The Cybils nominations started today, and as the organizer for the Fiction Picture Book category, I’ve already processed more than thirty titles! I haven’t made more than a few submissions myself because other people have been naming my favorite books. But that’s really fine with me, so long as we’re getting quality books in the judging. The process is so smooth this year, thanks mostly to the database design of Sheila Ruth. Now when you nominate a book, you can see immediately if it is already on the list. The nominations are contained in a nice little box, so you can scroll through them and you can see the book covers. If all this weren’t enough, the nomination form feeds right into the form for the organizers and panelists so we can keep track of the titles. Excellent!
At Booklights today, I have a recap of the National Book Festival, information about the Cybils, and some blog highlights from Banned Books Week. I already have a comment on the banned books aspect, which is making me wonder whether I should have censored my post. Oh, the irony.
KidlitCon09 is coming together quite nicely, with a list of about eighty participants, including representatives from Candlewick, Tor Books, and HarperCollins. On Friday, we have tours scheduled at the Library of Congress, the main building and the children’s center. I already have about thirty people ready to meet for dinner that evening near the hotel. Saturday, October 17th, is filled with interesting sessions, a Meet-the-Author time, a cocktail hour, a nice dinner, and a charity raffle. Sunday is looking like an informal Twitter breakfast and a field trip to the independent bookstore Hooray for Books, located in charming Old Town Alexandria, where I am working on a book reading and signing session. It’s going to be a great weekend that you should not miss.
Besides, after this Washington Post article about the importance of online marketing of your own book and Cheryl Klein’s post about how she signed Sara Lewis Holmes because of her blog, you have to ask yourself if you can afford not to invest in learning more about blogging, social media, and online presence. Register now.
Edited to add text of Booklights post:
1. National Book Festival
I packed my pockets with tissues and cough drops, and went to the National Book Festival on a chillly, rainy day certain to exacerbate my cold. Totally worth it. The fifth grader and I went to the Mo Willems signing, while the teens tried for Rick Riordan's autograph waiting in a line that defied description. After missing out on his signature, the teens went to his author session early to make sure they didn't miss that too. The fifth grader and I went to see Mo Willems' presentation.
My daughter was picked to go up on stage and read/act the book Today I Will Fly, with her as Piggie, Mo's daughter Trixie as the dog, and Mo as Gerald the elephant! My heart was bursting with pride as my daughter turned in a wonderful performance for a packed house, and now we can't wait to see the webcast on the National Book Festival site.
The whole bunch of us also saw Jeff Kinney, who was delightful, funny and truly humble, and Rick Riordan, who shared the news of his upcoming books. Patrick Carmon talked about his new titles along with The 39 Clues Series. Judy Blume held the crowd mesmerized just by being there. My whole story is available in at MotherReader in two parts.
2. Banned Book Week
With everything I've got on my plate this week, I've let others carry the online efforts for Banned Book Week. Fortunately, they've done a wonderful job. While a Wall Street Journal op-ed questioned whether you can even call a book banned in this country, Colleen Mondor wrote a reply at Chasing Ray that amounts to the world's most eloquent Yes. My good friend Lee Wind has a exceptional two-part interview with authors of challenged books. A letter posted last year at MyLiBlog (and tweeted by Neil Gaiman this year) offers an incredible answer to a patron who wanted a picture book removed from a public library. I also can't help returning to the Banned Books Week manifesto, a jarring poem of Ellen Hopkins, "Burn every word to ash. Ideas are incombustible."
3. The Cybils
Nomination season has begun for the 2009 Cybils, also known as the Children's and Young Adult Blogger's Literary Awards. If you have a children's or teen book that you loved that was published in 2009, you can nominate it at the Cybils site. You can submit one book per genre, and nominations are accepted from today through October 15th. At that point, a panel for each genre reads, analyzes and discusses the books to come up with a shortlist of finalists on January 1, 2010. Then a second round of judges take those books and in the course of a month an a half come up with a winner for each category. With all the genres and judges and rounds, the Cybils involves many bloggers in the KidLit and Young Adult online communities making it a festival season for book lovers. This year I'll be the organizer and a panelist for the Fiction Picture Book category, so I'll be bringing you lots of the best picture books over the next few months. Of course, you don't have to look just to me. Check out the Cybils page for reviews of great titles across the genres.