Lizzie Damilola Blackburn and Nikki May’s novels longlisted for Diverse Books Award

Two novels by Black British authors have been longlisted for the 2023 Diverse Books Award.

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn and Wahala by Nikki May, a collection of short stories, happen to both be on the Narrative Landscape Press list of authors.

In fact, the independent publishing firm of fiction, non-fiction, memoirs and children hooks has made an open invitation to lovers of literature to join in congratulating the authors for this achievement. 

Blackburn’s book tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who moves to London to find a husband. The novel has been praised for its humour, sharp observations and authentic portrayal of the Nigerian community in London.

May’s collection of short stories explore themes of love, loss and identity. The stories have been praised for their raw emotion, vivid characters and unique blend of Nigerian and British cultures.

The Diverse Books Award is open to any fiction book written by a UK or Ireland-based author of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latinx, or Indigenous descent. The award was created by bestselling and award-winning author Abiola Bello and award-winning publicist Helen Lewis. The prize aims to highlight the best of the diverse voices published in the UK and Ireland.

The shortlist for the Diverse Books Award will be announced on September 15, 2023, and the winner will be announced on October 13, 2023.

Below are the other books on the longlist which span the Picture Books, Children’s, YA and Adult fiction categories. 

Picture Book

Bookworms by Nyanda Foday, illustrated by Joelle Avelino (Andersen Press)

Dadaji’s Paintbrush by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Ruchi Mhansane (Andersen Press)

I am NOT a Prince by Rachael Davis, illustrated by Beatrix Hatcher (Orchard Books)

John Agard’s Windrush Child by John Agard, illustrated by Sophie Bass (Walker Books)

Me & My Dysphoria Monster by Laura Kate Dale, illustrator Ang Hui Qing (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa Tarnowska, illustrated by Vali Mintzi (Barefoot Books)

Our Story Starts in Africa by Patrice Lawrence, illustrated by Jeanetta Gonzales (Magic Cat)

Our Tower by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Richard Johnson (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

Saving The Butterfly by Helen Cooper, illustrated by Gill Smith (Walker Books)

Small’s Big Dream by Manjeet Mann, illustrated by Amanda Quartey (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

The Missing Piece by Jordan Stephens, illustrated by Beth Suzanna (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

You Need To Chill by Juno Dawson, illustrated by Laura Hughes (Farshore)


A Flash of Fireflies by Aisha Bushby (Farshore)

Ajay and The Mumbai Sun by Varsha Shah (Chicken House)

Future Hero: Race To Fire Mountain by Remi Blackwood (Scholastic) 

Keep Dancing, Lizzie Chu by Maisie Chan (Piccadilly Press)

Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curse by Sangu Mandanna (Hodder Children’s Books)

Marv and The Dino Attacks by Alex Falase-Koya, illustrated by Paula Bowles (Oxford University Press)

Mia and the Lightcasters by Janelle McCurdy, illustrated by Ana Latese (Faber Children’s)

Sadé and her Shadow Beasts by Rachel Faturoti, illustrated by Rumbidzai Savanhu (Hodder Children’s Books)

The Elemental Detectives by Patrice Lawrence (Scholastic)

The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger by J.T. Williams, illustrated by Simone Douglas (Farshore)

The Secret of Haven Point by Lisette Auton, illustrated by Valentina Toro (Puffin)

The Twig Man by Sana Rasoul (Hashtag Press)


Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow (Hot Key Books)

Blood to Poison by Mary Watson (Bloomsbury)

Cuts Both Ways by Candice Brathwaite (Quercus Children’s Books)

Gay Club! by Simon James Green (Scholastic)

If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So (Little Tiger)

Love In Winter Wonderland by Abiola Bello (Simon & Schuster)

The Haunting of Tyrese Walker by J.P. Rose (Anderson Press)

The King Is Dead by Benjamin Dean (Simon & Schuster)

The Society for Soulless Girls by Laura Steven (Electric Monkey)

Toxic by Natasha Devon (UCLan Publishing)

When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando (Simon & Schuster)

Why Is Nobody Laughing by Yasmin Rahman (Hot Key Books)


Here Again Now by Okechukwu Nzelu (Dialogue Books)

Losing The Plot by Derek Owusu (Canongate Books)

Love Marriage by Monica Ali (Virago)

News At Noon by Anietie Isong (Jacaranda)

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Marie-Claire Amuah (Oneworld)

Still Lives by Reshma Ruia (Renard Press)

Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli (Magpie)

The Attic Child by Lola Jaye (Pan Macmillan)

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany (Trapeze)

Who’s Loving You: Love Stories by Women of Colour, edited by Sareeta Domingo (Trapeze)


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