Bocas News

News throughout each festival and all year round

Judge Spotlight: Ellah Allfrey

By Shivanee Ramlochan, 2012 Bocas Lit fest blogger


 Dear fellow lit. fest. enthusiasts, we’re only a few hours away until the official OCM Bocas Prize Shortlist is announced, bright and early tomorrow! I’m spectacularly excited, and I can only imagine that you are, too. Are you crossing your fingers (or bookmarking your pages) for your favourites? Let’s take this opportunity to once more congratulate each of the ten longlisted books and their authors, and turn our attention to the chair of the fiction judging panel, eminent figure in the publishing industry, Ellah Allfrey.
Here is her official bio:

“Ellah Allfrey is Deputy Editor of Granta, an international literary journal of new writing. Born in Zimbabwe and educated in the United States, she began her publishing career as editorial assistant at Penguin Press, working on history and modern classics titles.  Before joining Granta, she was Senior Editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House where she continued to publish history as well as introducing a list of young African writers including Brian Chikwava, Dinaw Mengestu and Peter Akinti.  She sits on the board of Writers’ Centre Norwich and the Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing.  In 2010 Allfrey was on the judging panel of both the David Cohen Prize and the Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2011 she served a second term as a Caine Prize judge. Her introduction to Woman of the Aeroplanes by Kojo Laing is published by Pearson, African Writers Series. A Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Allfrey was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to the publishing industry.”

Further Reading (Reviews/Interviews/Features):
♦ An Interview with Chinelo Okparanta and Ellah Allfrey on The Lit Show (podcast)
♦ Allfrey discusses The Storymoja Hay Festival with the British Council in Nairobi
♦ Ellah Allfrey interviews Natalie Merchant (YouTube video)
♦ The Browser interviews Ellah Allfrey on Diaspora

Forthcoming writers of fiction and poetry: just in case you missed it, Allfrey will also be one of the expert readers carded to work closely with emerging talent in one on one feedback sessions. (Details and submission guidelines can be accessed here.)

Photo copyrighted to Daniela Silva.