Born to Iranian immigrants, I was raised in the North Side of Chicago. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, The Rumpus, The Writer's Chronicle, and other venues. I was the 2018 Bitch Media Fellow in Technology, a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction, and a 2022 Otherwise Fellow, and was named the inaugural Samuel R. Delany Fellow. My debut novella, The Bruising of Qilwa, was released by Tachyon Publications in 2022 to critical praise and was a finalist for both the Crawford Award and Locus Award. My debut middle grade horror, Sleepaway, releases from Aladdin in 2025.
I did my undergraduate at the University of Chicago and my master's at DePaul University. Until January 2017, I balanced my writing with my work as a neuroscientist, where I studied rodent models of both concussions and psychiatric disabilities. I left my PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania after the 2016 US presidential election to pursue my lifelong love of writing full time.
I currently live in Reno, Nevada (unceded territory belonging to the Numu, Wašiw, Newe, and Nuwu peoples), where I graduated from the MFA program in fiction at the University of Nevada, Reno, and received a graduate certificate in Gender, Race, and Identity. I write speculative fiction, primarily (secondary world) fantasy, across all ages (adult and kidlit (MG/YA) both). I also write both creative and journalistic nonfiction; for the latter, I focus mainly on science and science literary, academia, social justice, and public health. I'm represented by Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management at Aevitas Creative Management.
My favorite games are JRPGs, I love cooking and baking, and I am always hankering for my next tattoo.
© 2022, Naseem Jamnia
Photos of Naseem by Jennie Kaplan, 2018, and Jeramie Lu, 2022