Keeping you up to date with all things OWN IT!

Because Stories Are Life.


On the 25th of April, we celebrate the Publication Birthday of Ashley Hickson-Lovence’s debut novel The 392.

Set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes, the events of The 392 unfold through a cast of charismatic characters coming from very different worlds, but tied together through a shared suspicion as the threat of terrorism looms.

Available in Hardback, Paperback + eBook.



In honour of the late Stuart Goodman, this month we’re re-sharing OWN IT!’s #FirstFriday playlist inspired by his photography book ONE SATURDAY IN 82 ON BROADWAY MARKET.

All the songs on this playlist were released in the UK in 1982, the same year these black and white photos were taken. Candidly picturing the lives of shoppers and shop owners on this East London market in Hackney, which has since become unrecognisable.

Travel back in time with us, to 1982.

April 2nd we marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of the late, great Stuart Goodman.

We first met Stuart in 2018 and were delighted to welcome him into the OWN IT! family. His candid black and white photography immediately spoke to us and we had the privilege of publishing his book, One Saturday in 82 on Broadway Market.⠀

His book is a heartfelt reminder of the importance of community spirit and preserves a time which would otherwise be easily forgotten. Stuart will be remembered, and he lives on through the beautiful photographs and words he left with us.

Goodman worked as a Fleet Street photographer and picture editor, first making his name as a prize-winning photographer during the 1975 Balcombe Street Siege between the IRA and London’s Metropolitan Police Service.⠀

Visit: stuartgoodman.co.uk to see more of his work.⠀

Click here to purchase ONE SATURDAY IN 82 ON BROADWAY MARKET + the postcards of photographs from Stuart’s book, that we released in celebration of its one-year anniversary.


Film Reviews by Jude Yawson.

Check out these film reviews on our blog by Jude Yawson. Co-writer of Stormzy’s Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far, Jude is a multifaceted writer of essays, articles, poetry and Film Reviews. Click here to read more about Jude.


Finally, it is once again safe to wander around our favourite local bookshops, browsing and finding unexpected tittles, turning over a real book in our hands and marching it up to the tills. Although some things might be a little different, such as exchanging smiles beneath masks and extra hand sanitiser, one thing that will remain the same is the sanity and tranquillity that comes when, as a reader, you can once again return to your natural habitat and pick up a book in a bricks and mortar bookshop.

With their reopening, it’s important for us all to support local bookshops and ensure their survival. These safe havens where us readers can lose ourselves in, are essential to our community.

Although it’s brilliant that we can jump on our phones and browse every book on earth and order it within seconds, there is just something completely different about the feeling of physically being inside a book store, running your finger across the spines of an array of books and deciding on one to take home. It’s not just about the transaction of a purchase, it’s the experience.

With the reopening of bookshops also returns the chance for people to talk to others, for human connection. It feels only right that bookshops reopening coincides with the sun shining fiercer and blue skies above. A sign maybe, that brighter, better days are on the way…ones that we can spend wandering around our favourite bookshops, once again.

Please always support indies. Here’s a list of some of OWN IT!’s favourite local indie bookshops:

New Beacon Books – newbeaconbooks.com

Libreria London – libreria.io

Pages of Hackney – pagesofhackney.com

The Broadway Bookshop – broadwaybookshop.com

Burley Fisher – burleyfisherbooks.com

Stoke Newington Bookshop – stokenewingtonbookshop.com

Newham Bookshop – newhambooks.co.uk

Happy Reading!




Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen.

Get your copy here

Tickets on sale here

Check out these brilliant live events with Salena Godden.


Great to see Ashley Hickson-Lovence’s brilliant novel The 392 on Jacqueline Roy’s list of The Best Black British Writers. Check out the interview for Five Books by Cal Flyn here.

Last years winner was our very own Derek Owusu and his incredible novel-in-verse That Reminds Me.

The first novel by Stormzy’s imprint + winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2020 –That Reminds Me – is a fresh and powerful debut – now available as a paperback here.

We love this article in The Bookseller on Indie publishers that are dominating the Desmond Elliot Prize longlist.

This  year six indie publishers have made the 10-strong longlist for this years £10,000 prize, including a first ever nomination for Unbound.

Indies making the list include Faber, Granta Books, Saraband, Scribe, Tramp Press and Unbound.

Check out the full article by Mark Chandler on The Bookseller here.

That Reminds Me is the story of one young man, from birth to adulthood, told in fragments of memory. It explores questions of identity, belonging, addiction, sexuality, violence, family and religion. It is a deeply moving and completely original work of literature from one of the brightest British writers of today.⠀

Visit WWW.OWNIT.LONDON/SHOP to check out all the amazing books we have on offer
Check out our shop here!

OWN IT! Interviews: Courttia Newland speaks about his new Novel ‘A RIVER CALLED TIME’, with Jude Yawson.

OWN IT! Interviews: Join Jude Yawson – Author of Stomzy’s Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far – for this absorbing and fascinating interview with the talented Courttia Newland, author of 7 books including his much-lauded debut THE SCHOLAR, to discuss his upcoming Sci-Fi Novel A RIVER CALLED TIME.

An inspirational and empowering conversation any writer should listen to.

. —————— A RIVER CALLED TIME – OUT 7 JANUARY 2021 ——————

Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland’s staggering novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.

The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning. Years after the Ark was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within its confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth.

Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.

Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself and the people he thought he once knew.


Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013. He co-edited The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain, and his short stories have featured in various anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He was shortlisted for the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library Award and the 2010 Alfred Fagon Award. In 2016 he was also awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has co-written episodes of Steve McQueen’s 2020 BBC series Small Axe (See more here).

Jude Yawson is a multifaceted writer of essays, articles, poetry and Film Reviews. In 2018 Jude became an author, co-writing and editing Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far with Stormzy and the Merky team. Jude curates his eclectic writing through his website turned Blog House Of Horous, where his entire personal writing journey is hosted.

He has also contributed an essay entitled “Existing as a Black person living in Britain” to SAFE : On Black British Men Reclaiming Space. An anthology edited by Derek Owusu.

Check out more on Jude here + his website here.