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School of Continuing Studies | University of Toronto

2013 Marina Nemat Award Winner Announced

The School of Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the 2013 Marina Nemat Award winner is Denise Tarud, for her novel, When the Whale Sings.

When the Whale Sings is a powerful story that takes place in an isolated village in Upper Egypt, at the edge of the Nile River. The novel focuses on the journey of Anwar as he moves from his close-knit village to a sprawling metropolis and then back home.

Tarud was born and raised in Santiago, Chile, into a multi-cultural and multi-lingual family. She currently lives in Toronto with her three daughters, where she runs a successful translation business and teaches translation at the School of Continuing Studies.

Thanks in part to the generosity of writer and Creative Writing Certificate Graduate, Marina Nemat, the School of continuing Studies offers the Marina Nemat award of $1000 to our most promising Creative Writing Certificate students.

Nemat’s final project for Creative Writing at SCS was the international best-selling memoir Prisoner of Tehran, which has gone on to be published in 28 countries. She has since authored the follow-up memoir After Tehran.

The winner is chosen by an esteemed panel of Canadian publishing industry professionals. This year’s jury was comprised of Nicole Winstanley, Publisher of Penguin, Canada, Sarah MacLachlan, Publisher of Anansi, and Phyllis Bruce, Senior Editor, Simon and Schuster, Canada.

Previous winners include Ken Murray, Anne Perdue, Janice Colbert, and Kate Braithwaite. Anne Perdue’s final project was published by Insomniac Press in 2009 as part of her story collection I’m a Registered Nurse Not a Whore. In 2012, we had two winners, Sabrina Ramnanan, whose novel Behind God’s Back is being published by Doubleday, Canada, and Ann Y.K. Choi, whose novel Cornered will be published by Simon and Schuster, New York.

Read a short excerpt from all nominees for the 2013 Marina Nemat Award.