Special Interests

Novel, memoir, creative non-fiction, autobiography, speculative/science-fiction young adult.

Brief Bio

Oonya Kempadoo is a UK, Guyanese, Grenadian citizen and currently a resident of Canada. She is the author of three novels and is critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. Her semi-autobiographical first novel was long-listed for the Orange Prize and translated into six languages. Her second won a Casa De Las Americas prize and she was named a “Great Talent for the 21st Century” by Orange Prize judges. Oonya has taught creative writing in the USA, led workshops in the Caribbean and at the QWF. She is the writing facilitator and editor of the first children’s chocolate book, written by children of colour in a cocoa-growing country, that won ‘Best in the World’ and is currently developing a speculative fiction, eco-social project. Oonya has served on several award juries including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and most recently she is a national juror (USA & Canada) for Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards 2019-2020.

Services Offered

From manuscript evaluation, to defining voice in short stories, to finding the best form and plan around your idea or theme, I like collaborating to find what best serves your needs and what, ultimately, serves the story. Based on your needs or work, we would discuss a process and agreement that can include a one-time critique or editorial feedback and Skype/in-person consultation over a fixed period. Using reflection, affirmation and defiance of the traditional structures and grammar that sometimes bind us, I pay much attention to the authenticity of language and the importance of observation. I enjoy bringing an international perspective to literary projects and to working with others to shape and support great stories.

*Please note that Oonya is unavailable to work on big projects (e.g. full manuscript edit) at the moment.

To contact Oonya Kempadoo, click on the envelope icon that appears when you hover over her photo on the main page, or write to Oonya Kempadoo by email.


Oonya Kempadoo