The 4-1-1 on the 2024 CYBILS Awards

A few weeks ago, we shared three goals that our Board set for its 2024 agenda. In this post we identified several that relate to changes in our award. 

With the 2024 CYBILS Awards season starting soon, we want to share more detail about several of  those changes.

Objective: Improve book access and reading volume issues 

Year in and year out, we hear from our judges that they want more time to read all the books nominated or submitted in their category, as well as the opportunity to read books not locally available to them.  To that end, we have:

  • Adjusted the calendar. Beginning this year, the Public Nomination Period begins September 15 and runs until September 30. The publisher/author submission period begins October 1 and ends October 15.  
  • Extended reading opportunities. We have two calls for judges, instead of one.  The early call in June is an opportunity for interested people to be part of a panel. It is an option open to anyone, and does not affect one’s chances if they cannot apply until the second call in August.

The Early Call adds two months to the reading period, giving judges the opportunity to “read ahead” for books that could be nominated in their category. Shifting the nomination/submission timeline complements that and also extends the author/publisher submission period to a full two weeks.

Objective: Redefine our nomination process for certain panels 

For 2024, the Easy Reader/Early Chapter Book category has been suspended. Empaneling judges for this group is especially difficult as there is a lot of genre bending among easy readers (many transitioning to graphic novel style), and, lastly, the books often lack literary merit.

Although we will not be accepting nominations or submissions for the more formulaic/workbook-style easy readers, books for new readers are still eligible and will be redistributed to the appropriate categories.

  • Middle-Grade Fiction will have two awards. Elementary (ages 7-10) and Middle-Grade (ages 11-13).
  • Eligible easy readers and early chapter books will be placed in the appropriate fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or graphic novel category.

Updated category descriptions can be found on the website.

Thank you for bearing with us as we trial new changes to the award, in hopes of making it work more smoothly and logically and continue to be the best that it can be.