YA Hugo Proposal

A proposal to create a Best Young Adult Book Hugo category has been submitted to the Chicon 7 business meeting by Juli Hanslip, Lou Berger, Dan Kimmel, Stu Segal, Bobbi DuFault and Chris M. Barkley.

Barkley reports the category definition is:

(a) A young adult science fiction or fantasy book of any length published in the previous calendar year.

(b) Any work nominated in this category may not be simultaneously considered, if eligible, in any other fiction category.

(c) Two years after being implemented, this Constitutional Amendment may be repealed by a simple majority vote at the subsequent Main Business Meeting.

(A young adult book is defined as one in which the author(s) and/or the publisher specifically targeted a potential nominee to this intended audience. In the event of any confusion on the issue, the Hugo Administrator may inquire with the author(s) of potential nominated work for clarification.)

Note: The parenthetical phrase is part of the proposed rule.

Barkley and others submitted a YA Hugo motion last year at Renovation which was disposed of by a vote to object to consideration, although this was done in the expectation he would come back with a revision in 2012.

6 thoughts on “YA Hugo Proposal

  1. You are a constant source of surprise.

    But I can’t wait for the year we combine this waith the Retro Hugos and give onr to Dr. Suess.

  2. Actually, it’s YA, not childrens, so Suess wouldn’t be eligible?

    Chris will have a nice long discussion on the subject in the next Drink Tank (out next week). I’m not against giving an award to YA, I’m just not sure that having the regular Hugo voters doing it would be for the best.

  3. “Actually, it’s YA, not childrens, so Suess wouldn’t be eligible?”

    Well, since the proposal doesn’t define YA, it’s pretty much what the voters think it might be. And since the proposal states “of any length” Dr Seuss could be eligible.

  4. Chris posted the text of the category definition to the Smofs list but not a title. Last year’s motion was titled “Children’s/YA” or something like that. So I took the liberty of guessing the title was the same since so much of the text in this year’s motion was carried over.

    As Michael notes, this is going to be another “vox populi, vox dei” fill-in-the-blank with whoever you want to give a Hugo to category.

    If it passes. I won’t be voting for it, personally.

  5. Since your Yolen post brought it back up…

    I would like to see a YA Hugo with a technically good and defensible rule to support it. This one still has structural problems.

    I don’t like the “2 years and revoke” clause. We seem to have developed a tradition of 3-year re-ratification for untested (or inconclusively-tested) categories, and I would prefer that. But that’s just an opinion.

    The definition of YA is tricky, but for the most part not as tricky as it might seem, at least for most works.

    The publishing industry has relatively consistent standards for submissions for their YA, middle grade and children’s markets (yes, that’s 3 markets, not one or two). Some publishers are fairly obvious in their positioning of YA, middle grade and children’s works, but how they do it is not consistent across the industry. Still, providing a starting point of “published under a YA, middle grade or children’s imprint” is something. Publishers want to position these works appropriately, it helps them sell books.

    Of course, that all goes out the window for small press and particularly self-published works. Small presses that aren’t dedicated to the YA market may make some missteps when entering it. Self-published works may or may not adhere to publishing standards for content, and self-published authors may ineffectively position their works.

    I actually like that placement of a work nominated in both a general fiction category and the YA category is (barring disqualification from YA) at the discretion of the author.

    And Garcia has a point. We get regular grousing that Hugo voters don’t recognize graphic stories that hard core comics fans think are important. I think it’s good we’re open to different works than the mainstream comics world. We may find that in recognizing YA works that appeal to adult voters that we’re mirroring actual popularity with the target audience, or we may be so far off base it’s not funny.

    Then again, we can only figure that out by trying.

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