Nova Ren Suma is the author of The Walls Around Us, a ghostly story of suspense, now available from Algonquin, which was named the #1 Indie Next Pick on the Spring 2015 kids’ list and a Best Book of 2015 by The Boston Globe, NPR, School Library Journal, the Chicago Public Library, The Horn Book, and Book Riot. The paperback edition of The Walls Around Us is forthcoming March 22, 2016.

(Nova at her writing desk at the MacDowell Colony, September 2013. Photo © Joanna Eldredge Morrissey. Used with permission.)
(Nova at her writing desk at the MacDowell Colony, September 2013. Photo © Joanna Eldredge Morrissey. Used with permission.)

Nova also 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 she will have an essay in the YA anthology Feminism for the Real World, forthcoming in 2017. She is now at work on a new YA novel coming from Algonquin.

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 for 2012, and the Millay Colony. She was selected to attend the 2012 Launch Pad Workshop, a NASA-funded astronomy workshop for writers, and in 2013 she 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. She has taught YA novel writing at Columbia University in the School of the Arts, the Your Novel Year program at Arizona State University, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Highlights Foundation, and the Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. She is now visiting faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the Writing for Children & Young Adults low-residency MFA program.

Nova grew up in small towns across the Hudson Valley and can now be found in New York City.

Visit Nova’s author website at novaren.com.


  1. Like you, I know the breathtaking feeling of seeing the cover of my books in publication. I wonder what motivates you personally — deep down inside — to write stories. Have you had the “itch” from childhood?

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