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New ALA Award Honors Bill Morris

By Shannon Maughan -- Publishers Weekly, 6/29/2007 1:54:00 PM

A literary award for young adult literature has been created in honor of the late Bill Morris, longtime v-p and director of library promotion at HarperCollins Children’s Books, who passed away in 2003. The Young Adult Library Services Association division of the American Library Association proposed the award, which was approved by the ALA Awards Committee at the organization's recent annual conference.

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award will be given annually to a previously unpublished author “who has made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers,” beginning in January 2009. YALSA is currently forming the award committee, which will begin its deliberation work in January 2008.

The award will be funded by YALSA’s William C. Morris Endowment, which was established in 2000 and activated in 2003 with a bequest of more than $400,000 from Morris’s estate. Morris earmarked the money for ALA to fund programs, publications, events, or awards in promotion of children’s literature. In addition to being a valued, active member of the organization, Morris was the first recipient of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Distinguished Service Award in 1992.

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