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.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW HERE

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.

DECEMBER NEWSLETTER

Because Stories Are Life.

Keeping up to date with all things OWN IT!

PUBLISHING NEWS

#FIRST FRIDAYS – ONE SATURDAY IN 82 ON BROADWAY MARKET.

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

December’s Playlist is built around the late great Stuart Goodman’s photography book ONE SATURDAY IN 82 ON BROADWAY MARKET.⠀

The songs on this playlist were all released in the UK in 1982, and are reflective of the part of London the photographs were taken. From the burgeoning Dancehall of Jamaica, to New Wave, Pop, Hip Hop and Soul. These songs capture the spirit of the time and place


LOOKING BACK AT 2020

Here’s a look back at what we’ve published this year.

  • One Saturday in 82 on Broadway Market – by Stuart Goodman
  • HOW TO: Be More Pirate – by Sam Conniff + Alex Barker
  • Endless Fortune – by Ify Adenuga

Stuart Goodman’s One Saturday in 82 on Broadway Market preserves images of an East London landmark, featuring Stuart Goodman’s account of his and Stephen Selby’s role in setting up a community initiative to save Broadway Market from demolition.

Goodman speaks of the London that existed before gentrification. An East London native brought up on a Hackney council estate, Goodman had lived in the market and been a shop keeper there for 6 months before photographing it for the first time. ⠀

Get your copy here⠀

HOW TO: Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff + Alex Barker.

The follow-up book to Sam Conniff’s Be More Pirate. Whether you want to overcome personal limitations, upend the status quo in your line of work, or find some co-conspirators, this book will help you to be more radical, relentless, and ambitious in your life and work.

Available in paperback here
and now available as an audiobook from Audible here.

ENDLESS FORTUNE by Ify Adenuga

Ify’s powerful memoir is the first book of its kind from the mother of four highly successful British creatives (Skepta JME, Julie Adenuga and Jason Adenuga) to examine the experience of the African diaspora and the complications around immigration from a personal perspective.

Get your copy now from IFYADENUGA.COMWaterstonesAmazon + All good retailers.

If you missed out in June, you can still catch-up on all sessions via our Youtube channel.

OWN IT! Onlline Fest

A Virtual Festival by OWN IT!

In June of this year, we put on an Online Festival, featuring 20 OWN IT! authors and artists and consisting of workshops, Insta live talks, discussions and conversations, animation, comedy, poetry and live readings.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW

OWN IT! AGENCY SPOTLIGHT

With 2021 round the corner, look out for these exciting reads to come.

A River Called Time by Courttia Newland. OUT 7 JANUARY 2021

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

Courttia Newland’s alternative, decolonised vision of London is a staggering feat of imagination. There’s so much to love here: an everyman hero who discovers he has abilities that are anything but ordinary, parallel cities across a multiverse, African cosmology belief systems, a keep-them-guessing ending . . . An amazing achievement”

NOEL CLARKE

Available for pre-order here.


Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden. OUT 28 JANUARY 2021

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

A fantastically imaginative story about life, death and everything in between – a potent reminder that life is short and every second should be cherished”

IDRIS ELBA

Check out the two editions available of Mrs Death Misses Death. Support local independent bookshops and shop with them to purchase the exclusive edition of Salena Godden’s book in white.

Available for pre-order here.

NATIONAL LITERACY TRUST: GAME CHANGERS – TRUE STORIES – Interviews with excluded role models.

Featuring OWN IT!’s Jude Yawson, Nile Ranger and MC Angel.

Watch all episodes on Youtube here

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, from OWN IT! x

This year…give the gift of a story…Because Stories Are Life.

It’s been a tough year for all of us, but here’s looking at a better year for everyone to come. Happy New Year from everyone at OWN IT! x

See you in 2021!

CANVAS | NETFLIX SHORT FILM REVIEW BY JUDE YAWSON

My eyes well, as if a cloud ready to tell the Earth to cleanse itself. My chest started to swell with a linger of heartfelt anxiety. I felt enamoured by emotion. Maybe because short animations with Black characters are so rare, or the implications that lay bare on the screen which motivated me to daydream about age, losing my loved ones, and the grace we live on with, in memory of them, stared at me in the face. Canvas is a short film that acts as an empty canvas. The dialogue was evident in the facial expressions that lead you along the way through a stream of emotions. This canvas like setting of the film lay empty to exact an idea of loss and rekindling what you have almost forgotten. For me, it is a timely and beautiful 9-minute short film that boasts a benevolence we can all relate to.

Immediately it steers you into a dreamspace, one which offers no date, but a scope of what the film is capturing. Latching onto the thoughts in my mind, of our limited time here, exemplified in the old worn out face of the main character – a visibly exhausted Grandpa, wheelchair striken, lonely and reserved. Having lost his wife, survived by memories of the small of her back in the vision of dreams, the Grandpa leans on the pact of the new. His Grandchild, a playful mischevious little girl visits him with an enthusiasm that could carry the world. She sheds a joy and innocence for life that immediately captivates him. She enjoys pens and paper, creating art to embark on some journey. It is through their respective canvas’ the short story unfolds.

Doing a little research, the animator Frank E Abney III details the film as a reflection, a personal portrait of loss, contemplation regarding creation, and the innocence of children and the carefree attitude that comes with that. The film was originally picked up, optioned, and somewhat left aside by a production company until Abney rekindled the project after claiming the rights back. Canvas was put together by a team who dedicated off work hours to piecing together the project over a span of 6 years. Abney also executive produced Matthew Curry’s Hair Love, an Oscar-winning and somewhat game-changing short, and like Canvas both projects utilised Kickstarter Campaigns to garner enough money to finish the project. Like Hair Love, Black features are important but not upheld as the main factor. We are finally reaching a point of such projects just existing without the stance of racism prompting it to be. Canvas encompasses the feeling of loss and projects it into your own mind forcing you to consider your own. The main character was based on Abney’s own Grandfather, who he referred to as being “stoic and quiet” in his own life and conception of him, it was this idea of him that he always knew. As for the Granddaughter, during Abney’s own creative loss or rather dulled passion, it was the carefree demeanour of his nieces and nephews that enticed him. He lost his Father at an early age and witnessed his single Mother work throughout life to fill the void and provide them with more. Considering this all, Canvas is a compilation of such personal ideas that really epitomises Abney’s personal insights to life and loss.

Keeping the investors from the Kickstarter campaign updated and such a widespread acknowledgement of the film put Canvas on Netflix’s radar. Today, I sit here at the edge of my bed watching this film acknowledging its necessity as a black person, but generally as a wonderful and empathy drawing short, boasting rich colours and a lovely story. The power of animation and a heart toying story, not much has to be said or done in terms of a narrative to make it such a solely Black experience, rather the characters just have to be brought into life. It is as simple as that. I felt a wave of emotions just by the scenes, the angles that imply in his interview with Variety, Abney also highlighted that there are some more things to come with working alongside Netflix. I for one am excited at the potentiality of Black animation, likewise, with Black anything, so many stories can thrive through such a medium. Having worked on animated greats like Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Kung Fu Panda, Abney’s wealth of experience with heartwarming and emphatic works is not so foreign. I can just wonder about the magic Abney intends to bring to the screen.