Tag Archives: Harry Potter


Hogwarts Is Here, And It’s The Most Magical Massive Open Online Course Ever.

Harry Potter Fans, being the wonderful but sightly intense creatures that they are, have done it again: they have found a new way to bring the magic a little closer to home.

A team of dedicated volunteers have designed and built a thoroughly imaginative and awesome MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, which is, according to the website,

“…Thanks to the efforts and resources (plus a little magic) from the Wizard-Muggle Integration Movement, … entirely free.”

Excuse us for a moment while we regather our composure.

That moment you heard JK Rowling questioning Hermione and Ron’s romance.

Ok. We’ve got it.

This is the perfect nine-week course for all of us who lived vicariously in the hallways of Hogwarts and dreamed of receiving our own magical letter. It is ideal for all those have debated anything about the Harry Potter Universe, from the logistics of the Ministry of Magic to the plumbing of the magical world. It’s also fantastic for writers in general, as a lot of the course content is based upon creative (but serious) essay writing.

Alex Heinbach, writer for Slate and now a Ravenclaw student, enrolled for the course and wrote a little about it here, but if you’re already sold on the idea, you can go to Hogwarts is Here to sign up.

It’s really too much fun not to.


Are you already a course member? What house did you enroll in?  Are you chillin’ in Slytherin? Learnin’ stuff in Hufflepuff? Let us know in the comments, or go ahead and just tweet at us!

publishing news graphic

The Code, the Cookbook, the Stage and the Series…

Independent’s Code of Ethics Approved

The Independent Book Publisher’s Association has approved a new code of ethics for members to abide by.  The Executive Director of the IBPA, Angela Bole, describes the need for independent publishers to be about more than just dollar value, saying  “The new code assumes that being part of a professional association of independent publishers and self-published authors means something more than discounts on editorial, distribution, and marketing services“.  The Code of Ethics encourages sustainable practices and quality content, and can be found here on the Directors Desk of the IBPA website.

The Anarchist Cookbook Author has had Enough

William Powell was nineteen when he penned The Anarchist Cookbook out of anger, and in opposition to the Vietnam war. Having long since renounced his view that violence can prevent more violence, Powell is asking that it be taken out of print. The how-to manual for mass murder has been linked to several violent attacks including the recent shooting by Karl Pierson at a Colorado high school.

The publisher, Billy Blann of Delta Press, disagrees.   As the “cookbook” is his most popular publication and “contributes largely to his annual $3 million in revenue” it doesn’t take a genius to sense a less than savoury financial motive for this.  

A Roof for Writers in Detroit

Write a House, a new non-profit organization is fixing up homes in Detroit for writers.  The goal is to revitalize neighbourhoods in the broken down city, believing the liberal arts can play a large role in doing so. Their first chosen neighbourhood is a diverse enclave surrounded by the city of Detroit. The area is small, and the organization is hoping that will boost the level of impact.

Write a house is encouraging interested writers to apply with a sample of writing and a letter of intent.  The want to bring life back to Detroit, and they are certain they can find writers who are interested in that aim too.

Harry Potter is Getting Set for the Stage 

JK Rowling has turned down countless proposals for a staged production of her Harry Potter series, but has finally found one she can support.  Rowling will co-produce a stage play about Harry Potter’s early years as an orphan and outcast, before finding a home at Hogwarts.  The vision for the play was that of Sonia Friedman (co-producer of The Book of Morman) and Colin Callender (of Boadway play Lucky Guy).  The production is set to open some time in 2015.

New Book, New Author for Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Series

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo kicked off what was to be a ten book series before the acclaimed author passed away in 2004.  Quercus, the publishing house with rights to the English language version of the story,  is seeing to it that the series be carried on; David Lagercrantz, another Swedish author known for creating complex characters, will carry on with Larsson’s fourth book, set to be released August 2015.

Happy holidays everyone- we leave you this week with this image of Neil Gaiman dressed as Charles Dickens.  How amazing is this?  You can also catch his reading of A Christmas Carol here.

credit: Jonathan Blanc