Bio

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling YA novel The Walls Around Us, now available from Algonquin. The Walls Around Us was a finalist for an Edgar Award and named the #1 Indie Next Pick on the Spring 2015 kids’ list as well as a Best Book of 2015 by The Boston Globe, NPR, School Library Journal, the Chicago Public Library, The Horn Book, and Book Riot. Her next YA novel, A Room Away from the Wolves, will be published September 4, 2018, by Algonquin Young Readers.

Nova wrote the YA novels Imaginary Girls (Dutton, 2011) and 17 & Gone (Dutton, 2013), both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her first book, the middle-grade novel Dani Noir (S&S/Aladdin, 2009), was reissued in paperback as Fade Out (Simon Pulse, 2012) and was named a Top 10 Editors’ Pick for 2009 by Amazon. Her short story “The Birds of Azalea Street” appears in the YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (Dial, 2015) and was reprinted in Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction 2015 (Kaleidoscope, 2016). Her essay “Reading Worthy Women” appears in Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World (Algonquin, 2017), and she has short stories forthcoming in Toil & Trouble (Harlequin Teen, coming August 2018) and It’s a Whole Spiel (Knopf, coming 2019).

Nova has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College. She was a fellow in fiction with the New York Foundation for the Arts, a MacDowell Fellow, a Yaddo Fellow, and has been awarded residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, where she was awarded the Erik A. Takulan Memorial Endowed Fellowship, and the Millay Colony. She was selected to attend the 2012 Launch Pad Workshop, a NASA-funded astronomy workshop for writers, and was awarded an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center for Arts & Sciences.

She has a background in publishing and worked for years as a production editor and copy editor for children’s book publishers, including HarperCollins and Penguin. She was an assistant editor at Marvel Comics and an editorial & production associate at the small-press comics publisher RAW Books.

Now she teaches creative writing and has taught YA novel writing at Columbia University, the Your Novel Year certificate program at Arizona State University, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Highlights Foundation, and the Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. She is currently faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the Writing for Children & Young Adults low-residency MFA program.

She is the co-creator and co-editor-in-chief along with Emily X.R. Pan of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology, a new online venue for publishing YA short stories, launching in Summer 2018.

Nova grew up in small towns across the Hudson Valley, spent most of her adult life in New York City, and now lives in Philadelphia.

For upcoming workshops and classes, visit the Workshops page.

For a short bio to use for publicity purposes and high-resolution press photos, see here.

(Photos this page by Alison Cherry.)