This is hard to write. A rising star in the young adult writing pantheon is lost to us today. L.K. (Lisa) Madigan died yesterday, February 23, after a courageous battle with cancer. She will be missed. I know that because I was lucky enough to chair the committee that awarded her the 2010 William C. Morris Award and we were fortunate enough to meet and spend time with her.
The Morris Award honored Lisa’s debut novel Flash Burnout as the best debut novel for 2010. She was named one of the five finalists and she never seemed to quite get over being listed among that group, much less being the actual winner. She was a funny, thoughtful and generous person and writer. Lisa’s acceptance speech video can be viewed here.
It’s not often a committee has the opportunity to really spend time with some of the best new authors out there , but thanks to their publishers we spent a magical evening enjoying all five finalists. The limelight was graciously shared among the five because Lisa insisted on sharing her spotlight. In fact, she kept referring to the committee as â€œmy librariansâ€ because she said we were her bridge to her readers. It was a statement she reminded me of over these past months, and is a powerful reminder of why we must take our committee duties seriously.
Lisa published one more book, The Mermaid’s Mirror. It is very different from her debut novel, but equally well written and engaging. Take time to read and share her books. And on behalf of the 2010 Morris Committee we hope that each of you will pick up a book, any book, and share it with a young reader today…be â€œmy librarianâ€ ….it is what Lisa would have wanted us to do.
–Judy T Nelson
Chair of 2010 William C. Morris Debut Author Award
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