Yomi Adegoke: Creating Waves in Publishing
Have you come across the works of Yomi Adegoke in popular publications like Vogue, The Guardian, or the i newspaper?
If so, you’re familiar with the immense talent of this multi-faceted individual.
In 2012, Adegoke took it upon herself to launch a magazine specifically for Black teenage girls.
Following that, she worked in Channel 4’s newsroom before co-authoring the groundbreaking non-fiction book “Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible” with her friend Elizabeth Uviebinené in 2018.
This book caught the attention of commissioning editors, leading to a significant shift in the publishing industry.
Adegoke and Uviebinené have since collaborated on other projects, including “Loud Black Girls,” a collection of essays, and “The Offline Diaries,” a story about friendship for young girls.
Now, Adegoke is embarking on her solo journey with her debut novel, “The List,” set to be released in July.
Even before its completion, the book attracted attention from A24, HBO Max, and the BBC for a historic TV collaboration.
Adegoke’s advice to aspiring writers is simple yet profound: write authentically, embrace your uniqueness, and be yourself.
Ryan Calais Cameron: Breaking Barriers through Art
Ryan Calais Cameron, a talented writer and actor hailing from Lewisham, has witnessed his career soar to new heights.
Starting with his debut in Clint Dyer’s “The Westbridge” at the Royal Court, Cameron went on to act in notable productions like “Luther” and “Jekyll & Hyde.”
However, it was his resolute perspective that led him to complete an old project that became his breakthrough work: “For Black Boys Who Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy.”
This critically acclaimed play enjoyed immense success, completing its third run at the Apollo theater.
Apart from writing for Candice Carty-Williams’ TV adaptation of “Queenie,” Cameron is currently involved in a project set in 1970s Brixton alongside Ashley Williams from “Top Boy.”
Additionally, he is overseeing his play, “Retrograde,” which explores the life of actor Sidney Poitier and is currently running at the Kiln.
“For Black Boys” remains a significant achievement for Cameron, resonating deeply with its audience.
He recounts the impact it has had on individuals who express how it has changed their lives.
His dedication to inspiring young people is evident, as he remarks on their reactions to the play, realizing that theater can transcend stereotypes and captivate the youth.
Ezra England: A Rising Star with a Penchant for Creativity
At only twenty-three years old, Ezra England is just getting started on their artistic journey.
As a poet, writer, and actor, they have decided to forgo the traditional path of drama school, which has proven fruitful.
England has already won two awards at the Roundhouse Poetry Slam and the 2021 Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize for their play, “Nuclear Children.”
This year, they are set to perform the play at various venues, including Ladbroke Hall, the Roundhouse’s The Last Word, and the Edinburgh Festival.
“Nuclear Children” delves into themes of mental health, a submarine accident, and an unexpected element—a melon.
England’s vivid imagination is showcased through their radically different screenplays.
“Terf War” explores the topic of trans exclusionary radical feminists, a subject close to England’s heart as they identify as non-binary and have many trans friends.
On the other hand, “I Die at the End” takes a different approach, portraying a man with a brain tumor where the tumor itself is personified and haunts him.
England acknowledges the importance of honesty in their work, as it resonates deeply with people.
They recognize that taking risks and embracing the apprehensive can lead to remarkable outcomes.
Despite their young age, England’s creativity and fearlessness hold great promise for their future endeavors.
Nicôle Lecky: A Multi-Talented Force to be Reckoned With
If you’re seeking motivation, look no further than Nicôle Lecky’s impressive resume.
This actor, writer, producer, and Bafta-winning singer-songwriter is a true powerhouse in the industry.
Starting with her involvement in a writing room for the EastEnders spin-off E20 during her teenage years, Lecky’s journey led her to drama school, acting gigs, and writing workshops at prestigious venues like the Lyric and Soho theatres.
However, her breakthrough moment arrived when she created and performed the one-woman play “Superhoe” at the Royal Court in 2019.
This captivating production, centered around an aspiring musician forced into sex work, quickly caught the attention of BBC3, leading to a TV series adaptation titled “Mood.”
Lecky not only starred in the series but also wrote the script, composed much of the music, and served as an executive producer.
The success of “Superhoe” has garnered numerous accolades.
Lecky’s journey to success has been far from overnight, emphasizing the importance of working-class representation and sustainability in the industry.
As she expands her horizons, writing for TV and working on a feature film, she takes the time to contemplate her artistic voice and the impact she wants to make.
Jason Okundaye: Unintentional Path to Authorship
Jason Okundaye, a journalist known for his contributions to esteemed publications like The Guardian, Vice, and i-D, never anticipated that writing would become his calling.
While studying human, social, and political science at Cambridge and working a monotonous job in the Civil Service, Okundaye found solace in pitching articles and writing about television and culture during lunch breaks.
Influenced by poets like Essex Hemphill and inspired by his friendship with activist Marc Thompson, Okundaye embarked on a project close to his heart.
His upcoming book, “Revolutionary Acts: Black Gay Men in Britain,” is a collection of real-life stories from Black gay men based in Brixton and south London.
Reflecting Okundaye’s own vibrant personality, the book is a mix of joy, humor, and juicy gossip. While Okundaye doesn’t label himself as a novelist just yet, he often revisits ideas for future novels.
Additionally, the prospect of a Steve McQueen-style dramatization of “Revolutionary Acts” intrigues him.
With Okundaye’s unique perspective and storytelling prowess, the future holds great potential for his literary and creative endeavors.
Ava Wong Davies: Unveiling Truths Through Art
Ava Wong Davies, the talented writer who recently worked on the scripts for the series “Industry,” has a wealth of accomplishments to her name.
In 2018, she received the Sunday Times award for theatre criticism, and until a year ago, she was a respected theater reviewer for publications like The Independent and The Stage.
However, her own play, “Graceland,” marked her debut as a playwright.
Premiering at the Royal Court, the one-woman show, starring Sabrina Wu, delves into themes of identity, class, toxic relationships, and coercive control.
Writing and performing “Graceland” proved to be a transformative experience for Wong Davies.
Her passion for writing was evident from a young age when she wrote a fantasy novel in a little notebook she received as a Christmas gift.
Since then, her love for theater blossomed, and her university years solidified her commitment to the craft.
With “Graceland” receiving favorable reviews and exploring poignant themes, Wong Davies navigates the realm of arts criticism with diplomacy, understanding that reviews are not meant for the artist but rather for the audience.
Currently, she is embracing the opportunity to write for television and is even working on a feature film.
However, she also takes the time to reflect on her artistic voice and the messages she wants to convey.
Wong Davies’s journey is a testament to the dedication and passion required to make a meaningful impact in the world of writing and theater.