The William C. Morris YA Debut Award is an annual award given to a work of young adult literature by a debut author. It is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It was named for twentieth-century American publisher William C. Morris, whom YALSA calls an innovator and "an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults". The award is funded by the William C. Morris Endowment, established in 2000 and activated in 2003 with a bequest of $400,000 from the Morris's estate. Morris gave the money to the ALA to fund programs, publications, events, or awards in promotion of children’s literature. In addition to being a member of the ALA, Morris was the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in 1992. The shortlist for the first award was announced on December 8, 2008. The winner was announced on January 26, 2009, at the ALA's midwinter meeting.
"To be eligible, a title must have been designated by its publisher as being either a young adult book or one published for the age range that YALSA defines as "young adult," i.e., 12 through 18." About 3000 "YA titles" are published annually and about 10% may be debuts.