Robert Antoni was born in America of Trinidadian parents and grew up largely in the Bahamas. He is the author of five books: Divina Trace, winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel in 1992, Blessed is the Fruit, My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales, Carnival, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book in 2005 and As Flies to Whatless Boys, for which he was the recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, winner of the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2015. Robert holds an MA from Johns Hopkins University, an MFA and PhD from the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. He lives in Manhattan and teaches in the graduate writing program at The New School University. Robert recently received the NALIS Lifetime Literary Award from the Trinidad and Tobago National Library. For more information, please visit www.robertantoni.com
Yvonne Battle-Felton was born in Pennsylvania and raised in New Jersey. She moved to Maryland and is currently living in Lancaster with her family. Yvonne holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University where she is an Associate Lecturer. A writer of fiction and Creative Nonfiction, her writing has been published in riverSedge, Assisi, Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place, Welter, Slices, and The Chesapeake Reader Literary Journal. She has completed her first novel, Remembered, a work of historical fiction examining the legacy of slavery and which won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2017. Yvonne writes fiction for children as well and her short story, So Your Mom is a Superhero, was commended for the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize in 2017. For more information, please visit http://www.yvonnebattle-felton.com/
Vanessa Bolosier was born in Guadeloupe to a Guadeloupian mother and Martiniquan father. She was taught the Creole tradition of cooking by her father who insisted that she learned to use what constitutes the terroir of the sister islands. Vanessa moved to Europe when she was seventeen and worked as a model for seven years while studying Marketing and Publishing. In 2011, she founded Carib Gourmet, a company specialising in luxury Caribbean food and confectionery. Vanessa has won two Great Taste Award for Coco Gourmand, her brand of coconut sweets and was a finalist for the Enterprise Enfield Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. Vanessa has been featured in Conde Nast Traveller and the Guardian Cook supplement. Her first cookery book, Creole Kitchen, was published by Pavilion Books in June 2015, and published in France by Editions Solar and in Holland by Veltman in 2016. Vanessa lives in London. For further information, please visit www.carib-gourmet.com
Victoria Butler-Sloss is half-Armenian and half-English. She grew up in Cyprus and, at the age of eighteen, moved to London and became an exotic dancer at the notorious Raymond Revuebar. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and spent twenty years as an actress playing a variety of roles on television and the stage. Her first book, The Seamstress of Ourfa is a work of fiction based on her Armenian family. Victoria lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
Anthony Joseph was born in Trinidad. He lectures in creative writing at Birkbeck College and holds a PhD in Creative and Life writing from Goldsmiths College. He is the Colm Toibin Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Liverpool. Anthony is the author of four poetry collections: Desafinado, Teragaton, Bird Head Son and Rubber Orchestras. He has also written three novels, The African Origins of UFOs and forthcoming from Peepal Tree Press, Kitch and The Frequency of Magic. In 2012 he represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Poetry Parnassus Festival on London’s South Bank. He performs internationally as the lead vocalist for his band The Spasm Band. He lives in London. For more information, please visit www.anthonyjoseph.co.uk
Zoë Meager was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Auckland. In 2013 she won the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize, Pacific Region, for her story ‘Things with faces’. Her writing has appeared in various online and print journals and her work has been shortlisted in The New Guard, Momaya Press and Highlands and Islands short story contests. She is currently working on a novella set in Crete during WWII. For more information, please visit http://zoemeager.com/
Saima Mir grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire and lives in London. She is an award-winning multimedia journalist and began her career as a cub reporter at the Bradford Telegraph & Argus before moving to the BBC’s regional news programme, Look North. A recipient of the Commonwealth Broadcast Association’s World View Award 2010, Saima has spent time reporting stories from Pakistan. She has written for The Times and the Guardian, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the news website AsiansUK. Saima is the founder of South Asian ancestry site whosthedaadi.com. She completed a first novel The Khan, which was longlisted for the 2014 SI Leeds Literary Prize and the Bath Novel Award 2016. She is currently working on a second novel.
Irenosen Okojie was born in Nigeria and moved to England aged eight. A freelance Arts Project Manager, she has previously worked at Apples & Snakes as the National Development Coordinator and for The Caine Prize as a Publicity Officer for their 10th Anniversary Tour. Her short stories have been published in the US, Africa and the UK. Her first novel, Butterfly Fish, was published in 2015 and for which she was a recipient of a 2016 Betty Trask Award. Her short story collection, Speak Gigantular, was published in 2016. It was shortlisted for the 2016 inaugural Jhalak Prize and is shortlisted fothe 2017 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. The story ‘Animal Parts’ was nominated for a 2016 Shirley Jackson Award. For more information, please visit www.irenosenokojie.com
Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados. She grew up in Nigeria and moved to South Africa in 1992. Yewande trained as an architect. After completing a Masters degree in Creative Writing, her debut novel Bom Boy was published in 2011 by Modjaji Books. It won the 2012 South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author, was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Fiction Prize in South Africa as well as the M-Net Literary Awards 2012. Yewande was shortlisted for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature and a winner of the Africa Centre’s Artists in Residency Programme in 2014. Her second novel The Woman Next Door is shortlisted for the 2017 University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Literature, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize, longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and is nominated for the 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award. It was published by Chatto & Windus in 2016, and by Picador in the US, Ullstein in Germany and De Geus in Holland in 2017. French, Italian and Korean editions are forthcoming. Yewande lives in Johannesburg.
Ilmar Taska grew up in Estonia and then studied at the Moscow Film Institute. He has worked as a film producer, director and screenwriter internationally. In 1993 he established his own television company which was the first private national network in Estonia. In 2011, Ilmar made his debut into the literary world with an autobiographical novella called Better than Life (Parem kui elu). In 2014 he won the annual literature prize in Estonia for his short story Pobeda and his short story collection More Beautiful than Life (Skonare an livet) was published in Sweden. In 2016 his novel Pobeda 1946, based on the short story Pobeda, was published in Estonia to critical acclaim. It was published in Finland in 2017 by WSOY and has been nominated for the Jarl Hellemann Prize for best translated novel into Finnish. It will be published by Norvik Press in the UK in 2018. A Lithuanian edition is forthcoming . His short story, Apartment for Rent, was included in Best European Fiction 2016, published by Dalkey Archive Press. Ilmar works as a consultant for House of Film and divides his time between Tallinn and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit http://ilmartaska.edicypages.com/
Stephanie Victoire was born in London to a French-Creole Mauritian family. In 2010 she graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from London Metropolitan University. She has travelled widely and upon her return to London she wrote travel articles and travel fiction for Gapyear.com and Lovetravellife.com. In 2014 Stephanie was accepted onto The Almasi League writers’ programme and completed a collection of fairy and folk tales entitled The Other World, It Whispers, which was published by Salt in 2016 and is longlisted for the 2017 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Stephanie lives in London and is currently working on a novel, Lilith. For more information, please visit http://www.stephanievictoire.com/