Friday, August 14, 2015

Progress on a Possible YA Hugo Award

Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon in Spokane, has released several committee reports that will be discussed at the business meeting of the WSFS ("World Science Fiction Society") next week. Among these reports is that by the YA Hugo Committee.

Bad news first - no decision on a YA Hugo Award this year. Good news, though, the Committee recommends it be reformed for another year so that it can focus on the issues involved in having a Campbell-like YA/teen literature award.

I've blogged before about the business meeting in 2013 at LoneStarCon 3 in San Antonio and the treatment there of a YA Hugo proposal. Worldcon in 2014 was in London, where there were several standing-room-only YA panels. LonCon 3 reformed a committee to investigate a YA Hugo proposal. Meanwhile the NASFiC (Detcon1) in 2014 created the Detcon1 Award for YA and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction and was able to get nominations for both categories from its supporters and attendees. The winners were listed in Locus.

Looking at the YA Hugo Committee report for this year, I'm feeling a bit more confident. The committee has definitely done its homework. The history of the YA marketing category is covered. The usual questions/arguments about the proposal are brought up and answered. How other organizations define YA for their awards are discussed, though in the section for comparisons between other YA awards by other organizations only the Newbery (which is for children) is brought up. True, the Newbery is better known than the Golden Duck Awards/Hal Clement Award and has been around longer, so that might be why that award was used.

So, yes, I am hopeful that the committee might be able to develop some award for YA/MG. It would be nice if it was a Hugo award, but even the Campbell (Not a Hugo (standard declaimer whenever the Campbell is mentioned)) is voted on by supporting and attending members of a Worldcon. And that is good.

What are your thoughts?


  1. I hope they go ahead with this, and that it's actually a Hugo. As someone who writes a lot o MG, and thinks of that as a very different skill from writing for teens, my ideal scenario (completely unrealitic) would be separate awards for kidlit/MG and YA. In any case, there should certainly be *some* award fo pre-adult lit. Thanks for this informative post.

  2. Don't see how it can be a Hugo; there's either multiple eligibility for the same work, or it automatically becomes a "lesser" Hugo (if things qualifying for YA are then barred from the regular categories).

  3. I know nothing about it, but hope they decide on some sort of award. YA and MG are popular books and deserve to be recognized.

  4. Good news is that the committee has been reformed and new members signed up. Bad news is that one of the new members is insisting that YA books are 'shorter' (Harry Potter books and small press books are somehow exceptions) so YA books can be defined that way.