Sunil Yapa holds a bachelors degree in economic geography from Penn State University, and received his MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, where he worked with two-time Booker Prize winning author Peter Carey, and the 2009 National Book Award winner (Let the Great World Spin) Colum McCann.
While at Hunter Sunil won second place in the Miriam Weinberg Richter Memorial Fiction contest for an excerpt from his novel, and was also awarded the Alumni Scholarship & Welfare Fund Fellowship, which is given to one fiction student every three years. He was selected twice as the Esquire Fiction Intern, Fall 2009, and then again in Spring 2010. He was also twice selected as a Hertog Fellow, and worked as a research assistant for Zadie Smith (Changing My Mind), as well as Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet). He is acknowledged in both books.The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, including time living in Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as, London, Montreal, and New York City.