For us YA lit junkies, there’s nothing like award announcements to get us excited and adding more books to our towering to-read piles.

The William C. Morris Award is only in it’s second year, and it goes to debut authors, which narrows the pool nicely.  Also, they announce a shortlist of finalists so that we can get reading and have an opinion when the winner is announced (on Monday, January 18, 2010, along with the rest of the ALA awards – Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, etc.)  I just took a look at the description on the award website, and it’s very interesting:

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award celebrates the achievement of a previously unpublished author, or authors, who have made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers.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

Not only are they supposed to be books written for a teen audience, but they will “illuminate the teen experience” and have “proven or potential appeal to a wide range of teen readers.”

This year’s finalists!

  • Ash, by Malinda Lo
  • Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • The Everafter, by Amy Huntley
  • Flash Burnout, by L. K. Madigan
  • Hold Still, by Nina LaCour

I haven’t read any, but I’ve heard good things about Ash and Beautiful Creatures.  Good thing I’m almost done with my Mock Printz reading, because my list just got longer.