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Rainbow Rowell
Rowell at the 2019 Texas Book Festival
Rowell at the 2019 Texas Book Festival
Born February 24, 1973 (1973-02-24) (age 48)
Nebraska, U.S.A
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 2011–present
Genre Young adult, New adult fiction, Contemporary fiction
Notable works Fangirl, Carry On, Eleanor & Park, Runaways

Rainbow Rowell (born February 24, 1973) is an American author known for young adult and adult contemporary novels. Her young adult novels Eleanor & Park (2012), Fangirl (2013) and Carry On (2015) have been subjects of critical acclaim.

She is currently the writer of the 2017 revival of Marvel Comics' Runaways.


Rowell was a columnist and ad copywriter at the Omaha World-Herald from 1995 to 2012.

After leaving her position as a columnist, Rowell began working for an ad agency and writing what would become her first published novel, Attachments, as a pastime. Rowell gave birth to her first son during this period and paused work on the manuscript for two years. The novel, a contemporary romantic comedy about a company's IT guy who falls in love with a woman whose email he has been monitoring, was published in 2011. Kirkus Reviews listed it as one of the outstanding debuts that year.

In 2012, Rowell completed the first draft of her young adult novel Fangirl for National Novel Writing Month.

In 2013, Rowell published Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, another young adult novel. Both were named by The New York Times as among the best young adult fiction of the year. Eleanor & Park was also chosen by Amazon as one of the 10 best books of 2013, and as Goodreads' best young adult fiction of the year. In 2014, DreamWorks optioned Eleanor & Park, and Rowell worked on a screenplay, but in 2016, Rowell said the option timed out and the rights reverted back to her. In 2019, it was announced that Picturestart had acquired the film rights, with Rowell writing the screenplay and executive producing.

Rowell's work garnered some negative attention in 2013 when a parents' group at a Minnesota high school challenged Eleanor & Park and Rowell was disinvited to a library event; a panel ultimately determined that the book could stay on library shelves. Rowell noted in an interview that the material that these parents were calling "profane" was what many kids in difficult situations realistically had to deal with, and that "when these people call Eleanor & Park an obscene story, I feel like they’re saying that rising above your situation isn’t possible."

In January 2014, Rowell signed a two-book deal with First Second to author two young adult graphic novels, the first of which will be illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks. Rowell's fourth novel, Landline, a contemporary adult novel about a marriage in trouble, was released on July 8, 2014.

Rowell announced in December 2014 that her fifth book, Carry On, would be published in October 2015. It was published on October 6, 2015. Carry On is based on the book series central to the plot of Fangirl. It acts as the eighth book in a fictional series by Gemma T. Leslie about a boy "mage" named Simon Snow who attends a "magical" school called Watford. In his eighth year at school, Simon struggles to come to terms with his calling as the "Chosen One" meant to destroy the Insidious Humdrum, a magical force destroying the world of "mages". He embarks on his quest with his best friend Penelope and his girlfriend Agatha, all the while struggling with T. Basilton "Baz" Pitch, his vampire nemesis. Although it exists in a fantasy world and within Fangirl was part of a series, the novel is the first in a three part series. It is influenced by fan fiction, particularly the popularity of fan fiction of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

On June 3, 2018, Rowell announced via Twitter that she was working on her sixth novel, Wayward Son, a sequel to Carry On. The novel was published on September 24, 2019.

In October 2019, Rowell announced her next book, "Any Way The Wind Blows." This book is the third and final novel in the Simon Snow series, and will be released in July 2021.

Personal life

Rowell lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and two sons.

Young adults

  • Eleanor & Park (2012)
  • Fangirl (2013)
  • Carry On (2015) (Simon Snow Series)
  • Wayward Son (2019) (Simon Snow Series)
  • Any Way The Wind Blows (2021) (Simon Snow Series)


  • Attachments (2011)
  • Landline (2014)

Short fiction

  • "Midnights", My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, ed. Stephanie Perkins (2014)
  • Kindred Spirits (World Book Day Edition) (2016)
  • The Prince and the Troll (2020)

Comic Books

  • Runaways, illustrated by Kris Anka (2017)
  • Pumpkinheads, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks (2019)
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