Okay! With a few necessary adjustments to the eligibility rules this year, The Cybils Awards ensconces itself even more firmly among the United States. In their own words, "we've gotten so big and la-di-da we can be a bit pickier now." So this year, ONLY books published in the United States or Canada are eligible. Makes sense to me. If British (or Ugandan or Australian, or where-ever-arian) bloggers want an award, they can start their own version of the Cybils, right? As for the home-grown Cybils award, "nuts to books published by them furriners who can't be bothered to furnish a few US or Canadian bookstores with copies." Right?? Right.
Last year, I took a look at where Cybils judges were located (in a general sense, of course... I'm not publishing anyone's street address, or anything, for goodness sakes.)
Last year, I thought I saw a fairly decent spread of representation nationwide. A few foreigners, to be sure (mainly from English-speaking countries) and most U.S. states had a representative, with urban population centers looking decidedly darker on the map. Only four judges from outside the U.S. this year. I predict that number will dwindle in years to come.
This year, what a surprise! I'm glad I repeated this little experiment, if nothing else for showing me how very clearly the Cybils judging panel is made of... former Cybils judges. Not a lot of new blood this year. And yet! There's an interesting shift... California, despite the high cost of living, is far and away, the top state for judges. With an impressive 19 judges total, no other state even comes close. Texas makes a sturdy showing with 9 judges total. As was the case last year, the greater Washington, D.C. area splits it's votes among several states. Huge swath of the Midwest looking decidedly underrepresented, but again, I suppose that's to be expected in "flyover" states that boast a larger population of livestock than people. Compare last year's judges to this year's to get a sense of how the population has shifted.