Twelve Rowling Story Sources for Potter Pundits: A Treasure Chest from the Vault

I wrote what is called a ‘Lead Magnet’ for an online course I planned to give — Wizard Reading Formula at — in the summer of 2017. I’m pretty sure of the date for this longish piece, though I haven’t checked it, because I put it up in a drop-box on the HogwartsProfessor home page the week I received my reader’s copy of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, a landmark event. It helps with my memory, too, because one of the things I wrote about the Jane Austen book I chose for this Top Twelve Tomes list was exactly what Bea Groves had written about that same novel, Northanger Abbey. I added a link to her book in addition to a comment she had posted about The Tiger in the Smoke.

I wanted to reference in my thesis something I’d written about Austen and another about Shakespeare from this 72 page booklet — don’t worry, it’s written in large type and comes with many illustrations and chapter cover sheets — but it no longer existed anywhere on the internet. I am obliged to post it here as a pdf via url for that ‘Works Cited’ reference (Granger 2017b) in the PhD dissertation currently preoccupying me.

Much of it, of course, is out of date; there is, for example, no Wizard Reading Formula course on offer at and we’ve learned a lot more about Rowling’s favorite books since I assembled this (thanks in no small part to the efforts of the Professor Groves mentioned above). That being said, there are quite a few gems in the collection; I was especially delighted to find a link to a PhD thesis written on the literary alchemy of Shakespeare (see the ‘Macbeth’ pages). A golden key!

Let me know what you think of this lost treasure found at the back of the HogwartsProfessor vault shared here for the first time in years: 12 Rowling Story Sources for Potter Pundits.

Learn the Seven Keys in Seven Weeks! Take Wizard Reading Formula with John

During yesterday’s ‘Seven Keys’ live webinar, I offered those in attendance what I have shared with the Potter Pundits Summer School students and the Roanoke Festival friends about ‘Wizard Reading Formula,’ the seven week online course I am teaching this September and October. Every week we will have three talks, office hours, and a live webinar from the platform we tested in Summer School, one we demonstrated was interactive, accessible, affordable, and, most important, conducive to transformative learning.

The webinar went well but ran a little long! I cut it down by twenty minutes in the screen capture video below. If you’re interested in joining us to learn the Wizard Reading Formula, the link for payment and registration is here. There are links below as well to the Potter Pundits Summer School classrooms, all the videos and downloadable pdf attachments, all of which come down tonight at midnight.

This is the first time I’ve offered the class online so I have priced it at the cost of the lowest price of an overnight stay at Universal Studios in Orlando, the price of one night in ‘the room beneath the stairs’ for seven weeks of dialogue and instruction about the Seven Keys to Harry Potter: three talks, office hours, a live webinar, and a new bonus package every week. Did I mention the ‘How To’ course in diagramming a story ring? For readers and writers, this is an avenue to a lifetime of greater reading pleasure and writing power.

And it’s free if you’re not delighted. Pretty straight forward: a 30 day Money Back Guarantee. I talk about the Formula in the video below  -the weekly vlog! — about the Seven Keys, probably the most popular and certainly the densest content concept per minute of all the talks I give, a flash overview of the Wizard Reading Formula, as well as a long look at the symbol in Deathly Hallows that the characters interpret at four levels for our reflection. Enjoy!

Save your Seat in the ‘Wizard Reading Formula’ Classroom — Closes at Midnight Sunday Night!

Tour the Potter Pundit Summer School web pages and Watch the Videos

See the Live Q&A Webinar with Oxford’s Beatrice Groves, Author of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter

Serious Readers and Writers Share Their Thoughts About John Granger

‘Seven Keys to Harry Potter’ Tonight!

As my swan song to Potter Pundits Summer School, I’ll be giving a free talk on the Seven Keys to Harry Potter tonight at 7 pm Central time via WebinarJam.

I’d love it if you could join me! Sign up here.

See you tonight!

John, in haste

Post: Please post the webinar link on your FaceBook and social media portals if you have a moment — thanks!

Post2: If you missed the sign up for Summer School, here is a direct link to the classroom: I’ll leave the classes up until midnight Sunday in case you want to watch or download the transcripts and other materials!

Weekly Vlog 6: A Question from Sydney, Australia, about the Hogwarts Saga

Transcript of ‘A Question from Sydney Australia’

Link to Registration Page for The Potter Pundits Summer School

Why Potter Pundits Summer School?

Have you signed up for the Potter Pundits Summer School yet? It’s free for the asking, but you have to sign in at  — and it only lasts a week. As of this morning, there are posted video lectures about the two subjects my survey of thousands of Potter-philes revealed were the ones most wanted by serious readers of the Hogwarts Saga, namely, Literary Alchemy and Ring Composition.

With the videos, Summer School students also get transcripts of the talks they can download, an invitation to the live Q&A webinar on Thursday with Oxford’s Beatrice Groves, author of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, and bibliographies covering the best academic work (and online posts!) about Ring Composition and Literary Alchemy I’ve run across in my PhD thesis writing. 

So, if you haven’t joined us, why not? It’s all coming down next week and you may miss out.

Maybe you have a few questions.

“What’s the Point, John?”

The point is three-fold. First, for fifteen years I’ve heard complaints about how hard it is to study Harry Potter in any kind of organized way. There’s no interaction with the authors of critical work when you buy a book, academic and fan conferences are an incoherent grab-bag of variable quality ideas, and, like schools, they’re ridiculously expensive in terms of the funds-invested in travel and hotels as well as the take-away reward.

These complaints are justified. We need a way to study the world’s best selling books (and other works by their author) that expands our understanding of them conveniently, affordably, personally, and profoundly.

The Potter Pundits Summer School, in which I am giving away for free several talks I get paid thousands of dollars to give, is my attempt to invent and test a method of sharing a coherent program of Hogwarts study that anyone, anywhere, at anytime, can afford to plug into — and from which that serious reader will take-away a coherent, cohesive introduction to the best in Potter scholarship.


Second, but as important perhaps, when I ask fans at talks and conferences what they most want to know about Harry Potter or from me, I get subject answers like ‘I really want to learn more about narrative slow release and why it works.’ As often as not, though, people tell me that they want to learn how to read, how to recognize when there is more to a text than the surface narrative and the obvious moral or political messaging.

The third point is related to it. I hear the question all the time in conversations with fans in letters and in person, the question I’ve been trying to answer for fifteen years. “What is it about these stories that make us love them more than other stories?” Which brings up in turn the issue, “What is it about story-telling that makes it a defining species trait?” Because whatever Rowling is doing seems to be scratching that itch better than what anyone else has on offer.

The Potter Pundits Summer School is my attempt to use the forum and method I’m creating for online instruction, classes supplemented by interactive webinars and office hours, to teach reading at depth and to explore the many avenues that will lead us to a satisfying answer to “Whence Potter-Mania?”

For the hundreds of you who have signed up at to join me on this adventure to invent a method for sharing the best ideas about the Hogwarts Saga conveniently, affordably, personally, and profoundly, thank you very much. Your participation and support means the world to me, more than you could know. Thanks, too, for sharing this one week opportunity with as many friends as you have via social media like FaceBook. The word is spreading.

For those of you who are reading this who haven’t signed up, please do join us! It’s fun, it’s free, and frankly, it’s fascinating. Not to mention, a fabulous opportunity. Where else are you going to get to chat with an Oxford Don about your favorite books and her area of expertise? Sign up is as easy as clicking on this link to and signing in there — and, of course, you can unsubscribe from the Pundits mailing list anytime.

I covet, as always, your comments, questions, and corrections.