Growing Bookworms Newsletter: August 15
Links I Shared on Twitter This Week: August 17

The Application Form for Cybils 2012 Judges is Now Live!

Cybils2012Hey there, children's and young adult literature bloggers. The time has come to apply to be a judge for the 2012 Cybils Awards. 

You can find the application form here. But first, do take a few moments to read the overview / requirements. I won't sugarcoat it. Being a Cybils judge, particularly for Round 1, is a lot of work, much of which takes place during the already busy December holiday season. But I can also tell you from several years of first-hand experience that it is highly rewarding.

Last year I was a Round 1 judge for the first time, in Fiction Picture Books. There were more than 200 nominations, and even though picture books are short, simply acquiring copies of them all was a real project. Although publishers have been wonderful about providing access to some of the hard to find books, we try to use libraries as much as possible (because there are so many books involved). This meant extensive use of the hold lists in two library systems, and a bit of muscle strain from lugging around loaded bags of books. 

But it was worth it! All year long, I've felt like I really had a handle on the picture books published last year. I know what are great titles to recommend to people for all sorts of occasions. I published dozens of picture book reviews on my blog (though not as many as I would have liked). And I was part of an amazing community of other people doing the same thing. 

Anyway, bloggers, now is the time to apply if you are interested in participating. Being a Cybils judge is a small way to give back to the children's book industry, I think, and to all of the teachers and librarians and parents out there who are on the lookout for good books.

I've said this many times, and I'm sure that I will say it again. I think that the shortlists that the Cybils teams come up with each year in various categories are a tremendously valuable resource. Now is your chance to be part of putting those together. 

(I should also note that a lot of people apply each year, and that you should try not to take it personally if you are not selected. The category organizers strive to find balance on each panel, and sometimes wonderful bloggers have to wait until next year. Keep trying.)

Everything else you need to know, you can find from this post on the Cybils blog. Apply! Enjoy! Participate! Read great books!