Two Fall Workshops… Two Upcoming Deadlines…

Would you like to take a writing workshop with me this fall? I have two workshops coming up with a few spaces left in each… and the deadlines are quickly approaching…


In September, I’m co-leading a workshop at the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, with Micol Ostow. For the Books with Bite Workshop and Retreat: Writing Horror and Haunted Novels, we will be focusing on dark & twisty YA or middle-grade fiction, from thrillers to ghost stories to horror to dark magical realism and beyond. If your novel has some unsettling twists or explores some creepy subject matter, this may be the workshop for you!

WORKSHOP DATES: September 16–20


[apply here] 


In November, I’m teaching an intensive workshop at the Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. A Week in Residency with Nova Ren Suma (ahem, that’s me!) is for writers of YA or middle-grade fiction working in any genre who want a focused week for workshopping and writing. Guest authors Lynne Kelly and Nikki Loftin will also be visiting to give craft talks.

WORKSHOP DATES: November 8–14

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday, September 15 (late deadline October 5)

[apply here]

There are a few spaces open in each of these workshops, and admissions are rolling… so apply as soon as you can to guarantee your spot!

Please tell any writers you think might be interested. And of course, if you have any questions about either workshop, you are welcome to email me or leave a comment here.


Books with Bite Highlights Foundation Workshop with Me & Micol Ostow

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a new writing workshop in 2015—this time in the fall and co-led with a certain brilliant author I admire like crazy, Micol Ostow, author of the terrifically terrifying AMITY! So if you’re writing a horror or otherwise dark & twisty YA or middle-grade novel (spine-chilling horror! hauntings! ghost stories! psychological thrillers! dark magical realism! serial killers! suspense! Gothic tales! I could go on!) and if you’d like to go to the truly wonderful Highlights Foundation in Pennsylvania for a five-day intensive workshop next year, I hope you’ll consider taking ours!

I realize this photo isn't at all creepy, so it may not go with the theme of our workshop... But these are some of the cabins writers stay in at Highlights! Aren't they perfect?
I realize this photo isn’t at all creepy, so it may not go with the theme of our workshop… But these are some of the cabins writers stay in at Highlights! Aren’t they perfect?

The Books with Bite Workshop and Retreat at Highlights will run September 16–20, 2015, and if you like to plan your life way early, you can apply RIGHT NOW! For the full description of the workshop and the link to apply, please visit the Highlights Foundation website.

Plus, if you register by May 1, you will get 10% off tuition, so apply sooner rather than later… Writers will be paired with a mentor, either Micol or me, and will be workshopped in small groups, so spaces are limited. Admissions will be rolling, and we will be reviewing applications as they come.

…In fact, I heard we already got our first application this morning! Isn’t that amazing?

Feel free to ask me any questions here, in the comments, or via email.

And of course, if horror and dark fiction isn’t your thing, or if you’re closer to the West Coast, and you would still like to do a workshop with me, the deadline to apply for my upcoming June 2015 YA novel workshop & retreat at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California is February 26. Djerassi applications are now open, and spaces are limited!

That’s my news for now! Now back to writing my own book!

Story Salvaged, Workshop Awaits

The story found its way—I feel sure that the revision I ultimately came to is far better than what I lost when my computer died and ate it. Does that mean my computer was meant to die and eat the story so I could write an even better one? Let’s hope not. I don’t want to have to go to such drastic lengths whenever I do a revision.

I’ll read over the story one last time, be sure I’m okay with it, and then send it to the summer workshop to replace the version of the story I sent them to get in. This is the version the workshop will read and critique. (I was going to say “tear apart,” but I won’t say that, oh wait I just did, no I didn’t.)

Every time I think of being workshopped—since it’s been so long—I admit I get a smidge nervous. I’m thinking, Are you sure you want to do this again? But I applied to this summer workshop for many reasons. And I took on significant freelance work to pay for it. I have a plane ticket. I have a story. What more do I need?

The workshop is not till July. In the meantime this novel outline won’t write itself. Films on the horizon for inspiration include: The Lady from Shanghai, Touch of Evil, and The Big Sleep. But what I really want to watch is the new season of Weeds (on my Netflix queue). No, actually, what I want from today? A day off.

I’m tired.