I have completed a collection of short fiction. 

2017
Toronto Star Short Story Contest winner:  Cardinal.
2018
Wrote six more stories,
mentored by author / scholar John Metcalf,
Humber School for Writers.
2019
Wrote another six stories, completed my collection.
Longlisted in the CBC Short Story Prize:  Bodies.
Published by The Temz Review:  The Apartment.
Published by Grain Magazine:  Stupid.

 

 
THOUGHTS ON WRITING:

nina.dunic@gmail.com

PUBLISHING INQUIRIES:

info@willenfield.com

 

"the stories came across to me as being —
because you know I read hundreds
of short stories every year —


they came across to me as being the real thing"


— John Metcalf, author of 'The canadian short story'

TORONTO STAR

CONTEST JUDGES

"clean writing unfolds the perfectly paced narrative in a powerfully quiet way;
there's not a word out of place"

GRAIN MAGAZINE

FICTION EDITOR

"the images and prose are stunning”

THE TEMZ REVIEW

FOUNDER

"precisely the reason I loved the story, because it doesn't flinch"

bio

Represented by Akin Akinwumi at Willenfield Literary Agency.

Born in Belgrade and brought to Toronto as an infant. Grew up in Scarborough and Pickering; attended the University of Toronto. Graduated from Centennial College for journalism.  

Currently a freelance journalist (bylines — under my maiden name — include StarMetro, Toronto Star, CBC Docs, Toronto Storeys, The Globe and Mail).

Wandered in and out of various careers before starting fiction. Now living in Scarborough again.

 

EXCERPT FROM

cardinal


It crippled some fundamental part of Derek. I didn’t know whether it was the mistake itself, or his inability to right the mistake, that hurt him most. I didn’t know how much of it was about Sam at all — but his awe, his terror, at his own immovable ego, even under a lifetime’s worth of regret. And he was right to be afraid. It was so stupid — and so characteristic of him — to prefer his ego over his own happiness.

"Restrained use of symbolism elevates this story so that it says something profound about life, and about the choices and connections we make"

— Toronto Star Contest Judges

 

excerpt from

dinner


The backyard chairs were throne-like. Tom picked them out, something a man is keen to own when he has bought some land and found a woman. Tom, Ellie and Martin sat there, drinking. Martin’s face gleamed in the dim outdoor lighting; his voice was quieter now, but steady.

EXCERPT FROM

poor boys

Late in the year, he was out at recess, walking along the edge of the playground before it became the field, and some boys approached him, loping like ugly dogs. She guessed they would bother him. Two of them did — a remark, some laughter, and more words when he did not respond, then a shove. Like a glass falling and shattering on the ground, her mind split into a thousand directions and her body operated alone, swiftly standing and suddenly breaking across the field. She kicked one boy down from behind before either of them knew what was happening. He fell like a snapped branch. A second boy, in shock, flew back in fear. But two other boys, shouting, pushed her until she fell, and other children ran at them. The boys kicked at her while she, from the ground, kicked out at them. A shoe struck her jaw and she whipped her upper body off the ground to save her head. She was still as big as them and she kicked at a knee, bending it in a direction that it was not supposed to bend, and the shouting turned into a long, horrific shriek that froze everything for three or four blind moments. Teachers were coming. She did not return to school for the rest of the year.

 
 

excerpt from

falls

Jewelry stores. People died in those mines. But we kept sending men down there. I even liked jewelry — at least it lasted forever; so much of everything else didn’t. I wore a chain on my chest since I was 14 years old. Standing in the shower, or after, in the mirror, it was a slim, pale, curved line cutting across the colour of my skin, a delicate detail on my body. Usually I felt strong, tightly packed, tightly wound, but big guys like Mike reminded me about real power — he was probably two heads taller than me. It commanded a different world around him, with other men, with women — I could only imagine the women in his phone — and I’d always known that world was not my own. And for Mike, he didn’t even know. I would compare myself to him but he would not compare himself to me. I had known so many careless Mikes all my life, watched them move through the world — effortless, like big, languid cats, sleeping in the sun.

But it didn’t matter as much anymore. I was removing myself from the world, slowly collecting the parts of me that were exposed. Working at night, living alone, deciding how and when I wanted to come back.

 
 

nina dunic

“A friend?” she asked.

She waited, concerned, looking at my face. “Why did you come here?”


photos by DTD  ©  copyright nina dunic