Pottermore Presents! A new trio of eBooks with original writing by J.K. Rowling!

Pottermore is introducing a new line of eBooks—three to be exact! They are called “Pottermore Presents” to be published in September… “The series offers Harry Potter fans added insights into the stories, settings and characters and were all lovingly curated by Pottermore.”

The series include:

“Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide dives into the nooks and crannies of the beloved wizarding school itself, unfurling everything from details about the Hogwarts ghosts, to what happens when the Sorting Hat can’t decide on a student’s house.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists explores the darker roots of the wizarding world. You’ll learn more about the troubles that faced the Ministry of Magic, the horrors of Azkaban prison and enjoy an entirely new original piece of writing by J.K. Rowling on Horace Slughorn.

Finally, in Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Pottermore celebrates the colourful staff of Hogwarts. There’s more to discover about Care of Magical Creatures teacher Silvanus Kettleburn, as well as another new piece of writing from J.K. Rowling on Minerva McGonagall, and her involvement in the second wizarding war.”

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Order them online here.


A Mini ‘Harry Potter’ Gift Guide! Part 2 (Articles/Lists)

In continuation of a previous gift guide post, here is the second group of gift ideas originating from lists already put together by other Harry Potter fans and available online!

  1. BuzzFeed: “21 Magical “Harry Potter” Kitchen Items You Need Right Now“—A list by Casey Rackman compiling several items that would definitely spruce up your kitchen in a non-muggle sort of way. Random Highlight: “Harry Potter Dwellings Coaster Set
  2. BuzzFeed: “33 Harry potter Gifts Only a True Fan Will Appreciate“—for the more subtle-natured references that would only be noticed by members of the wizarding community. Random Highlight: “Harry Potter Print, Dobby Watercolor
  3. Country Living: “25 Magical Gifts that Every Harry Potter Fan Needs”—A lovely list of magical artifacts. Random Highlight: “Harry Potter Inspired Mason Jar Lamp
  4. Tech Insider: “27 Gifts for the Harry Potter Fan in Your Life“—Clever and fun gifts for fans. Random Highlight: “Snuggle This Muggle” Onesie.

A Mini ‘Harry Potter’ Gift Guide! Part 1 (Websites)

There are so many Harry Potter-themed gifts out there, here is a list of some articles and websites where you can go hunting for your favorite new Weasley sweater or Three Broomsticks mug!

  1. The Harry Potter Shop—The official, one-stop shop for classics and more. Random Highlight: “Hybrid Luggage Bag
  2. Hot Topic Harry Potter Merchandise—Plenty of clothing items to show off your Hogwarts school and/or House pride! Random Highlight: “Harry Potter Slytherin Varsity Hoodie
  3. Harry Potter Etsy—Handmade gifts at your fingertips! Random Highlight: “It’s Not Much, But It’s Home” Doormat.
  4. Harry Potter Gifts on Amazon—just like with most aspects of online gift shopping, sites like Amazon or eBay can offer some of the lowest prices! Random Highlight: “Collectible Quidditch Set

Chestertown Harry Potter Festival!

On the weekend of September 30th-October 2nd, Chestertown, MD will be hosting a Harry Potter festival full of fun activities for Harry Potter fans of all ages:

To learn more about the festival, visit their website at: http://chestertownhpfest.org/

A few HONR279Q (UMD Harry Potter course) students attended the 2015 Chestertown Harry Potter Festival and enjoyed themselves.

Harry Potter Academic Conference and Festival at Chestnut Hill College!

The Annual Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia will be held this year in October 20-22nd, 2016. The conference offers, on the first day, a section for scholarly work—essays presented by a diverse academic population—as well as a fun Harry Potter festival on the second day. Those interested can submit papers “arising out of J.K. Rowling’s literature” in their website here.

A group of HONR279Q students (University of Maryland, College Park Harry Potter course) attended the 2015 conference. You can register to attend the conference here.

The festival will include fun activities for Harry Potter fans of all ages and will include a Quidditch Tournament:

Visit the website for much more information at: http://www.harrypotterconference.com/

Lumos—J.K. Rowling’s Special Charity

The author of the beloved Harry Potter series has dedicated much of her funds, attention, and time towards her charity, Lumos (formed in 2005)—which promotes the following:

“No child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. Lumos works to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalisation of children.” The following logo is presented courtesy of Lumos.


With her (famous) involvement, J.K. Rowling has catapulted the issue of the institutionalisation of children to the attention of fans worldwide. She explains why she started the charity:

TERP Magazine features ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Article

UMD alumni and writer for TERP magazine, Karen Shih (’09) published a story titled, “Harry Potter” Fans and the Anxiety Over the ‘Cursed Child.'” The article features Dr. Butler (professor of the Harry Potter course at the University of Maryland, College Park) and Meg Galuardi (’16), a student who took the course as a senior the first year that it was introduced on campus.

Enjoy the article here.


John Williams Music at UMD!

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park hosted a performance of John Williams’ most famous film soundtrack masterpieces, including the original film score for the first and second Harry Potter movies. The event took place on May 28th, 2016 at 8:00PM.

Our beloved, “Hedwig’s Theme,” the iconic Harry Potter musical theme is included in the set. The description of the event is as follows:

“John Morris Russell, conductor of the famed Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, returns to conduct the opening concert of the National Orchestral Institute and Festival.  This rousing concert of American favorites features the music of John Williams, including hit scores to movies such as Star Wars: The Force Awakes, Harry Potter, and Schindler’s List alongside works by Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.  

The National Orchestral Institute and Festival brings together aspiring orchestral musicians from across the country for a month of dynamic music-making and professional exploration. Chosen by a rigorous, cross-country audition process, these young artists present passionate and awe-inspiring performances of adventuresome repertoire at The Clarice and in the community.

The National Festival Orchestra
May 28th, 2016