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Djamila Ibrahim’s debut story collection, Things Are Good Now, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and translated into Italian. “Heading Somewhere,” one of the stories from the collection, was anthologized in The Penguin Book of Migration Literature in 2019. Ibrahim is a graduate of the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies’ creative writing program. Her stories have been shortlisted for the Penguin Random House Canada Student Award for Fiction and Briarpatch Magazine’s creative writing contest, and her poems have been published in PRISM International. Ibrahim lives in Toronto. She was selected by Lawrence Hill.

Program History

2021 Rising Star

Rising Stars

Selected by

Lawrence Hill


Djamila Ibrahim’s writing is clear, honest, and grounded in a mature vision of lives rooted and uprooted in North America, the Middle East, and East Africa. In her short story collection, Things Are Good Now, she introduces characters that are caught in turmoil both emotional and geopolitical, in Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria, the United States, and Canada. Their struggle to gain control over their lives is sometimes advanced and at other times stymied as they move in and out of Canada. Ibrahim’s debut is bold, ambitious, and compassionate. Readers will be enthralled by her stories, and enriched for having come to empathize with her characters.