Diana Anyakwo

Diana Anyakwo

Children's author, Novelist, YA author

Booking enquiry
Diana Anyakwo - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview, Commission a book


Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Age 16 to 18+, Further Education, University, Adult


Fiction, Fiction narrative, Narrative, Realistic fiction

Book types

Fiction for young-adults



I'm a Manchester based author available for half-day  school visits. 

I offer an interactive talk about my journey to becoming an author, my inspirations and the themes explored in my writing (this is then followed by a Q&A.) As ‘My Life as a Chameleon’ explores some challenging issues this is recommend for Year 9 and above. 

Talks can then be followed by creative writing workshops. I offer workshops on: using your memories and experiences in your fiction,  writing about identity, and how to create a compelling story.



£300 (plus travel expenses and accommodation if outside Manchester) for half day visit including an author talk and up to two creative writing sessions. 

I also offer 30 minute virtual Q&A’s for £75

Feedback from students at St Bede's Academy, Manchester:

What did you like about the author talk?

'I liked seeing her family, it made it feel a lot more real.'

'Learning about her inspiration and her life as an author.'

'The process of her becoming an author.'

'I really enjoyed how Diana explained the small but significant details that came into her novel.'

'She had lot's of visuals for the themes in her novel for example the wildlife for the nature theme.'

What did you enjoy about the workshops?

I loved them because i was thinking about my family and where i came from and it was the same with the talk I just love that it made me more interested in my own family history.'

'The level of the students’ poetry.'

'It was a very pleasurable experience, especially with an author.'


Reviews of my book:

A tender and vivid portrait. Suzi Feay, Financial Times, 'Best Books of the Summer 2023'

It's written so thoughtfully, and we cheer on Lily as she works out who she is. The descriptions of the heat and bustle of Lagos and 1980s dreary Manchester are excellent; they stay with you as you think about her life
Alison Palmer, Director of Book Clubs in Schools
Lily's resilience and spirit shines through in this complicated depiction of family relationships. A quietly powerful debut from Irish-Nigerian author Diana Anyakwo that would appeal to fans of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus, here's hoping for more from this talented new voice.  Children's Books Ireland
Brutally authentic, tenderly honest, Diana Anyakwo lays bare the struggle of belonging and unbelonging.My Life As a Chameleon is YA at its finest.
Nikki May, author of WAHALA
My Life As A Chameleon is a beautifully written book, an exceptional debut which captures the reader from the beginning and doesn't let go until the very end. It's a journey of both hope and despair, a story of empowerment, of self discovery, bravery and courage in the face of family trauma and emotional turmoil. Diana Anyakwo writes so exquisitely and the narrative voice is so accomplished, it's hard to believe that this emotionally charged book is a debut. Diana is certainly an exciting and welcome new voice in the YA world
J P Rose, author of The Haunting of Tyrese Walker
This is a powerful, introspective and engaging book that will pull on your heart strings. It's for anyone who's felt lonely, misunderstood or out of place
Afua Hagan, The British Blacklist
Tender, melancholic, and effortless, Diana Anyakwo writes with a deceptively simple yet steady voice which immediately draws readers into Lily's rose-colored world. We navigate alongside her through the shattering of those innocent lenses as she discovers with each experience the complexities of life in this beautiful coming-of-age story. A gorgeous tale that leaves you wanting to hug the protagonist and assure her of a lifetime of tender moments
Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström, international bestselling author of IN EVERY MIRROR SHE'S BLACK
Diana Anyakwo's beautiful writing captures those granular everyday details of growing up, of navigating friendships, learning to feel comfortable in your skin and finding your own voice. My Life As A Chameleon is immersive - I was completely absorbed from the moment I opened the book
Andreina Cordani
What a lovely view of life Diana Anyakwo created through Lily's innocence as she tries fathoming out the adult world and how she fits into it . . . I'm bereft that it's over
Eva Verde, author of Lives Like Mine
In My Life as a Chameleon, Lily grows up in the sweetly painful world of 1980s Nigeria. Diana Anyakwo handles both the tender and the heart-wrenching with virtuosity. In her hands, Lily becomes a powerful young woman
Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of The Deep Blue Between

Event feedback

Diana was fantastic, her organisation and communication before the event was thorough and enabled the visit to run smoothly. Diana was amazing. She pitched her well organised and meaningful presentation at the correct level for our students and delivered it faultlessly. It was fantastic to have someone, not only local, as an inspirational speaker but also someone who's life experiences are so relatable to many of our students. Its always great to see our students so engaged. It was an important opportunity for them to find out about the creative process behind being an author and to inspire our young writers.

Martha O'brien (William Hulme's Grammar School)

Books by Diana Anyakwo


My Life as a Chameleon

Lily is a sixteen-year-old living in Manchester. It is nearly five years since her father's death, and she is soon to return to her birthplace in Nigeria to reunite with her mother and siblings for the anniversary. As cold rain thunders on the streets of Moss Side she looks back over her young life and wonders . . . how did she get here? As a young girl in Lagos, Lily is the baby of her large family. The daughter of a Nigerian father and Irish mother, she lives in a dual reality: one where moments of bright colour and tenderness exist alongside a sense of danger just beneath the surface of her apparently idyllic life. This is a tension that nobody dares speak out loud and it teaches Lily an early lesson: always blend in, always play the right part. But the truth cannot stay hidden forever. Things in Lagos itself, and within her family, soon reach breaking point. As her city and her family implode into chaos around her, and at school her skin colour marks her out from the crowd, Lily struggles to know how to blend in. And when her mother sends her away to school in England, Lily's sense of identity is challenged in even more painful ways.