After experiencing the 1980 coup d’état as a child in Liberia, Elma Shaw was set on a path to explore and write about issues of peace and justice. In 2008, her award-winning novel, Redemption Road, was a catalyst for healing dialogue after the Liberian civil war, and the inspiration for a documentary (The Road to Redemption) about female fighters who survived the battlefields.
Elma has written for Sea Breeze Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writings, Liberia Travel & Life Magazine, Pambazuka News, and other publications. A long-time champion for women and girls, she supports girls’ education and recently worked with The What To Expect Foundation as lead writer for Big Belly Business—a Liberian woman’s guide to a healthy pregnancy.
In 2015, in recognition of her literary and humanitarian work, Elma was nominated for The African Sheroes Award for Outstanding Writer/Novelist. She currently lives in Rwanda, where she’s working on a new book, dancing daily, devouring exciting books with her African literature book club, and helping Africa’s changemakers become authors too.