Skip to content


Deborah Campbell has spent more than a decade reporting from such places as Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Israel-Palestine, Mexico, Cuba, and Russia. She won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for A Disappearance in Damascus. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine,The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, and Foreign Policy. Campbell is the recipient of three National Magazine Awards, and in 2017 received the Freedom to Read Award for her body of work.She is an associate professor in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria.


Deborah Campbell and her award-winning memoir "A Disappearance in Damascus"

Award History

2016 Winner

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War

Jury Citation

“In a seamless blend of storytelling and reportage, Deborah Campbell’s A Disappearance in Damascus draws us into the struggles of Iraqi refugees settled in Syria after the fall of Baghdad. The principal character, an Iraqi ‘fixer’ who is also a grieving mother and a nurturing humanitarian, is taken by secret police. Campbell’s account of the search to find her, written with compelling prose, nuanced context, and intimate narration, illuminates the dangers of life and work in a conflict zone through a riveting tale of courage, loss, love, and friendship.” – 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury (Carolyn Abraham, Stephen Kimber, and Emily Urquhart)

Program History

2021 Selector

Rising Stars