Poetry Friday: #CYBILS Awards Round 2 Finalists announced!


I have to apologize for my self-centeredness lately – I’ve been so caught up in the fact my new picture book, Everybody Counts! (The Little Fig, LLC) is now out (and YES, I have a winner to announce, below), that I completely neglected to share the news that the CYBILS Awards Round 2 finalists have been chosen and officially announced!

I was honored to be one of the Round 1 panelists for Poetry again, and we were charged with quite the task: comb through all the books nominated for both poetry colelctions as well as verse novels, and come up with what we felt were the best five in both categories. Whew! More than 60 books later, we finally pulled our lists together and you can read about them at the CYBILS website.

Keep in mind, these lists did not come about easily; we all had our favorites and spent a great deal of time debating, deliberating, and throwing fisticuffs. (well, two outta three) Seriously, though, there were so many outstanding books we really had to weigh quality of writing, reader appeal, and other factors to determine the best of the best.

So now, they move on – and the round 2 judges will pick the winners. If you’d like to check out all the Poetry Friday posts, head over to Susan Thomsen’s blog, Chicken Spaghetti, for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup where she is sharing an original poem, “Vintage.”


That’s right, we have a winner to announce! As I told you two weeks ago, you only had a linited time to enter the giveaway for a free copy of Everybody Counts! – and now I get to tell the world that the winner of a free, personally-signed copy is…


Out of all the names entered, Rose’s name was picked by the ol’ random number generator, so congratulations, Rose!

~ World Read Aloud Day 2023 ~

It’s that time of year again, and I will once again be reading to schools and libraries all across the coutry one month from now!

World Read Aloud Day, sponsored by Lit World, spotlights the importance of reading to kids and I will once again be spending most of the day Wednesday, February 1, reading to students virtually! My day is usually jam-packed with 2-3 visits every hour, all day long, and spots are already filling up.

If you would be interested in having me join your class for a 20-minute visit via Zoom, GoogleMeets, MS Teams, Skype, tin cans and string, whatever – let me know! I will read one of my picture books, share some poetry, and talk a little bit about the writing process and how they all came to be! Just email me at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com and I’ll reply as quickly as I can.

I’m booking author visits for the 2022-23 school year:

Click the graphic for more details!

I love chatting with elementary and middle school classes about writing: why poetry is fun to read and write, the importance of revision, and how one’s imagination and creativity can lead to a fantastic career! My presentations are tailored to fit the needs of the classes and students’ ages. One day I might be sharing details of how a picture book like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was created; the next, I’ll be discussing dinosaurs, tree ferns, or origami sea turtles!

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”

Adult presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • Poetry: An Introduction to the Most Important Genre
  • The Most Important Thing about Writing Poetry
  • Free Yourself with Free Verse
  • Tight Language, Loose Narratives: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book

Learn more at MattForrest.com!

If you or someone you know might be interested in having me visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!


(The Little Fig, LLC, 2023)

Order a PERSONALLY-SIGNED copy of this or or ANY of my books
from my local independent bookstore!


Be sure to check out all the cool new picture books arriving this year from my PB22Peekaboo partners!


I’m very happy to be part of the BOOKROO family!

Create an account to add books to wishlists and be notified of special deals and dates…create custom collections…and discover and follow your favorite authors & illustrators!

Find out more about BOOKROO here!


I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!




Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post once or twice a week – usually Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day) . Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookInstagramPinterest, and SoundCloud!

22 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: #CYBILS Awards Round 2 Finalists announced!

  1. Matt, I look forward to reading Everybody Counts. And aren’t the Cybils fun? It’s been quite a while since I participated, but I so enjoyed reading the books and discussing them with fellow panelists.


  2. lindabaie

    I’ve seen all the Cybil’s finalists, & as for the poetry, Wow! There were so many that you had to read. I’m glad, too, that African Town is one of them. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks, Matt!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. heidimordhorst

    Thanks to the 1st-rounders for such a great (and innumerous) list of books to choose from, Matt. I’m on the judge’s panel and enjoying working my way through the novel-in-verse. When the time comes I’ll ask you what your first choices would have been!


  4. Matt, I finally made it to your juicy post. Thanks for the Cybil List Round 1. The books sound so wonderful. Congratulations on Everybody Counts! You have been a very busy author so take a breath and relax as you plan your next steps.


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