• Creative Retreat, May 2023

    Join us in Accra for a stimulating, information rich, learning, growing, sharing and enriching five day retreat in Accra, Ghana.

    Calling authors and illustrators

    with some full funded places available.

  • AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS CREATIVE RETREAT May 29th to June 2nd, 2023

     

    Accord Literary is working with Writers Project Ghana, LOATAD, Ghana Publishers Association, Brand Africa and The Rock Retreat to host an exciting creative retreat to be held in Accra in May 2023 when Accra is World Book Capital.

     

    Are you a creator of books for children? Are you writing or illustrating stories that you want to share with young readers? Could your stories or art benefit from the feedback of a group of peers from around the world? This retreat will be an opportunity for all participants to strengthen their work, tell even more compelling stories, connect with peers and get closer to the goal of getting published. The retreat will immerse participants in the rich and diverse range of children’s literature - from picture books for our youngest story enthusiasts to page-turning fiction for teens and young adults.

     

    The retreat will cover a series of topics and questions including:

    • different ways stories are told

    • recurring issues and themes relevant to the lives of young people

    • the development of character, narrative, setting, voice, dialogue and other narrative fundamentals

    • incorporating the unique experiences of individual authors and illustrators in telling great stories

    • developing picture book characters

    • using art to carry a narrative

    • how to experiment and explore new art styles

      The goal for the retreat is that participants have the chance to immediately apply and practice the skills they learn - from exploring new storytelling perspectives and directions, to finding new ways to focus and develop ideas.

      The retreat will be facilitated by storytelling veterans - published authors and illustrators alongside professionals from across the publishing industry.

      How will we know if it’s been a success? Participants connect with and learn from each other, skills and understanding are strengthened on all sides, and (like every great story), we all have fun. Unlike a great story, however, this one won’t end. The intention is that the community of participants that comes together remains in contact long after the retreat ends.

       

      HOW TO APPLY

    If you are interested in attending the retreat, please use the following submission criteria:

    1. Send your bio, first 1000 words of a work in progress or three illustrations saved as jpegs.

    2. Please save your work using the file name: Accraretreat/YOURNAME

    3. Please use the email heading: ACCRA CREATIVE RETREAT and send your submission to team@accordliterary.com

    4. Artists you can send us your illustrations to WhatsApp +263 712 211 632. Include your name and contact details

    The deadline for submission is 1st December 2022 and the organisers will notify applicants of the outcome of their application by 29th January 2023. On confirmation of attendance a £200 non-returnable deposit will be required with the remaining £1800 to be paid by 1st March 2023.

     

    The cost of attending the creative retreat is £2000 (two thousand pounds sterling) which includes hotel, meals, local transport and excursions. This does not include your flight or visa costs.

     

    We are offering fully sponsored places to creators from sub- Saharan Africa. If you are interested in one of the sponsored places, please follow the submission criteria and include details of why you would like to attend the creative retreat.

     

    email team@accordliterary.com for more information about the retreat. We look forward to hearing from you.

     

    Facilitators include, for illustrator participants: Ken Wilson-Max, publisher and designer and creator of many much loved books for pre-school readers.  Eleanor Taylor, illustrator of over 50 books for young readers, fine artist and teacher.  Eleanor is also the director of The Rock Retreat.
    Facilitators include, for writer participants: Sarah Odedina, Publisher with over 30 years experience in the world of children's literature.  She has worked with authors ranging from Neil Gaiman to Kereen Getten, J K Rowling and Sally Gardner.  Yaba Badoe award-winning author of books for young readers and film maker with a wealth of teaching experience. Yesha Townsend Professor from the University of Bermuda and critically acclaimed poet. 

     

    ABOUT ACCORD

     

    Accord Literary is a initiative that aims to mentor, develop and encourage writers based in Africa writing books for young readers. Our mission is to find original and unique voices and get their books into the hands of readers around the world.

     

    Accord Literary as a venture is the first of its kind. Working across various countries and by combining the experience of respected professionals we will focus on developing talent based in Africa. The partners have a wealth of experience in children’s publishing and a wide network of contacts with whom they will work to ensure that a greater range of stories that reflect African experiences are enjoyed by children from Melbourne to Los Angeles, Tokyo to Lagos.

     

    If you are interested in working with us on your writing please read our submission criteria as well as our FAQ and we look forward to hearing from you at team@acccordliterary.com

  • MEET THE TEAM

    Sarah Odedina

     

    Sarah sees her work as a publisher and as a Director of Accord as an opportunity to bring African writers telling their stories of life on the continent to readers worldwide. Sarah Odedina has worked in publishing for more than two decades. As the Publishing Director of the children’s list of Bloomsbury Publishing, she oversaw the publication of the Harry Potter series as well as published many other best-selling prize-winning novels and picture books. In 2011 Sarah founded the successful and award-winning Hot Key Books. Sarah is now Editor-at-Large for Pushkin Press commissioning titles for the children's and YA list. She is the co-founder of Scoop Magazine for children. Sarah travels around the world giving talks and hosting workshops about publishing and children’s literature. She also teaches creative writing focusing on books for young readers.

     

     

    Kunmi Odueke

     

    Kunmi Odueke, who lives in Lagos, Nigeria, is a seasoned content writer and author of the eBook, ‘Good Writers Wanted!’ She’s deeply passionate about supporting writers with the practical knowledge and tools needed to excel at their craft, and regularly organises content writing workshops. She brings her many talents to support Accord authors on all fronts from running our social media to helping organise workshops and retreats.

  • AUTHORS

    We are proud to be working with the following authors.

    Ruby Yayra Goka

    Writes issue-centred books for teenagers

     
     
    What is your book about?
    Even When Your Voice Shakes is a story about family, sacrifice, sexual abuse and finding the
    power to stand up for yourself.

    Where is it set?
    It’s set in two locations, Teshie and East Legon. Both locations are found in the capital of
    Ghana, Accra.

    Who is most like you in your book?
    I probably have bits of Amorkor and Amarkai in me. I can get lost in a good book for hours
    and I’ve done my share of patching up wounded/ sick pets.

    What was your favourite book as a child, and now as an adult?
    I have lots of favourites.
    As a child, I loved everything Enid Blyton but I especially loved Mallory Towers, Famous
    Five and Secret Seven. I also loved the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Series. My first young
    adult book by an African writer was The Jasmine Candle by Christine Botchway which I still
    adore.
    As an adult, my top five favourites are The Gods Are Not to Blame by Ola Rotimi, The Great
    Ponds by Elechi Amadi, Spears Down by Christine Botchway, The Book Thief by Markus
    Zusak, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    What do you do on your day off?
    Stay in bed, eat, read, sleep, repeat.

    What happens if you have a great book idea at three in the morning?
    Will myself to remember when I wake up in the morning. I never do.

    P Ochieng Ochieng

    Writes voice-driven literary fiction for young teens

     

     

    What is your book about?

    Playing a dangerous Game is a coming of age novel. A story of four friends who live in a railway estate. And whose bravery leads them into exposing a coffee smuggling gang, that uses a deserted house - believed to be haunted - as their hideout.

     

    Where is it set?

    The book is set in a railway estate, in a Nairobi of the 70's

     

    Who is most like you in the book?

    Like the lead protagonist, Lumush, I too lived in a railway estate as a child, and could have shared some of his experiences, while coming of age.

     

    What was your favourite books as a child, and now as an adult?

    My favorite book as a child was Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain. I still smile when i remember Tom's pranks. And as an adult Disgrace by JM Coetzee & Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.

     

    What do you do on a day off?

    On my day off I swim or read a book..

     

    What happens if you have a great book idea at three in the morning?

    When I have a great book idea at three in the morning, i grab my phone and duck into the bathroom to write. I've done quite some writing on my phone while perched on the toilet seat.

    Erhu Kome

    Writes speculative fiction

     

     

    What is your book about?

    My book is about Naborhi, a girl who wants nothing more than to leave her tribe before she is married off at sixteen. This leads her to take on Moyo's offer to train her to be part of her king's elite soldiers with the freedom and noble purpose Naborhi yearns to have. But as time passes, it starts to dawn on her that her training might just be the machinations of a mad man. So when a god sends her on a rescue mission, she jumps on the chance to finally go out into the world not minding all the dangers that may come with it.

     

     

    Where is it set?

    It is set in a fantasy world mostly inspired by Urhobo culture and mythology.

     

    Who is more like you in the book?

    No particular character is most like me. I think there is a little bit of me in some of the characters.

     

     

    What was your favourite books as a child, and now as an adult?

    I didn't have a favourite book as a child. But I'll tell you my favourite romance book of all time which I read as a child- The Concubine by Elechi Amadi.

     

    What do you do on a day off?

    As a mom I have no day off. Lol. But in between mommying and writing, I watch a lot of anime and supernatural TV shows.

     

    What happens if you have a great book idea at three in the morning?

    If I have a great book idea at 3 in the morning, I'm forgetting sleep and writing it down on my phone immediately. I'll even start a rough outline and come up with an ending. That always calms my excited over working mind.

    Elizabeth-Irene Baitie

    Writes family-focused middle grade adventures

     

     
    What is your book about?
    Crossing the Stream is a story about family love and the overcoming of fear.
    When twelve-year old Ato’s lifelong dream is in danger of being crushed by a fearful force, he needs to turn to someone. Can he trust his mysterious grandmother? The one his mother warned him about? The one with an empty grave in her garden?
     
     
    Where is it set?
    In Ghana’s humid, colourful and vibrant capital, Accra.
     
    Who is most like you in your book?
    Scratching my head…. Nope, can’t think of anyone here who can stay on the phone as long as I can.
     
     
    What was your favourite book as a child and now as an adult?
     Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women – hands down. I bonded with Jo, respected Meg, sympathised (sometimes) with Amy, and wept over Beth.
     
    In adulthood, one of my most entertaining reads has been Jonathan Stroud’s The Amulet of Samarkand (Book 1 in the trilogy) with his wise-cracking character, the djinn Bartimaeus.
     
    What do you do on your day off?
    Party like it’s 2099. Take a very long walk. Chat on the phone (for the entirety of aforementioned walk)
     
    What happens if you have a great book idea at three in the morning?
    As any writer knows, 3am marks peak business hours at The Office of Creative Muses. I’ve given up negotiating friendlier hours. My pen, notebook, and neck-light are always on hand.
     

    Abiola Adegboyega

    Writes fantasy inspired by Yoruba mythology

     
     
    What is your book about?
    My book is the coming-of-age story of Ajeji, a teen imbued with a form of the power wielded by the immortals of the Yoruba pantheon. Along with Ina-Orun, a girl descended from Obatala the immortal of light, and Olupitan the tongue-tied son of a storyteller, they must uncover why the immortals favoured him with power. They must also confront a healer turned to darkness who seeks to relieve him of his power and wield it for evil while threatening the land and the fabric of existence.   
     
    Where is it set?
    It is set in a fantasy world populated by the mythical creatures of Yoruba folklore and some Yoruba hero-gods and immortals. 
     
    Who is most like you in the book?
    A little bit of the lead character.
     
    What was your favourite book as a child, and now as an adult?
    As a child that is extremely difficult. I will have to settle for a tie: Christoph von Schmid’s The basket of flowers and Gerald Durrell’s My family and other animals. Now: J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
     
    What do you do on your day off?
    Two things: Play with the kids. Beyond that, obsess about time (one of my muses) and future characters yet to be fleshed out.
     
    What happens if you have a great book idea at three in the morning?
    Drift to the basement like a ghost and let it all out on my desktop pc for the next couple of hours.

    Blessing Musariri

    Writes across genres but loves magical realism

     
     
    What is your book about?
    My book is about family, loss, growth, and the wonder that lies in looking beyond what we think we know about ourselves.
     
    Where is it set?
    It is set in the Uk, Zimbabwe and an inter dimensional space reserved for superheroes and fantastic fabulous persons who require regular people to be more aware of themselves.
     
    Who is most like you in your book?
    I think Mati is most like the me I’ve imagined myself to be on occasion— a kind of arrested development genius with Meticais as a counterbalance but to be honest I couldn’t truly say because I’d have to first tell the story of myself to see who I think I am and that wouldn’t necessarily be who I appear to be to others. I think I’m parts of everyone in the story.
     
    What was your favourite book as a child and now as an adult?
    My favourite book as a child is probably The Magical Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and now it’s Marvin K Mooney by Dr Seuss simply because of the opening line: “The time has come.” It’s very dramatic.
     
    What do you do on your day off?
    I wake up, I breathe and before I know it, the day is gone.
     
    What happens if you have a great book idea at three in the morning?
    If I wake up I will make a note on the closest available thing and write until it ends but if I get it while sleeping I usually wake up with a sense of knowing something really good and hope it finds a way back to me. When I’m working on something though, I don’t regulate office hours so I try to always write when the writing comes.

    Edudzi Adodo

    Writes science fiction and fantasy infused with African culture and mythology

     

    Visit Edu's websites for himself and his book for lots of information, extra fun facts about the world of CHILDREN OF STARDUST and a monthly newsletter.  

    www.edudziadodo.com

    www.childrenofstardust.com

     

     

     

    click here to hear Edudzi talking about his writing

     

    https://youtu.be/0BoAbqiRo0U

     

     

    M. P. Armana

     
    M.P. Armana was born and raised in Eritrea but lives in different worlds of her creation. When not writing, she can be found teaching Political Science and advocating for women’s and disability rights.
     
    What is your book about?
    Magic, friendship, adventure and pranks. It is about two best friends, Mak and Nessa, who are excited to attend a school for magic, only to discover that they have been assigned to different Houses. Although their friendship does not survive the intense rivalry between their Houses, they have to set aside their differences when they both face attempts on their lives. They have to work together to discover who is trying to kill them and why before it is too late.
     
    Where is it set?
    It is set in a fantasy world inspired by Eritrea. The majority of the story takes place in the Roca Luna Academy of Magic. There are different Houses each founded by the Nine Sages.  The Houses compete in a variety of competitions until one of them is declared Champion at the end of the school year.
     
    Who is most like you in the book?
     Rather than one specific character, I believe that I am most like a House. The Roca Luna Academy of Magic has nine Houses, all amazing in their own way. But my heart goes out to the House of Lyle, which is a house for outcasts and misfits. The students with the lowest scores in the entrance exam or who were rejected by the other Houses often end up here. Although looked down on by the other Houses, the Lylians are one big family.
     
    What inspired your story?
    If we remove the magical elements from the story, the book is essentially about friendship. It was inspired by the adventures (or should I say misadventures?) my best friend and I had when we were younger. I wanted the book to reflect that time in your life when your best friend is everything.
     
    What is it about the fantasy genre that you like?
    The escape it offers. As a child growing up in newly independent and war-torn Eritrea, fantasy books allowed me to escape my reality. As a sensitive teenager prone to depression, fantasy books were my lifeline.  To this day, fantasy books are responsible for keeping me healthy.  When I’m having a bad day, the thought that I will get to curl up with a book at the end of the day motivates me to keep going.
     
    What was/is your favourite book?
    My taste in books hasn’t evolved over the years. I still read the books I used to when I was a child. Most of my favourite books fall in the middle grade and young adult category. I enjoy the occasional picture book as well. The one thing all my favourite books have in common: magic! I’m obsessed with the magic boarding school genre, which I suspect originated from my love of the Harry Potter series. I love Kelley Armstrong’s YA book series, especially her Darkest Powers trilogy. I grew up reading (and still re-read) the Italian comic books Streghe and W.I.T.C.H.
     
    What do you do on a day off?
    I’ve been accused of being a workaholic so I dread days off. On the off chance that I do get one, I use it to obsessively plan more projects.
     
    What happens if you have a great book idea at three in the morning?
    I jump out of bed and bid sleep farewell. I pace around my bedroom and act out scenes, all while assuming different roles. That’s how I usually develop my ideas. Unfortunately, this has gotten me into quite the trouble with my family and other people I’ve lived with.
     
     
     
     
  • SUBMISSIONS

    We are open for submissions for novels written for young readers aged between 8 and 16 years old. Submissions must include the following:

    • A bio - max 50 words. Do mention if you have had anything published anywhere including on-line publications.
    • A synopsis - 300 words max. Mention the main characters, the main plot points and the important themes of your book.
    • The first 3000 words of your novel or the full novel. The book can be in any genre from historical to fantasy and be about any theme.
    • Submit to: team@accordliterary.com

    How we work

    Accord Literary will offer advice and guidance on editorial issues with the view of mentoring authors to create works ready for submission to international publishers. Please be patient as we have many many emails to read through and many many submissions to consider. If we have read your work and are not going to offer you mentoring you will get a standard response and your email and attachments will be deleted from our system. If we read your work and are interested to read more of your work we shall email you and ask you to send in your complete manuscript. When we have read the entire submission we shall discuss your work with you in a bit more detail via email. Accord Literary will enter agreements with authors with whom they work with all terms and conditions of representation to be agreed. The works submitted have to be original works of fiction and not to infringe any copyright. The works are to be free for world wide publication.

     

     

     

  • Rights

    We have a publishing arrangement with Norton Books for Young readers in North America. Visit your local bookshops or Norton Books For Young Readers https://wwnorton.com/nrtyng for more information or to buy books by Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, Ruby Yayra Goka, Edu Adodo, Patrick Ochieng and in 2023 Blessing Musariri and Erhu Kome. We also have publishing agreements for books in Italian with Giunti, Brazilian Portuguese with FTD and in English in the UK and Commonwealth with Cassava Republic and Nigeria with Ouida.

    If you would like to know more about our authors and their books as well as rights that are available please contact ruth@accordliterary.com

     

     

    We work tirelessly to promote our authors’ work with leading publishers all over the world. We are regular participants of the Bologna Book Fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the London Book Fair and the Ghana Book Fair.

     

    For enquiries about UK and Commonwealth Rights, please contact Julia Churchill of A.M. Heath at: Julia.Churchill@amheath.com

     

    For translation rights, please contact Accord at: team@accordliterary.com

     

    For USA rights please contact Accord at: team@accordliterary.com

     

     

     

     

  • FAQ

    Do you only work with African authors?

    Yes we do. We feel that the relatively few African writers who find world-wide publication in the children’s field is an issue that we can directly engage with and help to make a difference.

    Can I submit adult fiction?

    Our focus is on children’s literature and books for young readers. If you have written an adult book perhaps you can think about submitting it for some of the many prizes that are open to adult authors or you can submit directly to publishers or agents. The Writers and Artists Handbook is a very helpful resource with lists of literary agents, prizes and publishers and what they are all looking for: https://www.writersandartists.co.uk We also recommend following these book bloggers and websites that regularly share about opportunities open to African writers of Adult fiction:

    • http://www.jamesmurua.com 
    • https://africanbookaddict.com/tag/book-bloggers/ 
    • http://africawrites.org/blog/ 
    • https://brittlepaper.com/
    • http://caineprize.com/

    Who will my publisher be?

    Accord Literary will act as your agent finding you the best publishers around the world, ensuring that you find a publishing partner that will support you and your writing. We have a wide network of contacts in the publishing industry and will put in place a support group of sub-agents and champions who will take your book out to publishers in multiple languages and territories around the world.

    What happens if my work is not selected for mentoring?

     

    Accord Literary will acknowledge all submissions and let people know if their work is not selected for mentoring. On notification we shall delete all copies of the submitted work from our system and database. We are very sorry but we will not be able to offer anyone whose work is not selected editorial advice or feedback.

    What happens after my story is selected by Accord Literary?​

    We will work with you to edit your novel. Sometimes this is a quick process with just one or two rounds of comments and other times it is longer with three, four or even more rounds of comments. Our aim is to get the novel to the point where it can be submitted to publishers who will enter contracts to publish the book in their markets. This is where the author will begin to earn income from all the hard work to-date. Accord Literary will earn a commission for its work. Once we select your manuscript and before mentoring starts, we will ask that you enter an agreement with us so that we have your authority to submit your book worldwide. If you have any more questions please don't hesitate to ask us: team@accordliterary.com.

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