Born in Durban, South Africa, Kurt George Ellis was raised in the communities of Newlands East and Sydenham. He attended Ferndale Primary School in Newlands East where his grade five English teacher advised his parents to buy him a typewriter as, according to his teacher, Kurt was destined to be a writer. Kurt then attended Bechet Secondary School in Sydenham where his passion for writing really began to grow. He often refers to his appreciation of his friends and teachers for their support of his writing, right from the beginning. Kurt matriculated in 2000.
*Kurt is in the second row, with a denim shirt
Kurt moved to Johannesburg in 2001 to study film and English Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand. In order to cover his living expenses and the cost of his studies, he began to work in sales as he studied. In 2003, he dropped out of University in order to focus on his career in sales. He quickly found that he had a talent in motivating staff and became a Call Center Manager at the age of nineteen. Although he initially enjoyed his work, he knew it was not what he was meant to do. He regretted not finishing his studies, but his live for telling stories meant he kept writing.
Kurt however still had a passion for writing. He had completed his first draft of his novel Our Story while in high school. He rewrote it and began sending it to publishers. It took sixteen years since that first draft and numerous rejections, rewriting and re-rejections, but finally in 2014, the retitled By Any Means was published by Human and Rousseau and received amazing critical acclaim. It was nominated for the Etisalat Literary Prize for Best African Novel in 2015.
Year : 2019
Kurt then published his second novel, In the Midst of Wolves with Penguin Random House. It has been called the 'South African equivalent to Silence of the Lambs' by International Thriller Writers Guild and received a reprint and translation in the Ukraine.
Also in 2019, Kurt had the chance to remedy one of his greatest regrets when he was accepted by the University of the Witwatersrand to study a MA in Creative Writing. He passed (Cum Laude) in 2021, producing Chain of Cause, a new novel to be published in 2024.
It was here that fellow students advised him to try his hand at scriptwriting as they believed he had a natural talent for it. Kurt did, and his first ever script was a finalist in Writers Guild of South Africa Muse Awards for Best Unproduced Television Script. He has since produced more scripts and in 2022, he received the most nominations in a single year in the history of the Writers Guild of South Africa Muse Awards
Kurt currently resides in Johannesburg with his wife and two children where he still dreams of telling stories