Bio

Short Bio

Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ-refugees advocate. 

His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, won multiple awards. His children’s Book Salma the Syrian Chef, continues to receive accolades. Both books were translated to multiple languages. 

His short stories and essays appeared in publications across North America and Europe. 

Ramadan’s forthcoming novel, The Foghorn Echoes (2022), and his memoir, Crooked Teeth (2024), to be released by Penguin Random House. 

Through his fundraising efforts, Ramadan raised over $200,000 for Syrian LGBTQ+ identifying refugees. 

Ramadan graduated from UBC with an MFA in Creative Writing, and lives in Vancouver with his husband, Matthew Ramadan.  

Long-ish Bio

Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author, public speaker and LGBTQ+ refugees activist.

The Clothesline Swing, Ramadan’s debut novel, won the Independent Publisher Book Award for LGBT Fiction, The Canadian Authors Association’s award for Best Fiction, and was shortlisted for Evergreen Award, Sunburst Award and a Lambda Award. It was long listed for Canada Reads 2018. The novel is translated to French, German and Hebrew.

His children book, Salma the Syrian Chef, was released in March 2020 by Annick Press. The book won the Middle East Book Award 2020, The Nautilus Gold Award (with Special Honours) and is nominated to the Forest of Reading’s Blue Spruce award, Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, and named amongst the Best Books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews and Library School Journal.

Salma the Syrian Chef’s German translation to be released in March 2021.

He won the Fiddlehead Short Fiction Contest 2018 with My Name is Bridge, and was a finalist for the Bridge Prize with The Miraculous Return of Khaled from the Dead.

His forthcoming novel, The Foghorn Echoes, to be released by Penguin Canada in Summer 2022. His memoir, Crooked Teeth, to be released in summer 2024. He is also working on a collection of short fiction, The Syrian Survival Notebook, and a YA novel, Son of the Silk Maker.

He was named among the Top Immigrants to Canada 2017 as well as awarded the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Award for Excellency.

Through his flagship event, An Evening in Damascus, Ramadan raised over $200,000 for local Vancouver organization Rainbow Refugee, facilitating the safe arrival of Syrian Queer and Trans refugees to their new home in Canada.

He graduated with a Master in Fine Arts – Creative Writing at UBC and lives with his husband, Matthew Ramadan, in Vancouver.

Ramadan was the Writer in Residence for the Saskatoon Public Library between September 2020 and May 2021.

Highlights

  • His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, is published by Nightwood Edition, on May, 2017.
  • He has raised over $200,000 in funds for LGBTQ-identifying refugees and supported 28 people to find refuge in Canada through his event An Evening in Damascus.
  • He is a public speaker and a storyteller, a TEDx talk presenter, Panelist at 6 Degrees Citizenship Conference, a keynote speaker at LGBTQ+Newcomers Conference among other events.
  • He served as a Director-at-Large at the Board of Vancouver Pride Society since November 2016 until March 2021.
  • He was awarded The Social Activist StandOut Award 2017, and the Top Canadian Immigrant Award 2017, as well as the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Award for Excellency.
  • He won the Fiddlehead Short Fiction Contest 2018 with My Name is Bridge, and was a finalist for the Bridge Prize 2020 with The Miraculous Return of Khaled from the Dead.

Long Bio

Ahmad Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author, public speaker, storyteller and an LGBTQ-refugee activist. His English debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, continues to receive raving reviews.

The book is positively reviewed by Quill and Quire, Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight, Globe and Mail among other publications. Released in May 2017, The Clothesline Swing won Independent Publisher Book Award for Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Fiction, was named among the Best Books of 2017 by the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. It was longlisted for Canada Reads 2018 and Shortlisted for the Evergreen Award 2018 and the Sunburst Award 2018. It’s also a finalist for the Gay Fiction Category in the Lambda Awards.

His short story, My Name is Bridge, won the Fiction Contest of The Fiddlehead – Canada’s oldest literary magazine.

His short story, The Miraculous Return of Khaled from the Dead was a finalist for the Bridge Prize 2020.

His children’s book, Salma the Syria Chef, is released in 2020 by Annick Press. The picture book tells the story of newcomer Salma whose mother is struggling to adjust to their new life in Canada. Salma decides to uplift her mother’s spirit by cooking a traditional Syrian meal for her, with the help of their new friends in the Welcome Home they are living at.

The book is named amongst the best books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. It won the Middle East Book Award 2020, and is nominated to the 2021 Forest of Reading’s Blue Spruce (Picture Book) award.

“Salma is deeply relatable in her determination, frustration, and sensitivity, especially in moments when things do not go as planned” wrote Shannon Ozirny for Quill and Quire. The book was also positively reviewed by Kirkus Reviews who stated that “this beautiful story grasps diversity, exploring resilience, love, friendship, and the meaning of home.” Publishers Weekly praised the book’s inclusive messages, and stated that “Ramadan writes with poetic immediacy about displacement, home, and family.”

Salma the Syrian Chef’s German translation to be released in March 2021.

Ramadan’s forthcoming novel, The Foghorn Echoes, is acquired by Penguin Canada’s David Ross, as part of a two-book deal, in a pre-empt. The deal was arranged by Rachel Letofsky of Cooke McDermid. Canongate’s Ellah Wakatama has also acquired U.K. and Commonwealth, excluding Canadian, rights, in an exclusive submission by Ron Eckel of Cooke International on behalf of Cooke McDermid. The novel begins in war-torn Syria, and follows a forbidden romance between two boys which culminates in a traumatic incident, the echoes of which reverberate through their adult lives in Vancouver and Damascus.

He also translated Rafi Badawi’s 1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think, and published two collections of short stories in Arabic.
As an LGBTQ activist, he has been involved in coordinating online and on the ground efforts to support Queer and Trans identifying refugees from Syria to immigrate to Canada. Danny runs the annual fundraiser An Evening in Damascus to support those efforts. Since May 2015, he has raised over $200,000 to support a total of eight other LGBTQ-identifying Syrian refugees; and participated in efforts to ensure safe passage to 28 Syrian Queer and Trans refugees to Canada.

His public speaking and storytelling made him a regular presenter in conferences, conventions and storytelling events across Canada. He was a keynote speaker at QMUNITY’s IDAHOT Breakfast, the Liberal Party Convention, Six Degrees Conference, among others. His TEDx talk has gathered thousands of views on YouTube.

Ramadan serves on the board of Vancouver Pride Society since 2016.

He was appointed Grand Marshal for the Vancouver Pride Parade 2016; he was awarded the StandOut Award for his social activism, the RBC’s Top Immigrant in Canada award, and the Bonham Centre Award for Excellency. Ramadan lives in Vancouver since his arrival to Canada in 2014.

He currently lives in Vancouver with his husband.

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