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PRESS RELEASE: Inspiring London author Abiola Bello signs 6-figure 3-book deal


Hello! We are so excited here at LitPR! We started working with Abiola Bello back in 2013 and since then have loved seeing her grow and grow as an author. Today we're proud to confirm that Abiola has signed a fabulous book deal with one of the big five publishers in the UK... we hope her journey inspires other authors to keep going with their dream!
Abiola is available for media interviews and always happy to talk about diversity and inclusion in books, author careers and how she transitioned from a career in dance to publishing. Please see the press release below.
Helen Lewis 
Director - Literally PR 

Press Release

Inspiring London author Abiola Bello signs 6-figure 3-book deal with top publishing house



"I hope that this deal inspires and helps Black authors to know that there is room at the table for them to get their books out there. There needs to be more Black love stories in the world." - Abiola Bello (


London, United Kingdom: London author Abiola Bello has signed a three-book deal with Simon and Schuster Children's Books for her YA debut, Love in Winter Wonderland, due for release in November 2022. The Carnegie-nominated author and winner of the London Book Fair Trailblazer Award 2018 is the co-founder of indie publishing house Hashtag Press (and imprint Hashtag BLAK), The Author School and The Diverse Book Awards. Abiola created her Emily Knight character at the age of 12 and has since published three books in the Emily Knight I Am... middle-grade series (Hashtag Press). Her latest release is The Very Merry Murder Club (HarperCollins).


Amina Youssef, Commissioning Editor at Simon & Schuster, bought World Rights from Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency for Love in Winter Wonderland in a three-book deal.


Abiola Bello, who lives in Stoke Newington, said: "I didn't think that a love story I wrote during my raw stages of grief would have resulted in a three book pre-empt 6 figure deal with a big 5! S&S are the perfect home for me, and I already know that working with Amina Youssef is going to be lots of fun. I'm just so thankful to them and my agent Gemma Cooper for making my dreams come true. We realised there is a real lack of Black love stories, especially around Christmas, so I wrote one. Wonderland is a Black-owned Stoke Newington bookshop and I think audiences are going to love Trey and Ariel as much as I do."


Trey Anderson is popular, handsome and works at his family's beloved local bookshop, Wonderland. Ariel Spencer is quirky, creative and in need of a holiday temp job to cover her tuition for The Artists' Studio. An opening at Wonderland is the answer... and the start of a hate-to-love journey for Trey and Ariel.


When Trey and Ariel learn that Wonderland is on the brink of shutting down, can they get over their differences and team up to stop the doors from closing before the Christmas Eve deadline?


Abiola Bellois a highly accomplished and award-winning author. Her middle grade,Emily Knight I Am . . .  Awakened, was nominated for the CILIP's Carnegie Award, won London's BIG Read, and was a finalist for the People's Book Prize Best Children's Book. Abiola won The London Book Fair Trailblazer Award 2018 and is the founder of The Lil' Author School, co-founder of The Author School, Hashtag Press, Hashtag BLAK, The Diverse Book Awards, That Playlist Book Box and ink!


Abiola is available for media interviews. Please contacthelenlewis@literallypr.comto arrange.


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Photo credit: Aleta Thompson