The Millikin Medal for Excellence in Young Adult Literature 

Millikin Medal SealThe Millikin Medal for Excellence in Young Adult Literature was founded in the fall of 2015 by professors Mike Cook (English), Amanda Pippitt (Staley Library), and Rachel Bicicchi (Staley Library). The purpose of the project is to bring together future educators, writers, historians, librarians, and parents to establish and facilitate a sustainable literary award. In their post-graduation lives, students may teach award-winning literature, serve on award committees, encourage overall literacy, or simply help their children find outstanding literature. Students on the Millikin Medal committee experience first-hand how award committees determine their award criteria, create a list of nominees, choose their winner, and handle the public relations that follow.

The inaugural, 2015-16 committee of Millikin students and faculty established the following mission and criteria for the Millikin Medal:

The Millikin Medal for Excellence in Young Adult Literature is awarded each spring to a work of fiction, published in the previous year, of outstanding literary merit that inspires a love of reading in a young adult audience. The judging panel for the Millikin Medal consists of current Millikin students and faculty.

  • A "young adult" audience is defined as high school through college age
  • Book inspires and encourages young adult literacy through inclusion of plots, characters, and themes young adults can connect with
  • Books must be a stand-along narrative
  • Books considered are limited to print fiction, but do not exclude genre fiction and may vary in form and literary style
  • Published in the year since the previous award cycle's finalist list was created
  • Literary merit includes the following aspects:
  • The author creates a unique, realistic voice that informs the way the story is told,
  • The book includes diverse characters in terms of disability, ethnicity, race, gender, nationality, religion, sexuality, or socioeconomic status. Removal of the character(s) from the plot would significantly affect the plot,
  • The book does not promote stereotypes,
  • The book does not suffer from formulaic or overused plots, characters, or themes.

Find out more by visiting the Millikin Medal page.