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-Indian (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. Her short story 'Home' won runner-up place at the New Asian Writing Contest 2017. Her fiction has been widely published, and short or longlisted in several contests including Exeter Writers UK, Berlin Writing Prize and the Brighton Prize.  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 Prose) Remembering the Song - Muse India, issue Nov-Dec, 2015. 

(Short Prose) Anatomy of Desire - Almond Press, published in the anthology ‘Apocalypse Chronicles’. Shortlisted for the Almond Press short story prize UK 2015 competition, UK.

(Short Prose) Letters from Nairobi - Jaggery SouthAsian Literary Journal, Issue no. 8, Spring 2016. Pick of three. Also long-listed for the Exeter Writers prize UK 2014/15 under the name Black as a Crow.

(Short Prose) Sharmini Subramaniam: Name Unknown -  Litro Magazine UK (India issue; editor Shashi Tharoor); issue no 156, October, 2016. And long-listed for the TSS Short Story Quarterly Competition UK 2016.

(Short Prose) Mand Goes to Church - 7th runner-up in the national DNA-Out of Print Short Story Contest 2016, India, and published by Out of Print, December, 2016.

(Short Prose) The Memory of Being - Bangalore Review, January 2017.

(Short Prose) Our American Guest - Bombay Review, Jan-Feb 2017 issue.

(Short Prose) The Grief Register - longlisted for the Exeter Writer's Prize UK, 2017. Longlisted for the Strands International Short Story Prize 2017. Selected among the 22 British writers to be published by TSS in 2017/18.

(Short Prose) Invisible Until We're Not - published by Kartika Review USA, issue 18, Summer 2017.

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

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

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

(Short Prose) The Arrogance of spring - forthcoming in Lighthouse (Gatehouse Press, UK). Also longlisted by Segora Short Story Prize 2017 under the title Tobias and Florence.

(Short Prose) The Jinns on the Windward Side - Longlisted for the Berlin Writing Prize 2017.

(Short Prose) This Space of Transience - Longlisted for the Brighton Prize 2017.

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 her work cited in:

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: