For many people February 14 is just Valentine's Day. For book bloggers it's something else altogether -- it's the day the Cybils winners are announced! What are the Cybils? They just happen to be one of the best book awards out there.
The Cybils started four years ago as a little project with a big idea -- to celebrate the sense of community among book bloggers and award authors who write books that have literary merits and that appeal to kids. Books are nominated by the book blogging community, and each year a group of panelists and judges, all bloggers, read the nominated books and choose a winner. They cover everything from children's books to young adult non-fiction.
Everyone who sits as a panelist or a judge is a volunteer. Sometimes these volunteers are able to get review copies from publishers, sometimes they rely on bookstores and their local bookstores. It's grassroots, and people do it for the love of good books. Sarah was a panelist.
It is an absolute pleasure being a part of the Cybils. I've been very fortunate in that I have been a panelist for the last two years. It has opened my eyes to reading more critically while also looking for kid appeal. It's an overwhelming, fantastic, fun job that I absolutely adore. Thanks to everyone at the Cybils!
Something that's different now than when these awards started four years ago is that most authors now have blogs. They are now part of the community of readers that honors them. Here's what some of the authors have to say about winning the Cybils award:
Courtney Summer's Cracked Up To Be was the winner for Young Adult Fiction.
I spilled coffee on myself after I found out Cracked Up to Be won. I was excited and thrilled and shocked and my hands were like AAAAH! [THROWS COFFEE]. I don't usually love spilling hot coffee on a shirt I am planning to wear for the rest of the day but I did yesterday! Thank you to everyone who has emailed, tweeted and messaged their congrats. You made me cry. Lots.
Kristin Cashore's Graceling was a finalist for the Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction prize in 2008. Her follow-up book Fire walked away with the prize this year.
When I learned yesterday that Fire won the 2009 Cybil for YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, I was surprised, proud, and downright teary! It surely does feel nice.
The recognition of bloggers means a lot to me because these are my book-loving kindred spirits, my far-flung tribe out in the world. They don't get paid to do it, but they perform this amazing service of reading and reviewing books, getting the word out, and blogs are where I get ALL my book news. If it wasn't for blogs, I'd be in the DARK. How strange and isolated it must have been to be a writer in the dark days before the internet! And a reader, well, I remember how reading was once a solitary pursuit, but it isn't anymore. It's a community, and that is awesome.
The book blogging community really is awesome, and the Cybils are one glowing example of that. Congratulations to all the winners.
More from living