Who wants to be a writer? That fickle friend who steals your life and fictionalises it? That flaneur, that callous teller of tales. Still, Selma Cardoso e Carvalho says she is a British-Asian (Goan) fiction and non-fiction writer, columnist and founder-editor at Joao Roque Literary Journal. She is the author of three books documenting the Goan presence in colonial East Africa. She won runner-up place at the New Asian Writing Contest 2017, third place at the DNA-Out of Print Contest 2017, the Editor's Pick Award for Fabula Press Hongkong 2017, was a short-list finalist for the London Short Story Prize 2017 and highly commended for the Brighton Prize 2017. Her fiction has been widely published, and listed in several contests including Exeter Writers UK, Berlin Writing Prize, Cambridge Prize, the prestigious Fish Publishing Award and Words & Women UK 2017.  She grew up in Dubai, and spent many years in Minnesota, USA before moving to London in 2008, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. Her works are as follows:


(Non-fiction book) Into the Diaspora Wilderness, published by Goa 1556; 2010, India. An account of the Goan diaspora spanning from East Africa to the Arabian Gulf, Britain and America.

(Non-fiction book) A Railway Runs Through: Goans of British East Africa, 1865 – 1980, grant commissioned by the Heritage Lottery Fund, UK; 2014.

(Non-fiction book) Baker, Butcher, Doctor, Diplomat: Goan Pioneers of East Africa; an illustrated history, self published, London; 2016.  

Short Story Fiction Contest listings

Anatomy of Desire - Shortlisted for the Almond Press short story prize UK 2015 competition, UK.

Black as a Crow - Long-listed for the Exeter Writers prize UK 2014/15.

Sharmini Subramaniam: Name Unknown - Long-listed for the TSS Short Story Quarterly Competition UK 2016. 

Mand Goes to Church -  7th runner-up in the national DNA-Out of Print Short Story Contest India 2016.

The Grief Register - Longlisted for the Exeter Writer's Prize UK, 2017.

The Grief Register - Longlisted for the Strands International Short Story Prize 2017. 

(Flash Fiction) Magdalena Finds the Body - Longlisted for the Brilliant Flash Fiction Contest 2017.

Home - Runner-up winner of the (pan-Asia) New Asian Writing Prize 2017.

Tobias and Florence - Longlisted by Segora Short Story Prize 2017.

The Jinns on the Windward Side - Longlisted for the Berlin Writing Prize 2017.

This Space of Transience - Highly Commended for the Brighton Prize 2017. 

Kitchen Sink Mutinies - Short-list finalist for the London Short Story Prize 2017. 

The Blighted Harvest - Third place DNA-Out of Print Contest 2017. 

And We Grew So Old - Shortlisted for the Words and Women Contest 2017. A nation-wide contest for British women writers.

There where the Trees Are - Longlisted for the (TSS Publishing) Cambridge Prize 2017.

Bed Blocker No. 10 - 4th place The Asian Writer UK Short Story Prize 2017 (Dahlia Publishing).

Some Kind of Weird and Wonderful - Editor's Pick Award, Fabula Press Contest Hong Kong 2017.

Landbound Lullabies - longlisted for the prestigious Fish Publishing Award 2017/18. Among the top 180 from 1, 170 entries.

Short Story Fiction Publications

Remembering the Song - Muse India, issue Nov-Dec, 2015. 

Anatomy of Desire - Published in the anthology ‘Apocalypse Chronicles’ by Almond Press.

Letters from Nairobi - Jaggery SouthAsian Literary Journal, Issue no. 8, Spring 2016. Pick of three. 

Sharmini Subramaniam: Name Unknown -  Litro Magazine UK (India issue; editor Shashi Tharoor); issue no 156, October, 2016.  

Mand Goes to Church - Out of Print, December, 2016.

The Memory of Being - Bangalore Review, January 2017.

Our American Guest - Bombay Review, Jan-Feb 2017 issue.

The Grief Register - Selected among the 22 British writers to be published by TSS in 2017/18.

Invisible Until We're Not - Kartika Review USA, issue 18, Summer 2017.

Six Months of Winter - forthcoming in Pensando Goa (a pan-Luso journal) translated from the English into Portuguese. 

Home - New Asian Writing online October 2017.

The Arrogance of spring - Published in Lighthouse (Gatehouse Press, UK) Issue no. 16 (2018). 

Kitchen Sink Mutinies - Published in the London Short Story - Kingston University Press 2017 anthology.

The Blighted Harvest - DNA newspaper and Out of Print online December 2017. 

This Space of Transience - Published in the Brighton Prize/Rattle Tales Anthology 2017.

Some Kind of Weird and Wonderful - Forthcoming in an anthology by Fabula Press 2017.


How Does Forgiveness Work? - Published in 'The Road to Clevedon Pier' anthology 2017 by Hedgehog Press UK.

In Colder Climes - published by Mechanic's Institute Review (Birkbeck University) April 2018.

What do Fish Remember? - Longlisted Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize 2018 and forthcoming in an anthology.

Quilt me a blanket - forthcoming by Words for the Wild nature poem journal.

Newspapers and magazines

Nationally and internationally published in Saffronart, DNA India, Himal Southasian, The African (Tanzania) and Times of India.

Contributor to the lifestyle magazines Wo’Goa, Timeline Goa and Goa Streets. 

Since 2008, have been a regular columnist at Goan Voice UK, Oheraldo Review and currently with The Goan.

Editing; Introductions

The Naked Liberal: an anthology of George Menezes’s writings, Cinnamon Teal, 2012. Commissioned to edit and write biographical sections.

Tulsi and Other Stories by Edila Gaitonde, Goa 1556; 2011. Wrote introduction.

Global Goans Convention 2011 brochure. Editor.

Goan Association (U.K) 50th anniversary brochure. Editor.

Copy-editor at Jaggery South Asian Literary Journal.

Founder-editor and content developer at Joao Roque Literary Journal.

Project, Documentary, Exhibition & Museum

Between 2011-2014, headed the Oral Histories of British Goans project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, UK, which recorded and archived at the British Library, UK, the diasporic voices of East African Goans residing in Britain.

Curated the first ever exhibition of East African Goans at the Nehru Centre London, 2013. 

In July 2013, produced and co-edited the documentary ‘Past lives’ first screened at Cranford Community College Hall, UK. 

'Goan Pioneers of Mombasa' published in the Kenya Museum Society journal issue 44, 2017.

Literary Festival Presentation

In December, 2014, invited by Goa Arts and Literary Festival (GALF) to present the book A Railway Runs Through.

Some publications in which her work is cited:

Sana Aiyar, Indians in Kenya, Harvard University Press; 2015.

Anna Winterbottom, Histories of Medicine and Healing, Springer, 2016.

L. Potter, The Persian Gulf in Modern Times, Springer, 2014.

Christopher Larkosh, Thinking Goa Through English Language Women Writing, presented at Goa Cultures symposium, 2016.

Ferrão, Rodney Benedito, Absent Homes: Literary Makings of Goans and their Worlds (London: Birkbeck College, University of London, 2012).

J. Nazareth, A Passage to Kenya, (USA; 2017).

Other pretentious stuff

Holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Heriott-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.

In 2011, awarded the Goan Associations UK President’s award for service to the community.

To contact Selma Carvalho write to:

To visit the sister website the Joao Roque Literary Review click: