Contest FAQs

What’s a Cybil?

The Cybils awards are given each year by bloggers for the year’s best children’s and young adult titles. Nominations open to the public on October 1st.

Can anyone nominate?

Yes, anyone may nominate
one book per genre during the public nomination period. We ask authors, publishers and publicists to wait until after the public
nomination period ends to submit their own books.

How do I nominate?

We post an online form for
public nominations from Oct. 1-15 every year. The form will be live at at 12:00 a.m. PST on October 1. We’ve tried to make the form
mobile-friendly, so you can use your phone to nominate if you prefer. Authors
and publishers may use the public form to nominate books other than their own,
but should contact for information on submitting their
own books.

Which books are eligible?

Any English or bilingual
books published in the U.S. or Canada between the end of one contest and start
of another. For 2013, that means books released between Oct. 16, 2012 and Oct.
15, 2013. Books that were eligible or nominated in previous years are not eligible for nomination this year unless significantly revised (at least 20% of the book is changed.)

The Cybils only accepts titles published specifically for the youth market. We determine audience based on publisher data, Library of Congress, traditional review sources such as Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, and other traditional industry sources. Information found on other sites, including reviews, will be considered at the discretion of Cybils administration.

Eligible titles must be widely available in the US and/or Canada through public libraries, or online booksellers. Titles that are only available through book clubs and/or author or publisher websites by October 15 of the award year are not eligible. There may be situations not mentioned that preclude eligibility due to availability.

The Cybils retains the right to declare ineligible any title we deem to not meet Cybils availability criteria.

PLEASE NOTE: Ebooks not also available in print are ONLY accepted in Poetry, YA SFYA Fiction, and YA Nonfiction.

Does it help if a book has lots of nominations?

NO! In fact, the online
form will kick the nomination back if a book’s already been listed. It needs to
get on our radar only once for consideration. After that, it’s up to the

More contest info:

Cybils pen Finalists are posted January 1st. Winners are announced February 14th. Winners receive a fountain pen in an engraved wooden box. 

Who can judge?

We ask for volunteers every August from the book-blogging community. Generally, our judges must contribute at least monthly to a blog that’s primarily about children’s or young adult literature. There’s some wiggle room there, but not much. More info here.

Do you review books?

We post excerpts of reviews
by our volunteer judges throughout the contest season, from October through
February. They’re selected somewhat at random so we get a mix of genres, age
groups and reviewers. We’re sorry we can’t guarantee a book review. We
typically get 1,000 nominations and we couldn’t review them all even if we ran
dozens each day! Please do not contact judges to request a review.

I’m a publisher. What do I need to do?

We provide publishers, authors, and publicists a separate window to submit books after the
public nomination period ends. This gives you a chance to see what books have
been nominated, and to submit any deserving books that fell through the cracks.
You may submit up to 10% of your 2013 children’s/YA list. We ask that you do
not submit your own books during the public nomination period.

After Oct. 15, we’ll be in
touch to let you know what books have been nominated, and give you a chance to
submit any additional ones. We do ask that you send review copies, physical or
digital, of any books that you submit. Review copies of publicly nominated
books will be optional, as always, but it’s often helpful if you can get us a
few. We can accept review copies as print or ebooks. For book apps, we’ll need promo codes or gift codes to enable judges to download the app.

don’t contact judges directly.
We’ll be sorting out who needs what to prevent
duplication. To make sure you’re on the list to receive information, please
send an email to Sheila Ruth at Thanks!

I’m a self-published author. What do I do?

Please see the above
information for publishers. To make sure that we have your contact information,
drop an email to Sheila Ruth at Please don’t contact
judges directly.
It’s much easier to have only one contact person — for us and
for you.

Do all the books get read?

Yes, all books that panelists have access to get read by at least a couple of judges. Panelists are only required to read until they’re
sure the book isn’t competitive with other nominated titles. All bets are off
if we can’t get our grubby paws on a review copy, though. Judges will make every attempt to find books in the library or through Inter-Library Loan, but we don’t ask judges to purchase books.

My book didn’t make the shortlist. Did you get it? Did anyone read it?

If you sent it, we got it. If we got it, someone read at least partway in. If you didn’t make the shortlist, it’s because the judges gave it a “pass.” Please don’t contact them to ask why. We’re not your writing group and we cannot provide feedback.

Advertising, sponsorships, link exchanges and publicity

Please email the contest administrator, Anne Levy, at anne (at) inlandempress (dot) com. Note that we don’t accept ads with adult content. Thanks.

Any other questions we haven’t addressed?

Contact us at cybils09 (at)

Thanks for finding your way to us at