The Art of Editing

A panel discussion delving into the process of editing, from compiling anthologies to getting a manuscript ready for publication. We address questions on the role of the editor and their relationship to the writer.

Panellists: Margaret Busby (chair, first UK Black publishers), Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (Cassava Press), Sabrina Mahfouz (The Things I Would Tell You, 2017), Bobby Nayyar (Limehouse Books), Vivek Shanbhag (Ghachar Ghochar, 2017) Rukhsana Yasmin (Commonwealth Foundation).


Margaret Busby, OBE, is a writer and editor born in Ghana and educated in Britain. She co-founded publishing company Allison & Busby, and was its editorial director for 20 years. A contributor to many publications, she compiled the pioneering anthology Daughters of Africa (1992), and has written drama for radio and the stage. She is a patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature and board member of Wasafiri magazine and the Caine Prize.

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf is co-founder and publishing director of Cassava Republic Press. She has worked as a research consultant in the public, private and development sectors. Bibi has a Ph.D in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Warwick. Bibi is also a Yale World Fellow, a Desmond Tutu Fellow and a Frankfurt Book Fair Fellow.

Vivek Shanbhag is the author of eight works of fiction and two plays. He was previously publisher and editor of the literary journal Desha Kaala. His novel Ghachar Ghochar was published in India/US/UK in English translation to much critical acclaim. Vivek’s works are also translated into many other languages. He was a Fall 2016 resident at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Vivek is based in Bangalore, India.

Bobby Nayyar was born in Birmingham. He has been published in the Mango Shake and Too Asian, Not Asian Enough anthologies, as well as journals including Wasafiri, Aesthetica and The Woven Tale Press. In 2009 he founded Limehouse Books, publishing his debut novel West of No East, in 2011, and The No Salaryman two years later. In 2016, he published his debut poetry collection, Glass Scissors, which received a Word Masala award. Bobby lives in London.

Rukhsana Yasmin has worked as an editor and commissioning editor at Profile and Saqi Books and has several years of publishing experience in both UK and international writing. She is the editor of addastories.org at Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation and is a Trustee of Wasafiri. In 2012 she was awarded the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize for Women in Publishing and in 2014 was named a Bookseller Rising Star.

Sabrina Mahfouz was raised in London and Cairo. Her work includes the plays Chef, With a Little Bit of Luck, Clean, Battleface and the love i feel is red; the poetry collection How You Might Know Me; the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write and the BBC shows Breaking the Code, Railway Nation: A Journey In Verse and We Are Here. She received a Fringe First Award for Chef and won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award.