Nominations are open for the third annual Cybil Awards until October 15. Cybil stands for Children and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. There are nine categories of awards: Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, and Young Adult Novels. Anyone may nominate any book published in 2008 at the website--http://www.cybils.com/--but you may make only one nomination per category.
Okay, why another award? Well, where are the book reviewers for children's and young adult's literature? Online, of course. And every book nominated according to the rules (check out the website) will be considered by a panel of judges. I know this because this year, I'm on the panel for the Young Adult nominations.
The finalists will chosen by the panels after we read a lot of books. We'll discuss and pass on our final choices to the judges on January 1. They'll have the difficult job of selecting a winner. I'll have the job of reading ... how many books? Right before Christmas? What was I thinking??
Actually, if you read the nominations, you'll know exactly what I was thinking. The opportunity to read and discuss these great titles has me psyched. Lisa's I Heart You, You Haunt Me was nominated, and novels by authors we've interviewed on this blog were nominated, such as Shift by Jennifer Bradbury. So, yes, this will be fun, but obviously, it's going to take away from my writing time. So why did I volunteer?
Because I believe that reading makes me a better writer. I've been busy writing the end of a novel I worked on for many, many, many months. My reading took a back seat. I think a solid month of immersive reading is exactly what I need right now to improve as a writer. I know this will be a tremendous learning experience, as I'll be forced to track and articulate what about a young adult novel makes it stand out and shine. So I think it will be worth the temporary trade-off in lost writing time. I'll definitely be in revision mode when January 1 comes around.
So don't forget to nominate your pick for best book of the year at the Cybils website before November 15. Or maybe you should forget and I won't have to read so much. No, don't forget! Make sure I'm reading the best stuff!
-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Writer