Nii Ayikwei Parkes is co-founder and senior editor at flipped eye publishing. He had his first editorial role in 1988, working on his school magazine, The Achimotan. Three years later, at seventeen, he co-founded filla! Magazine, (Ghana’s first student-run national magazine) then left a year later to study Food Technology. Since his return to writing and editing in 2001, Nii has held academic residencies internationally and been shortlisted for the 2009 UK Young Publishing Entrepreneur Award. In 2007 he was awarded Ghana’s National ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck and serves on the boards of the Arvon Foundation and the Poetry Book Society.
Margaret Busby OBE was born in Ghana and educated in Britain. She co-founded the publishing company Allison & Busby (of which she was Editorial Director for 20 years) and was subsequently Editorial Director of Earthscan Publications. A writer, editor, critic and broadcaster, she has served as a judge for literary awards such as the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Orange Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She has also been associated with many organisations including The Africa Centre, the Royal Literary Fund, PEN, Wasifiri, the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, the African & Caribbean Music Circuit and the Hackney Empire theatre. Publications she has written for include The Guardian, Observer, Independent and the New Statesman, and she edited Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writing by Women of African Descent. Her radio abridgements and dramatisations include work by C. L. R. James, Jean Rhys, Wole Soyinka, Timothy Mo, Sam Selvon, Walter Mosley, Henry Louis Gates, Lawrence Scott and Simi Bedford. Her BBC Radio 4 play Minty Alley won a 1999 Race In the Media Award (RIMA). Her writing for the stage includes Sankofa (1999), Yaa Asantewaa – Warrior Queen (UK/Ghana, 2001-2002), and An African Cargo (2007).
Diran Adebayo is an acclaimed novelist, short fiction writer and cultural critic best known for his stylish comic portraits of modern Britain. After reading Law at Oxford University, Diran became a print and television journalist. His first book, Some Kind of Black, was hailed as breaking new ground for the ‘London novel’, and won him numerous awards, including the Writers Guild of Great Britain’s New Writer of the Year Award, the 1996 Saga Prize, and a Betty Trask Award. It was also long listed for the Booker Prize, serialised on radio and is now a Virago Modern Classic. His second novel, the neo-noir fable My Once Upon a Time was also ravely reviewed, and solidified his reputation as a pioneer. In 2004 he co-edited New Writing 12, the British Council’s annual anthology of British and Commonwealth literature. Diran has written both stories and documentaries for television and radio and, as a critic, he has been a columnist for ‘New Nation’ newspaper, has written extensively in the national press, and appeared as a guest on shows such as Newsnight, This Week and the Today Programme, tackling everything from cricket and race to politics and culture. He is currently writing his third novel, The Ballad of Dizzy and Miss P, and a sports-based memoir. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a former member of the National Council of the Arts Council of England.