Simon Akam is a British writer. Born in Cambridge, England, he held a Gap Year Commission in the British Army before reading English Literature at Oxford University. He later won a Fulbright scholarship to study at Columbia Journalism School.
After graduation from Columbia Simon worked at The New York Times in New York and subsequently spent several years in West Africa as a freelance correspondent for Reuters and the Economist. He reported from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Cote D'Ivoire, Uganda and the Gambia. In 2010 he won the professional strand of the Guardian's International Development Journalism Competition. After a spell in London as a contract writer for the European edition of Newsweek, Simon is now under contract with the Penguin Random House imprint William Heinemann to write a narrative non-fiction book on the recent evolution of the British Army, a project he is undertaking as visiting fellow at the Changing Character of War Programme at Oxford University. The book, titled The Changing of the Guard, will be published in March 2019.
Alongside his book work Simon writes magazine journalism for a broad range of British and American publications. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, the Guardian, GQ, Outside, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Washington Post, the Economist, the Times Literary Supplement, the Financial Times, the New Statesman, the Paris Review, the New Republic and the Literary Review. He also co-hosts the writing podcast Always Take Notes with Kassia St Clair.