William C. Morris Debut YA Award

About the William C. Morris Debut YA Award
The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.

The award's namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award celebrates the achievement of a previously unpublished author, or authors, who have made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers. The work cited will illuminate the teen experience and enrich the lives of its readers through its excellence, demonstrated by:

  • Compelling, high quality writing and/or illustration
  • The integrity of the work as a whole
  • Its proven or potential appeal to a wide range of teen readers

Administered by:

Young Adult Library Services Association logo

2012 Winner(s)

Where Things Come Back

written by John Corey Whaley, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

2012 Finalist(s)

Between Shades of Gray

written by Ruta Sepetys, published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group USA

Girl of Fire and Thorns

written by Rae Carson, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Paper Covers Rock

written by Jenny Hubbard, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books

Under the Mesquite

written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, published by Lee and Low Books