Ellen Alpsten

Ellen Alpsten


Ellen Alpsten was born and raised in the Kenyan highlands, where her father worked as a Veterinary Surgeon. Once a month, the local cinema showed a Bollywood movie and their magic was inspiring: while her elder brothers attended boarding school, she dressed up their many pets (cats, dogs, chicken, geese, a stroppy Polo pony, a wounded Serval cat and at times a baby crocodile) and forced them to listen to her stories. ​

After her very mediocre A-levels Ellen moved to Paris and studied at the ‘Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris’, where she won the Grande Ecole’s short story competition with her novella ‘Meeting Mr. Gandhi’. Following her MSc in PPE, she moved to London and worked first as a TV-Producer and then as a News-Anchor for Bloomberg TV London, doing gruesome night shifts on breakfast TV. Her downstairs neighbour thought Ellen worked as an escort as she cantered down the stairs at any godforsaken hour. She also started to write in earnest, every day, after work, a nap, and a run.

Today, she works as an author and as a journalist for international publications such as the German ‘FAZ’, Vogue, Standpoint, and CN Traveller. Ellen also runs Creative Writing for charities such as ‘Refugee Action’, showing how writing may help to overcome trauma, and lectures in the MA Programme of St. Mary’s University. She lives in Richmond with her Swedish entrepreneur husband, her three sons, and Honey, a moody fox red Labrador-Lady.

Her debut novel ‘Tsarina’ and its sequel ‘The Tsarina’s Daughter’ – both – published by Bloomsbury – were widely translated and shortlisted for numerous awards. Ellen is writing her next Historical Fiction series.