The official Call for Judges has been announced and you have until Friday, September 13 at 11:59pm EDT to apply to be a panelist or judge. Read the Call for Judges here. Anyone who reads and reviews children's and young adult books via a social media platform (a blog, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, GoodReads, etc.) is eligible to apply. If you can't volunteer to be a judge, help spread the word about Cybils on social media and nominate your favorite books. Nominations open to the public on October 1.
Laura Arnhold also wrote a great post about being a Cybils Judge. Read it here.
I've served as a panelist 5 times...4 times in Poetry and 1 time in Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction. It's a fun process. You get to read lots of great books and discuss them with like minded people. I'm not going to lie: It's also a lot of work, but so rewarding. The beauty of Cybils is that nominations come from the public and the judges are a mix of teachers, librarians, parents, and book bloggers. I like the emphasis that is placed on kid appeal. Often I read major award winning books and I wonder about the amount of kid appeal (or lack thereof) that they have.
I'm going to list all the categories below, but forgive me for recommending my own category. Poetry is fun to read and discuss. It also usually has fewer nominations than the other categories. In 2018 Poetry had 48 nominations.
Cybils Awards Categories
- Fiction Picture Books & Board Books
- Easy Reader & Early Chapter Books
- Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction
- Middle Grade Fiction
- Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction
- Graphic Novels
- Junior/Senior High Nonfiction
- Young Adult Speculative Fiction
- Young Adult Fiction
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