YA author Ned Vizzini (b.1981) committed suicide on December 19. Vizzini’s first book, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, was a semi-autobiographical look at a teenager whose suicide attempt landed him in an institution. His second novel, Be More Chill, has science fictional elements in it and his third novel, The Other Normals, was an alternative fantasy. He also published a collection of essays and was working on a multi-book series with Chris Columbus.
Lisa Mantchev has been named the chair of the SFWA Young Adult Committee. She takes over the role from Sherwood Smith. Mantchev has been an SFWA member since 2002 and her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine and Strange Horizons. Beginning in 2009, she will be publishing a young adult trilogy, The Théâtre Illuminata.