Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why you should apply for Cybils (preferably in my category, but I can be broad-minded)

Cybils is a wonderful thing and right now you, fellow bloggers, have the opportunity to apply to be involved as a judge. Reasons why this is an awesome thing you should do:

  1. Cybils is the best of both worlds - child appeal and literary merit. You will have the opportunity to read, discuss, review, and choose great books that kids will love to read. You will be involved in promoting those books to parents, teachers, and librarians as well as to kids themselves.
  2. As category chairs, we try to pick the most balanced, diverse panels possible so as to have a wide range of viewpoints, experiences and professions to draw from in the judging process. The more people apply, the wider field we have to pick from and the better panels we can construct!
  3. Think you've got the past year in publishing covered? You don't know what you're missing until you read 100+ books in your given category. You'll discover new books you never heard of, gems you'd completely missed, and a whole slew of titles to pass on to eager kids who can't wait to read something new. Those books you may have dismissed - you'll get another look at them from the perspectives of your fellow panelists and maybe see new aspects you missed before.
  4. Great professional experience; working with a panel of wildly different people, with all their varying tastes, biases, and quirks to choose a slate of 5-7 finalists from as many as 200 nominations is a very useful professional experience. Collaboration, there's nothing like it.
Why you desperately want to apply to be on my panel, Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction
  1. This is a category that's growing by leaps and bounds. The awesome nonfiction published for young children has exploded in the last few years and you will be amazed and delighted by the range of subjects, formats, and writing styles being used.
  2. Because our panel covers such a wide range, you'll have the opportunity to read everything from picture books about science aimed at kindergarteners to history books for 10 year olds.
  3. We are a super fun group. Seriously. Ask my employees, I bring the FUN. Er...well, I bring the chocolate anyways.
What do you  need  to apply?
  1. A Blog
  2. Posts on nonfiction (or your other hoped for category) that show off your awesome reviewing skills.
  3. If you want to be part of Round 1, you'll need a pretty significant chunk of time available, October - December. You'll be gulping down books as fast as you can read them and joining in preliminary discussions before the final, in-depth discussions happen. Right at Christmas (who says I don't celebrate holidays?)
  4. If you're thinking of Round 2, you'll need to swallow down the books much faster (6 weeks as opposed to three months) but you will only be reading the finalists - this round involves much deeper reflection and discussion all the way through.
  5. The deadline is September 5

1 comment:

Sheila Ruth said...

How can anyone resist after this great post? In fact, if chocolate is on offer, maybe I'll switch!