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Watching from the other coast

While Robin and everyone else at Midwinter was getting up extra-early in Seattle, we were able to ease into our day here in Boston, getting some work done and settling in with our second cups of tea and coffee when the announcements began at 11 a.m.

Every year we aim to put our response to the award announcements on the website by mid-afternoon, so the late start puts a bit more pressure on us. When the press conference finishes, designated people swing into action figuring out where we reviewed each book (or even IF we reviewed a book), grabbing and formatting the review text, tracking down book cover images, formatting the pages, and checking titles and author names before uploading. The bulk of this work is done by Katie, but the rest of us pitch in as we can.

At the same time, we’re also trying to get the winter Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, March/April Horn Book Magazine, and Spring Horn Book Guide out on time. The Horn Book has a staff of nine, but Roger and Martha are in Seattle, Kitty works at home on Mondays, Elissa is on maternity leave, Shara is still out recovering from a car accident… You get the idea.

Despite the skeleton crew, there’s always an atmosphere of excitement on Youth Media Awards morning. Each of us has personal favorites we’re rooting for and we know which books the others are hoping to see honored. After all, we’ve been discussing these titles all year, whether formally in star meetings or informally while waiting to use the microwave at lunchtime.


Horn Book office, January 28, 2013

Just before the press conference begins, Katie (front on laptop) prepares to grab text from the Twitter feed, Jen (filling in for Elissa) reads a text from Martha in Seattle, and Cindy sets up the webcast.


While Katie, Jen, and Cindy gathered together in the magazine area, I was listening in from my own workstation, attempting to get caught up on the March Magazine after being out sick for the past week. Of course, as soon as the announcements began I got sucked into the drama. I could hear the crowd reaction in Seattle as well as the editors outside my door. And even though I told myself I didn’t need to pay close attention until the Caldecott announcement at the end, I also had my own favorites in each of the earlier categories.

Horn Book office, January 28, 2013

Elsewhere in the office, Katrina and Meredith (filling in for Shara) work on the Spring 2013 Horn Book Guide.


Horn Book office, January 28, 2013

As the award announcements near the end, Katie is preparing pages for our website including reviews of the winning books while Cindy writes up the award announcements for the March Horn Book’s Impromptu section.


Robin flew home this afternoon and once she’s recovered from her very busy weekend, she’ll post something about experiencing the awards announcements in person.

And what about all of you? How did you handle the excitement of the announcements?


Lolly Robinson About Lolly Robinson

Lolly Robinson is the creative director for The Horn Book, Inc. She has degrees in studio art and children's literature and teaches children's literature at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. She has served on the Caldecott and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committees and blogs for Calling Caldecott and Lolly's Classroom on this site.

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