Lots of Harry Potter in the news recently. Let’s go through a few important stories.
J.K. Rowling Sued for Plagiarism
Rowling and Bloomsbury are being sued; the charge is plagiarizing a story that J.K. Rowling says she’d never heard of before the first accusations in 2004. The supposed source material is the Adrian Jacobs’ book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard. Rowling responds:
“I am saddened that yet another claim has been made that I have taken material from another source to write Harry. The fact is I had never heard of the author or the book before the first accusation by those connected to the author’s estate in 2004; I have certainly never read the book. The claims that are made are not only unfounded but absurd and I am disappointed that I, and my U.K. publisher Bloomsbury, are put in a position to have to defend ourselves.”
I’ve said before in a podcast that it’s easier than one thinks to write stories that are similar to what someone else has written – without ever having read the story. I once began outlining a seven-book series of fantasy fiction, only to find that many of my key ideas already existed in Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea books.
Infinitus Extends Formal Programming Submission Deadline
Interested in presenting a paper, joining a panel discussion, or running a workshop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this summer? Infinitus is happening in Orlando July 15-18, and you can be part of it. The deadline for submitting a proposal has been extended to February 28, so get yours in!
Also, be sure to read the most recent issue of Infinitum, the newsletter of Infinitus.
Mockingbird NYC Discovers Rowling’s Commencement Speech
A blog I’ve been following for some time (which, by the way, has nothing to do with mockingjays or The Hunger Games) recently discovered J.K. Rowling’s wonderful commencement speech at Harvard. It’s a great reminder of a great speech. Thanks to DZ for mentioning my work in the comments!