Mary Ononokpono is an award-winning Nigerian-British writer and artist. 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; Terra Incognita, Water and Migrations.
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 an Ibibio and Efik context.
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, she is working on completion of a collection of short stories and a debut adult novel, before commencing an MPhil in African Studies at the University of Cambridge in October 2017. She lives with her daughter, an avid writer and mini-chef, somewhere in North London.
NOTABLE AWARDS | NOMINATIONS
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)