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.
We’re delighted to share that we’ve done an exciting deal for London/ New York: Iconic and multi award-winning actor, musician, filmmaker, and activist Idris Elba and Robyn Charteris who have signed a global multi-book deal with HarperCollins to publish a range of children’s books launching in 2022.
In a major UK/US co-publication deal, world rights were acquired by Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher, HCCB UK, and Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher, HCCB US, from OWN IT! founder and agent Crystal Mahey-Morgan.
Publishing will include picture books and young fiction, featuring a character and world imagined and developed by Idris and his talented writing partner Robyn Charteris, who has written numerous live-action drama, pre-school and animation programmes for BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company and Endemol as well as educational theatre for schools.
Idris Elba said, “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring stories inspired by my daughter to life with my incredible partner Robyn Charteris, and the powerhouse team at HarperCollins.”
Ann-Janine Murtagh said, “Idris Elba is one of the most iconic and multi-talented creatives of his generation and I am delighted that he is joining the HarperCollins Children’s Books list. From the outset, Idris had a very clear vision on the characters and stories he has imagined, and is passionate about creating books that will appeal to all children. Robyn Charteris has a fantastic track record in writing for children, working with some of the biggest producers of children’s entertainment, and I am hugely excited to also welcome her to the world of children’s books. I feel privileged that Idris has entrusted us to bring his stories to life and I cannot wait to share them with children across the globe.”
“Idris Elba is a creative force, who has many wonderful stories to tell,” says Suzanne Murphy. “We are honoured to be working with him and with Robyn Charteris to bring Idris’s rich and imaginative storytelling to the world of children’s books, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the HarperCollins family.”
Kevin George is a Clinical Consultant, professionally trained in Person-Centred Therapy (Counselling). Specialising in group programmes, to develop emotional literacy. These programs have been delivered in schools, prisons and Premier League football clubs nationally.
Kevin is the Author of the Amazon number one best selling book Soccology. A book about the psycho-emotional elements of football. Featuring 45 professional footballers from around the world and across generations, along with a Psychophysicist and a Senior Partner from KPMG. He has also written for international publications such as the British Council, Sky Sports and GQ, on all things mental health.
Salena Godden is a high-profile poet. She is also an activist, broadcaster, essayist and memoirist whose work has been widely anthologised. The Royal Society of Literature made her a fellow FRSL in November 2020.
Canongate published Salena’s debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death in 2021. A BBC documentary following the early work-in-progress was broadcast on Radio 4 and BBC World Service in 2018. It’s described by the publisher as “intoxicating and life-affirming” and in The Bookseller as “an original, exuberant novel, freewheeling from prose to poetry to non-fiction, truly one of a kind.”
Ashley Hickson-Lovence is a former secondary school English teacher who grew up on a Hackney council estate and now resides in Norwich while he completes a Creative and Critical Writing PhD at the University of East Anglia. He is particularly interested in capturing the incessantly changing cultural landscape of urban Britain. Hickson-Lovence is also a poet, football referee and a keen marathon runner.
He is also the author of debut novel The 392, set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes.
Jermain Jackman, born and raised in Hackney, East London, combines his musical talent with pursuing his role as a political activist. Jackman first caught the nation’s attention after winning BBC talent show The Voice in 2014.
Jermain is now actively using his voice to make political interventions which seek to create a fairer future for the children and young people in Hackney and beyond. Through his work as the Chair of the Young Futures Commission and advising capacity with the National Citizens Service, Jermain is raising awareness of how the youth of London are feeling disenfranchised and left without opportunities.
Kirsty Latoya, also known as KirzArt is a South London illustrator who specialises in mental health art. Having always drawn as a child Kirsty taught herself digital art 2 years ago and this is now her chosen medium. She uses her iPad to create art and uniquely uses her finger as a stylus. She draws on her own experiences with depression and anxiety to produce eye-catching digital paintings portraying her representation of mental health. Kirsty’s art has been recognised on reported on by the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed to name a few. Kirsty is driven by her passion and inspired by the unconventional beauty in the world.
Kirsty Latoya has published a book of art and poetry entitled Reflections of Me – made up of four sections – mental health, identity, womanhood and love – and images are accompanied by original poems from Kirsty.
Award-winning Comedian Quincy, also known as the Cockney Prince, is a stand-up comic and radio talk show host. A regular on the British stand up circuit since 2005, Quincy has performed all over the world, including New York, Singapore, Dubai, India and Europe. He has supported the likes of an early Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and other top comics from the USA.
In 2010 Quincy set up Quincy’s Comedy Lounge, enabling him to share his love of comedy by showcasing up and coming comedians from the mainstream and the black comedy scene. Catch him every Friday on Youtube/STOMPING PICTURES socials for EXTRA TIME FRIDAY.