Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cybils panelists announced

Panelist selections for the 2010 Cybils awards have been announced!  The Cybils awards are the only children's and Young Adult book awards chosen exclusively by kidslit bloggers.

I am very sad to say that I was not chosen.  I am, in a word: gutted.  No, that's not strong enough to describe the keenness of my disappointment.  I am absolutely gutted.  Disappointed in the world, and in myself.

I can't say why, but for some reason, I had my heart set on the idea of being a Cybils panelist this year.  What is it about serving on an awards committee that has so much appeal?  Year after year, bleary-eyed, exhausted committee members warn applicants that it is so much WORK, that your home life, your sleep schedule, your very sanity will suffer! And yet, year after year, those same people re-apply, ready to take part in the Great Task of sifting through and determining the best of the year.

I guess, to try and explain the appeal of serving on a committee has to me, I have to back up a bit.  I ran the marathon a few years ago... mainly to prove to myself that I could be athletic, if I put my mind to it.  Training and running the marathon changed me so much, as a human being.  I learned to be more patient and forgiving of myself than I ever thought I could, to pace myself, and to keep on going, consistently.  I haven't run a marathon since, (I find the half-marathon much, much easier on the old knees) but the lessons I learned from it stayed with me.  Completing a marathon is the kind of achievement that is so inarguably gargantuan, it inspires awe in nearly everyone.  And even though I still love running, I am first and foremost, a person who lives in my mind, not in my body, if that makes sense.  Books have been my constant companions... they make the time on the treadmill more bearable.  Serving on a committee, with the hundreds of books to be read, is like a marathon of the mind.  Surely, if I could run a physical marathon (my weakest area) I could take on a task such as this, in an area that I see as my strength (reading and thinking).

190 people applied for roughly 110 spots.  It might sound crazy, but I'm going to go ahead and declare myself the "unofficial" 111th Cybils award team member.  Why not?  There are such things as Mock Newberys and Mock Caldecotts.  I think Cybils has been around long enough and is well-respected enough to merit an attempt at a mock Cybils award.  Maybe I'll get the opportunity to commiserate with other 80 folks who didn't get in.


  1. aw gee, Madigan--maybe it will work out for you next year...I hope so!

  2. Oh, Madigan! This is so very sad. I read this at my kitchen table all alone and said, "Awww..." out loud as I read it.

    It's only one award panel and only this year. You will be a judge at some point! You have the passion to do it, so I know it will happen for you.

  3. Sorry to hear about the Cybils. I don't know too much about them, but it seems like you would be a great judge. Maybe next year? Or just go for the Mock Cybils.
    That's awesome about the marathon! I'm run/walking about three miles a day right now and I always think "How do people do this for hours at a time?"

  4. Hey! A Mock Cybs! I like it!
    Go, 11th Member!

  5. Aw, Katie, don't be sad!
    I'm taking matters into my own hands, and getting involved anyway. It's exciting!

  6. Hi Madigan,

    I'm so sorry that you won't get a chance to be on the panel this year. There were so many people who applied, and it was so hard to have to choose only a small number of them. Sadly, there just wasn't room for everyone who applied. I'm going to be posting about the panel selection soon on my blog, but I just haven't had a chance because I've been dealing with a family emergency the last few days.

    I do encourage you to get involved in any way you can, and definitely nominate your favorite books between October 1 and 15. I think a Mock Cybils sounds like a fun idea. It would be interesting to see how the two lists differ and intersect, just like with the Mock Newbery's etc.

    I understand what you mean about the marathon. Of the things I've achieved in my life, my black belt in Aikido is the one I'm most proud of, because it was truly hard and I really worked to achieve it.



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