The writers, who are the only authors of African descent on the list, were nominated for their books, Honey & Spice, A Visible Man, Onyeka and The Academy of the Sun, and Girlhood Unfiltered, respectively.
By Hope Ibiale
African authors, Bolu Babalola, Edward Enninful, Tola Okogwu, and Ebinehita Iyere, have been announced as some writers shortlisted for the 2023 British Book Awards. The writers, who are the only authors of African descent on the list, were nominated for their books, Honey & Spice, A Visible Man, Onyeka and The Academy of the Sun, and Girlhood Unfiltered, respectively. Other writers on the list include Monica Ali, Stephen King, Tess Gunty, Louise Kennedy, Richard Osman, and many others. The recipients of the awards will be honored on May 15, 2023, at the Grosvenor House in London.
The shortlists for 2023 were announced with Alice O’Keeffe, books editor of The Bookseller and overall chair of the Books of the Year, saying, “This year’s fiction shortlists run the gamut from fresh new voices, with a pleasing number of debuts from older writers to big brand authors of many years standing with an established readership still going strong. It’s the second year for our Discover category, showcasing books from traditionally underrepresented writers, which is even broader in scope, with memoir, essay, and poetry alongside new fiction. In nonfiction this year, moving true-life stories are particularly prominent, a reminder of the power of reading to help us make sense of the world.”
Bolu Babalola is a British-Nigerian author, screenwriter, and journalist. In 2020, she became a Sunday Times Bestseller with her debut anthology, Love in Colour. She has also contributed to TV shows like Ackee & Saltfish and Big Age. Honey & Spice is her debut novel.
Edward Kobina Enninful is a writer and editor-in-chief of British Vogue and European editorial director of Condé Nast. Enninful has also contributed to top-notch fashion magazines like Italian Vogue, W Magazine, American Vogue, and many others.
Tọlá Okogwu is an award-winning British-Nigerian children’s author, journalist, and hair care educator. Her works include Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels, and Daddy Do My Hair: Bett’s Twists. Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun is Okogwu’s first novel.
Ebinehita Iyere is a writer and founder of Milk Honey Bees, a creative and expressive safe space for young Black women and girls in South London. She is a passionate public speaker, mentor, and advocate for young people worldwide.
The British Book Awards, popularly known as The Nibbies, is an award ceremony dedicated to celebrating books. It affirms, connects, and energises the world of reading by showcasing the authors and illustrators who have stirred hearts and imaginations, and the industry behind the scenes who have brought them to readers. Above all, it celebrates the intimate connection between the books, their makers, and their audience with nominees in various categories like fiction, fiction debut, nonfiction lifestyle, nonfiction narrative, children’s fiction, children’s nonfiction, and children’s nonfiction illustrated, crime and thriller, and many others.
This year’s judges include Helen Thorn, Liz Pichon, Poorna Bell, Dorothy Koomson, Louise Johns-Sheperd, Zoey Dixon, Vaseem Khan, Abir Mukherjee, Simon Richardson, and many more.
Check out the complete list of the shortlisted books here.