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Young Adult Novel Intensive

  • Indy Hall 399 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 (map)

Spend the weekend working with Philadelphia-area New York Times bestselling author Nova Ren Suma, author of the YA novels The Walls Around Us, A Room Away from the Wolves, and more. This intensive two-day workshop will feature craft discussion on writing for a young adult audience and an opportunity for you to come away with feedback on pages from your own YA novel as well generative exercises that will deepen and expand your work-in-progress.

 The workshop will begin on Saturday with an interactive craft discussion on YA voice and the genre-bending possibilities in the YA field. We will then hold brief critiques of the opening pages of your YA novel, led by Nova with an eye toward constructive feedback and asking questions that will help you revise and write forward. On Sunday we will continue the workshop discussions, and close the weekend with generative writing exercises tailored to help you find the heart of your YA novel, finetune your character’s voice, and follow your story through to the end. All you need in order to sign up is a YA work-in-progress—as little as the opening chapter of a YA novel and some ideas for where you may take the story, or as much as a draft of the whole book and an open mind. Writers working on upper middle-grade fiction and cross-over adult novels are also welcome in the group, though our main focus will be YA. Each student will also get a written feedback letter from Nova on their novel openings (about 20 pages).

Cost: $250 (financial aid available)
Schedule: April 6, 10-4 pm (w/lunch break), April 7 10-4pm (w/lunch break)
6-10 students (need 6 students to run)
Registration: Rolling, by application, closes March 18, 2019
To apply: email first chapter of your project & a little bit about you to If applying for financial aid, please also fill out this form.

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels A Room Away from the Wolves, which is nominated for a 2019 Edgar Award and was named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR and School Library Journal, the #1 New York Times bestselling The Walls Around Us, and other novels. She is co-editor-in-chief of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology (, a new online YA short story publication. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She has taught creative writing at Columbia University, Arizona State University’s Your Novel Year program, and elsewhere. She is currently core faculty in the Writing for Children & Young Adults low-residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Philadelphia. For more information, visit