Chioma Okereke
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Chioma Okereke is a Nigeria-born poet, author, and short story writer. She started her career as a poet and performed across spoken word events internationally and domestically before turning her hand to prose. Her early work was published in Bum Rush, The Page and The Callaloo Literary Journal and was shortlisted for the Undiscovered Authors Competition in 2006, as well as for the Daily Telegraph's Write a Novel in a Year Competition 2007.

Her debut novel Bitter Leaf was published by Virago Press in June 2010 and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize - Africa Best First Book 2011. Her short story Trompette De La Mort received First Runner Up of the inaugural Costa Short Story Award in 2013, and her work was included in the Virago is 40 anthology.

Set in Makoko, Lagos, her upcoming novel, WATER BABY (Quercus, April 2024) shines a light on contemporary issues like climate change, while portraying the societal pressures on a young woman trying to escape the confines of her community.

Chioma set up Makoko Pearls to raise funds for the inhabitants of the informal settlement of Makoko, most of whom are living without access to basic social amenities. Get involved at

As a keen traveller, globetrotting has greatly influenced Chioma’s storytelling. Passionate about universal stories and challenging the stereotypes surrounding writers of African descent, she divides her time between the bustle of London, the hustle of Nigeria and the calm of rural France.