What Being a Cybils Judge Is Really Like

Not everyone can be chosen as a Cybils judge. There are only so many spots available, and we like to populate them with both veterans and newbies, and we really do get a LOT of applicants, so we unfortunately can't pick everyone. We know you guys know that.

BUT: if you haven't participated yet and you're wondering what it's actually like being a judge–well, first-time Round 1 YA Fiction panelist William Polking, who blogs at Guys Lit Wire, has written up a thoughtful, funny post at Nerdy Book Club on the trials and tribulations of first-round Cybil-ing.

"I applied and thought little of it until I received a message telling
me that I had been selected as a panelist," William wrote. "The message ominously
threatened me with brusque claims about how many books I would have to
read in the next two months or so. I laughed in the face of such
rhetoric. You can never read too many books, or have too many books to
read. Then the nominations started rolling in and the database kept
expanding. The books began to multiply. I am no longer laughing."

Those of you who have been involved with Cybils before probably ARE laughing, but in recognition. I remember one crazy year when I was a Round 1 panelist for Fantasy and Sci-Fi, BEFORE the category was split into two age group panels. The entire floor of my office went missing for months, swallowed under stacks of books. William's post reminded me how much work it was–and how much fun I had, too. Go check it out.