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.