I was born and raised in Johannesburg. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, and an MA in Politics from Edinburgh University. For many years I worked in a marketing strategy consultancy, and I survived exactly one year in political communications. I’ve loved writing all my life, from illustrated adventure stories as a child to angsty teenage poetry, to business writing, content strategy and news features.

I wrote a regular humour, dating and lifestyle column for LGBTQ+ news site mambaonline for a number of years, as well as a branding column for marklives. My short fiction has been published in Commonwealth Writers’ adda magazineBrittle Paper, New Contrast, The Kalahari Review, Kabaka Magazine, and Penny, as well as in the anthologies Queer Africa II, The Other, and Queer Africa: Selected Stories

I live in Cape Town with my husband, pug, and enough house plants to restart the ecosystem after it all collapses.

Mackay, incidentally, rhymes with sky.


Selected Awards

  • Longlisted: Sunday Times Literary Awards 2023: Best Fiction (It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way)
  • Longlisted: British Science Fiction Association Award 2023 (It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way)
  • Brittle Paper 100 Notable African Books 2022 (It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way)
  • Longlisted, First Pages Prize 2020 (Disquiet / It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way)
  • Shortlisted, Arts24 Corona Fiction Prize 2020 (Someone at the Door)
  • Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards 2017, Best LGBTQ+ Anthology (Queer Africa II)
Cape Town, 2022. Image by Catherine Mac