The time is near. We've all read all the entries. We've come up with our personal short lists. Actually, mine started as a long list of ten and I reluctantly cut it down to seven(it should have been six). I think I've read about fifty entries in the short time we had. Admittedly, some of those were short stories and picture books and one was a novella. There is no separate short fiction category in this year's children's section, which is a pity. But I think I've done quite well. Mind you, any CBCA judges reading this must be laughing their heads off - they have to read around 475 books, because the judging of the CBCA Awards isn't split into categories as ours is (we have separate YA and children's). Older readers, younger readers, picture books - everyone reads everything. We only had to read what in the CBCAs would be Younger Readers and Picture Books. There was a survey taken by the CBCA last year in which I had the chance to mention the AAs and suggest that life might be easier for the judges if they only had to read some of the books, plus you could get people who were expert in those areas. I don't think it will change, but I suggested.
Anyway, it was interesting to see how similar our short lists were. There were at least three books which were on everyone's personal lists. Not all - I had to drop a couple of my own favourites to make room for others. But in the end, we came to a decision with which everyone could live.
Last week I took the "younger reader" books which were just too young for even Year 7 to the nearest primary school, for their library. They were delighted!
When the short list is officially announced, I'll post it here. Meanwhile, it is an interesting and enjoyable experience. I hope they will let me do it again next year.