Mary Onoŋokpono is a Nigerian-British writer and artist. She is the winner of the 2017 Black Letter Media Short Story Prize and the winner of the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books. Mary is a two-time shortlistee of the Morland Writing Scholarship. Her work can be found in the last three Short Story Day Africa anthologies; Migrations, Water and Terra Incognita.
Drawing upon the rich cultural legacies of the African continent, Mary reconstructs narratives rooted in the African past as a basis for examining present and future. Central to Mary's writing and research is an exploration of the complexities of supernatural syncretism, predominantly within Ibibio and Efik contexts.
An alumna of the University of the Arts London, Mary has a background in fashion, arts and design spanning well over a decade. During her time as a designer, Mary was nominated for various awards, showcasing her first collection at London’s V&A Museum in June 2007. The ethos behind her sustainable womenswear and accessories label was the transformation of discarded materials into wearable items.
Mary graduated with a BA in History from SOAS, University of London in July 2016. Presently, Mary is reading for an MPhil in African Studies at the University of Cambridge as a pathway to a doctoral research degree. She lives with her eleven year old daughter, also an avid reader and writer.
NOTABLE AWARDS | NOMINATIONS
Black Letter Media Short Story Prize 2017 (Winner)
Morland Writing Scholarship 2016 (Shortlist)
Short Story Day Africa Prize 2016 (Longlist)
Farafina Trust Workshop 2016 (Shortlist)
Morland Writing Scholarship 2015 (Shortlist)
Short Story Day Africa Prize 2015 (Longlist)
Golden Baobab Early Chapter Book Prize 2014 (Winner)
Commonword Diversity for Children Prize 2014 (Longlist)
Short Story Day Africa Prize 2014 (Longlist)
Fab Magazine Writer of the Year Award 2011 (Nominee)