Celebrating 30+ Nigerian voices in Publishing

Hello to you and a happy new month! If you’re Nigerian, happy Independence Day! And if you’re Black anywhere in the world, it’s Black History Month and Black people deserve to be celebrated all year, so Happy Black History Month to you too.

Today 60 years ago, on the 1st of October 1960, Nigeria won her independence. While my and every Nigerian’s relationship with our motherland is complicated, in that we love her but things are to be best put complicated too, Independence Day for me is more than celebrating Nigeria herself, it’s celebrating her people — the strongest people I know. It’s about celebrating these people who live in one of harshest conditions, but still make do. That still smile, laugh and love, despite all we go through. And on here today, I want to celebrate a certain sect of Nigerian making things happen in the world.

Today on my blog, I’m celebrating 30+ Nigerian voices in publishing.


  • Akwaeke Emezi 

Author of PET, Freshwater and The Death of Vivek Oji.

Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Emezi was awarded a Global Arts Fund grant in 2017 for the video art in their project The Unblinding, and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. Their writing has been published by T Magazine, Dazed Magazine, The Cut, Buzzfeed, Granta Online, Vogue.com, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Their memoir work was included in The Fader’s ‘Best Culture Writing of 2015’ (‘Who Will Claim You?’) and their film UDUDEAGU won the Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival.

Website/Works

  • Faridah Àbíké Íyímídé

Author of Ace of Spades (10th June 2021)

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is a writer from South London who has dreamt of writing books about black kids saving (or destroying) the world all her life. She is an avid tea drinker, and a collector of strange mugs. She currently studies English Literature at a university in the Scottish Highlands.

Her debut novel ACE OF SPADES will be published by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan in the US (1st June 2021) and by Usborne in the UK (10th June 2021).

Website/Works

  • Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is the author of Son of the Storm (Orbit, May 2021), first in The Nameless Republic epic fantasy trilogy, and the godpunk novel, David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019). His shorter works have appeared internationally in periodicals like Tor.com, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, Fireside, and anthologies like Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, A World of Horror and People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction. He lives between Lagos, Nigeria and Tucson, Arizona where he teaches writing at the University of Arizona and completes his MFA. He tweets at @IAmSuyiDavies and is @suyidavies on Instagram. Learn more at suyidavies.com.

Website/Works

  • Nnedi Okorafor 

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American author of African-based science fiction and fantasy (Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism). Okorafor has won a Hugo, a Nebula, a World Fantasy Award, and a Locus Award, and her many fans include Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, John Green, and Ursula Le Guin. She is writing a series for Marvel about Shuri, Black Panther’s sister, and has a number of book-based projects in development for film and TV – including HBO’s adaptation of her novel Who Fears Death, with George R. R. Martin signed on as executive producer. Okorafor is also co-writing the screenplay of an adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed with filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu for Amazon Prime Video, with Viola Davis producing. Her novel Akata Warrior (of the Akata Series) is the winner of the Lodestar and Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel.

Website/Works

  • Jordan Ifueko 

Jordan Ifueko is a Nigerian-American author of Young Adult fiction. She stans revolutionary girls and 4C curls. RAYBEARER is her debut novel

Website/Works

  • Bolu Babalola 

Author of Love In Colour 

Website/Works

  • Tomi Adeyemi 

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her debut novel, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, comes out March 6th, 2018 and the movie is currently in development at Fox with the producers of Twilight and The Maze Runner attached. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When she’s not working on her novels or watching Scandal, she can be found blogging and teaching creative writing to her 3,500 subscribers at tomiadeyemi.com. Her website has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest.

Website/Works

  • Tochi Onyebuchi 

Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of Beasts Made of Night, its sequel Crown of Thunder, War Girls, and his adult fiction. debut Riot Baby, published by Tor.com in January 2020. He has graduated from Yale University, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia Law School, and L’institut d’études politiques with a Masters degree in Global Business Law.

His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Omenana, Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, and elsewhere. His non-fiction has appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Nowhere Magazine, Tor.com and the Harvard Journal of African-American Public Policy. He is the winner of the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African and has appeared in Locus Magazine’s Recommended Reading list.

Born in Massachusetts and raised in Connecticut, Tochi is a consummate New Englander, preferring the way the tree leaves turn the color of fire on I-84 to mosquitoes and being able to boil eggs on pavement. He has worked in criminal justice, the tech industry, and immigration law, and prays every day for a new album from System of a Down.

Website/Works

  • Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ 

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is the author of STAY WITH ME, which was shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project as a work in progress in 2013. After it was published in 2017, it was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the 9mobile Prize for Literature. It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. STAY WITH ME was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. Ayọ̀bámi was born in Lagos, Nigeria.

Website/Works

  • Lola Shoneyin 

Shoneyin is an award winning British Nigerian author and poet who was named Africa Literary Person of the Year in 2017.

Her work includes three books of poems: So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg (1997), Song of a Riverbird (2002) and For the Love of Flight (2010) and two children’s books. Mayowa and the Masquerades(2010) won the 2011 Atiku Abubakar Prize for Children’s literature in Nigeria.

. Her bestselling novel,The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2011 and went on to win the PEN Oakland 2011 Josephine Miles Literary Award and the 2011 Ken Saro-Wiwa Prose Prize. It is being adapted for Netflix by Mo Abudu as part of the streaming platform’s commitment to original African content. It has also been adapted for the stage and was performed at the Arcola Theatre in London.

Works

  • Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka is the author of numerous plays. Awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work that “in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.

  • Azeenarh Mohammed 

Azeenarh Mohammed is a trained lawyer and a queer, feminist, holistic security trainer who specializes on training non-for-profit organizations on tools and tactics for digital security, physical security, and psycho-social well being.

She has worked as a state counsel prosecuting gender focused crimes against the state, as brand manager for LoveNigeria Foundation, Project Manager for Gender Democracy at Heinrich Boell Stiftung, and as a digital security fellow at Open Technology Fund.

Azeenarh is active in the queer women’s issues in Nigeria and has written on gender rights, queerness, and technology for publications like Guardian, This is Africa, Perspectives, and Premium TimesNG.

Works

  • Lara T Kareem 

Lara Tommy Kareem is a literary publicist, editor, enthusiast and blogger based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the author of A Guide to Self-Publishing and Not Just Another Interlude a romance novel.

Website/Works

  • Tade Thompson

Tade Thompson is a British born Yoruba psychiatrist who is best known for his science fiction novels.

He lives and works in the south of England. His background is in medicine, psychiatry and social anthropology. His first novel Making Wolf won the Golden Tentacle Award at the 2016 Kitschies. His second novel Rosewater is on the 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List, and his short story “The Apologists” has been shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association award. He enjoys jazz, comics, and baking deformed bread.

Works

  • Louisa Onome 

Louisa Onomé is a contemporary YA writer based in the Toronto area.

She is Nigerian-Canadian, holds a BA in professional writing, and works in counselling. She is also an all-around cheerleader for diverse works and writers.

When she is not writing, her hobbies include picking up languages she may never use, crying over her favourite video games, and perfecting her skincare routine.

Website/Works

  • Jane Igharo

Jane Abieyuwa Igharo was born in Nigeria and immigrated to Canada at the age of twelve. She has a journalism degree from the University of Toronto and works as a communications specialist in Ontario, Canada.

She writes about strong, audacious, beautifully flawed Nigerian women much like the ones in her life. When she isn’t writing, she’s watching “Homecoming” for the hundredth time and trying to match Beyoncé’s vocals to no avail.

Her debut novel Ties That Tether will be released by Berkley (Penguin Random House) in September 2020.

Website/Works

  • Viano Omoh

Viano Oniomoh is a passionate reader and writer, who was born and raised in Nigeria. She spends fifty percent of her time writing, forty percent reading, and the other ten listening to BTS. She may or may not use magic to get everything else in her life done. She also has no idea how to write about herself in the third person.

Website/Works

  • Deborah Falaye 

Deborah Falaye is a Nigerian-Canadian young adult author. She grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where she spent her time devouring African literature, pestering her grandma for folktales and tricking her grandfather into watching Passions every night. When she’s not writing about fierce Black girls with bad-ass magic, she can be found obsessing over all things reality tv. 

Deborah currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their partner-in-crime yorkie, Major. 

BLOOD SCION is her first novel.

Works

  • Ijeoma Umebinyuo 

Ijeoma Umebinyuo is a Nigerian author. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the author of Questions for Ada, her first published collection of prose poems and poems. Her writings have been translated to Portuguese, Turkish, Spanish, Russian and French. In 2016, Ijeoma Umebinyuo was named one of the top ten contemporary poets from sub-sharan Africa by wrtivism.org.

Website/Works 

  • Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and Internet Yeller.  She’s the author of the New York Times Best-Seller So You Want to Talk about Race, published in January by Seal Press. Named one of the The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, and winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society, Oluo’s work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, the arts, and personal essay. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NBC News, Elle Magazine, TIME, The Stranger, and the Guardian, among other outlets.

Website/Works

 

  • Reni K Amayo

Reni K Amayo is a british Nigerian author and co-founder of Onwe Press, an independent publishing company focused on highlighting unique stories from diverse voices. Reni was born and raised in London to two Nigerian immigrant parents. She has spent many years studying the intricacies of different African and specifically Nigerian, cultures, mythology & anthropology to unearth a rich history that has been obscured and forgotten across the globe. Reni’s debut novel Daughters of Nri is set in ancient Igbo land and follows two twin goddesses who have been separated at birth on their epic journey of self discovery as they embark on a path back to one another.

Works

  • Oyinkan Braithwaite 

OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo, a Nigerian publishing house, and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Website/Works

  • Chimeka Garricks

Chimeka Garricks was born in Dublin, and raised in Port Harcourt (the city which, like all first loves, still inexplicably holds his heart). He is the author of the acclaimed novel, ‘Tomorrow Died Yesterday’. He started writing short stories, and eventually, ‘A Broken People’s Playlist’ to avoid working on his second novel. He would rather choose soundtracks for movies or be a DJ, but lawyering, and, erm, writing a second novel stand in his way. He lives with his wife and three children in Lagos.

Works

  • Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri is an Irish-Nigerian author, academic, and broadcaster. Her debut book, Don’t Touch My Hair, was first published in 2019.

Dabiri is a frequent contributor to print and online media, including The Guardian, Irish Times, Dublin Inquirer, Vice, and in academic journals. She is known for her outspokenness on issues of race and racism.

She now lives in London, where she is completing her PhD while also teaching and continuing her broadcast work.

Works

  • Chigozie Obioma

​Chigozie Obioma is the author of The Fishermen, which was a finalist for the Man Booker prize 2015, and a winner of four other awards, including an NAACP Image award, the FT/Oppenheimer prize for fiction, and several nominations. The novel, which is being translated in 26 languages, is also being adapted into a stage play. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Influential People of 2015. His second novel, An Orchestra of Minorities was published in January 2019 to wide acclaim and is being translated into 18 languages. The novel was also a finalist for the Booker prize, making Obioma one of only two writers in history to be a finalist for all their published books. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and in Nigeria where he runs various projects.

Website/Works

  • Chibundu Onuzo

Chibundu Onuzo was born in Nigeria in 1991 and is the youngest of four children. She is currently studying History at Kings College, London. When not writing, Chibundu can be found playing the piano or singing.

Works

  • Chinelo Okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and relocated to the United States at the age of ten. She received her BS from The Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from the University of Iowa. She was one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012 and her stories have appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, Tin House, Subtropics, and elsewhere.

Website/Works

  • Chika Unigwe

Chika Unigwe is a Nigerian writer who now lives in the United States. She is the author of four novels, as well as numerous short stories and essays.

Website/Works

  • Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene

Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian lesbian performance activist, poet, dancer, educator, actress and mixed-media visual artist. She engages a radical vulnerability and candor in her artwork and uses storytelling to build authentic human connection through passionate artistic expression. Etaghene has produced four solo art exhibitions and performed internationally. She is the founder of Sugarcane, an LGBTQ Of Color writing workshop based in the principles of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. She wrote and performed in two multi-media one-woman shows, Volcano’s Birthright{s} and GUAVA. Etaghene has published 4 chapbooks of poetry: afrocrown: fierce poetry (2000), write or die (2004), tongue twisted transcontinental sista (2006) and skin into verse (2014.) She released an album of poetry and music entitled liberty avenue, nigeria, usa (2004.) Etaghene is the author of For Sizakele, a novel that addresses transcontinental identity, intimate partner violence, queer gender, and how we love as illuminators of who we are.

Website/Works

  • Bunmi Laditan

Bunmi Laditan is a contributor to Parenting.com, Mothering.com, iVillage.com, and The Huffington Post. She lives with her family outside of Montreal. The Honest Toddler is based on her youngest child. Not potty trained, not trying, HT enjoys attention, cake, television, running & games.

Works 

  • Aiwanose Odafen

 Aiwanose Odafen is an essayist and a new author. Her debut novel Tomorrow I Become a Woman is set to be published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in spring 2022.

You can find Aiwanose on Twitter @aiwahannah 

  • Femi Fadugba 

The Upper World is the debut novel of Togo-born British-Nigerian, Femi Fadugba. Fadugba has a Master’s from Oxford University where he published in Quantum Physics and was a Thouron scholar at UPenn. He previously worked in consulting and in solar energy and has written for the Financial Times and Huffington Post. He currently lives between Peckham and Baltimore.

The Upper World is slated for publication in winter 2022.

The Upper World on Goodreads

  • Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki is a Nigerian writer and editor. 

He has been recognised by the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, which awarded him two Honourable Mentions. His award winning short story “The Witching Hour,” published in Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, made the Tangent Online recommended reading list for 2018 with two stars and won the Nommo award for best speculative fiction story by an African. He has been published in Dwart online, Anotherealm, African Writer, Strange Horizons, Selene Quarterly and other venues. 

He is a member of the African Speculative Fiction Society, Codex, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Website

  • Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala received the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, all for Beasts of No Nation. He was also selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. A graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, he lives in New York City and Lagos, Nigeria.

Works

  • Atinuke

Atinuke is a Nigerian-born author who started her career doing traditional oral storytelling. Her books include a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Winner, a Notable Book for a Global Society, a Cybils Award Winner, and an Africana Award Winner. She lives in Wales.

Website | Works 

  • Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani 

Adaobi Tricia Obinne Nwaubani is a novelist, essayist, journalist and humorist. She was born in Enugu, Nigeria, to Chukwuma Hope Nwaubani and Patricia Uberife Nwaubani. (Her mother named her ‘Adaobi’, meaning ‘first daughter of the family’, and ‘Tricia’, signifying that she was ‘from Patricia’. Her father named her ‘Obinne’, meaning ‘heart of a mother’ or ‘mother’s desire’ or ‘precious to her mother’). As a teenager, she secretly dreamed of becoming a CIA or KGB agent. She studied Psychology at the University of Ibadan. Her first income was from winning a writing competition at the age of 13. In her first year at university, she was a member of the Idia Hall Chess Team, and also a member of the university’s (classical music) choir.

Website/Works

  • Olumide Popoola 

Olumide Popoola is a London-based Nigerian German writer and speaker who presents internationally.

Her novella This Is Not About Sadness was published by Unrast Verlag in 2010. Her play Also by Mail was published in 2013 by Witnessed (edition assemblage) and the short story collection breach, which she co-authored with Annie Holmes, in 2016 by Peirene Press. Her full-length novel When we Speak of Nothing was published in the UK and Nigeria in 2017  and in 2018 in the US (Cassava Republic Press).

Her publications also include critical essays and creative non-fiction, hybrid pieces and poetry.

Website

  • Rafeeat Aliyu 

Rafeeat Aliyu is a writer, editor and documentary filmmaker. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, Nightmare, FIYAH and more. She is a proud graduate of the Clarion West workshop (2018).

Website/Works

  • Erhu Kome

Erhu Kome is an Urhobo writer of speculative fiction, mostly for young adults. She believes reading Twilight started it all. Her debut novel Dawsk, is a Paranormal Romance Novel published by Love Africa Press. Her Urban Fantasy Bizarro novella, one of her favorite books in the world, will be published by Eraserhead Press, 2020.

She is an Otaku. Someday she hopes to live in a place with narrow cobblestone streets, an ocean side view and roaring green forests. 

She also hopes to speak Spanish and Japanese one day without stuttering.

Erhu currently lives in Asaba, Nigeria.

Works


That’s it for this post. To all my Nigerians along the diaspora and at home, despite it all, Happy Independence Day. Twale, I salute you.

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13 thoughts on “Celebrating 30+ Nigerian voices in Publishing

  1. Amazing post, Em 💜 Got my favorite authors, a lot of of books that are my most anticipated reads, and even got some more to add to my tbr.

    I’m a little late as it’s already 1am here (so October 2) but Happy Independence Day to you and to all these, and others, outstanding voices!

    Liked by 1 person

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