Ya gotta Play to Win

Isn’t it funny how commercials will stick with you forever and ever?

When I was a kid, the Maryland Lottery’s tagline was “ya gotta play to win,” and although they’ve had a million others since (and I even worked for the Ad company who managed their account some years ago) it’s that one that sticks with me.

It’s actually a pretty deep tagline, if you think about it. Well okay, not deep but it makes total sense. People dream about winning the lottery all the time. But a vast majority of us (myself included) never play it. Therefore and thus, we’ll never win.

This tagline is never truer where books are concerned. I’ve been on my soap box for years about wanting children’s books featuring protags of color and written by authors of color to have a higher profile. Some days I feel like I’m screaming in the wind, even though I’m aware I’m hardly alone in the call. While I’m grateful for and support the Coretta Scott King award and others that were designed to ensure these books get their due, I won’t rest until these books are acknowledged side-by-side on the regular with the rest of children’s books.

So, once again as I’ve done many times over the years, I’m stumping for the Cybils begging, pleading folks to please, please nominate some worthy children’s books by and featuring people of color. Please!

Not sure what the Cybils are? Then hi, you’re new around these here parts. Check out the details. For everyone else…

Cybils submissions opens October 1st (yes, that’s tomorrow!!) and runs through October 15th. Very small window. So good thing I got to you on a Friday, so you can spend all weekend identifying which books fit the criteria below (scrubbed directly from the site):

To be eligible for a Cybils award, a print book must be:

* Published in the US or Canada only. This avoids outrageous shipping costs and double jeopardy when a UK title is nominated a second time after it comes out in the US;

* Published between one contest and the next. For this year, that means from Oct. 16, 2010 to Oct. 15, 2011;

* Widely available for public sale. Titles available only from book clubs or publisher websites are not eligible, for example, as we cannot obtain copies easily.

* Aimed at the youth market up to age 18. Books marketed to adult readers that may also appeal to teens are not eligible.

Alright. Now that we’re all up to speed, remember – our books never win if they don’t play. So nominate, nominate, nominate!

I now return you back to your regularly scheduled program.

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3 Responses to Ya gotta Play to Win

  1. As an author of color with a protag of same, here’s hoping my charming and witty PRESIDENT OF THE WHOLE FIFTH GRADE gets recognized! this is me smiling #dopey grin

  2. [...] finding is that 1) we need MORE brown noms for the Cybils. People, didn’t we have this discussion last week? Nominate brown books in ALL categories, please. 2) My stance on what is YA vs MG or [...]

  3. paulahy says:

    Bah! Sherri your book falls out of the eligible range because it was published October 5, 2010 which means it was eligible last cycle. Only books published between Oct 16, 2010 – October 15, 2011 are eligible this year. Sorry.

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