For immediate release | January 28, 2013

Tamora Pierce wins 2013 Edwards Award for Song of the Lioness series and The Protector of the Small quartet

SEATTLE — Tamora Pierce is the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for Song of the Lioness quartet and The Protector of the Small quartet. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the award today at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held Jan. 25 – 29 in Seattle.

The four books in the Song of the Lioness series, “Alanna: The First Adventure”; “In the Hand of the Goddess; The Woman Who Rides Like a Man”; and “Lioness Rampant”, all published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, focus on Alanna’s journey to accept herself both as a woman and a warrior.

Also set in Tortall, two decades later, is the Protector of the Small quartet, “First Test”; “Page”; “Squire”; and “Lady Knight”; all published by Laurel Leaf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. Keladry of Mindelan goes through struggles, from her First Test, then becoming a Page, a Squire and eventually a Lady Knight. While set in a fantasy world, Pierce’s heroines face realistic challenges that resonate with teen readers.

Like many aspiring writers, Pierce started writing fan fiction. Now, young people are writing fan fiction about characters and settings she created nearly 30 years ago. Edwards Committee Chair Jamie Watson said that “Pierce’s books and characters have been influencing both readers and writers of fantasy since their inception.”

Sources : Timeline :

Fan fiction : Her biography on

Tamora Pierce will be honored at the YALSA Edwards Award Luncheon and presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000 during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27 – July 2. The award is sponsored by School Library Journal.

The award is named in honor of the late Margaret A. Edwards, a pioneer in providing library services to young adults. Through her work at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Edwards demonstrated that only through literature would young adults move beyond themselves into a larger world.

Members of the 2013 Edwards Committee are: Chair Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Md.; Shari Fesko, Southfield (Mich.) Public Library; Heidi K. Hammond, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minn.; Angela Leeper, University of Richmond, Va.; Charli M. Osborne, Oxford (Mich.) Public Library; and Ed A. Spicer, Michigan Reading Journal, Allegan, Mich.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or email:

For information on the Margaret A. Edwards Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit



Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager

Public Information Office (PIO)

800-545-2433 ext.4393