Accord Literary is a partnership formed by Sarah Odedina and Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum 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 - a collaboration between two of the industry's most respected professionals who will focus on developing talent based in Africa. Between them, Deborah and Sarah 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.
More about the team:
Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum
Growing up in Accra, Ghana, as a young girl who read voraciously, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum often wondered why the storybook characters she loved did not look like her. Starting as a teenager, she has built and led several organizations all of whose goals have been to give children across Africa culturally-relevant books to fall in love with. Her publishing house, African Bureau Stories, is committed to providing increased opportunities for African writers and illustrators to publish locally and internationally. Deborah also established the Golden Baobab Prize, the prestigious literary award which over the past ten years has discovered and supported children's book authors and illustrators across Africa. Deborah has championed and advocated for the African children’s literature industry from grassroots levels to large global stages such as the World Economic Forum. She is an award-winning entrepreneur and her work has been celebrated by international organizations such as Echoing Green, the Aspen Institute and the Grinnell Prize for Social Justice. She is a recipient of the 2019 Global Pluralism Award given by His Highness the Aga Khan and the government of Canada recognizing her efforts to promote African children's literature as a way to build a more inclusive world. Deborah is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and lives in Accra with her husband and little boy.
While at University Sarah met her husband the Nigerian artist, Abe Odedina. They have two daughters and when their children were small they struggled to find books and stories that they felt offered their London based family a realistic and positive portrayal of the African continent. Now 30 years later the need for a wider range of voices remains. 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.
We are proud to be working with the following authors. Discover their full bios here.
Ruby Yayra Goka
Writes issue-centred books for teenagers
Akua Serwaa Amankwah
Writes character-driven middle grade fiction
P Ochieng Ochieng
Writes voice-driven literary fiction for young teens
Writes family-focused middle grade adventures
Writes science fiction and fantasy infused with African culture and mythology
Writes speculative fiction