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The William C. Morris YA Debut Award celebrates the achievement of a previously unpublished author, or authors, who have made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers.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

2018 Winner(s)

The Hate U Give

written by Angie Thomas and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Starr Carter has learned to live in two worlds, managing her life as a prep-school student by day while returning each night to the low-income neighborhood she calls home. After witnessing the murder of her unarmed friend Khalil by a police officer, these two worlds collide, and Starr must decide what risks she is willing to take to pursue justice.

2018 Finalist(s)

Dear Martin

written by Nic Stone, published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House, a Penguin Random House Company

Devils Within

written by S.F. Henson, published by Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing

Saints and Misfits

written by S.K. Ali, published by Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing


written by Akemi Dawn Bowman, published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing