The Year of Shadows: Claire Legrand
Growing Bookworms Newsletter: August 21

The Cybils Are Coming!

Cybils2013SmallIt's that time of year again. The Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards, the Cybils, are starting up. The Cybils are an annual book award, organized and judged by bloggers. Finalists and winners are named in each of some dozen categories, ranging from picture books through young adult titles. This year, the categories have been updated slightly. Here is the complete list:

Book Apps
Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books
Fiction Picture Books
Graphic Novels
Elementary/Middle- Grade Nonfiction
Young Adult Nonfiction
Middle Grade Fiction
Young Adult Fiction
Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction
Young Adult Speculative Fiction 

The main changes are to group middle grade nonfiction with picture books, instead of young adult books, and to rename "Fantasy and Science Fiction" into "Speculative Fiction" (a slightly more broad title). Also, middle grade speculative fiction will be a separate category from young adult, mainly because there are so many books nominated in each category. Charlotte Taylor is our new Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction coordinator. 

We are seeking panelists in all of the above categories. You can find the call for judges here. You do need to have a children's or young adult book blog (or contribute to one regularly). The deadline to apply is August 31st, but please don't wait if you are interested. Many organizers begin filling slots early. 

I can speak from personal experience in saying that being a Cybils panelist is immensely rewarding. You get to work with others who share your love of children's and young adult literature. You get to help identify the cream of the crop in this year's titles. And you get the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping kids to find books that are well-written and kid-friendly. No small thing. It is a lot of work, particularly for Round 1 panelists (who winnow the list of nominated titles down to a 5-7 book shortlist). But if you have the time (and don't have any kind of conflict of interest), it's totally worthwhile. 

Like the Cybils (whether you want to be a panelist or not)? You can also download updated logos for 2013 (designed by Sarah Stevenson) and put them on your blog. Sarah is taking a break as blog editor this year, and is being replaced by our Middle Grade Fiction organizer, Karen Yingling

Stay tuned for more updates on the Cybils blog, including organizer profiles, category descriptions, and, starting October 1st, nominations. It's going to be fun!