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The William C. Morris YA Debut Award celebrates the achievement of a previously unpublished author, or authors, who have made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers.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

2019 Finalist(s)

Blood Water Paint

written by Joy McCullough, published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House

Check, Please!: #Hockey

written and illustrated by Ngozi Ukazu, published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Children of Blood and Bone

written by Tomi Adeyemi, published by Henry Holt Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

written by Adib Khorram, published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House

What the Night Sings

written and illustrated by Vesper Stamper, published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House