Sunday, September 23, 2012


I am thrilled to be returning as a first-round panelist for the Cybils! I really wrung my hands; it's a lot of work, if enjoyable work, and last year, I wasn't able to post about what I was reading as much as I'd have liked to have been. And yet, it's hard to stay away from the opportunity to read a huge chunk that's most of what's been published in young adult speculative fiction in the last year and then wrestle with my fellow panelists about what should be on the short list.

First-round panelists read the nominations, attempting to ensure that every nominated book has at least one (if not two or three) different readers. We make our own short lists. And, eventually, we pass on 5-7 titles to the second round judges, who choose the winner.

Last year was the first year for a new category (book apps) and for books that were self-published or only available as e-books. This year, I predict that there will be at least 200 books nominated in YA SF/F, so as you can imagine, it's going to be competitive, and I imagine that it's going to be like it's been the last two years--I'll think that we put together a strong list of finalists, but that I'll wish there were room to honor another ten or twenty. What I do think is that the influx of people blogging about books (that might not have been at aggressively marketed or that might not have been, say, on the minds of people who are only reading in print or in e or from a particular retailer) is a good thing.

Nominations start on October 1 and end on October 15. You can find out how it all works, more about the judging panels, and more about the divisions at

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