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Going into the business of publishing literary works is not for the faint of heart. In a publishing industry that gravitates towards bestselling thrillers and celebrity authors, things like literary fiction and non-fiction can be a hard sell. But Zimbabwean-born Editor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is not letting that stop her. She has teamed up with the MILD Group to set up The Indigo Press.

According to the website, “Indigo Press is an independent publisher of fiction and creative non-fiction.” Their objective is to bring readers “books that offer bold ideas and beautifully-crafted stories.” They accept “writing from around the world” as long as it is “literature that explores radical thinking and literary innovation in both form and approach.”

Allfrey is the Publishing Director at Indigo Press. A major influence in the global literary community, Allfrey’s move to run a press is truly exciting. She has previously worked as the deputy editor at Granta magazine and as the senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House. She has served as judge on high-profile prizes such as the Booker Prize and commissioned stories for the BBC and Audible.

Allfrey has been in the business of publishing long enough to know that writers have stories to tell and readers have an insatiable appetite for good stories. In her introductory essay to the nonfiction collection Safe House, she makes a case for nurturing literary culture by providing writers with a sustainable market place, editorial support to bolster their writing, and publishers to “ensure the work finds an audience.” Indigo Press could be seen as the fulfillment of this mandate, for which she has always advocated. Allfrey will be working alongside Susie Nicklin as CEO of the MILD Group and Alexander Spears as sales and marketing manager.

We know that Indigo press has signed on three authors. Zimbabwean novelist Panashe Chigumadzi’s highly anticipated non-fiction essay These Bones Will Rise Again is set for a June 14 release. American novelist Ivy Pochoda’s Wonder Valley comes out September 20th. Silence is My Mother Tongue by Eritrean-born Sulaiman S. M. Y. Addonia comes out a little later, on October 4th.

Congrats to Allfrey and the team for this bold move. We are rooting for them!

Even though Indigo Press accepts work from any where in the world, we consider it a win for the African literary community. A new press means new opportunities to get published, so finish up that manuscript and ship it off.

Click here to make inquiries. You can also keep in touch via social media:

Twitter | @pressindigothe

Instagram | @theindigopress

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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