YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

Definition

An award for the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 publishing year.

Purpose

The award will:

  • Recognize the best in the field of nonfiction books (at this time, only books will be considered for the award) materials for young adults
  • Promote the growing number of nonfiction books published for young adults
  • Inspire wider readership in the genre
  • Give recognition to the importance of the genre
  • Position YALSA as an authority in the field of nonfiction for young adults

Policies and Procedures

Charge

To annually select the best nonfiction title published for young adults between Nov. 1 and Oct. 31 of the current year, available in English in the United States and, if desired, to also select honor titles. The short list of finalists will be announced during the first week of December, with the winning title announced at the following ALA Midwinter Meeting. The winners and honor authors will be recognized at an ALA or YALSA Conference.

Committee Members

The Committee shall consist of a chair, eight members, a Booklist consultant, and an administrative assistant if the Chair requests. The Chair and four members will be appointed by the President-Elect of YALSA. The remaining four members will be elected by the membership of YALSA.

Members serve a twelve month term.  Some members will be elected in May and some appointed in the following months, with the term to begin February 1 of the following year.  Committee members will consider and read  titles published beginning January 1 of the year following their appointment.  (IE, members elected in May 2012 or appointed in November 2012 will begin reading books published on January 1, 2013). The announcement of winners will take place at the Midwinter eleven months from that point.

All members are required to attend all Award Committee meetings held during the selection process. In the event a member is unable to complete her/his term, the President of YALSA shall appoint a replacement from among qualified YALSA members. At least the first two rounds of the awards process will consist of members appointed by the YALSA President before members are elected to the committee.

The chair is a voting member of the committee with all the rights and responsibilities of other members. In addition, the chair presides at all meetings of the committee and serves as a facilitator of both discussion and committee business. As such, the chair must serve as a list owner of an electronic discussion list created through the YALSA office solely for use by the committee, and take responsibility for list maintenance. The chair has sole responsibility for any contact with publishers. The chair is also encouraged to attend the ALA Annual Conference and/or any YALSA event where the Award winner will be honored.

In consultation with the Chair, YALSA’s President-Elect may appoint an administrative assistant for the term. The administrative assistant is not a voting member.

Committee Calendar

YALSA Committee Calendar

January

Committee meets at Midwinter to discuss process and procedures. Books should be arriving in February,  members can begin reading prior to receivng boks from publishers by using their local library.

March, April, May

Committee reads, suggests and discusses titles. Chair asks for up to three nominations from each member from the suggested titles list to discuss at Annual. Four individuals elected for the next committee.

June

Committee meets and discusses nominated titles at Annual.

  President-Elect makes appointments for new committee.

July, August, September, October

Committee reads, suggests and discusses titles [keeping in mind that only one book will be the winner].  Committee continues to nominate titles.

November

Nominations close.

 

Up to three nominated titles from committee members sent to chair; list compiled and sent back to committee.

 

 

Mid- November

Conference call held to discuss nominated titles

Late November

Conference call to vote on short list

Early December

Publish annotated short list

ALA Midwinter Meeting

Decide on winner, which will be announced at the Youth Media Awards Press Conference. The entire list of committee nominated titles will be released at this time as well.

Eligibility

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults shall be awarded annually to the best nonfiction title published for young adults during the preceding Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 year. The Award will be given to a title that honors a work for subject, treatment and accessibility to young adults.

  • All print forms of nonfiction are eligible for consideration, including graphic formats.
  • The title must have been designated by its publisher as intended for young adults who are defined as persons between the ages of twelve and including eighteen.
  • The title must include excellent writing, research, presentation and readability for young adults.
  • Titles from a series may be considered on their individual merits.
  • Titles that are self-published, published only in eBook format, and/or published from a publisher outside of the US will not be considered eligible until the first year the book is available in print or distributed through a US publishing house.

  • If no title is deemed sufficiently meritorious, no award will be given that year.
  • The chair, with assistance from designated YALSA staff, is responsible for verifying the eligibility of all nominated titles.
  • The award will be presented to the author(s) of the winning and honor titles at a ceremony at an ALA or YALSA conference.

Confidentiality

There will be no announcements of nominated titles until the announcement of the finalist titles in early December. When the winning title and honor titles are announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, the list of nominated titles will be published as well

Nominations

Committee members suggest titles beginning in November after their election or appointment, with suggestions due each month through the end of the time period. Committee members are responsible for nominating titles throughout the process. Following this procedure allows committee members to reflect on what their peers consider to be award-worthy titles and narrows the list, leading to more efficient and productive meetings.

Each suggestion must be in writing on an official online suggestion form. Each suggestion must include the following information: author, title, publisher, price, ISBN and publication date.

Field Suggestions

Field suggestions are encouraged. To be eligible, they must be submitted on the official suggestion form. The form will allow for both a rationale and summary of nominated titles. Committee members will be notified of all field suggestions, which are eligible to be considered for nomination by members. Nominated titles must also have a second from a committee member. Only those titles that have been nominated will be discussed at Midwinter and Annual Conference meetings, as well as phone meetings, though a committee member may request that a suggested title be moved to the discussion list and thus treated as a nominated title. Furthermore, all nominated titles must be discussed. To prevent a conflict of interest, publishers, authors, or editors may not nominate titles in which they have a vested interest.

Voting Procedures

Following discussion at Annual, balloting will begin. Members must be present to vote. Proxies will not be accepted. Additional titles nominated after this point will be considered in the final voting conference calls between October 31 – early December.

Final Voting of Award Title

  • Oral ballots will be used and tallied either by the chair or her/his designee(s).
  • Members are reminded that, at this point, they are voting for the winner, NOT for honor titles.
  • On the ballot each member votes for her/his top three choices. First choice receives five points; second choice receives three points, and third choice receives one point. To win, a title must receive five first place votes and must also receive at least five more points than the second place title. If no title meets these criteria on the first ballot, any title receiving no votes is removed from consideration and a period of discussion of remaining titles follows. A second ballot is then conducted. Balloting continues in this fashion until a winner is declared.

Honor Title(s)

A short list of up to five Finalists will be announced during early December, with the winner announced during the following Midwinter Conference in January. The remaining maximum of four titles will then be considered Honor Titles.

Relationship with Publishers

Committee members are required to abide by YALSA’s Conflict of Interest Policy and will not solicit publishers for copies of titles; however, they may accept any unsolicited ones that are offered or sent to them.

Committee members should not solicit publishers for favors, invitations, etc. If members receive these, however, they will use their own judgment in accepting. Publishers understand that such acceptance in no way influences members' actions or selections.

Last revision, March 2013. These procedures are subject to review and possible revision by the Organizations and Bylaws committee with final approval by the YALSA Board of Directors.