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I recently watched the entire Harry Potter series in December 2021. I really loved the Harry Potter world and all the characters.

Even after days, I couldn't stop myself from thinking about it and I'm pretty happy about the innovative idea that struck me about writing a sequel for the series. I really want to publish said sequel, but I'm clueless about how to contact JK Rowling. I am aware that publishing without her permission would be copyright infringement after going through a few articles online.

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    You have completed your sequel in a month? That's great! But you should probably allow some people to read it and give you feedback before contacting a publisher.
    – wetcircuit
    Jan 17 at 12:33
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    Note that Rowling is happy for people to write fanfiction as long as she doesn't have to read it, it's not sexual, it's not sold for money, etc. (lumendatabase.org/notices/1182#, for example.) Jan 17 at 19:59
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    – linksassin
    Jan 20 at 5:58

2 Answers 2

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I'm sorry, but the chances of JK Rowling letting an amateur, unpublished writer use her ideas is zero. She and her partners have billions of dollars riding on the HP franchise. If she is tired of writing it, she might be interested in some collaboration with a best-selling novel author or screenplay writer she personally enjoys and admires and has worked with before, but not one of us.

Period. She won't even read your letter or know about it, her agents and lawyers will respond with a form letter rejecting you out of hand. That's how the world works with billion dollar franchises.

Get over it. It doesn't matter one iota how much you love it or how well educated you are about the HP universe. Apply your great sequel idea to something else entirely and don't use a drop of anything JKR invented.

I'm not being mean, I'm just trying to save you time, and money, and heartache from being sued or rejected hundreds of times. JK Rowling is not going to collaborate or use ideas from a rando with zero track record. Period.

Read this article, about somebody she did collaborate with for 10 years, Steve Kloves, the screenwriter for nearly all the HP movies: A Screenwriter's Hogwarts Decade. (Summary below) JKR is a micromanager when it comes to her franchise; I am 99.999999% certain she will not let anyone ever write a sequel in her universe. And she's a billionaire with billionaire film industry partners that will sue your pants off if you even try to publish such a thing using any trademark of theirs.

Summary of Steve Kloves' article: Steve began on the first movie, and relates that Rowling told him she understands the movie cannot be the book, but she wanted to stick to her vision of the HP world and its characters as closely as possible. And that the script was something of a collaboration, she corrected him several times on the script, and she had a very deep knowledge of her world that wasn't in the book. When he asked her for the 12 uses of Dragon Breath she reeled them off from memory, even though they were not in the book. And many other such things, in a meeting brainstorming about a scene, he wanted Dumbledore to reminisce about a girl he once knew, Rowling waved him off, because she knew from the first book that Dumbledore was gay. When he wanted a minor character to die and suggested Dobby, she told him no, Dobby plays a critical role in the last book.

Stuff like that. He did write the script, she trusted him to get that and the abbreviated story right; but Rowling is a micro-manager when it comes to details about the HP world and every single character in it, and she won't release her grip on the steering wheel. That makes it difficult for any other writer to tell original stories in the HP world; because the character arcs are already set in stone, in Rowling's mind.

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    Oh, I actually think this makes sense... in the real world, everything goes back to a strong background or position and I have neither of those. Thank you so much for the quick reality check 😅 @Amadeus!, honestly, I should have thought about this 😅😅😅
    – Sam N
    Jan 17 at 15:40
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    @SamN You are welcome. I do mean it, your plot ideas might be salvageable as a standalone story in a fantasy setting of your own invention. There is a market for "New Adult" fantasy. New Adult (NA, 18-26) books feature college-aged characters and plotlines. It is the next age-category up from Young Adult (YA 12-18). It explores the challenges and uncertainties of leaving home and living independently for the first time. Many NA books focus on or at least include sex. You don't have to include sex; the NA category is age-defined, not content defined; but it makes sense for the 18-26 crowd.
    – Amadeus
    Jan 17 at 15:54
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    And don't forget that there's precedent for authors turning works of fan-fiction into successful stand-alone book series. Jan 17 at 20:44
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    @SamN + please consider that rejection is nothing personal and shouldn't make you feel bad. She likely receives such letters by the hundreds every day, and therefore won't have the time to even consider them unless you already know each other or you're already very famous.
    – vsz
    Jan 18 at 5:23
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    @trlkly I am not being mean, I am being blunt. There is no easy way to tell people they are completely wrong, and should cease and desist from something they feel passionate about, before they waste months or years or get themselves into legal trouble. "Get over it" is good and kind advice in this case. Understand that it is a lost cause, give up on it, and do something else with anything you have developed in pursuit of it. I think I've learned in 50 years that tiptoeing around the truth doesn't really work when people are emotionally invested in the falsehood.
    – Amadeus
    Jan 19 at 10:56
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In an interview, Stephen Fry (who has recorded the audio-book versions of the Harry Potter series from the start) recalled how, at a book-signing that J.K. Rowling was doing, there were representatives of her publishers who would make sure that if anyone tried to hand her a letter or manuscript, they would snatch it out of the fan's hands before she could even touch it. Apparently they are very paranoid about people writing down ideas for future episodes in the Harry Potter series, and then later claiming that J.K. Rowling read and stole their ideas. I believe he even mentioned that they store everything that is handed to her, so that they can later prove that it has remained unopened.

So I'm afraid that the idea that something you send to her publisher or agent would be passed on to her, is not very realistic.

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    Today I Learned... This is a great bit of info and a wonderful tidbit. I wonder how pervasive this kind of stuff is with "top" authors like JKR, King, etc... I would assume... Very.
    – WernerCD
    Jan 18 at 21:16
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    @WernerCD: It's the reason Terry Pratchett stopped participating in the alt.fan.pratchett newsgroup: "He doesn't post to alt.fan.pratchett anymore though he did stay on the group reasonably regularly between 1992 and 1999. The thing that forced him out was that people began discussing plot possibilities for future books. He figured it was only a matter of time before someone accidently predicted a major plot point for a forthcoming novel and then tried to sue him for intellectual property." (source)
    – Heinzi
    Jan 18 at 21:59
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    @WernerCD This even applies across domains, wherever ideas matter. See for example apple.com/legal/intellectual-property/policies/ideas.html
    – idmean
    Jan 18 at 22:19
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    @WernerCD It is worth noting that Stephen Fry is himself a successful author, and even he found the situation surprising, so I guess this sort of thing indeed only happens to top-selling authors with film deals. Jan 19 at 7:34
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    @Heinzi The source was last modified in 2000. Pratchett definitely resumed talking to people on usenet at some stage after 1999, though it may have been on alt.books rather than alt.fan. I certainly recall talking about the launch of Wee Free Men with him which would be 2003 and about a Carl Hiaasen novel , I thought it was Nature Girl (2006) but Skinny Dip (2004) may be more likely. There was pretty strong self policing of Speculation about future plot.
    – Spagirl
    Jan 19 at 12:09

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