CYBILS and “Highlights”

Hi, this is Matt.  I’m not here right now, but…

No, seriously. I’m not here!  I’m actually starting my first day of a 4-day children’s poetry workshop at Highlights magazine’s “Barn” in Pennsylvania.  Yes, it’s called The Barn, and it’s where 15 of us writers of children’s poetry are gathering for a workshop entitled “Poetry for the Delight of It.”

Headed up by author and poet David L. Harrison, the workshop also features senior editor for Highlights’ Boyds Mills Press and WordSong, Rebecca Davis; former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis; and editor/writer/poet Renée LaTulippe For a children’s writer, four days of education, conversation, and inspiration are priceless…and the fact that I received a partial scholarship from Highlights to attend is simply unbelievable to me.

CYBILS logoI hope to make the most of it!

Since I’m away from my desk, and my computer, and my phone, and any other distractions, I didn’t want to post a brand-new, full-length article…but I did want to thank the folks at the CYBILS Awards. Yours Truly was selected as a 2nd-round judge in the children’s poetry book category, and I couldn’t be more excited!

What are the CYBILS, you ask? They are the Children and Young adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (yes, they take a bit of poetic license with the acronym), and they are handed out each year to the folks who the bloggers feel wrote the highest-quality children’s books. This is why, as a children’s writer (albeit unpublished) and blogger, I am thrilled to be able to participate.

I’m in some pretty heady company, too; most of the judges have done this before, so I’m one of the few newbies. See the complete list of esteemed poetry judges HERE, and then you can click around and see all the judges for all the other categories, like middle-grade, picture book, etc. First-round judges will pour over all the books nominated, then send their recommendations on to us 2nd-round judges, who are charged with whittling those selected books down to the best of the best!

More news about the CYBILS to follow in the weeks and months ahead – public nominations are accepted Oct. 1-15 (an online form should be available via the CYBILS website starting today) – but for now, I need to get back to my cabin…there’s some children’s poetry that needs writing…

Have a great week!


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2 thoughts on “CYBILS and “Highlights”

  1. I’m so envious right now. I wish I could be there with you in The Barn. So much to learn, and so many great folks to interact with. Next year, I hope.

    And at the risk of being self serving – and not entirely genuine in requesting this – mention to Ms. Davis that your friend Samuel sent in a manuscript to Boyd’s Mills about a week ago and to be on the lookout for that.

    Congrats on the CYBILS nod too! Isn’t Ed DeCara one of the judges this year as well?


  2. Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Doodler! (Just taking a quick break to catch up things…running a business, I still need to keep up on emails) I’ll be sure to let Rebecca know you said hi – and yes, Ed is one of the 1st-round judges! Definitely try to make it here next year…you’ll really enjoy it. Plus, you can apply for a scholarship and possibly have a portion of your tuition paid for, as I did.


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