MAY NEWSLETTER

Because Stories are Life.

PUBLISHING NEWS

Super excited to announce we’ll be releasing Ify Adenuga’s critically acclaimed autobiography Endless Fortune in PAPERBACK on 29th July + have done a deal with Audible for the AUDIOBOOK. Get your pre-orders direct from us for a personalised signed copy https://ownit.london/shop/endless-fortune-by-ify-adenuga/

Read more here

USE WORDS FIRST

Edited by Jude Yawson

BBC Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network have teamed up with BBC Contains Strong Language for Words First, a scheme aimed at finding the best emerging spoken word talent in the UK. USE WORDS FIRST is a collection of 12 poets from Words First brought together in this brilliant anthology edited by Jude Yawson, co-writer of Stormzy’s Rise Up: The Story So far and contributor to the SAFE anthology edited by Derek Owusu.⠀

Get your copy of USE WORDS FIRST here.

Exploring themes of identity, connectivity and mobilisation, USE WORDS FIRST brings together eclectic styles and people all exploring humanity in their own unique ways. This is a snapshot of some of the struggles, inspirations and muses of young Britain today expressed through poetry that spans from the personal to the political and is always full of beauty and power.


AGENCY SPOTLIGHT


THE GUARDIAN CELEBRATES ITS 200th BIRTHDAY WITH A TRIO OF ROUSING FILMS

Environment. Equality. Stories.

This evoking short film, Equality, looks at civil rights and gender issues and is accompanied by a striking voiceover from writer, performance poet and activist Salena Godden.

Click here for more info and to watch all three short films.

Each film is dedicated to a different topic, all of which tie into the Guardians editorial mission. 


Retirement Hell: Why many Nigerian pensioners are denied access to their pensions.

BBC Africa Eye goes undercover to expose an ineffective and corrupt pension system in Nigeria, which leaves some elderly people sick and penniless, yet grants some politicians outrageous retirement packages.

Reporter Yemisi Adagoke travels to Cross River State to meet “Ghost Pensioners” – elderly people whom the state declared dead and deprived of their pensions.

Some of them are forced to rely on financial support from their relatives and are subjected to dehumanising treatment from the state officials for petitioning for their pensions to be reinstated.

Watch here


LISTEN TO THIS…

#FIRSTFRIDAYS

On the First Friday of every month, we release a playlist carefully curated with songs exploring the featured book of that month. ⠀

May’s playlist looks at the themes within the book NO PLACE TO CALL HOME, the debut novel by JJ Bola

Head over to ownit.london/first-fridays/ to check out the full playlist and for links to listen via Spotify or Apple Music.

Visit our shop ownit.london/category/playlists/ to view all previous playlists.


MAY HIGHLIGHTS


MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK

In celebration of MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK (10-16 May 2021) we’d like to suggest some OWN IT! reads for you:


REMEMBERING TY


A year ago, May 7th 2020, our good friend Ty sadly passed away. His ‘Pass the Torch’ events meant so much to him and said so much about him. A chance to support a new generation of hiphop emcees and poets that he put everything into. It was an honour for us to be able to host them with him. 

Bestselling Authors of ‘Slay in Your Lane’ to Publish Debut Children’s Book in November 2021

OWN IT! has done a deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books, Executive Publisher, Ann-Janine Murtagh and Fiction Publisher, Nick Lake, who have acquired World Rights in three books, from Crystal Mahey-Morgan of OWN IT!

Yomi Adegoke is a multi-award winning journalist and author, writing on race, feminism, popular culture and how they intersect. Whilst Elizabeth is a multi-award winning author, speaker and columnist at The Financial Times.

Promising one of the most exciting middle-grade moments of the year, The Offline Diaries is a fresh, funny and contemporary story of friendship, told in the captivating voices of Ade and Shanice – two utterly unforgettable Year 8 girls – who will seize the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere.

Ade is about to start at a new school. She is NOT happy with her stepdad for making them move here. Shanice has been at the school for a year already. Since her mum died, she’s been living with her dad and annoying older brother, spending most of her time outside school in her dad’s hair salon. When Ade and Shanice meet in the salon, and spot each other’s diaries, an instant friendship is formed, and they start to chat online . . . but offline is a whole other story!

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené said: ‘It’s been such an exciting process for us to bring Ade and Shanice to life. Navigating secondary school and friendships circles is such a significant part of all of our coming-of-age journeys and finding true friendships can really help shape who we become. It’s such a privilege for both of us to be able to create a world and characters inspired by this, and we hope to speak to and empower all young girls all over the world.’

The Offline Diaries launches in hardback on 11 November 2021, with full black-and-white illustrations throughout and simultaneous e-book and audio publication.

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené

Yomi Adegoke is a multi-award-winning journalist and author. She writes about race, feminism, popular culture and how they intersect, as well as class and politics. She has worked at ITN, Channel 4 News and the Pool as a senior writer and freelanced for Vogue, the Guardian and the Independent amongst others. In 2018 she was listed as one of the most influential people in London by the Evening Standard. She was awarded journalist of the year by the Woman In Africa awards, named a Marie Claire Future Shaper and was awarded the Groucho Maverick.

Elizabeth Uviebinené is a multi-award-winning author, speaker and columnist at The Financial Times where her astute opinion pieces on mental health and millennial treatment in the workplace are driving conversations on workers’ rights in the UK. Her timely new book, The Reset: Ideas to Change How We Work and Live, explores our urge to work differently and in a way that suits more parts of our lives.

We represent Yomi and Elizabeth for all things relating to The Offline Diaries IP. For any rights enquiries, please email agency@ownit.london

#FirstFridays – MOMENTS OF SIGNIFICANCE by MC ANGEL

An OWN IT! curated playlist released on the first Friday of every month.

This month’s playlist is inspired by Shauna O’Briain’s memoir ‘Moments of Significance’, where she shares personal experiences of growing up on an inner-city London council estate as a White Working Class Queer woman. Shauna’s words are an exploration of society and the political told through a very personal collage of experiences. This playlist takes a ride through themes of the book with help from artist like Missy Elliot, Bronski Beat, The Internet, Task Force, Shay D and James Taylor.

LISTEN ON APPLE MUSIC HERE

LISTEN ON SPOTIFY HERE

FULL PLAYLIST:

Moments of Significance by Shauna O’Briain (aka MC ANGEL) is a non-linear narrative packed with poetry, prose, fragments of memories and mediations on life, philosophy and politics from an uncompromising voice. Told through Shauna’s personal experiences of growing up on an inner-city London council estate as a White Working Class Queer woman, Moments of Significance is an exploration of society and the political told through a very personal collage of experiences.

With accounts from Shauna’s childhood poverty to the devastating family revelation in Ireland; being bullied on her estate for being a Lesbian to finding Buddhism, coping with the death of her mother to piecing together an identity through hip hop, poetry and art, Shauna reinvents the way memoirs are written and through this collection of life moments reveals layers of herself to slowly build a unique relationship with the reader.

Get your copy of Moments of Significance here.

OWN IT! and Boy Better Know to publish Paperback edition of ENDLESS FORTUNE and partner with Audible for Audiobook

We are super excited to announce we’ll be releasing Ify Adenuga’s critically acclaimed autobiography Endless Fortune in PAPERBACK on 29th July + have done a deal with Audible for the AUDIOBOOK. Get your pre-orders direct from us for a personalised signed copy.

How do you go from being a penniless student in a foreign country to becoming the mother of “a family who could lay a claim to the title of the most creative clan in Britain?” – The Guardian

Part historical, part political but most of all hugely inspirational, Endless Fortune tells the life story of Ify Adenuga: A fighter, a thinker, a feminist and a parent. Born in Lagos, Ify’s life was uprooted by the Nigerian civil war, which ravaged the country in the mid-1960s, forcing her family to flee. In 1980, she headed to London in search of a better life where, a year later, she met her husband Joseph Senior at their workplace – a bingo hall in east London.

In the tough working-class area of Tottenham, the couple raised their four children and encouraged them to explore their artistic instincts, narrowly avoiding a violent situation that threatened to tear the family apart…

Endless Fortune is the first book of its kind from the mother of successful British creatives to examine the experience of the African diaspora and the complications around immigration from a personal perspective. Ify explores the chasm between Lagos and London and how to not just survive but thrive in a new culture and country.

“Raising one successful creative might be down to chance – to do so four times takes brilliance.” – British Vogue

“A memoir that takes in the ascent of grime, overcoming adversity…and witnessing her offspring reshape culture in their own image” NME

“This holds a wealth of inspiration, learning and joy. A must read.” – Candice Carty-Williams

“This is a touching, memorable story with a righteous voice at the heart of it” – The Big Issue

The formidably impressive Ifeomagwu “Ify” Adenuga is married to Joseph Senior Adenuga and mother of Joseph Junior (Skepta), Jamie (JME), Julie and Jason Adenuga. Ify went on to receive a BA (Hons) in Education & Film studies and continues to work with organisations across the UK and Nigeria to help young people lead independent lives in safe communities. In 2016, she received recognition as an ICON at C. Hub magazine’s prestigious Creativity and Arts Awards, which recognises excellence in creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship.