Authors defend JK Rowling in row with Brexit donor

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Anna Brech
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When JK Rowling got into a heated exchange with Brexit donor Aaron Banks this weekend, a few other world-famous writers couldn’t resist joining in…

When it comes to Twitter (or indeed, life in general), JK Rowling is more than capable of defending herself.

But it was still heartening to see fellow authors rally around her this weekend, after she got into a spat with Brexit donor Aaron Banks.

Banks, widely known as the man who bankrolled Britain’s bid to leave the EU, decided to weigh in on one of JK Rowling’s tweets about Brexit.

But rather than tackle her political stance (the Harry Potter author has made no secret  of her pro-EU views), Banks instead randomly took issue with Rowling’s “pretentious” writing habits.

Here’s how it went down:

Rowling quickly responded, writing in Russian that Banks was free to spend his money “not on writing rooms, but on expensive lunches with suspiciously rich Russians”. 

This expert jibe was a reference to a recent Guardian investigation that unveiled new evidence of meetings between Banks and the Russian government on the run-up to the EU referendum. 

Unperturbed, Banks continued to mock Rowling’s writing room.

Despite Rowling being one of the most famous writers of the modern age, he was apparently staggered by the idea of her dedicating a space to do her job in:

The bait had been laid and soon enough, some of the world’s greatest-known authors began to notice, and promptly enter into the fray.

Rowling’s fellow luminaries, including Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi, piped up to say that yes, writing rooms are actually a thing among authors (crazy we know). 

And from there, wordsmiths the world over chimed in, sharing photos of their own #writingroom. 

Just for good measure, a few other famed names chipped in on the debate, too:

So, we think the entire episode proves two things:

1.) Writers need writing rooms and it’s not all that crazy.

2.) All’s well that ends well in the wonderful world of Twitter.

Images: Getty


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.