Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Young Adult Award (not a Hugo)

During WorldCon (MidAmeriCon II) this year the question of a YA Hugo came up again at the business meeting. The previous year's YA Award Committee as per the 2015 report was due to report on its decisions on the following questions:

Will the award be sponsored like the Campbell’s? Will the award be named for a person? How will the votes be tallied? How will the category be defined? By age, by marketing category, or by general ‘teen’ designation? Will the award be for science fiction/fantasy or speculative fiction? Will the award be called ‘YA’, ‘teen lit’, or some other such thing? Will there be a word length limit, such as 40,000 words? Details of the sunset clause? The issue of dual eligibility?

The Sasquan report has a good breakdown on how various other awards determined what was YA, what was middle grade, and the pros and cons of using marketing categories.

The report of this year's YA Award Committe doesn't have a direct link (yet). It can be found starting on page 37 of the pdf of the WSFS Agenda for the Business Meeting. If you don't want to read through the pdf, the good news is that the YA Award Committee decided that the Award should be treated like the Campbell Award (not a Hugo), so that a strict definition of what constitutes YA wouldn't be needed, nor would a word limit (which is what determines several of the categories of the Hugos).

The bad news is that the Committee couldn't decide on a name for the award. The report goes into their decisions against naming the award after any one particular author. Instead, they recommended, if the award proposal passed, to create a committee to collect and evaluate name ideas. Which means an actual award would be delayed at least another year.

The Facebook page for YA Hugo Proposal posted that the YA Award proposal passed. That page will also put up links to where you can submit suggestions for the name of the award once links or an email is announced.

For those interested in the procedure of the meeting, Rachael Acks Liveblogged from the Business Meeting on August 19, 2016. The section on the YA Award is 1015-1029. The August 20 meeting covered the YA Award from 1144-1201 (there's also a quick summary).

Here's hoping next year's WorldCon in Helsinki will finally see the creation of a Young Adult Award!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I suppose that most stories are based on an event in the author's life, or in the life of a family member or friend. Many stories come to mind from a newspaper article or something we've read or heard about somewhere. Like they tell us, stories are everywhere. Have you ever written a book about an incident in your life? I have, perhaps more than one. But today, I'm thinking about the story behind my picture book WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT.

If you've read it, you know what the weird noises are. If not, I'm not telling, but just want to mention why I wrote the book.

Several years ago, my husband and I were visiting our son and daughter-in-law in South Carolina. We sat in the living room, talking, as folks do. I kept hearing this weird noise, but couldn't decide what it was. I won't tell you what it sounded like because that would give away the answer. No one else seemed to notice, or if they did, they paid it no attention. Curious me had to know what was going on, so after a while, I decided to find out. I excused myself from the room and went in the direction where I heard the sound. It wasn't a constant noise, just every now and then.

Yep, I discovered what it was. You know I'm a camera bug, so I ran to the bedroom and brought my camera back to get a picture or two. (Of course, my son knew about it but was used to the noise so he didn't notice it.)

I did not write the book for a while, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of turning it into a picture book. So that's what I did.


Weird noises in the night send the imaginations of three young girls soaring. Is it the rain, a dragon, an alien from outer space, or a ghost? As Olivia and her best friends seek the source of the sound, they discover that the truth is not as scary as their imaginations. Suggested age range for readers: 6-9.


Outside, lightning lit up the sky like fireworks. Thunder grumbled. And then...

The lamp blinked. The lights went out. The walls creaked.

Olivia gasped and pointed a trembly finger. "Look! In the closet."

Two eyes, as shiny as marbles, sparkled in the dark.

Three girls shrieked and dove under their sleeping bags, like dolphins plunging under a wave.




What people are saying:

Beverly Stowe McClure has struck a perfect balance between spooky and fun. When the lights go out, the three friends have to discover what the strange sounds are. Olivia and Emily offer all sorts of crazy possibilities, which Autumn—the practical one of the three—disputes. Finally they go on a quest to find the source of the noise and what they find is sure to leave your child giggling. Nicely illustrated by Eugene Ruble, Weird Noises in the Night is a good story to snuggle up with your child to read again and again. PKSM

Olivia, Autumn, and Emily are together one night working on school projects when there’s an intense storm outside. They hear eerie, horrifying sounds that set their imaginations wild. What could it be? This book had a nice, cozy, slumber party setting and I liked the touch of horror and suspense, although everything isn’t as bad as it seems. MS

How about you? Have you written books based on an event in your life?

Happy Reading. I cross posted this from my personal blog. http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com