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Renowned Nigerian writer, journalist, critic, and editor, Molara Wood, has been appointed the new Chief Editor of popular publishing press Ouida Books alongside its One Read initiative.

Founded by popular Nigerian novelist and director of Ake Festival, Lola Shoneyin, in 2016, and based in Lagos State, Ouida Books is notable for publishing books from some of Nigeria’s finest writers such as Hadiza El-Rufai, Nnedi Okorafor, Chike Frankie Edozien, Ayobami Adebayo, Odafe Atogun, and Tomi Adeyemi.

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Ouida Books also runs a literature imprint for children known as Tanja, and a nonfiction imprint, Cognix. The One Read initiative is a collaboration between Ouida Books and Sterling Bank which is set to officially launch in 2020, and will function as a press mobile subscription-based application aimed at encouraging the habit of reading especially among the Nigerian populace, and offer support to the literary space by ensuring readers have easy access to at least one new book every month.

Popular in the Nigerian literary scene, and credited  for being the author of 2013 acclaimed stories collection, Indigo ( published by Parrésia Publishers), Molara currently works with popular Nigerian Newspaper outlet, The Guardian, where she writes an arts column, and was formerly the Editor of Arts and Culture at Next. Winner of the inaugural edition of the John La Rose Memorial Short Story Competition in 2008, and a judge at the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature, Molara sits on the Advisory Board of Ake Festival, and is responsible for editing the festival’s publication known as the Ake Review on annual basis.

Molara Wood has always been a member of the Ake Festival/ Ouida Books family… She has been editing our annual Ake Review for four years and has been doing a stellar job.

Ouida Books was seeking a chief editor who not only had range and experience, but also could take the publishing house in new directions and to new heights. Ms. Wood has the Midas touch. She has worked with writers of all ages and abilities and we are absolutely delighted to have her running Ouida Books. She is an asset on so many levels.

Lola Shoneyin

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Described by Oyebade Dosunmu  as “one of the eminent voices in the arts in Nigeria,” her short stories, essays, flash fiction, and poetry, have appeared in numerous literary publications, including Farafina Magazine, Sentinel Poetry, African Literature Today, Sable LitMag, Chimurenga, Eclectica Magazine DrumVoices Revue, The New Gong Book of New Nigerian Short Stories and One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories.

Molara is also notable for using her pen to support the cause of feminism as most of her works touches on issues affecting women in the society. In her words:

These are the writings of a womanist, a feminist. I have a great empathy, a well of feeling for what women go through. I don’t feel these are given adequate treatment in the writings of male writers, so it’s really up to us, the female writers, to privilege the voices and experiences of women

Molara Wood





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This article was first published on 10th January 2020


I am a Lion, I love to hit heights that seem impossible so I can motivate others and prove doubters wrong. For me, impossible is nothing. I'm open to learning and I love to read, travel and meet new faces.

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