As the chair of the inaugural YALSA Writing Award Jury, I am proud to announce the four outstanding pieces of writing contributed by YALSA members last year. After receiving a shortlist of nominations from the respective publications’ editors and managers, our committee carefully considered each of the article’s merits to select the winners. Without further ado, here are the winning articles:

  • Sarah Ludwig for best article in the previous volume of Young Adult Library Services, for “Teen Tech Camp” (Vol. 9, Number 2). Sarah wrote an account of a three-day tech workshop at her library, including details about the planning process and the lessons themselves and a summary of what worked and what didn’t.
  • Casey H. Rawson for best article in the previous volume of The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults for “Are All Lists Created Equal? Diversity in Award-Winning and Bestselling Young Adult Fiction” (Vol. 1, Number 3: Spring). Casey examined diversity in books for teens along a variety of factors compared to the make-up of the U.S. population, including race/nationality, religion, family status, sexual orientation, and disabilities.
  • Linda Braun for best post on the YALSABlog between Dec. 1, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2011, for “The Internet IS a Toaster.” Linda argues that librarians need to consider more than just the mere presence of technology as a draw for teens, but instead should think about new ways to market the services surrounding it.
  • Maria Kramer for best post on The Hub between Dec. 1, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2011, for “In Which Our Author Tips Her Cog-Bedecked Top Hat to Steampunk.” Maria introduces readers to the wide world of steampunk literature and beyond in an entertaining and humorous fashion.

We encourage you to read the winning articles and congratulate the winning authors. The winners for the journals will each receive $500, due to the more extensive nature of their work. The winners for the blog posts will each receive $200. All winners will receive a plaque and be recognized at YALSA’s Membership Meeting at the ALA Annual Conference this summer in Anaheim, Calif. Of course, there were plenty of excellent contributions during the year from others, so don’t forget to browse through each publication’s archives for articles covering a diverse range of topics.

The YALSA Writing Award eligiblity period runs from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30 for the blogs and for the current volume year for the journals. Winners are selected based on the following criteria: applicability to a variety of library settings, originality of ideas, timeliness, relevance to young adult librarianship, persuasiveness of arguments, quality of writing, clarity of presentation, and contribution to the YALSA membership. Winners must be YALSA members at the time of submission. If you want to be in the running for this fledgling award, start thinking about writing for one (or more!) of the YALSA publications in the coming months. See below for more information about getting started:

  • YALS: Accepts manuscripts on an ongoing basis that showcase current research and practice relating to teen services and spotlight significant activities and programs of the division. See the author guidelines or contact the editor, Megan Honig
  • JRLYA: Accepts manuscripts based on original qualitative or quantitative research, an innovative conceptual framework, or a substantial literature review that opens new areas of inquiry and investigation. See the author guidelines or contact the editor,
  • YALSA Blog: Contact the blog manager, MK Eagle, for information on writing about various aspects of YA librarianship
  • The Hub: Contact the blog manager, Gretchen Kolderup, for information on writing about literature-related topics

Thanks to the publication editors and managers for nominating some stand-out articles and to the rest of the committee, Joni Richards Bodart, Jennifer Brannen, and Amy Pelman for selecting the winners!

Posted on behalf of Whitney Winn, 2012 YALSA Writing Award Jury Chair.

About mk Eagle

I'm the librarian at Holliston High School, a bit west of Boston. In my spare time I advise my school's yearbook and Gay Straight Alliance, write about food, and root for the Red Sox.

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