By: Rebecca McGregor
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and the Ghost of William Shakespeare will attend Hope College’s Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series in the Fall of 2027. The Visiting Writers Series is predicting that the events will be the best-attended yet, even surpassing the Hologram of C.S. Lewis’ reading back in February. J.K. Rowling will visit on Oct. 16, and Shakespeare’s Ghost will visit on Nov. 21. Both writers will be featured at a Q&A session and a live-reading.
“We’re so excited to be hosting these famous writers,” Visiting Writers Series intern Abby DeVries (’28) said. “Booking these two was incredibly hard. It’s a miracle that it all worked out.”
J.K. Rowling recently helped create and promote Universal Studios Florida’s Forbidden Forrest attraction that opened in September of 2026. Also, her play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” hit its 10th anniversary on London’s West End last year. However, Rowling’s visit to Hope will be a part of her upcoming book tour to pro mote her latest installment in her five-book Marauder’s series. The soon-to-be released second book, entitled “Managing Mischief,” is rumored to tell the story of how Wormtail, Moony, Padfoot and Prongs created the fan-favorite map.
Shakespeare’s ghost’s schedule has also remained busy since an American tourist discovered him roaming the streets of Stratford, England at night in 2025. After being introduced to computers, Shakespeare has been hard at work typing his next play entitled, “King George III”, which tells the story of the British monarch during the American Revolution.
“I saw ‘Hamilton’ and thought, ‘What the hecketh happened after I passed,” Shakespeare said.
The play is set to hit the Globe Theatre in London Sept. 14.
In celebration of Shakespeare’s upcoming visit, Hope’s Theatre Department also plans to add “Hamlet” to their 2027 2028 season.
“If all goes well, we’ll get the chance to perform it for the Bard who wrote it,” theatre professor Dr. Bernadette VanPeters said. “It will be an absolute hon or.”
Hope theatre students are hoping that Shakespeare will also ask them to help with the live-reading of the “King George III” when he visits.
“I’ll even read a girl part,” Aaron VanTveit (’29) said. “I know that that’s how it worked back in Shakespeare’s living days: guys played girls.”
With the growing success of the Visiting Writers Series, Hope students are also excited to see who will step onto campus during the Spring of 2028.
“Anything is possible,” DeVries said. “Maybe Jane Austen’s ghost is running around.”