Okolo Wins 2019-2020 Emerging Writer Scholarship
VCFA’s MFA in Writing & Publishing program is pleased to announce that Amara Nicole Okolo (fiction writer, nonfiction writer; Nigeria) is the recipient of the 2019-2020 Emerging Writer Scholarship.
This is the program’s most distinguished merit-based scholarship, providing free tuition and housing for one student in each incoming class.
Okolo is the author of the novel Black Sparkle Romance published by Ankara Press, an imprint of Cassava Republic (2014, Nigeria, Africa; 2016, UK/Europe) and the story collection Son of Man by Parresia Publishers (2016). References to her work have appeared on Africa in Words, Okay Africa, Chimurenga’s The Chronic, Reuters (Africa), Brittle Paper, CNN, Al Jazeera, Radio France Internationale, and The Guardian (UK).
A participant in Chimamanda Adichie’s Farafina Creative Writing Workshop (2015) and the Invisible Borders TransAfrican Project (2017), she often speaks at book events and festivals. She was one of the residents of the prestigious International Writing Programme (IWP 2018) at the University of Iowa, and the City of Asylum Residency, Pittsburgh, PA. Her essay, “The Things We Never Say,” was published by Catapult (2017), and her fictional story, “Swallowed Things,” by Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel (2018), the latter of which earned her a nomination for the Pushcart Prize and was selected for submission for the Caine Prize (2019). She is also a lawyer. Her writing is inspired by/focused on medical conditions.
She lives in Abuja, Nigeria, where she is working on her second and third novels.