YSS Scholarships and Awards

2010 Winner: GERALD MORRIS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Gerald Morris, born to missionary parents, spent much of his childhood in Singapore. As he grew older, Morris never felt he belonged to a particular culture, and said finding his career felt much the same way:

I was going to be a minister, a teacher, or a writer, depending which day you asked me. Even as I went to college, my career picture never really become clear. I had officially decided to become a minister, but I majored in English and began writing poetry and short stories. From Ninth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators. Edited by Connie C. Rockman. NY: H. W. Wilson, 2004).

Attending Oklahoma Baptist University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he later became a religion professor and earned a Ph.D., but still enjoyed writing novels. His focus became tales of King Arthur, especially involving a squire named Terence.

Currently, he is an associate pastor in Wausau at a Methodist church. He is married and has three children.

Selected Books written by Gerald Morris

The Squire's Quest

The Squire's Quest (2009)

The Adventures of Sir Givret the Short

The Adventures of Sir Givret the Short (2008)

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great (2008)

The Quest of the Fair Unknown

The Quest of the Fair Unknown(2006)

The Lioness & Her Knight

The Lioness & Her Knight (2005)

The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight

The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight (2004)

The Ballad of Sir Dinadan

The Ballad of Sir Dinadan (2003)

2009 Winner: Pete Hautman

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Pete Hautman is the author of an almost countless number of titles for adults, young adults and children. Born in Berkeley, CA, at a young age Pete moved to Minnesota, where he currently shares his time between south Minneapolis and the Lake Pepin area in Wisconsin.

Hautman’s formal education was from Minneapolis College of Art & Design and the University of Minnesota, where according to his website he accrued a huge debt and no marketable skills. But he must have done something right…

Beginning in the 1990s, writing under the pseudonym Peter Murray, he wrote many well-received non-fiction titles for Child’s World. His books were said to be “visually appealing”, “user-friendly” with plenty of information presented in an informal way. (Hummingbirds,1993; Volcanoes, 1996)

Hautman’s titles for young adults have won several awards: Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allen Poe Award, Best YA Book of the Year from Michigan Library Association, Minnesota Book Awards for Best Popular novel and 2004 National Book Award for Godless.

Selected Books written by Pete Hautman


Godless (2004)


Invisible (2005)

Bloodwater Mysteries: Dobbleganger

Bloodwater Mysteries: Doppleganger (2008)


Sweetblood (2003)

Rash (2006)

Full House

Full House (2007)

Hole in the Sky

Hole in the Sky (2001)

2007 Winner: JIM LAMARCHE

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Selected Books written or illustrated by JIM LAMARCHE


Up (2006)

The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Elves & the Shoemaker, re-written by LaMarche 2003)

The Raft

The Raft (2000)

Selected Books illustrated by JIM LAMARCHE

A Story for Bear

A Story for Bear (2005)
Author: Dennis Haseley

The Little Fir Tree

The Little Fir Tree (2005)
Author: Margaret Wise Brown


Albert (2001)
Author: Donna Jo Napoli


AddThis Social Bookmark Button
With more than twenty titles, Marybeth Lorbiecki brings to her writing her experiences as a children’s book editor, mom, teacher, marketing copywriter, journalist, youth worker, international Rotarian ambassador, graduate student in literature, and post graduate student in philosophy. (Someday she’ll find a way to work in something about being a lens grinder, factory worker, bakery clerk, waitress, park landscape assistant, museum receptionist, etc.) Her themes often center on people's relationships—to each other and to the land.

Many of her books bring history alive for younger readers, tackling difficult topics: racism, guns, war, environmental challenges—yet they have a lighter side and a drama that allow younger readers to look at these issues with hope and courage.

MaryBeth, her husband, David Mataya, and their three children live in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Selected Books written by MARYBETH LORBIECKI

Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart

Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart (2007)

Author's Note: The Lucette Doll was made by a dollmaker from Wisconsin, Melissa Belanger, whose mother is a retired Wisconsin children's librarian and quilt maker.

Visit Melissa online at http://melissabelanger.com/

Planet Patrol

Planet Patrol (2005)

Sister Anne's Hands

Sister Anne's Hands (1998)

Aldo Leopold: a Fierce Green Fire

Aldo Leopold: a Fierce Green Fire (1996)

Jackie's Bat

Jackie's Bat (2006)

John Muir & Stickeen: an Icy Adventure with a No-Good Dog

John Muir & Stickeen: an Icy Adventure with a No-Good Dog (2004)

Painting the Dakota: Seth Eastman at Fort Snelling

Painting the Dakota: Seth Eastman at Fort Snelling (2000)


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A note from Betty Ren Wright

I’m grateful for the special honor the Wisconsin Library Association has accorded me. It’s delightful to be recognized for something that has brought me so much pleasure in the doing.

“A writer,” was always the answer when I was asked as a child what I wanted to be. The ambition remained the same, even after I realized that my family-teachers-friends just might be right when they said I’d better plan on having another job as well. When I graduated from Milwaukee-Downer College my brand-new “day job” was in the editorial department of the Western Publishing Company. My night and early morning job during those years was writing short stories aimed at the magazine market.

My first sales were to Alfred Hitchcock’s Magazine. Not surprisingly, I discovered I liked crime, the kind of unexpected, spontaneous crime that might startle the criminal as much as the victim. I sent stories to all the women’s magazines, too. In those blessed days most of the major “slicks” published fiction, often two or three stories in an issue. It was a wonderful time for short-story writers! Many of my efforts revolved around children; at least a half-dozen of them became starting points for the novels for young people that came later.

I didn’t attempt a book-length story until 1978 when I left Western, intending to free-lance full time. It was a daring move for a cautious soul, or it would have been if my recently acquired husband hadn’t assured me we would go right on eating even if I never wrote another word.

Readers today live in a world I didn’t imagine when I was their age, but their feelings – love, fear, anger, insecurity – remain much the same. They look in books for people like themselves who are dealing with problems and are coping. Since I always enjoyed reading and writing stories with suspense or a touch of the supernatural, it’s been gratifying to be told, again and again, “I LOVE to be scared!”

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of seeing my name on the cover of a book. I couldn’t guess at all the joys that might come with that one. I’ve met hundreds of people I wouldn’t otherwise have know, traveled to places I might otherwise have never seen, heard from readers who have enriched my life in countless ways. Writing a book was the great dream. The reality has been even better.

-Betty Ren Wright

Selected Books written by Betty Ren Wright

The Dollhouse Murders

The Dollhouse Murders (1983)

Crandall's Castle

Crandall's Castle (2005)

The Blizzard

The Blizzard (2005)

Christina's Ghost

Christina's Ghost (1985)

Princes for a Week

Princess for a Week (2006)

Ghost in Room 11

Ghost in Room 11 (1998)