Nina LaCour (she/her)

“Engaging with readers and emerging writers fills me with energy and joy, so I strive – every time – to do the same for the young people and adults I’m fortunate to visit. My hope is that they’ll leave our time together inspired and ready to create, knowing that their own story is important and worthy of being shared.”


Nina LaCour is the bestselling and Michael L. Printz Award-winning author of picture books, young adult novels, and adult literary fiction. Her novel We Are Okay was named one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 YA Novels of All Time. Her adult literary debut, Yerba Buena, was a Book of the Month Club selection, Target Book Club selection, and Indie Next Pick. Garnering started reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, BookPage, Booklist, and others, Nina’s books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

A former high school English teacher and currently on the faculty of Hamline University’s low-residency MFAC program, Nina has taught, guest lectured, and appeared at conferences and conventions all around the country and internationally. She has also guided hundreds of writers toward a deeper understanding of creativity and craft through her online class The Slow Novel Lab.

Her novels have been Junior Library Guild selections, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and have been named among the best books of the year by the Boston Globe, Seventeen, Booklist, Bustle, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Public Library among others. Nina won the 2009 Northern California Book Award for Children’s Literature, and was featured in Publishers Weekly as a Flying Starts Author.

Born and raised in the East Bay, Nina crossed the bridge to receive her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University, and then crossed back to Oakland to receive an MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College. Her graduate thesis became her first novel, Hold Still, which received a William C. Morris honor from the American Library Association.

Her books include five critically acclaimed young adult novels: We Are Okay, Watch Over Me, Hold Still, The Disenchantments, and Everything Leads to You. She is also the co-author of You Know Me Well, a novel written in collaboration with David Levithan, and a contributor to numerous YA anthologies, including Summer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins, and Up All Night, edited by Laura Silverman. Her debut picture book is Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle, and her debut adult literary novel is Yerba Buena.

Forthcoming in 2023 are another picture book, My Friend, Loonie (about a girl and her balloon), and her chapter book debut, The Apartment House on Poppy Hill, the first in a series.

Nina lives with her family in San Francisco.

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