Nova Ren Suma

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Nova Ren Suma
Nova Ren Suma
Nova Ren Suma
Born (1975-02-23) February 23, 1975 (age 44)
Queens, New York, US
EducationMFA in Fiction, BA in Writing and Photography
Alma materColumbia University, Antioch College
Period2009 - present
GenreYoung adult fiction
Notable worksThe Walls Around Us

Nova Ren Suma (born February 23, 1975) is an American #1 New York Times best selling author[1] of young adult novels. Her best-known work is The Walls Around Us. Her novels have twice been finalists for the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult from Mystery Writers of America.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Suma was born in Queens, New York, and grew up in the Hudson Valley.[3] She lived in Saugerties, New York, until she was five and moved to Pennington, New Jersey, after her parents' divorce.[3] She spent her teen years living in Woodstock, New York, where she frequented the Ashokan Reservoir, which became the setting for her novel Imaginary Girls.[4][5][6] Suma studied ballet from six to sixteen, which served as inspiration for her novel The Walls Around Us.[7]


She cites discovering the works of Margaret Atwood when she was twelve years old as her reason for wanting to become a writer.[8] The first fiction she ever wrote were poems and short stories, which piqued her interest to study writing.[7] After Suma received her self-designed BA in journalism, creative writing and photography from Antioch College, she moved to New York City for graduate school at age 22, inspired by her mother's stories of her own experience in the city.[9][3] She stayed in New York City and obtained an MFA in fiction from Columbia University.[10]

She wrote two adult novels before discovering the possibility of writing young adult novels, through her day job out at HarperCollins Children's Books.[7] She cites Laura Kasischke, Laura Ruby, Rita Williams-Garcia, Bennett Madison, and Francesca Lia Block as authors whose works deeply inspired her to write young adult novels herself.[7] Other of her past jobs include being an assistant editor at Marvel Comics and an editorial & production associate at RAW Books.[7][11]

She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony[12], Yaddo[13], and the Millay Colony for the Arts[14]. She was awarded an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center for Arts & Sciences.[15]

Her novel The Walls Around Us was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best Young Adult in 2016. Her novel A Room Away from the Wolves was a finalist for the same award in 2019.[16]

She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the Writing for Children & Young Adults low-residency MFA program[17], and at the University of Pennsylvania[18].

In November 2017, her and fellow author Emily X.R. Pan founded Foreshadow: A Serial Anthology via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, as an online venue for established authors to publish short stories alongside new voices.[19]



Short stories[edit]

  • "Twelve Frames", It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, & Other Jewish Stories, Knopf (2019)[26]
  • "The One Who Stayed", Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft, Harlequin Teen (2018)[27]
  • "The Birds of Azalea Street", Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, Penguin (2015)[28]
  • "Some Kind of Happy Life", The Portland Review (spring 2007)
  • "Last Resort", Small Spiral Notebook (volume 3, issue 2 2006)
  • "No Vacancy", LIT Magazine (issue 11 2006)[29]
  • "Ghost Story", New York Stories (2003)
  • "Hanami", Orchid (2002)
  • "Mars, New York", Gulf Coast (2001)[30]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Category Result Ref
2015 Cybils Award The Walls Around Us Young Adult Fiction Won [32]
2016 Edgar Award The Walls Around Us Best Young Adult Novel Nominated (Finalist) [33]
2019 Edgar Award A Room Away from the Wolves Best Young Adult Novel Nominated (Finalist) [34]


  1. ^ "Best Sellers - The New York Times". Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  2. ^ "Category List – Best Young Adult | Edgars Database". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  3. ^ a b c Suma, Nova Ren. "FAQ". Nova Ren Suma. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  4. ^ Brinkley, Nicole (2017-05-14). "Literary Tourism: Hudson Valley". BOOK RIOT. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  5. ^ Shengold, Nina. "Poison and Polka Dots". Chronogram Magazine. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  6. ^ Staff, Chronogram. "Young Adult Books". Chronogram Magazine. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Q & A: Nova Ren Suma". Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  8. ^ DeFelice, Nathalie (2018-09-23). "Author Interview: Nova Ren Suma". The Nerd Daily. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  9. ^ Thea (2018-09-07). "A ROOM AWAY FROM THE WOLVES: An Interview with Nova Ren Suma (& Giveaway)". The Book Smugglers. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  10. ^ DeFelice, Nathalie (2018-09-23). "Author Interview: Nova Ren Suma". The Nerd Daily. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  11. ^ Suma, Nova Ren. "Bio". Nova Ren Suma. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  12. ^ "Nova Suma - Artist". MacDowell Colony. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  13. ^ "Writers". Yaddo. 2016-09-11. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  14. ^ "Artists 2012". The Millay Colony for the Arts. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  15. ^ "Fellows Listing". Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  16. ^ "Category List – Best Young Adult | Edgars Database". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  17. ^ "Nova Ren Suma". Vermont College of Fine Arts. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  18. ^ "Nova Ren Suma | Department of English". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  19. ^ Diaz, Shelley. "Nova Ren Suma and Emily X.R. Pan Launch a Platform for YA Short Stories". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  20. ^ "A Room Away From the Wolves". Workman Publishing. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  21. ^ "The Walls Around Us". Workman Publishing. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  22. ^ "17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma: 9780142425329 | Books". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  23. ^ Fade Out. 2012-06-05. ISBN 9781442458789.
  24. ^ "Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: 9780142421437 | Books". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  25. ^ Dani Noir. 2009-09-22. ISBN 9781416975649.
  26. ^ "It's a Whole Spiel: 9780525646167 | Books". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  27. ^ "Toil & Trouble". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  28. ^ "Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke: 9780147514080 | Books". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  29. ^ "LIT Magazine: Poems | Short Stories | Nonfiction | The New School's Literary Magazine: LIT 11 is Now Available". Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  30. ^ "Mars, New York - Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts". Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  31. ^ "Here We Are". Workman Publishing. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  32. ^ "The 2015 Cybils WINNERS!". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  33. ^ "Category List – Best Young Adult | Edgars Database". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  34. ^ "Category List – Best Young Adult | Edgars Database". Retrieved 2019-10-14.

External links[edit]