The script of the hugely popular 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' two-part play currently on in the West End is one of the #Books on the shortlist for Waterstones Book of the Year 2016. The highly-anticipated script became the fastest-selling book this decade when it was released in July and is essential reading for Potter fans waiting to see the play itself.

The Award

The shortlist is nominated by Waterstones booksellers and features a varied selection of books including a Beatrix Potter, 'The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots', illustrated by Quentin Blake. The other books nominated are 'The Essex Serpent', a novel by Sarah Perry, and three non-fiction works, 'The Optician of Lampedusa', 'When Breath Becomes Air', and 'Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts'.

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The winner of the award, chosen by a panel headed by Waterstones managing director James Daunt, will be announced on December 1st.

Harry Potter this year

The #Harry Potter script is written by Jack Thorne and based on an original story by Thorne, JK Rowling, and John Tiffany that finds Harry nineteen years after the events of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'. The script is a departure from the format of the Potter novels, but will not be the only chance Potterheads get this year to read a play based in Rowling's universe. The screenplay of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is being released on November 18th to coincide with the film, named after an in-universe book previously released by Rowling alongside 'Quidditch Through The Ages'.

The 'Fantastic Beasts' film features the New York adventures of the author of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', Newt Scamander, and is set seventy years before Harry Potter reads the text himself.

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The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt and is the first film in the Harry Potter universe since the release of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' in 2011.

Rowling recently announced that she has planned scripts for five 'Fantastic Beasts' films, meaning there should be plenty more chances for fans to catch the magical world in the cinema. The screenplays of 'Fantastic Beasts' and its sequels are likely to be incredibly popular, just like 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', as the Potter phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down.

The question remains for fans: what will Rowling focus on next? With scripts for 'The Cursed Child' and 'Fantastic Beasts' to get stuck into, they have plenty to read for now.