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The William C. Morris YA Debut Award celebrates the achievement of a previously unpublished author, or authors, who have made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers.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

2017 Winner(s)

The Serpent King

written by Jeff Zentner, published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a Penguin Random House Company

2017 Finalist(s)

Girl Mans Up

written by M-E Girard, published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Rani Patel in Full Effect

written by Sonia Patel, published by Cinco Puntos Press

The Smell of Other People’s Houses

written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a Penguin Random House Company

Tell Me Something Real

written by Calla Devlin, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers