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Accomplished poet Safia Elhillo is no stranger to story or to the stage; her resume incudes such accolades as winning the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and the Arab American Book Award, and she is an incoming 2019-2021 Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. But now Safia is launching on an entirely new challenge—young adult fiction.

I am thrilled to say that this new venture is already paying off, in the form of her first novel: NIMA ON THE OTHER SIDE is a YA novel in verse that melds the real with the surreal, as teenage Nima struggles to fit in to her white suburban town, while grappling with the phantom of a life not chosen and a girl who may be more real than she seems. 

This incredibly powerful and moving novel saw enormous enthusiasm at the submission stage, leading to a heated six-publisher auction. The result? NIMA ON THE OTHER SIDE has been acquired by Chris Myers and Michelle Frey at Make Me a World/Random House, and will be published in Spring 2021.

 Congratulations, Safia!! 

--Joan