I'm Nova Ren Suma. I wrote the YA novels 17 & GONE and IMAGINARY GIRLS (both out now from Dutton/Penguin). And as we speak I'm writing a new novel, THE WALLS AROUND US, coming Spring 2015 from Algonquin YR.

Here's my blog: distraction99.com. And here's my author website: novaren.com.

17&Gone

Imaginary Girls

Imaginary Girls paperback

 

Girls are trained to say, ‘I wrote this, but it’s probably really stupid.’ Well, no, you wouldn’t write a novel if you thought it was really stupid. Men are much more comfortable going, ‘I wrote this book because I have a unique perspective that the world needs to hear.’ Girls are taught from the age of seven that if you get a compliment, you don’t go, ‘Thank you’, you go, ‘No, you’re insane.’

Lena Dunham, in an interview with The Guardian (x)

(Source: reshmarambles)

politicsprepandpearls:

Feminist-a person who supports feminism.

Feminism-the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Gender, Diversity, YA Lit, and The Whole Shebang

catagator:

I got a message to make a phone call to Publishers Weekly this afternoon, following a strong response to the all-male, all-white panel for BookCon, which is ReedPop’s consumer-side show as part of Book Expo America. Here’s the piece.  

I’m pleased with the fact there’s a piece about the backlash. 

My one wish is that someone who wasn’t a white lady (me) were the one being heard. I wish, too, I hadn’t been the one female quoted in the piece. But that’s here and there, and I think if you want more context for why this is a concern of mine, help yourself to Sarah McCarry’s important string of tweets about privilege and publishing that came at the same time as yesterday’s backlash. 

In short, I am not saying anything anyone else hasn’t been saying forever. I am not saying anything a person of color hasn’t been saying forever. But I have far less at stake if I keep pushing at it. I can handle being called a bitch and a feminist and misandrist and whatever other creative names people who disagree with my message can come up with. 

A series of anonymous asks popped up today in aprihop's inbox today, as well as in summerscourtney's. The asks can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I recommend reading them all and reading the follow-ups. Also read this post

In short: when we speak up for women and poc having representation, we’re accused of being man-haters and throwing men under the bus. 

Far from it.

When we call out privilege for what it is — all men on a conference panel, men being the dominant force in an industry, men having power and prestige a la the New York Times Bestsellers list, better publicity and marketing, even the label of being “better” storytellers, per one of the asks — we are doing no such thing. We’re instead looking at the system and pointing out the flaws.

Those men are not the flaws. And we need to stop apologizing for them or on their behalf. Of course it’s not their fault. 

It’s the fault of a far bigger, more pervasive system. It is only by examining it and asking questions and pointing out homogeny and sameness that we make any inroads. And we have to also do our part to step back and examine our own part in the system. 

People who anon ask are cowards in these situations. People who anon comment are no better.

People who won’t risk themselves when they have the opportunity to advocate for those who aren’t as privileged as they are are also part of the problem. To which end, I point out how much respect I have for Rick Riordan and his tweet regarding the BookCon panel he’s a part of. Support men AND women. Support white people AND non-white people. 

When you support one group of people, it is in not denigrating another group of people. Instead, it’s doing your part to raise everyone up. 

I don’t need to delve deeper. But I’ll post a few relevant things. 

Got more suggestions for necessary reading related to gender, diversity, publishing, and the YA world? Lay it on me and let’s build a massive resource here. 

Student loans are just taxes for those not born rich and dare to get an education.

Dear Chloe Grace Moretz,

summerscourtney:

Congratulations!  I am a huge fan of Gayle Forman’s beautiful novel If I Stay—it made both my heart and eyes cry, a lot—and I am looking forward to becoming a fan of your portrayal of Mia in the movie adaptation this August when I see it myself.

BUT as a YA author, I am concerned about your misconceptions about YA. According to Entertainment Weekly, you don’t “love the “young adult” designation" because you think "it diminishes the book’s value.”  You also don’t consider If I Stay a YA novel because, “It deals with issues that are much bigger… it’s much darker than I think most YA is.”

ANYWAY.  I can’t make you love the young adult designation but I just thought you should know being categorized as a YA novel does not diminish a story’s value.  That’s actually a choice you’re making.  So I’d like to recommend a few YA novels that might help you reconsider that choice!  Quite a few of them are dark, and quite a few of them deal with big issues.  Some of them are romantic because wouldn’t it be silly to discount a story’s value because it made you feel good?  I think it would.

Happy reading!
Courtney

SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson
CHASING BEFORE by Lenore Appelhans
13 REASONS WHY by Jay Asher
SPLIT by Swati Avasthi
ROOMIES by Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr
ALSO KNOWN AS by Robin Benway
CHIME by Franny Billingsley
ANNA trilogy by Kendare Blake
BLACKWOOD by Gwenda Bond
TEAM HUMAN by Sarah Rees Brennan & Justine Larbalestier
THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 by Steve Brezenoff
BITTER MELON by Cara Chow
STOLEN by Lucy Christopher
POINTE by Brandy Colbert
THE HUNGER GAMES series by Suzanne Collins

TENDERNESS by Robert Cormier
FALLEN WORLDS trilogy by Megan Crewe
JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen
WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller
BEFORE I DIE by Jenny Downham
RAW BLUE by Kirsty Eagar
IF YOU COULD BE MINE by Sara Farizan
WHERE THE STARS GO BLUE by Caridad Ferrer
JUST ONE DAY & JUST ONE YEAR by Gayle Forman
PROMISE OF SHADOWS by Justina Ireland
ALL UNQUIET THINGS by Anna Jarzab
HOT GIRL by Dream Jordan
BLOOD OF EDEN series by Julie Kagawa
CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn
SCOWLER by Daniel Kraus
ALL YOU NEVER WANTED by Adele Griffin
IF I TELL by Janet Gurtler
DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas
THROUGH TO YOU by Emily Hainsworth
NOBODY BUT US by Kristin Halbrook
THE SUMMER SERIES by Jenny Han
SLIDE by Jill Hathaway
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL by Simmone Howell
13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES by Maureen Johnson
A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTMARE by Kody Keplinger
PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by AS King
HOLD STILL by Nina LaCour
CATCH by Will Leitch
ADAPTATION & INHERITANCE by Malinda Lo
LEGEND SERIES by Marie Lu
TEASE by Amanda Maciel
SEPTEMBER GIRLS by Bennett Madison
JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta
UNDER THE MESQUITE by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS by Sarah McCarry
DEVIANTS by Maureen McGowan
YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS by Meg Medina
JAZZ IN LOVE by Neesha Meminger
BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
MY BEATING TEENAGE HEART by CK Kelly Martin
SEX & VIOLENCE by Carrie Mesrobian
MISTWALKER by Saundra Mitchell
TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz
SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy
SHINE by Lauren Myracle
DESTROY ALL CARS by Blake Nelson
BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler
THE DRAGON KING CHRONICLES by Ellen Oh
FAMILY by Micol Ostow
I WILL SAVE YOU by Matt de la Pena
WHAT CAN’T WAIT by Ashley Hope Perez
ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
KINGDOM OF XIA trilogy by Cindy Pon
BOY21 by Matthew Quick
SCARS by Cheryl Rainfield
BEAUTIFUL by Amy Reed
BLEEDING VIOLET by Dia Reeves
AMELIA ANNE IS DEAD AND GONE by Kat Rosenfield
DR. BIRD’S ADVICE FOR SAD POETS by Evan Roskos
HOW I LIVE NOW by Meg Rosoff
THE DIVERGENT SERIES by Veronica Roth
THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales
USES FOR BOYS by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
SEND ME A SIGN by Tiffany Schmidt
LIVE THROUGH THIS by Mindi Scott

LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott
CHASING BROOKLYN by Lisa Schroeder
THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith
THE REECE MALCOLM LIST by Amy Spalding
THE CAHILL WITCH CHRONICLES by Jessica Spotswood
THE IN BETWEEN by Barbara Stewart
THEN YOU WERE GONE by Lauren Strasnick 
17 & GONE by Nova Ren Suma
THE SPECTACULAR NOW by Tim Tharp
RATS SAW GOD by Rob Thomas
THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON by Danette Vigilante
SOUL SCREAMERS series by Rachel Vincent
THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman
SMALL TOWN SINNERS by Melissa Walker
WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley
THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams
THE SPACE BETWEEN TREES by Katie Williams
THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney

FREAK OBSERVER by Blythe Woolston
ABSOLUTELY MAYBE by Lisa Yee
THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young
PAPER VALENTINE by Brenna Yovanoff
STORY OF A GIRL by Sara Zarr
THE HYBRID CHRONICLES by Kat Zhang