YALSA announces first-time YA author award

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

Communications Specialist



For Immediate Release

July 10, 2007

YALSA announces first-time YA author award

CHICAGO - The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced it will honor a debut book by a first-time author writing for young adults with the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. The first Morris Award will be given in January 2009.

The Morris award will celebrate the achievement of a previously unpublished author or authors who have made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers. The winning book may be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a short-story collection or a graphic work-as long as the award winner has not previously published a book for any audience.

"Many first-time authors write compelling, high-quality books that have a significant and long-lasting impact on YA literature," said YALSA President Paula Brehm-Heeger. "This award will provide a high-profile way to formally recognize, celebrate and spread the word about these strong rising stars. I'm thrilled that YALSA, through the generous donation of an amazing individual like Bill Morris, will be able to honor and recognize talented new writers."

The award winner will be announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles publicized on the second Monday of December. The award will be presented at ALA Annual Conference.

The Morris Award is named for William C. Morris, an advocate for marketing books to children and young adults. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and enthusiasm in promoting literature for children and teens. The award is made possible by the William C. Morris Endowment, established with money Morris left to YALSA in his will.

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: