An Ottawa-based writer, storyteller, and arts educator, Maria Saba was born and raised in Iran. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry and worked as a scientist while writing and engaging in dance and arts organization.
Maria has published three books of nonfiction (in Persian) and over a hundred essays, interviews, articles, and stories in print and online media. Her short stories have appeared in Ambit Magazine, The New Quarterly, and the Cosmonauts Avenue. Her short story collection, “My First Friend” was a semi-finalist for the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, and the title story published in Scoundrel Time, won the Editors’ Choice Award and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2017. Maria’s novella, “The Secret of Names” was longlisted for the 2020 Disquiet Literary Prize.
Maria has received grants from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa in English literature and served on various art juries. She attended Banff Centre Writing Studio (2016), Banff Residency (2015), residency at Al Purdy A-Frame (Picton, 2018) and Tyrone-Guthrie in Ireland (2018). She recently won the PEN Canada Scholarship for Writers in Exile and the Wallace Stegner Grant for the arts. Currently Maria is writing her debut novel.
Maria Saba acknowledges the generous support of Ontario Arts Council, City of Ottawa, and Canada Council for the Arts as well as Chalmers Professional Development Grant in various stages of her career.