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A little PSA:Many people are involved with the children’s lit grassroots book awards, The Cybils. If you didn’t know, the name is shorthand for The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards, and I like to think of it as the awards-before-the-awards. Many readers love the idea of reading free books, but not as many have the time or impetus for follow through. We’d love you to join us – yes, you! – and bring along a friend or two. We’re especially hoping to encourage more people from underrepresented groups. /PSA.

Like the Grecian sibyls of old, the Cybils take the pulse of the popular reading public and usually predict at least a little of what the ALA is going to announce early the following year. While nominations open each year in October, the Cybils is a labor of love well before time. Behind the scenes there are board meetings, where we chip away at inclusivity goals and transparency, publishing PR meetings, where we seek sponsors and track nominations. There’s working on digital campaigns, and basically beating the bushes for new volunteers. It’s work – but for love of books, we’re there for it.

Fremont 397
opening books is
something like sunrise: fresh, new

{a running list of events}

Welcome to my running Author PSA to remind myself what’s going on this month, and drag you along for the ride:

FYI: the naani poetry form was created by Indian poet and retired professor Dr. N Gopi. Naani is a short form, like haiku or senryu, with a set line- and syllable-count: 4-lines with 20 syllables total. Unlike haiku, naani poems are typically written about people, or on the human condition.

ALL CAPS ALERT: Three Days Left…

Okay, yeah, that’s overly dramatic.
BUT THERE’S VERY LITTLE TIME to make sure THE ONE BOOK YOU LOVE BEST in each of the GENRE CATEGORIES has been nominated.
What categories, you ask? Why THESE!

STUMPED? Don’t have a book to suggest for every title?
Check out the list of titles that aren’t yet on the list… and let it jog your memory. But MOVE FAST.

What’s Missing on the Cybils list? Check here.

Toon Thursday, Plus Neil x 2!

And now for something completely different…

This is a historic moment. The reason is twofold (or should that be “the reasons ARE twofold”?). Firstly, though I’ve been writing like crazy this week, apparently the toon part of my brain was watching way too much CNN, so for the first time ever, here’s a political cartoon on Finding Wonderland. I hope it is an entertaining diversion. Secondly, this is a historic moment because this cartoon occupies the very last page in my sketchbook. Said sketchbook is mostly cartoons, too, which made me realize just how dang many of these I’ve posted. But now I’ll have to either start using the giant sketchbook, which is unwieldy but has many blank pages left; or buy a new one. Hmm…

I’ve been meaning to post a few of these links for almost three weeks now, which is very sad. Firstly, thanks to the GoodReads newsletter, I ran across interviews with two authors whom I really like–Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson. Definitely two iconoclastic people.

Okay, I guess I wasn’t done with politics for today. Back on a political note, visit ArtsVote2008, a program of Americans for the Arts, to find out both presidential candidates’ positions on arts policy.

Right. Back to lit stuff. I was informed by Gina R. that FW is featured on an aggregator site called Alltop – Top Children’s Literature News–above the fold, no less! Readers’ Rants is on there, too, along with a host of other familiar faces from the kidlitosphere. Lastly, speaking of the kidlitosphere, don’t forget to nominate your favorite books for the Cybils! Now you can also help spread the word–and the love–with a downloadable and printable flyer that includes a list of all 2007 shortlisted titles.

Reminds me I’ve gotta sit right down and come up with MY nominees…


Feel the love!
It’s March of the Librarians, a goofy little valentine for the bookish amongst us, inspired by the mystical and deep March of the Penguins. Happy V-Day (0r, as a friend greeted me this morning, “Happy VD!”), to all of the writers of the books we love, and to all of the librarians who make libraries a great place to visit.

A love letter to prose comes from New York, where writer Emily Rubin will be doing readings while people sort their lights and darks. A laundromat seems to be the ‘natural element’ of readings, Rubin says. So very New York.

Even graphic novels are feeling the love today. While the phrase ‘graphic novel’ seems cutting edge and, well, edgy (even the fricative consonants sound like graphite and tree bark), this latest one profiled in the Guardian is all about… a Fluffy bunny. No, seriously.

And at last, at LAST! From the Cybils Committee comes the little love letter to David Levithan and Rachel Cohn we’ve all been waiting for. Happy Valentine’s Day to the Ultimate Urban Fairytale, the fast-paced, foul-mouthed first-true-love story called Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, winner of the 2006 Cybils Award in YA Fiction (If you’re wondering how the story can be all of those things at once? Read it). Check out the rest of the winners online, and cheers to everyone who played along at home. Though challenging to be sure, this whole experience has been great fun!