KidLit Con 2011


IMG_2303 Yes, that is your Cybils Overlord with superstar author Scott Westerfeld. Note that he is not only totally hot but that he is touching me. I was touched by Scott Westerfeld. Me. I did indeed wash that shoulder, but only because I had visual proof right here that he touched me.

Did I mention that Scott Westerfeld actually touched me?

Okay, I'm over it (seriously, honey, if you're reading this, I'm totally over it).

I attended the Kidlitosphere Conference in Seattle over last weekend. It was organized by our very own Jackie Parker and blogger/Bookslut columnist Colleen Mondor.

More photos below the break (sadly, not of Scott Westerfeld, who is totally hot. And who touched me).

IMG_2301 This is Sarah Stevenson (standing), formerly our blog editor and author extraordinaire, and Sheila Ruth, our Science Fiction/Fantasy organizer and publishing liaison. Sheila and I have worked side-by-side since Cybils started, but this is the first time we've met in person. It took no time at all to feel like we've known each other forever.

IMG_2304That's Carol Rasco, head of Reading is Fundamental. Carol and I had a long-overdue chat about how Cybils can help RIF in its hour of need. Instead, Carol wanted to talk about ways RIF could also help Cybils. She is such an amazing person, and we do indeed have some exciting ideas percolating between us.


IMG_2305 Jackie Parker and Colleen Mondor, who made KidLit Con happen in a big, classy but characteristically low-key way. Thanks, ladies!



IMG_2308 It's all about the accessories. Pam Coughlan (Fiction Picture Books organizer) wears her signature alphabet scarf. Past Cybils volunteer Maureen Kearney dons a beret for the chilly Seattle clime. I promised to look Maureen up this year on my annual pilgrimage to the Tucson gem show, but only if she wears that beret for me.

Now here's the part that makes me all ferklempt. I've spent the last three years working full-time and doing Cybils as best I could, when I could. Reading your blogs was admittedly somewhere below getting 8 hours of sleep a night on my priority list. So I had no idea how big a deal Cybils was becoming. That's not meant to brag. I don't do brag.

You all make Cybils happen, which is why I dipped into my family checking account to help fund that meet-and-greet. At first I was flummoxed and then enormously flattered by the steady stream of people who went out of their way to meet me and thank me for the Cybils. Me? Thank you. I do very little besides watch all of you work. At least, I think that's what I do. But if you're convinced your overlord slaves night and day to make Cybils a reality, who am I to argue?

It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to create a space where KidLitters can gather and debate which stories leap off the page (or, increasingly, screen) and deserve national praise. And it's been a deeply felt honor to watch my organizers at work, bringing to the task some of the sharpest minds in the book-loving world.

Now back to work, everyone. Nominations open Oct. 1 and I better see some awesome books listed, awrighty?

–Anne Levy, Cybils Administrator

Comments 7

  1. tanita

    Oh, my gosh! Scott Westerfeld! IS. TOUCHING. YOU. And lookin’ darned happy.
    Also? You look amazing. LOVE that jewelry.
    How is it that we blog and are all such beautiful people? I think books somehow give us bright eyes, excellent skin and great hair. Trés, trés beau.

  2. Anne

    Thanks, T! I agree … we all looked very wholesome. I came back to Scottsdale to all the botoxed bleached blondes and immediately felt fat and ungainly again. Aargh.
    The pendant is a fire agate from Arizona, but I call it “California Wildfire.” You can’t really tell, but it looks like blackened hills with the flames licking the horizon … just like we would see every fall in SoCal!
    Sorry we missed you. Hurry back to us, sweetie.

  3. Jen Robinson

    Anne, I’m glad that you got to hear from other bloggers how much people value the Cybils. You’ve put in countless hours over the years (as have many tireless volunteers), and it’s great to see the Cybils lists becoming ever-more-appreciated as a resource. And Carol Rasco is an amazing person 🙂

  4. Sheila Ruth

    This actually made tears come to my eyes. I’ve said it before, Anne, but you constantly underestimate your importance to the success of the Cybils. You do a lot more than you think you do. And the pendant was even more beautiful in person than in the picture.
    I do take credit for the picture, though, since not only did I nudge Anne to go and get her picture taken with Scott, but I think I actually took the picture, although it’s all a little bit hazy so I might be wrong about that. 🙂

  5. Anne

    Yep, you took the picture and it’s one of the few I actually like of me! And don’t make me cry, Sheila and Jen. Sheesh. I can’t even see the screen now. Knock that off or it’s the dungeon for you both.
    So saith the overlord.

  6. Ms. Yingling

    Hey, there have to be some perks to being an overlord, especially when you are benign rather than evil. In fact, this almost makes me want to grow up to be an overlord, if we can get Anthony Horowitz or David Gilman to come to a KidLit Con! Not that they’re hot– would just like to talk with them, of course!

  7. aquafortis

    I could hardly believe that was our first time meeting in person, Anne and Sheila!! Anyway, it was wonderful and long overdue.
    I just want to take this opportunity to also note that I normally have my eyes OPEN. Y’know, in general. Not in pictures, apparently.

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