Testimonials

Here is a selection of testimonials from writers who have worked with Nova in the past:

“Working with Nova is a gift. Her insight (always gently given) is so clear, encouraging, and focused, it motivates you to polish your story until you can practically see your reflection in it. She makes this step of the writing journey both a proud and awe-inspiring experience.”
—Sunni Yuen

“Nova is such an inspiring, gentle leader. Her insight is so thoughtful and considerate and personalized to the author’s specific work.”
—Tamara Mahmood Hayes

“Nova has the rare gift of seeing what your work is trying to become, and of building a workshop space that allows each student to dive deep and retrieve the thing they came looking for.”
—Nora Mathews

“Nova is the kind of workshop leader who sees straight to the heart of your novel. Whatever you’ve envisioned, she’s there with you. She puts so much of herself into helping you move closer to the truth of your story.”
—Courtney Howell 

“Nova Ren Suma often focuses on turning points in one’s writing career. The five days spent at her Djerassi YA novel workshop was mine. Insightful, kind, and inspiring, Nova sets the tone for an incredible retreat.”
—Anna Waggener 

“Nova is an absolute gem! She was wise, generous, and perceptive—in workshops, in one-on-one sessions—and set up a safe, inspiring space for us to share and grow our stories.”
—Pip Harry

“Nova is an amazing teacher. She runs an inclusive, well-planned workshop that gets you past your writer’s slump. I’d never been in a workshop setting and it eased my fears and surpassed all of my expectations!”
—Imani Josey

“Nova is a master teacher—insightful, present, and encouraging. She knows exactly how to build the type of community that fosters growth.”
—Randy Ribay

“Nova Ren Suma is a workshop goddess! She creates a wondrously kind and nurturing environment to review your work-in-progress.”
—Edith Cohn 

“Nova’s genuine interest in my work and her concern for meeting my personal needs within her feedback made working with her feel like chatting with a compassionate friend. Hers is a method that conveys knowledge of craft as well as tools for personal growth as an individual writer.”
—Shelli Cornelison 

“Nova is an amazing and supportive teacher. She is always willing to go above and beyond with suggestions and ways to improve your work. Her commitment to creating a safe workshop environment encouraged me to share my ideas with other students and helped me write more of my novel.”
—Courtney Gilfillian 

“Nova’s calm, thoughtful style of teaching kept the workshop comments constructive, encouraging, and enthusiastic.”
—Susan Crispell 

“Working with Nova at Djerassi opened my mind in such a way that freed me to believe in myself and my book again. I’ve hit a creative stride coming to this workshop. I absolutely loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat.”
—Marie Cruz 

“If you have an opportunity to do a workshop with Nova, I say DO IT! I learned so much about craft and story and real life in the publishing world, the experience can’t be measured in dollars or time.”
—Sam Hager 

“Working with Nova has been, hands down, one of the best workshop experiences of my life. She magically guides the class with thoughtful, personalized questions, making the sessions extremely worthwhile for everybody present. She gave me both the inspiration and the confidence to keep writing and believe in my character’s voice.”
—Meg Cook 

“Nova is a wonderful mentor who is fully invested in the growth and success of the writers in her workshops. I have developed a stronger confidence in my writing thanks to her guidance and support.”
—Alisia Leavitt 

“Nova is an excellent reader and facilitator. She is thoughtful, smart, flexible, and kind. And yes, she will tell you when and if something is not working. She meets you on the page—and can go where your story is going—not everyone can do that.”
—Asale Angel-Ajani 

“Nova fosters a sense of community that permeates her workshops. I leave knowing that out there is a group of writers and artists who are supporting me and rooting for my success.”
—Alexandra Grizinski 

“Working with Nova was a blessing. She’s supportive, yet honest about your writing.”
—Elle LaMarca 

“Nova Ren Suma is a generous and honest teacher that graciously encourages every writer she works with to become the best version of him or herself. Her keen eye, industry knowledge, and overall love for the YA genre combine to make her a valuable resource for both aspiring and experienced writers.”
—Jessica Fonseca

“Nova is a wonderful teacher who facilities a positive and productive atmosphere. The short time I spent at Djerassi will stay with me for many years.”
—Trinity Doyle 

“Nova’s thoughtful critiques have been immensely helpful in guiding me through the often-daunting process of revision. She is a kind and generous workshop leader who highlighted what works in my manuscript, while gently helping me let go of what does not serve my character’s story.”
—Bridget Casey 

“Questions, and all the right ones. In her generous and observant way, Nova urges writers to question issues large and small, to tug at a thread of a theme that may be submerged, to ask if the novel starts in the right moment, to breathe possibility into the pages.”
Susan Carlton 

“I received so much support for revising my YA manuscript. Nova has a way of helping writers bring their visions to life. Her structure gave me hands-on tools as well as time to lose myself in the creative process.”
—Stephanie Denise Brown

“This workshop was more incredible than I could have imagined. Nova’s support and insight helped me understand how to deepen my book and take it to the next level. I felt an automatic connection with the other writers, and there was such a fantastic sense of mutual respect among us. I will not forget this week!”
—Rachel Lynn Solomon

“Nova is not only an amazing author, but an amazing teacher, and she has a way of both helping you make your work the best it can be while also never losing sight of your unique vision and the story YOU want to tell.”
—Joanna Truman

“Nova is one of the most invested, passionate, truly helpful writing teachers I’ve ever had. She puts her whole self into everything she does, and that includes creating a giving, supportive environment for her workshop students, and helping them stay connected to their new writing community after workshop ends.”
—Kathryn Benson

“Nova is a wonderful mentor who truly cares about your work and wants you to be a better writer. With her incredible support, you will gain so much confidence and knowledge. Nova is magical!”
—Tashi Saheb-Ettaba

“Nova creates a safe space for writers to be honest and vulnerable and go deep into their writing. Her feedback is thoughtful and generous and she cares deeply about each writer and their work.”
—Shellie Faught

“Three years ago, Nova Ren Suma read a rough draft of mine in a workshop. Her kind support and wise words stayed with me as I worked through the manuscript that would become my middle grade novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, January 2015). When it came time to work on my second novel, I signed up for another one of her workshops right away. Nova has the ability to teach without lecturing and to draw out the kinds of questions that you need to ask yourself—as well as the kinds of conversations with other writers that you rarely have in other classrooms. I feel lucky to have benefited from her knowledge with these last two manuscripts and look forward to continuing to do so in the future with manuscripts yet to come!”
Kat Yeh


Photo by Alison Cherry