Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE is editor-at-large at Canongate Books, a senior Research Fellow at Manchester University and Chair of the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing.
She was the founding Publishing Director of the Indigo Press. In 2016, she was Visiting Professor & Global Intercultural Scholar at Goshen College, Indiana, and was Guest Master for the 2016 Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation international journalism fellowship in Cartagena, Colombia. The former deputy editor of Granta magazine, she was senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House and assistant editor at Penguin. She is series editor of the Kwani? Manuscript Project and the editor of the anthologies Africa39 (2014) and Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction. Her journalism has appeared in the Telegraph, Guardian and Observer newspapers and in Spectator and The Griffith Review magazines, and she is a contributor to the 2019 anthology New Daughters of Africa. She has also been a regular contributor to the books pages of NPR. Her broadcasting includes reviews for NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Review. She sat on the selection panel for the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship for seven years and served as a literature selector for the Rolex 2014–15 Mentor & Protégée Initiative, as well as serving as chair of the Miles Morland Foundation Scholarship Selection panel for three years. She sits on the advisory board for Art for Amnesty and the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Johannesburg Review of Books and the Lagos Review of Books. In 2011 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the publishing industry and in 2019 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.