OWN IT! will connect stories and readers at home during their first (online) arts festival

We are launching a week-long online arts festival between the 8th and 14th of June featuring live readings, discussions, conversation sessions and workshops from authors and artists that we publish and represent.

Among the authors participating are Derek Owusu and Courttia Newland. Owusu whose critically acclaimed book That Reminds Me was the first novel to be published by #MerkyBooks and has been longlisted for the Desmond Elliott prize will be in conversation with literary hallmark Newland whose speculative fiction novel A River Called Time (Canongate) will be published in January 2021 to discuss the evolution of The Black British Novel.

MC Angel (Moments of Significance) will offer a workshop on how to creatively express the significant moments in your life while Ashley Hickson-Lovence will present a live reading and discussion of his debut novel The 392.

Sam Conniff and Alex Barker will deliver a workshop on How to be More Pirate and rewrite the rules in your life while author JJ Bola will reflect on his journey to writing and publishing. Poetry fans will be able to enjoy a session between Sophia Thakur (Somebody Give This Heart a Pen, Walker Books) and pioneer Salena Godden including a first live reading from Godden’s debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death (Canongate) which will be published in January 2021. Football enthusiasts will get to see Stormzy’s co-author Jude Yawson in conversation with Nile Ranger and listen to Kevin George reading from his book Soccology.

Other highlights include BBC Africa journalist Yemisi Adegoke who will launch her new podcast ‘The Art of Storytelling’, a live reading and discussion with playwright Sharmila Chauhan on cross cultural relationships and the Third Space and Kirsty Latoya who will deliver a workshop centred on Art, Poetry & Wellness.

Empowering the viewer to realise their ambitions, Rose Cartwright, author of the critically acclaimed book PURE which was adapted for television and is currently streaming on Netflix, will speak on how to become a writer when you have no financial safety net. In addition, self-starter Reggie Nelson, who went viral as the 23-year-old from Canning Town who knocked on doors in Kensington to make it in finance, will host a session on career development.

A finger on the pulse of our time, singer Jermain Jackman, winner of the BBC talent show The Voice (2014), will be in conversation with fellow political activist and social entrepreneur Mahamad Hashi who is the founder of Brixton Soup Kitchen.

As an antidote to the lockdown blues, comedian Quincy will present ‘Daddy Issues: Face Off’ featuring special guest comedian Slim.

With a broad range of events to choose from, OWN IT’s first online festival will be offering inspiring stories for all readers. Stressing the importance of storytelling in our lives, especially at times like these. The OWN IT! team commented

“We’re very lucky to have an eclectic and inspirational group of storytellers as a part of OWN IT! and we decided that in a time when hope is more important than ever, we wanted to collectively offer something which could bring people together, share practical tips and advice and help people get lost in creativity while hopefully feeling empowered

The one thing that we can always be sure of is that when things are at their worst is when the arts, artists and activism is most important and powerful so we’re very excited to be producing the first OWN IT! arts festival and grateful to all of our authors and artists for making this happen.”

Tune in to Salena Godden’s ‘Roaring 20s’ radio show on Soho Radio on the 6th of June for an OWN IT! special as a taster to the festival. We will also be releasing a playlist of songs from 1982 to celebrate the late photographer Stuart Goodman’s whose beautiful photography book One Saturday in 82 on Broadway Market we published earlier this year.

Feel free to just come along or sign up for a ticket and be sent a reminder of your session here

OWN IT! Welcomes the latest addition to the Literary, Film & TV Agency: Rose Cartwright

Rose Cartwright is a creative director, screenwriter and the author of Pure, as seen on Channel 4 and Netflix. Her grounded sci-fi pilot Supercut was a Brit List 2019 winner and she is currently developing an original comedy drama. Rose has spoken about storytelling at South By Southwest and Wired Live, and has written for the Guardian, The Face and Vice. She is also a guest tutor on the creative writing MA at City University.

In 2018 Rose co-founded Made of Millions, a grassroots mental health platform, for sufferers, by sufferers. Reaching one million people in 220 countries. She also wrote and developed the world’s first OCD chatbot with the New York-based, non-profit, Intrusive Thoughts team.

Rose commented:

“I’m so thrilled to be joining the OWN IT! family. Their writers are brave and bold and I feel lucky to be counted among them. OWN IT! represents people from all sorts of backgrounds, which is rare and refreshing in the, frankly stuffy and predictable, publishing industry. Excited to be on board.”

Check out more information on Rose, here:  https://www.rosecartwright.com/

Another incredible addition to the OWN IT! Literary, Film & TV Agency – Quincy the Award-winning Comedian.

Another incredible addition to the OWN IT! Literary, Film & TV Agency – Quincy the Award-winning Comedian.

Quincy the Comedian also known as the Cockney Prince, is the latest addition to the OWN IT! Collective. A regular on the British stand up circuit since 2005, Quincy has performed all over the world and has supported the likes of an early Kevin Heart, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and other top comics from the USA.

Having also set up Quincy’s Comedy Lounge, this has enabled him to showcase up and coming comedians from the mainstream and the black comedy scene and continues to be a regular sell-out. Quincy has also combined the art of stand up, with addressing topical issues, in his successful breakfast show on Supreme FM, which came to an end in 2014.

Quincy will be represented by Crystal Mahey-Morgan who commented:

“Quincy has been a force within comedy for a number of years and his witty observations and creative approach means he is truly able to spark important conversations around fatherhood, masculinity, mental health and more. His talent is not limited to the stage so we’re very excited to be developing his material with him across books and screen too.

Quincy commented:

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be joining OWN IT! –  2020 can’t come quick enough for me.”