Otosirieze Obi-Young

Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in 1994, and grew up overlooking the streets in Aba, southeastern Nigeria. He is a writer, editor, journalist, curator, and media consultant. He is editor of Folio Nigeria (May 2020 –), CNN’s exclusive media affiliate in Nigeria, where he profiles innovators and facilitators in culture: art, music, tech, sports, society. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Open Country Mag (Dec. 2020 –), a multiplatform space for African literature, covering book news, events, and opportunities, and publishing profiles of authors. In 2019, he received the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among “The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians” by Avance Media.

Otosirieze has worked extensively in African literature. As deputy editor of Brittle Paper (Nov. 2016 – Apr. 2020), he standardized and rebranded the site from a regular blog to a major platform, oversaw the publication of 10 e-anthologies of new writing, and created The Brittle Paper Awards, the first literary awards by an African platform.

He is the founder and curator of The Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (Oct. 2016), focuses on cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (Jun. 2017), focuses on professions.

He was nonfiction editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective. 14 has published two volumes, We Are Flowers (Jan. 2017) and The Inward Gaze (Jan. 2018). His work in LGBTQ advocacy was profiled in Literary Hub.

Currently, he chairs the judging panel for The Gerald Kraak Prize, a South African initiative devoted to storytelling about gender, sexuality, and social justice. He was a judge for The Morland Scholarship, a British organisation awarding annual grants of up to £80,000 to African writers.

Otosirieze has an M.A. in African Studies (2019) and a combined honours B.A. in English & Literary Studies and History & International Studies (2014), both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu (Feb. 2017 – Aug. 2018).

Otosirieze’s fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, and a novel manuscript.

He thought he would have time to write his personal blog, The Coo of a Blue-Plumed Bird. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.