Workshops

VCFA logoIn 2016 I joined the faculty of the Writing for Children & Young Adults low-residency MFA Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. For more information about this exceptional, rigorous program, visit the VCFA WCFA website.

I also occasionally teach workshops elsewhere… so check below to see where!

If you would like to book me to lead a writing workshop or present at your conference, please get in touch at nova@novaren.com.


Upcoming Workshops:

  • 2017 New England SCBWI Spring Conference
    Sheraton Monarch Place
    Springfield, MA
    WHEN: April 21–23, 2017
    Registration closed for my workshops. Waitlist only.
    I’ll be on faculty at the New England SCBWI Spring conference, giving a talk and teaching two workshops on novel openings. All of my sessions are full, but you can contact the Conference about the waitlist.
  • 2017 Djerassi YA Novel Workshop-Retreat
    Djerassi Resident Artists Program
    Woodside, CA
    WHEN: June 19–24, 2017
    APPLY SOON!
    Application deadline: Wednesday, April 5, 2017
    My next YA novel workshop at the Djerassi Program will be held in June 2017! Apply now! Here’s a helpful FAQ I put together to answer questions you may have.
  • SCBWI 46th Annual Summer Conference
    JW Marriott at LA LIVE
    Los Angeles, CA
    WHEN: July 7–10, 2017
    REGISTRATION IS LIVE!
    I’m on faculty at the SCBWI LA summer conference this year, giving two talks and teaching two Monday writing intensives. Registration for the conference is now open. For more information on my Monday intensives, see here.
  • 2017 Books with Bite Workshop at the Highlights Foundation
    Highlights Foundation
    Honesdale, PA
    Co-taught with Micol Ostow
    WHEN: October 4–8, 2017
    NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!
    Micol Ostow and I are offering our horror and haunted novels workshop at Highlights again this fall. Apply for a spot! Admissions are rolling.

Past Workshops:

2016

  • Djerassi YA Novel Writing Workshop: March 6–12, 2016. Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, CA.
  • Djerassi YA Novel Alumni Reunion Workshop: March 17–23, 2016. Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, CA.
  • Highlights Foundation Books with Bite Workshop: October 19–23, 2016. The Highlights Foundation, Honesdale, PA. Co-taught with Micol Ostow.

2015

  • Djerassi YA Novel Writing Workshop: June 21–26, 2015, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, CA.
  • Columbia University Young Adult Novel Writing Workshop: July 6–August 12, 2015. Columbia University, School of the Arts Writing Program, New York, NY.
  • Highlights Foundation Books with Bite Workshop: September 16–20, 2015, The Highlights Foundation, Honesdale, PA. Co-taught with Micol Ostow.
  • A Week in Residency with Nova Ren Suma Workshop: November 8–14, 2015, the Writing Barn, Austin, TX.

2014

  • Djerassi Writes: YA Novel Workshop: Feb. 9–14, 2014, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, CA.
  • Djerassi Writes: YA Novel Workshop (second session): June 22–27, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, CA.
  • The Craft of Creativity: The Inaugural Showcase Featuring the Master Class Room Instructors: Sept. 8, The Writers Room, New York, NY.
  • Highlights Whole Novel Workshop with Sarah Aronson and Nancy Werlin: Sept. 10–11, Highlights Foundation, Honesdale, PA. Special guest author.

Testimonials:

  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, June 2014)
  • “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—and Djerassi provides the space and muse that every artist craves.” —Anna Waggener (Djerassi Workshop, June 2015)
  • “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. I traveled many miles and crossed a time zone to work at Djerassi and it exceeded my expectations—it’s heaven on earth for artists and dreamers.” —Pip Harry (Djerassi Workshop, June 2015)
  • “Nova’s expert guidance and enthusiasm encouraged me to dig deeper in my writing. I left her workshop feeling refreshed with a better understanding of the craft and what I needed to do to achieve my goals.” —Kim Liggett (Djerassi Workshop, Feb. 2014)
  • 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 (SCBWI workshop 2011; Ideasmyth/Writers Room workshop, Fall 2014)
  • “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 (Ideasmyth/Writers Room workshop, Fall 2014)
  • “Nova Ren Suma is a workshop goddess! She creates a wondrously kind and nurturing environment to review your work-in-progress.” —Edith Cohn (Djerassi Workshop, Feb. 2014)
  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, June 2014)
  • “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 (Ideasmyth/Writers Room workshop, Fall 2014)
  • “Nova’s calm, thoughtful style of teaching kept the workshop comments constructive, encouraging, and enthusiastic.” —Susan Crispell (Djerassi Workshop, Feb. 2014)
  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, Feb. 2014)
  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, June 2014)
  • “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 (Ideasmyth/Writers Room workshop, Fall 2014)
  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, Feb. 2014)
  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, Feb. 2014)
  • “Nova fosters a sense of community that permeates her workshops at Djerassi and beyond. I leave knowing that out there is a group of writers and artists who are supporting me and rooting for my success.” —Alexandra Grizinski (Djerassi Workshop, June 2014)
  • “Working with Nova was a blessing. She’s supportive, yet honest about your writing.” —Elle LaMarca (Djerassi Workshop, Feb. 2014)
  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, June 2014)
  • “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 (Djerassi Workshop, June 2014)
  • “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 (Ideasmyth/Writers Room workshop, Fall 2014)
  • “My favorite thing about Nova was her accessibility and her genuine interest in helping writers to succeed. She generously shared her knowledge to help make that happen.” —Karen Hunt (Djerassi Workshop, June 2014)
  • “More than any specific critique or suggestion, what I’ve taken away from Nova’s class is a restored confidence and faith in myself and my abilities, and that is due to Nova’s encouragement and generosity with her time, her thoughtful reading and feedback, and her kind words.” —Melissa Baumgart (Ideasmyth/Writers Room workshop, Fall 2014)
  • “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. What an inspiring and empowering week.” —Susan Carlton (Djerassi Workshop, June 2015)

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