Meet Maria Saba

An Ottawa-based writer, storyteller, and arts educator, Maria Saba was born and raised in Iran.  

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, The Bombay Review, 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 long listed 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. The winner of PEN Canada Scholarship for Writers in Exile and Wallace Stegner Grant for the Arts and an alumnus of Banff Centre Writing Studio (2016) and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference (2022), Maria has a PhD in theoretical chemistry from the University of Toronto.

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.