling, is the British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 author of the Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

fantasy series. The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies and been the basis for a popular series of films
Harry Potter (film series)
The Harry Potter film series is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by the British author J. K. Rowling...

, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment.
Rowling conceived the idea for the series on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990.

Rowling has led a "rags to riches
Rags to riches
Rags to Riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth, or sometimes from obscurity to fame. This is a common archetype in literature and popular culture ....

" life story, in which she progressed from living on welfare to multi-millionaire status within five years. , when its latest world billionaires list was published, Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

estimated Rowling's net worth to be US$1 billion. The 2008 Sunday Times Rich List
Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...

estimated Rowling's fortune at £560 million ($798 million), ranking her as the twelfth richest woman in the United Kingdom. Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

ranked Rowling as the forty-eighth most powerful celebrity of 2007, and Time magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration
Politics of Harry Potter
There are many published theories about politics in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, which range from criticism of racism to anti-government sentiments. According to Inside Higher Ed, the catalog of the Library of Congress records 21 volumes of criticism and interpretation on the Harry...

 she has given her fans
Harry Potter fandom
The Harry Potter fandom is a large international and informal community drawn together by J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The fandom works through the use of many different forms of media, including web sites, fan fiction, podcasts, fan art and songvids...

. In October 2010, J. K. Rowling was named 'Most Influential Woman in Britain' by leading magazine editors. She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, One Parent Families
One Parent Families
is a registered charity which provides advice, support and campaigns for single parent families. Following a merger with One Parent Families in 2007 it was briefly known as "One Parent Families|Gingerbread" before relaunching as Gingerbread in January 2009.J. K...

, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a British medical research charity dedicated to curing the neurological condition multiple sclerosis...

, and Lumos (formerly the Children's High Level Group).

Name


Although she writes under the pen name "J. K. Rowling", pronounced like rolling (IPA ˈroʊlɪŋ),
her name when her first Harry Potter book was published was simply "Joanne Rowling". Fearing that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, her publishers demanded that she use two initials, rather than her full name. As she had no middle name, she chose K as the second initial of her pen name, from her paternal grandmother Kathleen Ada Bulgen Rowling.
She calls herself "Jo" and has said, "No one ever called me 'Joanne' when I was young, unless they were angry." Following her marriage, she has sometimes used the name Joanne Murray when conducting personal business.

During the Leveson Inquiry
Leveson Inquiry
The Leveson Inquiry is an ongoing public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal. On 6 July 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron announced to Parliament that a public government inquiry would convene to further...

 she gave evidence under the name of Joanne Kathleen Rowling.

Background


Rowling was born to Peter James Rowling and Anne Rowling (née Volant), on 31 July 1965 in Yate
Yate
Yate is a town in South Gloucestershire, England, at the southwest extremity of the Cotswold Hills, 12 miles northeast of the city of Bristol. At the 2001 census the population was 21,789. The town of Chipping Sodbury is continuous with Yate to the east...

, Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

, England, 10 miles (16.1 km) northeast of Bristol. Her mother Anne was half-French, half-Scottish. Her mother's maternal grandfather, Dr Dugald Campbell, was born in Lamlash
Lamlash
Lamlash is the largest village by population on the Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It lies 4 miles to the south of ferry port Brodick, in a sheltered bay on the island's east coast, facing Holy Isle. Lamlash is the seat of Arran's local government offices and police...

 on the Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran
Arran or the Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, and with an area of is the seventh largest Scottish island. It is in the unitary council area of North Ayrshire and the 2001 census had a resident population of 5,058...

. Her mother's paternal grandfather, Louis Volant, was awarded the Croix de Guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

 for exceptional bravery in defending the village of Courcelles-le-Comte
Courcelles-le-Comte
Courcelles-le-Comte is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.-Geography:Courcelles-le-Comte is located 11 miles south of Arras at the junction of the D12 and D32 roads.-Population:...

 during the First World War.

Rowling's sister Dianne (Di) was born at their home when Rowling was 23 months old. The family moved to the nearby village Winterbourne
Winterbourne, Gloucestershire
Winterbourne is a large village in South Gloucestershire, England. It had a population of 8,623 in the 2001 census. It sits as the centre of the Civil Parish of Winterbourne which encompasses the neighbouring communities of Winterbourne Down, Hambrook and Frenchay...

 when Rowling was four. She attended St Michael's Primary School
St Michael's Primary School
St Michael's Church of England Primary School is a school for children aged 4–11 in the village of Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire on the outskirts of Bristol, England...

, a school founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce was a British politician, a philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire...

 and education reformer Hannah More
Hannah More
Hannah More was an English religious writer, and philanthropist. She can be said to have made three reputations in the course of her long life: as a poet and playwright in the circle of Johnson, Reynolds and Garrick, as a writer on moral and religious subjects, and as a practical...

. Her headmaster at St Michael's, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore
Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a major character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. For most of the series, he is the headmaster of the wizarding school Hogwarts...

.

As a child, Rowling often wrote fantasy stories, which she would usually then read to her sister. She recalls that "I can still remember me telling her a story in which she fell down a rabbit hole and was fed strawberries by the rabbit family inside it. Certainly the first story I ever wrote down (when I was five or six) was about a rabbit called Rabbit. He got the measles and was visited by his friends, including a giant bee called Miss Bee." At the age of nine, Rowling moved to Church Cottage
Church Cottage, Tutshill
Church Cottage in the village of Tutshill, Gloucestershire, England, is a Grade II listed building, thought to have been designed by the architect Henry Woodyer. It was the childhood home, between the ages of 9 and 18, of Joanne Rowling, author Church Cottage in the village of Tutshill,...

 in the Gloucestershire village of Tutshill
Tutshill
Tutshill is a small village within the parish of Tidenham in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England. It is located on the eastern bank of the River Wye, which forms the boundary with Wales at this point and which separates the village from the town of Chepstow...

, close to Chepstow
Chepstow
Chepstow is a town in Monmouthshire, Wales, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire, England. It is located on the River Wye, close to its confluence with the River Severn, and close to the western end of the Severn Bridge on the M48 motorway...

, Wales. When she was a young teenager, her great aunt, who Rowling said "taught classics and approved of a thirst for knowledge, even of a questionable kind", gave her a very old copy of Jessica Mitford
Jessica Mitford
Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford was an English author, journalist and political campaigner, who was one of the Mitford sisters...

's autobiography, Hons and Rebels
Hons and Rebels
Hons and Rebels is an autobiography by political activist Jessica Mitford which describes her aristocratic childhood and the conflicts between her and her sisters Unity and Diana, who were ardent supporters of Nazism...

.
Mitford became Rowling's heroine, and Rowling subsequently read all of her books.

She attended secondary school at Wyedean School and College, where her mother, Anne, had worked as a technician in the Science Department. Rowling has said of her adolescence, "Hermione
Hermione Granger
Hermione Jean Granger is a fictional character and one of the three protagonists in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. She initially appears in the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as a new student on her way to Hogwarts...

 [A bookish, know-it-all Harry Potter character] is loosely based on me. She's a caricature of me when I was eleven, which I'm not particularly proud of."
Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth
Sixth form
In the education systems of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and of Commonwealth West Indian countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Jamaica and Malta, the sixth form is the final two years of secondary education, where students, usually sixteen to eighteen years of age,...

 owned a turquoise Ford Anglia, which she says inspired the one in her books. "Ron Weasley [Harry Potter's best friend] isn't a living portrait of Sean, but he really is very Sean-ish." Of her musical tastes of the time, she said "My favourite group in the world is The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr , the band also included Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce...

. And when I was going through a punky phase, it was The Clash
The Clash
The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly...

." Rowling read for a BA in French and Classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 at the University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

, which she says was a "bit of a shock" as she "was expecting to be amongst lots of similar people– thinking radical thoughts." Once she made friends with "some like-minded people" she says she began to enjoy herself. After a year of study in Paris, Rowling moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

.

In 1990, while she was on a four-hour-delayed train trip from Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 to London, the idea for a story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry "came fully formed" into her mind. She told The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

that "I really don't know where the idea came from. It started with Harry, then all these characters and situations came flooding into my head." When she had reached her Clapham Junction flat, she began to write immediately.

However, in December of that year, Rowling's mother died, after her ten-year battle with multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

. Rowling commented, "I was writing Harry Potter at the moment my mother died. I had never told her about Harry Potter."
Rowling said this death heavily affected her writing and that she introduced much more detail about Harry's loss in the first book, because she knew about how it felt.

Rowling then moved to Porto
Porto
Porto , also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits include a population of 237,559 inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes...

, Portugal to teach English as a foreign language. While there, on 16 October 1992, she married Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes. Their child, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes (named after Jessica Mitford
Jessica Mitford
Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford was an English author, journalist and political campaigner, who was one of the Mitford sisters...

), was born on 27 July 1993 in Portugal. They separated in November 1993. In December 1993, Rowling and her daughter moved to be near Rowling's sister in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland. During this period Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression, and contemplated suicide. It was the feeling of her illness which brought her the idea of Dementors, soul-sucking creatures introduced in the third book.

Seven years after graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as "the biggest failure I knew." Her marriage had failed, she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating:
In order to teach in Scotland she would need a postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE), requiring a full-time, year-long course of study. She began this course in August 1995, after completing her first novel while having survived on state welfare support. She wrote in many cafés, especially Nicolson's Café, wherever she could get Jessica to fall asleep. In a 2001 BBC interview, Rowling denied the rumour that she wrote in local cafés to escape from her unheated flat, remarking, "I am not stupid enough to rent an unheated flat in Edinburgh in midwinter. It had heating."
Instead, as she stated on the American TV programme A&E Biography, one of the reasons she wrote in cafés was because taking her baby out for a walk was the best way to make her fall asleep.

Harry Potter books



In 1995, Rowling finished her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on an old manual typewriter. Upon the enthusiastic response of Bryony Evens, a reader who had been asked to review the book's first three chapters, the Fulham-based Christopher Little Literary Agents agreed to represent Rowling in her quest for a publisher. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript. A year later she was finally given the green light (and a £1500 advance) by editor Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury, a small publishing house in London. The decision to publish Rowling's book apparently owes much to Alice Newton, the eight-year-old daughter of Bloomsbury's chairman, who was given the first chapter to review by her father and immediately demanded the next. Although Bloomsbury agreed to publish the book, Cunningham says that he advised Rowling to get a day job, since she had little chance of making money in children's books. Soon after, in 1997, Rowling received an £8000 grant from the Scottish Arts Council
Scottish Arts Council
The Scottish Arts Council is a Scottish public body that distributes funding from the Scottish Government, and is the leading national organisation for the funding, development and promotion of the arts in Scotland...

 to enable her to continue writing. The following spring, an auction was held in the United States for the rights to publish the novel, and was won by Scholastic Inc., for $105,000. Rowling has said she "nearly died" when she heard the news.

In June 1997, Bloomsbury published Philosopher's Stone with an initial print-run of 1,000 copies, 500 of which were distributed to libraries. Today, such copies are valued between £16,000 and £25,000. Five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize
Nestlé Smarties Book Prize
The Nestlé Children's Book Prize, also known as the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, was an annual award given to children's books written in the previous year by a UK citizen or resident. The prize was administered by Booktrust, an independent charity which promotes books and reading, and sponsored by...

. In February, the novel won the prestigious British Book Award
British Book Awards
The Galaxy National Book Awards are a series of British literary awards focused on the best UK writers and their works, as selected by an academy of members from the British book publishing industry...

 for Children's Book of the Year
British Children's Book of the Year
The National Book Awards Children's Book of the Year Award is a British literary award, given annually to works of children's literature as part of the Galaxy National Book Awards...

, and later, the Children's Book Award. Its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls on the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of...

, was published in July 1998 and again Rowling won the Smarties Prize. In October 1998, Scholastic published Philosopher's Stone in the US under the title of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: a change Rowling claims she now regrets and would have fought if she had been in a better position at the time.

In December 1999, the third novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. The book was published on 8 July 1999. The novel won the 1999 Whitbread Book Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the 2000 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and was short-listed for other...

, won the Smarties Prize, making Rowling the first person to win the award three times running. She later withdrew the fourth Harry Potter novel from contention to allow other books a fair chance. In January 2000, Prisoner of Azkaban won the inaugural Whitbread Children's Book of the Year award
1999 Whitbread Awards
-Children's Book:Winner:*J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanShortlist:*Carol Ann Duffy, Meeting Midnight*Michael Morpurgo, Kensuke's Kingdom*Jacqueline Wilson, The Illustrated Mum-First Novel:Winner:...

, though it lost the Book of the Year prize to Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer. He lives in Dublin. Heaney has received the Nobel Prize in Literature , the Golden Wreath of Poetry , T. S. Eliot Prize and two Whitbread prizes...

's translation of Beowulf
Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

.

The fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, published on 8 July 2000.The novel won a Hugo Award in 2001, the only Harry Potter novel to do so...

,
was released simultaneously in the UK and the U.S. on 8 July 2000, and broke sales records in both countries. Some 372,775 copies of the book were sold in its first day in the UK, almost equalling the number Prisoner of Azkaban sold during its first year. In the US, the book sold three million copies in its first 48 hours, smashing all literary sales records. Rowling admitted that she had had a moment of crisis while writing the novel; "Halfway through writing Four, I realised there was a serious fault with the plot ... I've had some of my blackest moments with this book ... One chapter I rewrote 13 times, though no-one who has read it can spot which one or know the pain it caused me." Rowling was named author of the year in the 2000 British Book Awards.

A wait of three years occurred between the release of Goblet of Fire and the fifth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, and was published on 21 June 2003 by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Scholastic in the United States, and Raincoast in Canada...

. This gap led to press speculation that Rowling had developed writer's block
Writer's block
Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some "blocked"...

, speculations she fervently denied. Rowling later admitted that writing the book was a chore. "I think Phoenix could have been shorter", she told Lev Grossman
Lev Grossman
Lev Grossman is an American novelist and journalist, notably the author of the novels Warp , Codex , The Magicians and The Magician King...

, "I knew that, and I ran out of time and energy toward the end."

The sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth and penultimate novel in the Harry Potter series by British author J. K. Rowling...

, was released on 16 July 2005. It too broke all sales records, selling nine million copies in its first 24 hours of release. While writing, she told a fan online, "Book six has been planned for years, but before I started writing seriously I spend two months re-visiting the plan and making absolutely sure I knew what I was doing." She noted on her website that the opening chapter of book six, which features a conversation between the Minister of Magic and the British Prime Minister, had been intended as the first chapter first for Philosopher's Stone, then Chamber of Secrets then Prisoner of Azkaban. In 2006, Half-Blood Prince received the Book of the Year prize at the British Book Awards
British Book Awards
The Galaxy National Book Awards are a series of British literary awards focused on the best UK writers and their works, as selected by an academy of members from the British book publishing industry...

.

The title of the seventh and final Harry Potter book was revealed 21 December 2006 to be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In February 2007 it was reported that Rowling wrote on a bust in her hotel room at the Balmoral Hotel
Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral is a luxury five-star hotel and landmark in Edinburgh, Scotland, known as the North British Hotel until the late 1980s. It is located in the heart of the city at the east end of Princes Street, the main shopping street beneath the Edinburgh Castle rock, and the southern edge of the New...

 in Edinburgh that she had finished the seventh book in that room on 11 January 2007. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released on 21 July 2007 (0:01 BST) and broke its predecessor's record as the fastest-selling book of all time. It sold 11 million copies in the first day of release in the United Kingdom and United States. She has said that the last chapter of the book was written "in something like 1990", as part of her earliest work on the entire series. During a year period when Rowling was completing the last book, she allowed herself to be filmed for a documentary which aired in Britain on ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 on 30 December 2007. It was entitled J K Rowling... A Year In The Life and showed her returning to her old Edinburgh tenement
Tenement
A tenement is, in most English-speaking areas, a substandard multi-family dwelling, usually old, occupied by the poor.-History:Originally the term tenement referred to tenancy and therefore to any rented accommodation...

 flat where she lived, and completed the first Harry Potter book. Re-visiting the flat for the first time reduced her to tears, saying it was "really where I turned my life around completely."

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

, Rowling gave credit to her mother for the success of the series saying that "the books are what they are because she died...because I loved her and she died." Rowling entered a long period of depression due to her mother's death, from which the Dementors of the series were inspired.

Harry Potter is now a global brand worth an estimated £7 billion ($15 billion), and the last four Harry Potter books have consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history. The series, totalling 4,195 pages, has been translated, in whole or in part, into 65 languages.

The Harry Potter books have also gained recognition for sparking an interest in reading among the young at a time when children were thought to be abandoning books for computers and television, although the series' overall impact on children's reading habits has been questioned.

Harry Potter films


In October 1998, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 purchased the film rights to the first two novels for a seven-figure sum. A film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, released in the United States and India as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film is the first instalment in the Harry Potter film series,...

was released on 16 November 2001, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the second instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman...

on 15 November 2002. Both films were directed by Chris Columbus
Chris Columbus (filmmaker)
Christopher Joseph "Chris" Columbus is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Columbus had his largest success with the first two films in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, along with Home Alone, the last...

. 4 June 2004 saw the release of the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 fantasy film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the third instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by Chris Columbus, David Heyman and Mark Radcliffe...

, directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco is a Mexican film director, screenwriter and film producer, best known for his films Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Y tu mamá también, and A Little Princess.- Early life :...

. The fourth film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a 2005 fantasy film directed by Mike Newell and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman...

, was directed by another new director, Mike Newell
Mike Newell (director)
Michael Cormac "Mike" Newell is an English director and producer of motion pictures for the screen and for television. After the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, Newell became the third most commercially successful British director in recent years, behind Christopher Nolan...

, and released on 18 November 2005. The film of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Michael Goldenberg and produced by David Heyman and David Barron...

was released on 11 July 2007. David Yates
David Yates
David Yates is an English filmmaker who rose to mainstream prominence directing the final four films in the Harry Potter film series. He helmed the series' fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth installments, all of which became an instant blockbuster success and made him the most commercially...

 directed, and Michael Goldenberg
Michael Goldenberg
Michael Goldenberg is an American playwright, Hollywood screenwriter, and film director.Goldenberg was the screenwriter and director of Bed of Roses in 1996. He was the co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of Contact and co-adapted the 2003 live-action version of Peter Pan with director P.J....

 wrote the screenplay, having taken over the position from Steve Kloves
Steve Kloves
Stephen Keith "Steven" Kloves is an Academy Award-nominated American screenwriter mainly renowned for his adaptations of novels, especially for the Harry Potter film series and for Wonder Boys...

. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a 2009 fantasy film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the sixth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman and David Barron...

was released on 15 July 2009. David Yates directed again, and Kloves returned to write the script. In March 2008, Warner Bros. announced that the final instalment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, would be filmed in two segments, with part one being released in November 2010 and part two being released in July 2011. Yates would again return to direct both films.

Warner Bros took considerable notice of Rowling's desires and thoughts when drafting her contract. One of her principal stipulations was the films be shot in Britain with an all-British cast, which has been adhered to strictly. In an unprecedented move, Rowling also demanded that Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

, the victor in the race to tie in
Tie-in
A tie-in is an authorized product based on a media property a company is releasing, such as a movie or video/DVD, computer game, video game, television program/television series, board game, web site, role-playing game or literary property...

 their products to the film series, donate $18 million to the American charity Reading is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. is the oldest and largest nonprofit literacy organization in the United States. Founded in 1966, it is based in Washington, D. C.. RIF's community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory provide 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy...

, as well as a number of community charity programs.

The first four, sixth and seventh films were scripted by Steve Kloves; Rowling assisted him in the writing process, ensuring that his scripts did not contradict future books in the series. She has said that she told him more about the later books than anybody else (prior to their release), but not everything. She has also said that she told Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman is an English actor and theatre director. He is a renowned stage actor in modern and classical productions and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 (Severus Snape
Severus Snape
Severus Snape is a fictional character in the Harry Potter book series written by J.K. Rowling. In the first novel of the series, he is hostile toward Harry and is built up to be the primary antagonist until the final chapters. As the series progresses, Snape's character becomes more layered and...

) and Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane, OBE is a Scottish actor, comedian and author. He is known both for his role as Dr...

 (Hagrid) certain secrets about their characters before they were revealed in the books. Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Jacob Radcliffe is an English actor who rose to prominence playing the titular character in the Harry Potter film series....

 (Harry Potter
Harry Potter (character)
Harry James Potter is the title character and main protagonist of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The majority of the books' plot covers seven years in the life of the orphan Potter who, on his eleventh birthday, learns he is a wizard...

) asked her if Harry died at any point in the series; Rowling answered him by saying, "You have a death scene", thereby not explicitly answering the question. Director Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 was approached to helm the first film, but dropped out. The press has repeatedly claimed that Rowling played a role in his departure, but Rowling stated that she has no say in who directs the films and would not have vetoed Spielberg if she had. Rowling's first choice for the director had been Monty Python
Monty Python
Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...

 member Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Brazil , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , The Fisher King , and 12 Monkeys...

, as she is a fan of his work. However, Warner Bros. wanted a more family friendly film and eventually they chose Chris Columbus
Chris Columbus (filmmaker)
Christopher Joseph "Chris" Columbus is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Columbus had his largest success with the first two films in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, along with Home Alone, the last...

, who was set to direct all seven entries in the series. Columbus declined to direct the succeeding films to the second adaptation as he claimed he was "burned out". This led to directors Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco is a Mexican film director, screenwriter and film producer, best known for his films Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Y tu mamá también, and A Little Princess.- Early life :...

, Mike Newell
Mike Newell (director)
Michael Cormac "Mike" Newell is an English director and producer of motion pictures for the screen and for television. After the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, Newell became the third most commercially successful British director in recent years, behind Christopher Nolan...

 and David Yates
David Yates
David Yates is an English filmmaker who rose to mainstream prominence directing the final four films in the Harry Potter film series. He helmed the series' fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth installments, all of which became an instant blockbuster success and made him the most commercially...

 to join the series. Cuarón and Newell helmed one film each, while Yates directed the final four entries.

Rowling had gained creative control on the films, approving all the scripts as well as acting as a producer on the final two-part instalment, Deathly Hallows.

On her website, Rowling revealed that she was considered to have a cameo in the first film as Lily Potter in the Mirror of Erised scene. Rowling, however, turned down the role, stating that she was not cut out to be an actor and, "would have messed it up somehow". The role ultimately went to Geraldine Somerville
Geraldine Somerville
Geraldine Margaret Agnew-Somerville is a British actress best known for her roles as Detective Sergeant Jane "Panhandle" Penhaligon in Cracker, and Lily Potter in the Harry Potter film series.-Early life:...

.

Rowling, producers David Heyman
David Heyman
David Jonathan Heyman is a British film producer and the founder of Heyday Films. He obtained the film rights to the Harry Potter series in 1999 and has produced all eight installments in the series of films.-Life and career:...

 and David Barron
David Barron (film producer)
David Barron is a British film producer, best known for his involvement in the Harry Potter film franchise.-Career:David Barron worked as a producer on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. He previously served as a producer on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry...

, along with directors David Yates
David Yates
David Yates is an English filmmaker who rose to mainstream prominence directing the final four films in the Harry Potter film series. He helmed the series' fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth installments, all of which became an instant blockbuster success and made him the most commercially...

, Mike Newell
Mike Newell (director)
Michael Cormac "Mike" Newell is an English director and producer of motion pictures for the screen and for television. After the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, Newell became the third most commercially successful British director in recent years, behind Christopher Nolan...

 and Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco is a Mexican film director, screenwriter and film producer, best known for his films Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Y tu mamá también, and A Little Princess.- Early life :...

 collected the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the 2011 British Academy Film Awards
British Academy Film Awards
The British Academy Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . It is the British counterpart of the Oscars. As of 2008, it has taken place in the Royal Opera House, having taken over from the flagship Odeon cinema on Leicester Square...

 in honour of the Harry Potter film franchise.

Life after Harry Potter


Forbes has named Rowling as the first person to become a U.S.-dollar billionaire by writing books, the second-richest female entertainer and the 1,062nd richest person in the world. When first listed as a billionaire by Forbes in 2004, Rowling disputed the calculations and said she had plenty of money, but was not a billionaire. In addition, the 2008 Sunday Times Rich List
Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...

named Rowling the 144th richest person in Britain. In 2001, Rowling purchased a luxurious 19th-century estate house, Killiechassie House
Killiechassie House
Killiechassie House is a 19th century Estate house, situated on the banks of the River Tay, near Aberfeldy, in Perth and Kinross. The current owner of the house is J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, who purchased it in November 2001 for the sum of approximately £600,000...

, on the banks of the River Tay
River Tay
The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland and the seventh-longest in the United Kingdom. The Tay originates in western Scotland on the slopes of Ben Lui , then flows easterly across the Highlands, through Loch Dochhart, Loch Lubhair and Loch Tay, then continues east through Strathtay , in...

, near Aberfeldy, in Perth and Kinross
Perth and Kinross
Perth and Kinross is one of 32 council areas in Scotland, and a Lieutenancy Area. It borders onto the Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee City, Fife, Clackmannanshire, Stirling, Argyll and Bute and Highland council areas. Perth is the administrative centre...

, Scotland. Rowling also owns a home in Edinburgh, and a £4.5 million ($9 million) Georgian
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

 house in Kensington
Kensington
Kensington is a district of west and central London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street, and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington.To the north, Kensington is...

, West London, on a street with 24-hour security.

On 26 December 2001, Rowling married Neil Michael Murray (born 30 June 1971), an anaesthetist, in a private ceremony at her Aberfeldy home. This was a second marriage for both Rowling and Murray, as Murray had previously been married to Dr. Fiona Duncan in 1996. Murray and Duncan separated in 1999 and divorced in the summer of 2001. Rowling's and Murray's son, David Gordon Rowling Murray, was born on 24 March 2003. Shortly after Rowling began writing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince she took a break from working on the novel to care for him in his early infancy. Rowling's youngest child, daughter Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray, to whom she dedicated Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth and penultimate novel in the Harry Potter series by British author J. K. Rowling...

, was born on 23 January 2005.

Rowling is a close friend of Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown (spouse)
Sarah Brown is the wife of Gordon Brown, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She is also the founding partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications, a public relations company.-Early life:...

, wife of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

, whom she met when they collaborated on a charitable project (see below). When Brown's son Fraser was born in 2003, Rowling was one of the first to visit her in the hospital.

Rowling has received honorary degrees from St Andrews University, the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

, Napier University
Napier University
Edinburgh Napier is one of the largest higher education institutions in Scotland with over 17,000 students, including nearly 5,000 international students, from more than 100 nations worldwide.-History:...

, the University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

, the University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
The University of Aberdeen, an ancient university founded in 1495, in Aberdeen, Scotland, is a British university. It is the third oldest university in Scotland, and the fifth oldest in the United Kingdom and wider English-speaking world...

 and Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, for whom she spoke at the 2008 commencement ceremony. In 2009 Rowling was awarded the Légion d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

 by French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

.

Subsequent writing


Rowling has stated that she plans to continue writing. In an interview with Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry
Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

 in 2005, Rowling claimed that she would much prefer to write any subsequent books under a pseudonym; however, she conceded to Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Dickson Paxman is a British journalist, author and television presenter. He has worked for the BBC since 1977. He is noted for a forthright and abrasive interviewing style, particularly when interrogating politicians...

 in 2003 that if she did, the press would probably "find out in seconds." In 2006, Rowling revealed that she had finished writing a few short stories and another children's book (a "political fairy story") about a monster, aimed at a younger audience than Harry Potter readers.

As regards the possibility of an eighth Harry Potter book, she has said, "I can't say I'll never write another book about that world just because I think, what do I know, in ten years' time I might want to return to it but I think it's unlikely." However, on 1 October 2010, Rowling had an interview with Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

, stating a new book on the saga might happen.

Rowling has said she will be writing an encyclopaedia of Harry Potters wizarding world
Wizarding world
The fictional universe of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of fantasy novels comprises two separate and distinct societies: the wizarding world and the Muggle world...

 consisting of various unpublished material and notes. Any profits from such a book would be given to charity. During a news conference at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre
Kodak Theatre
The Kodak Theatre is a live theatre in the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall and entertainment complex on Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles...

 in 2007, Rowling, when asked how the encyclopaedia was coming along, said, "It's not coming along, and I haven't started writing it. I never said it was the next thing I'd do." , Rowling has said that the encyclopaedia could take up to ten years to complete, stating "There is no point in doing it unless it is amazing. The last thing I want to do is to rush something out".

In July 2007, Rowling said that she wants to dedicate "lots" of her time to her family, but is currently "sort of writing two things", one for children and the other for adults. She did not give any details about the two projects but did state that she was excited because the two book situation reminded her of writing the Philosopher's Stone, explaining how she was then writing two books until Harry took over. She stated in October 2007 that her future work was unlikely to be in the fantasy genre, explaining, "I think probably I've done my fantasy ... it would be incredibly difficult to go out and create another world that didn't in some way overlap with Harry's or maybe borrow a little too much from Harry." In November 2007, Rowling said that she was working on another book, a "half-finished book for children that I think will probably be the next thing I publish." In March 2008, Rowling confirmed that her "political fairy tale" for children was nearing completion.

In March 2008, Rowling revealed in interview that she had returned to writing in Edinburgh cafés, intent on composing a new novel for children. "I will continue writing for children because that's what I enjoy," she told The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

. "I am very good at finding a suitable café; I blend into the crowd and, of course, I don't sit in the middle of the bar staring all around me."

In June 2011, Rowling announced that future
Harry Potter projects, and all electronic downloads, would be concentrated in a new website, called Pottermore
Pottermore
Pottermore is a website by J. K. Rowling, developed by TH_NK and sponsored by Sony. The website, according to Rowling, will serve as a permanent online home for the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The site will feature many of J.K...

. The site includes 18,000 words of additional information on characters, places and objects in the
Harry Potter universe. The following month, she parted company with her agent, Christopher Little, moving to a new agency founded by one of his staff, Neil Blair.

Philanthropy


In 2000, Rowling established the Volant Charitable Trust, which uses its annual budget of £5.1 million to combat poverty and social inequality. The fund also gives to organisations that aid children, one parent families, and multiple sclerosis research. Rowling said, "I think you have a moral responsibility when you've been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently."

Anti-poverty


Rowling, once a single parent herself, is now president of the charity One Parent Families
One Parent Families
is a registered charity which provides advice, support and campaigns for single parent families. Following a merger with One Parent Families in 2007 it was briefly known as "One Parent Families|Gingerbread" before relaunching as Gingerbread in January 2009.J. K...

, having already become their first Ambassador in 2000. Rowling collaborated with Sarah Brown to write a book of children's stories to aid One Parent Families.

In 2001, the UK anti-poverty fundraiser Comic Relief asked three best-selling British authors – cookery writer and TV presenter Delia Smith
Delia Smith
Delia Smith CBE is an English cook and television presenter, known for teaching basic cookery skills. She is the UK's best-selling cookery author, with more than 21 million copies sold....

, Bridget Jones
Bridget Jones
Bridget Jones is a franchise based on the fictional character with the same name. English writer Helen Fielding started her Bridget Jones's Diary column in The Independent in 1995, chronicling the life of Bridget Jones as a thirtysomething single woman in London as she tries to make sense of life...

creator Helen Fielding
Helen Fielding
Helen Fielding is an English novelist and screenwriter, best known as the creator of the fictional character Bridget Jones, a sequence of novels and films that chronicle the life of a thirtysomething single woman in London as she tries to make sense of life and love.Her novels Bridget Jones's...

, and Rowling – to submit booklets related to their most famous works for publication. Rowling's two booklets,
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe...

and Quidditch Through the Ages
Quidditch Through the Ages
Quidditch Through the Ages is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling about Quidditch in the Harry Potter universe. It purports to be the Hogwarts library's copy of the non-fiction book of the same name mentioned in several novels of the Harry Potter series.Rowling's name does not...

, are ostensibly facsimiles of books found in the Hogwarts
Hogwarts
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry or simply Hogwarts is the primary setting for the first six books of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, with each book lasting the equivalent of one school year. It is a fictional boarding school of magic for witches and wizards between the ages of...

 library. Since going on sale in March 2001, the books have raised £15.7 million ($30 million) for the fund. The £10.8 million ($20 million) they have raised outside the UK have been channelled into a newly created International Fund for Children and Young People in Crisis.

In 2005, Rowling and MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

 Emma Nicholson founded the Children's High Level Group (now Lumos). In January 2006, Rowling went to Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 to highlight the use of caged beds in mental institutions for children. To further support the CHLG, Rowling auctioned one of seven handwritten and illustrated copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a book of children's stories by British author J. K. Rowling. It purports to be the storybook of the same name mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book of the Harry Potter series....

, a series of fairy tales referred to in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The book was purchased for £1.95 million by on-line bookseller Amazon.com
Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. is a multinational electronic commerce company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. Amazon has separate websites for the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and...

 on 13 December 2007, becoming the most expensive modern book ever sold at auction. Rowling commented, "This will mean so much to children in desperate need of help. It means Christmas has come early to me." Rowling gave away the remaining six copies to those who have a close connection with the
Harry Potter books. In 2008, Rowling agreed to publish the book with the proceeds going to the Children's High Level Group.

Multiple sclerosis


Rowling has contributed money and support for research and treatment of multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

, from which her mother suffered before her death in 1990. In 2006, Rowling contributed a substantial sum toward the creation of a new Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University and in 2010 she donated a further £10 million to the centre. For reasons unknown, Scotland, Rowling's country of adoption, has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. In 2003, Rowling took part in a campaign to establish a national standard of care for MS sufferers. In April 2009, she announced that she was withdrawing her support for Multiple Sclerosis Society
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a British medical research charity dedicated to curing the neurological condition multiple sclerosis...

 Scotland, citing her inability to resolve an ongoing feud between the organisation's northern and southern branches that had sapped morale and led to several resignations.

Other philanthropic work


In May 2008, bookseller Waterstones asked Rowling and 12 other writers (Sebastian Faulks
Sebastian Faulks
-Early life:Faulks was born on 20 April 1953 in Donnington, Berkshire to Peter Faulks and Pamela . Edward Faulks, Baron Faulks, is his older brother. He was educated at Elstree School, Reading and went on to Wellington College, Berkshire...

, Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Doris May Lessing CH is a British writer. Her novels include The Grass is Singing, The Golden Notebook, and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos....

, Lisa Appignanesi
Lisa Appignanesi
Lisa Appignanesi is a British writer, novelist, and campaigner for free expression. She is president of the writers’ organization English PEN. Her latest book is All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion...

, Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...

, Lauren Child
Lauren Child
Lauren Child MBE is an English author and illustrator. She is best known for writing the Charlie and Lola books and Clarice Bean novels....

, Richard Ford
Richard Ford
Richard Ford is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. His best-known works are the novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land, and the short story collection Rock Springs, which contains several widely anthologized stories.-Early...

, Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
Neil Richard Gaiman born 10 November 1960)is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book...

, Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby is an English novelist, essayist and screenwriter. He is best known for the novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, and for the football memoir Fever Pitch. His work frequently touches upon music, sport, and the aimless and obsessive natures of his protagonists.-Life and career:Hornby was...

, Michael Rosen
Michael Rosen
Michael Wayne Rosen is a broadcaster, children's novelist and poet and the author of 140 books. He was appointed as the fifth Children's Laureate in June 2007, succeeding Jacqueline Wilson, and held this honour until 2009....

, Axel Scheffler
Axel Scheffler
Axel Scheffler is a book illustrator best known for his cartoon-like pictures for children's books, particularly The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child written by Julia Donaldson.-Life and career:...

, Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and...

 and Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh is a contemporary Scottish novelist, best known for his novel Trainspotting. His work is characterised by raw Scottish dialect, and brutal depiction of the realities of Edinburgh life...

) to compose a short piece of their own choosing on a single A5
ISO 216
ISO 216 specifies international standard paper sizes used in most countries in the world today. It defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size...

 card, which would then be sold at auction in aid of the charities Dyslexia Action and English PEN
International PEN
PEN International , the worldwide association of writers, was founded in London in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere....

. Rowling's contribution was an 800-word Harry Potter prequel
Harry Potter prequel
The Harry Potter prequel is an 800-word story written by J. K. Rowling, and was published online on 11 June 2008. Set about three years before the birth of Harry Potter, the story recounts an adventure experienced by Sirius Black and James Potter....

 that concerns Harry's father, James Potter, and godfather, Sirius Black
Sirius Black
Sirius Black is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Sirius was first mentioned briefly in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as a wizard who lent Rubeus Hagrid a flying motorbike shortly after Lord Voldemort killed James and Lily Potter...

, and takes place three years before Harry was born. The cards were collected together and sold for charity in book form in August 2008.

On 1 and 2 August 2006 she read alongside Stephen King
Stephen King
Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books...

 and John Irving
John Irving
John Winslow Irving is an American novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter.Irving achieved critical and popular acclaim after the international success of The World According to Garp in 1978...

 at Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city...

 in New York City. Profits from the event were donated to the Haven Foundation, a charity that aids artists and performers left uninsurable and unable to work, and the medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières
Médecins Sans Frontières
' , or Doctors Without Borders, is a secular humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland...

. In May 2007, Rowling gave $495,000 to a reward fund of over $4.5 million for the safe return of a young British girl, Madeleine McCann
Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann disappeared on the evening of Thursday, 3 May 2007. She was on holiday with her parents and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal. The British girl went missing from an apartment, in the central area of the resort of Praia da Luz, a few days before her fourth...

, who disappeared in Portugal. Rowling, along with Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

, Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, and Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. He currently works as a private advisor and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC...

, wrote an introduction to a collection of Gordon Brown's speeches, the proceeds of which are donated to the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory.

Rowling is a supporter of The Shannon Trust
The Shannon Trust
The Shannon Trust was founded in 1997 by Christopher Morgan MBE, a farmer from Sussex. In the early nineties he joined a pen friend scheme run by the Prison Reform Trust and began corresponding with a life sentenced prisoner, Tom Shannon....

, which runs the Toe by Toe Reading Plan and the Shannon Reading Plan in prisons across Britain, which helps and gives tutoring to prisoners who cannot read.

Political views


In September 2008, on the eve of the Labour Party Conference, Rowling announced that she had donated £1 million to the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, and publicly endorsed Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown over Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 challenger David Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

, saying in a statement:

I believe that poor and vulnerable families will fare much better under the Labour Party than they would under a Cameron-led Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

. Gordon Brown has consistently prioritised and introduced measures that will save as many children as possible from a life lacking in opportunity or choice. The Labour government has reversed the long-term trend in child poverty, and is one of the leading EU countries in combating child poverty. David Cameron's promise of tax perks for the married, on the other hand, is reminiscent of the Conservative government I experienced as a lone parent. It sends the message that the Conservatives still believe a childless, dual-income, but married couple is more deserving of a financial pat on the head than those struggling, as I once was, to keep their families afloat in difficult times.


Rowling commented on her political views when she discussed the 2008 United States presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

 with the Spanish-language newspaper El País. She said she is obsessed with the United States elections because they will have a profound effect on the rest of the world. In February 2008, she said that both Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and Hillary Clinton would be "extraordinary" in the White House. In the same interview, she also said her hero was Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

.

In April 2010, Rowling published an article in
The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 in which she heavily criticised Cameron's plan to encourage married couples to stay together by offering them a £150 annual tax credit.

Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say "it's not the money, it's the message". When your flat has been broken into, and you cannot afford a locksmith, it is the money. When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money. If Mr Cameron's only practical advice to women living in poverty, the sole carers of their children, is "get married, and we'll give you £150", he reveals himself to be completely ignorant of their true situation. How many prospective husbands did I ever meet, when I was the single mother of a baby, unable to work, stuck inside my flat, night after night, with barely enough money for life's necessities? Should I have proposed to the youth who broke in through my kitchen window at 3 am? Half a billion pounds, to send a message – would it not be more cost-effective, more personal, to send all the lower-income married people flowers?

Religious views


Over the years, many religious people have decried Rowling's books for supposedly promoting witchcraft. However, Rowling identifies herself as a Christian. She attended a Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

 congregation while writing Harry Potter and her eldest daughter, Jessica, was baptised there. "I go to church myself", she says, "I don't take any responsibility for the lunatic fringes of my own religion". She once said, "I believe in God, not magic." Early on she felt that if readers knew of her Christian beliefs, they would be able to "guess what is coming in the books."

In 2007, Rowling described her religious background in an interview with the Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 newspaper the Volkskrant:
Rowling has occasionally expressed ambivalence about her religious faith. In a 2006 interview with Tatler
Tatler
Tatler has been the name of several British journals and magazines, each of which has viewed itself as the successor of the original literary and society journal founded by Richard Steele in 1709. The current incarnation, founded in 1901, is a glossy magazine published by Condé Nast Publications...

magazine, Rowling noted that, "like Graham Greene
Graham Greene
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English author, playwright and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world...

, my faith is sometimes about if my faith will return. It's important to me." In a British documentary,
JK Rowling: A Year in the Life, when asked if she believed in God, she said, "Yes. I do struggle with it; I couldn't pretend that I'm not doubt-ridden about a lot of things and that would be one of them but I would say yes." When asked if she believed in an afterlife, she said, "Yes; I think I do." She further said, "It's something that I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that's very obvious within the books." In a 2008 interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Rowling said, "I feel very drawn to religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flux. I believe in the permanence of the soul." In an interview with the Today Show in July 2007, she said, "...until we reached Book Seven, views of what happens after death and so on... would give away a lot of what was coming. So... yes, my belief and my struggling with religious belief and so on I think is quite apparent in this book."

Legal disputes



Rowling, her publishers, and Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

, the owner of the rights to the Harry Potter films, have taken numerous legal actions to protect their copyright. The worldwide popularity of the Harry Potter series has led to the appearance of a number of locally produced, unauthorised sequels and other derivative works, sparking efforts to ban or contain them.

Another area of legal dispute involves a series of injunctions obtained by Rowling and her publishers to prohibit anyone from reading her books before their official release date. The injunction drew fire from civil liberties and free speech campaigners and sparked debates over the "right to read".

Relationship with the press


Rowling has had a difficult relationship with the press. She admits to being "thin-skinned" and dislikes the fickle nature of reporting. "They went in one day from saying, 'She's got writer's block' to saying, 'She's been self-indulgent'", she told The Times in 2003, "And I thought, well, what a difference 24 hours makes." However, Rowling disputes her reputation as a recluse who hates to be interviewed. In 2001, the Press Complaints Commission upheld a complaint by Rowling over a series of unauthorised photographs of her with her daughter on the beach in Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 published in
OK! Magazine. In 2007, Rowling's young son, David, assisted by Rowling and her husband, lost a court fight to ban publication of a photograph of him. The photo, taken by a photographer using a long-range lens, was subsequently published in a Sunday Express article featuring Rowling's family life and motherhood. However, the judgment was overturned in David's favour in May 2008.

Rowling has said she particularly dislikes the British tabloid the
Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

, which made references to a stalker Rowling insists does not exist, and conducted interviews with her estranged ex-husband. As one journalist noted, "Harry's Uncle Vernon is a grotesque philistine of violent tendencies and remarkably little brain. It is not difficult to guess which newspaper Rowling gives him to read [in Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, published on 8 July 2000.The novel won a Hugo Award in 2001, the only Harry Potter novel to do so...

]."

Some have speculated that Rowling's fraught relationship with the press was the inspiration behind the character Rita Skeeter, a gossipy celebrity journalist who first appears in
Goblet of Fire. However, Rowling noted in 2000 that the character actually predates her rise to fame: "People have asked me whether Rita Skeeter was invented [to reflect Harry Potters popularity], but in fact she was always planned." "I tried to put Rita in Philosopher's Stone – you know when Harry walks into the Leaky Cauldron for the first time and everyone says, "Mr. Potter you're back!", I wanted to put a journalist in there. She wasn't called Rita then but she was a woman. And then I thought, as I looked at the plot overall, I thought, that's not really where she fits best, she fits best in Four when Harry's supposed to come to terms with his fame."

In September 2011, Rowling was named a "core participant" in the Leveson Inquiry
Leveson Inquiry
The Leveson Inquiry is an ongoing public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal. On 6 July 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron announced to Parliament that a public government inquiry would convene to further...

 into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press, as one of dozens of celebrities who may have been the victim of phone hacking
Phone hacking
Phone hacking is a term used to describe the practice of intercepting telephone calls or voicemail messages, often by accessing the voicemail messages of a mobile phone without the consent of the phone's owner...

. On 24 November 2011, Rowling gave evidence before the inquiry; although she was not suspected to have been the victim of phone hacking (she "hardly used her phone in the 90s", she said), her testimony included accounts of photographers camping on her doorstep, her fiance being duped into giving his home address to a journalist masquerading as a tax official, a journalist leaving a note inside her then-five-year-old daughter's schoolbag, and an attempt by the Sun to "blackmail" her into a photo opportunity in exchange for the return of a stolen manuscript. Rowling claimed she had to leave her former home in Merchiston
Merchiston
Merchiston is a prosperous, mainly residential area in the south-west of Edinburgh, Scotland. The housing is primarily a mixture of large, late Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian villas – several of the latter by Edward Calvert – together with a smaller number of Victorian tenements and...

, Edinburgh because of press intrusion.

Awards and honours

  • 1997: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize
    Nestlé Smarties Book Prize
    The Nestlé Children's Book Prize, also known as the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, was an annual award given to children's books written in the previous year by a UK citizen or resident. The prize was administered by Booktrust, an independent charity which promotes books and reading, and sponsored by...

    , Gold Award for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1998: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Gold Award for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 1998: British Children's Book of the Year
    British Children's Book of the Year
    The National Book Awards Children's Book of the Year Award is a British literary award, given annually to works of children's literature as part of the Galaxy National Book Awards...

    , winner Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 1999: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Gold Award for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 1999: National Book Awards Children's Book of the Year, winner Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • 1999: Whitbread Children's Book of the Year
    1999 Whitbread Awards
    -Children's Book:Winner:*J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanShortlist:*Carol Ann Duffy, Meeting Midnight*Michael Morpurgo, Kensuke's Kingdom*Jacqueline Wilson, The Illustrated Mum-First Novel:Winner:...

    , winner Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 2000: British Book Awards
    British Book Awards
    The Galaxy National Book Awards are a series of British literary awards focused on the best UK writers and their works, as selected by an academy of members from the British book publishing industry...

    , Author of the Year
  • 2000: Order of the British Empire
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

    , Officer
  • 2001: Hugo Award for Best Novel
    Hugo Award for Best Novel
    The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially...

    , winner Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • 2003: Premio Príncipe de Asturias, Concord
  • 2003: Bram Stoker Award
    Bram Stoker Award
    The Bram Stoker Award is a recognition presented by the Horror Writers Association for "superior achievement" in horror writing. The awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot of the Active members of the HWA...

     for Best Work for Young Readers
    Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers
    The Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers is a discontinued award presented by the Horror Writers Association for "superior achievement" in horror writing for young readers.-Winners and nominees:...

    , winner Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • 2006: British Book of the Year, winner for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • 2007: Blue Peter Badge
    Blue Peter badge
    A Blue Peter badge is a much coveted award for Blue Peter viewers, given by the children's television programme for those appearing on the show, or in recognition of achievement...

    , Gold
  • 2008: British Book Awards, Outstanding Achievement
  • 2009: Légion d'honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

    , presented by French President Nicolas Sarkozy
    Nicolas Sarkozy
    Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

  • 2010: Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award
    Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award
    The Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award is a Danish literary award established in 2010. It is awarded to a living author whose work resembles Hans Christian Andersen. It is one of the bigger literary prizes with the winner receiving ....

    , inaugural award winner
  • 2011: British Academy Film Awards
    British Academy Film Awards
    The British Academy Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . It is the British counterpart of the Oscars. As of 2008, it has taken place in the Royal Opera House, having taken over from the flagship Odeon cinema on Leicester Square...

    , Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema for the Harry Potter film series, shared with David Heyman
    David Heyman
    David Jonathan Heyman is a British film producer and the founder of Heyday Films. He obtained the film rights to the Harry Potter series in 1999 and has produced all eight installments in the series of films.-Life and career:...

    , cast and crew
  • Honorary degrees: St Andrews University, University of Edinburgh
    University of Edinburgh
    The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

    , Edinburgh Napier University, University of Exeter
    University of Exeter
    The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

    , Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...


Harry Potter series

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard...

    (26 June 1997)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls on the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of...

    (2 July 1998)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. The book was published on 8 July 1999. The novel won the 1999 Whitbread Book Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the 2000 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and was short-listed for other...

    (8 July 1999)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, published on 8 July 2000.The novel won a Hugo Award in 2001, the only Harry Potter novel to do so...

    (8 July 2000)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, and was published on 21 June 2003 by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Scholastic in the United States, and Raincoast in Canada...

    (21 June 2003)
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth and penultimate novel in the Harry Potter series by British author J. K. Rowling...

    (16 July 2005)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (21 July 2007)

Other books

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe...

    (supplement to the Harry Potter series) (2001)
  • Quidditch Through the Ages
    Quidditch Through the Ages
    Quidditch Through the Ages is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling about Quidditch in the Harry Potter universe. It purports to be the Hogwarts library's copy of the non-fiction book of the same name mentioned in several novels of the Harry Potter series.Rowling's name does not...

    (supplement to the Harry Potter series) (2001)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard
    The Tales of Beedle the Bard
    The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a book of children's stories by British author J. K. Rowling. It purports to be the storybook of the same name mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book of the Harry Potter series....

    (supplement to the Harry Potter series) (2008)

Articles

  • Anelli, Melissa (2008). Foreword to Harry, A History
    Harry, A History
    Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon is a 2008 book by writer and webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron, Melissa Anelli. The book describes the Harry Potter phenomenon in detail. The book was published on November 4, 2008, by Pocket...

    : The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon
    . Pocket Books.
  • Brown, Gordon
    Gordon Brown
    James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

     (2006). Introduction to "Ending Child Poverty" in Moving Britain Forward. Selected Speeches 1997–2006. Bloomsbury.
  • McNeil, Gil and Brown, Sarah
    Sarah Brown (spouse)
    Sarah Brown is the wife of Gordon Brown, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She is also the founding partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications, a public relations company.-Early life:...

    , editors (2002). Foreword to the anthology Magic. Bloomsbury.
  • Rowling, J.K. (2008, June 5). "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination". Harvard Magazine.
  • Rowling, J.K. (2009, April 30). "Gordon Brown – The 2009 Time 100". Time Magazine.
  • Rowling, J.K. (2010, April 14). "The Single Mother's Manifesto". The Times.
  • Sussman, Peter Y., editor (2006, July 26). "The First It Girl: J.K. Rowling reviews Decca: the Letters of Jessica Mitford
    Jessica Mitford
    Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford was an English author, journalist and political campaigner, who was one of the Mitford sisters...

    . The Daily Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

    .

External links


  • The first It Girl: Rowling's article on Jessica Mitford for The Telegraph
  • Rowling's foreword to the anthology Magic
  • Video, audio and transcript of Rowling's speech at Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

    's 2008 commencement
    Graduation
    Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

    .