News and Events
May 2024

826 Partners with Paramount Pictures

John Krasinski

“826 is a beacon of creativity and exploration like no other,” says John Krasinski.

826 National and Paramount Pictures have teamed up to publish three books of youth writing—including writing from 826DC students—inspired by IF, the upcoming film written and directed by John Krasinski.

IF stars Cailey Fleming, Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., Alan Kim, Liza Colón-Zayas and Steve Carell. It tells the story of Bea, a girl who discovers she can see people’s imaginary friends, aka their “IFs.”

The final official trailer for IF

The storyline gave Paramount Pictures a fabulous idea while preparing to release the film. What if they asked real-life kids to come up with IFs of their own?

They reached out to 826 National, and together they developed the Big Book of IFs project!

“Together,” says 826 National CEO Laura Brief, “826 and Paramount Pictures believe that writing is the key to cultivating a new generation of creative and diverse thinkers who will define a better, brighter, and more compassionate future.”

About the Big Book of Ifs

Students here at 826DC and at each of the other 826 chapters across the country dreamed up their own original IFs. They then drew their IFs and drafted introduction narratives for them (to help out those of us who can’t see IFs the way that Bea can).

Those drawings and narratives are soon-to-be published in three volumes of the Big Book of Ifs. You’ll be able to enjoy 826DC student writing alongside work from 826 Boston and 826 NYC. As for the other two volumes, one will feature writing from 826LA and 826 Valencia, and the other will feature writing from 826 CHI, 826michigan, 826 MSP, and 826 New Orleans.

Cover of the Big Books of IFs from 826 National and Paramount Pictures

This has been such a neat project! The students have been able to create and share characters that bring them joy. They’re also doing so on a national scale, with encouragement from public figures they admire.

The respect is clearly mutual.

“To be asked to be a part of anything to do with this organization is an absolute joy,” John Krasinski shares, “But to then have 826 invite us to do a full-blown collaboration with them, and to have these brilliant students create such mind-blowing work based on my new film IF?

. . . well, that is nothing short of an honor!”

Celebrating in Style

The books and films both come out next week. To celebrate, Paramount Pictures has arranged a free IF screening for the students!

“I am excited to see the movie,” says 826DC student Pearl, “and I liked getting to draw my IF.”

After the student celebration, 826DC’s volume of The Big Book of Ifs will be available for purchase through our shop, Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Company, both at the physical storefront and online at

“If” You Want to Get Involved…

There are a ton of ways to join and support our writers!

For starters, you can try out the writing prompts and processes that the students used to create their writing for the book. The free lesson is available here on 826 Digital.

826DC could also always use your help! Down to share your time? Learn more about becoming an 826DC volunteer here. Want to help sustain 826DC from afar? You can make a donation of any size here.