Rules are roughly as follows (the official version is here):
- Anybody (real people only!) can nominate a book.
- You may nominate one book per category.
- If you have more than one book you’d like to nominate, enlist a
friend or co-worker to help you out. (Real human friends only - no
imaginary friends or pets or anything like that.)
- Nominated books must’ve been published in the US or Canada between Oct. 15, 2014 and October 15, 2015.
- Additional information can be found here.
- Graphics Books using serial artwork to tell the tale, graphic novels cover it all—everything from wordless picture books appealing to the very young to intense, issue-based young adult novels. We give an award for both the younger graphics and for the young adult graphics… tell us who your favorites are!
- Fiction Picture Books introduce young readers to their worlds, present and past; take us on fantastic journeys, real and imagined; guide us in the world’s “best practices” – from the Magic Word to cultural traditions; and inspire us to do great things. Inside a Fiction Picture Book you are as likely to discover something that makes a toddler giggle for days on end as you are to share a story that reduces a third grader to tears. They are looking for books that “excel in story, illustration, kid appeal, and literary value. The technical eligibility requirements for the Fiction Picture Books category that the book must be available in print – no eBooks, iBooks, or board books; written for a young audience (generally 2 to 9); fall within the accepted page count of 32 to 48 pages.
- Elementary/Middle Grade Non-fiction Kids are curious about the world around them and nonfiction is the perfect way to introduce them to that amazing world. History? Biography? Art? Science? Math? Animals? Sports? It’s all here and more besides! We’re looking for titles that are suitable for reading aloud or independently, including picture books and early chapters (nonfiction easy readers go to the easy reader category). We love text and illustrations or photographs that will wow kids and adults alike and topics so fascinating that kids will want to go digging for more, more, more nonfiction! Nonfiction Elementary/Middle Grade includes titles with factual content and informational titles, or books intended to teach. Roughly 50% or more of the book should be narrative nonfiction (as opposed to experiments or activities) and books should be directed generally at ages 3-12. We are currently accepting nominations only in print (no ebooks) for this category.
- Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Wonderfully inventive and full of unforgettable people and places–Along with the expected spells and space rockets and aliens, this is the category for books with talking animals, time-travel, ghosts, and paranormal abilities, and all the other books that might not have obvious magic on every page, and which are set here on Earth, but which push past the boundaries of daily life into what is almost certainly impossible…(sometimes it’s hard to know if something is magical enough to count, but we do our best to be consistent). This category is for both Elementary and Middle Grade books; that is, books written for eight- to twelve-year-olds (with a bit of wiggle room at each end).
- Middle Grade Fiction Middle grade fiction encompasses a wide range of stories that do not have magical elements and are geared toward the 8 to 12 year old age group. These stories could be mysteries, histories, humor, sports, adventure and other tales set in the real world. Middle Grade readers’ tastes and reading abilities can vary widely, and getting them a book that appeals to them is crucial. Books containing mature content in regards to violence, sex or language are more appropriate for the Young Adult Fiction category. The Cybils hopes to find realistic fiction books that are well-written and thought provoking but also make Middle Grade readers want to keep turning the pages.
- Book Apps allow readers to interact with the story in a variety of ways: by reading the text on the page, swiping, tapping, recording, listening to narration and sound effects, viewing animation and videos, and much more. In the most effective book apps, the interactive features enhance the story without distracting readers or disrupting the flow of the narrative.Book Apps nominations may be fiction or nonfiction and may appeal to any age from preschool to young adult. All nominations must be available for iPad and available in the iTunes App Store. Books available in iBooks are not considered Book Apps.
- Poetry is an ever flowing river of words. From words that rhyme, words that shape emotions on all different topics to poetic forms, thePoetry category is home to an uber stew of entries. These books willappeal to the very young, middle grade and/or young adults.
Plus this year Poetry includes nominations of novels in verse.
What belongs in Poetry? Consider nominating anthologies and poetry collections written by various authors or a single author. They include illustrations or not. If the poems that resonate to readers of all ages and it’s a collection or anthology of poems,
Poetry is the category.
- Young Adult Fiction The world as it was and is. Not as it could, or would, or should be. In YA Fiction we are looking for realistic fiction, be it contemporary or historical, funny or mysterious, romantic or adventurous. We want the real world of the past and present with all of its flaws and pain and humor and beauty. We want books published for young adults ages 12-18 that are not only well-written, but which will expose the world and open a window to self-discovery. Books that respect their audience; books that teens will press into their friends’ hands with fervor in their eyes and say, “You HAVE to read this.” We are looking for the handful that can call themselves the greatest teen novels of 2015.
- Young Adult Speculative Fiction Speculative Fiction takes us to realms of the imagination: places and times and realities where the rules of life may be different than our own and where the impossible and improbable become real. But good science fiction and fantasy does more than that: it asks, “What if?” It makes us think. It holds up a mirror to our own society and lets us see ourselves in a different light. Magic, aliens, ghosts, alternate universes, time travel, space travel, high fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic futures, horror, and sentient animals are just some of the many topics that belong here. Speculative fiction novels with graphics in addition to text belong here, but if the book is primarily told through serial artwork, it belongs in the Graphic Novels category. The age range for this category is approximately 12-18, although there is some overlap with the Elementary/Middle-grade Speculative Fiction category that will be decided on a case by case basis. New Adult (NA) titles are not eligible, as those are primarily intended for an adult audience. This category accepts books published in either print or ebook formats.
- Young Adult Non-fiction A great nonfiction book can sweep readers away to far off lands, different time periods and have you walk the shoes of someone else’s life as easily as fiction–only for in our case, these people, lands and events really took place. Young adult nonfiction readers will not and should not shy away from controversial topics, they rely on accurate and up-to-date information to help them form opinions on what matters most to them. While some topics are not easily discussed, we need these resources so they have a safe place to turn to for the information they seek. Narrative nonfiction reads so much like a story that you have to stop and consider whatever or not you are truly reading a story because it blends information in such a way that it reads like a story. It will include informational graphics, pop out boxes, an index and other informational clues where appropriate to add valuable information. While how-to nonfiction and textbooks are fantastic in some cases, for CYBILS purposes, that is not what we are looking for so please do not nominate them. If you have read or written an engaging narrative nonfiction book for those in seventh through twelfth grades, we would love for you to nominate them for Young Adult Nonfiction!
Nominations close October 15th!