Get Involved with NCTE's Children's Book Awards Committees - National Council of Teachers of English
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Get Involved with NCTE’s Children’s Book Awards Committees

Do you love children’s literature? Are you someone who waits in anticipation of the new titles at your local bookstore or library? Do you relish updating your classroom library to bring new, exciting books to your students? If so, you may be excited to learn more about NCTE’s Children’s Book Awards committees.

We are looking for NCTE members (new, long term, or soon-to-be) to lend their expertise to our three committees by applying to be part of the work we do with children’s literature. The committees are made up of teachers, poets, writers, and children’s literature scholars from around the country and many different backgrounds.

For decades, NCTE has showcased excellent literature for children through our book awards. The Children’s Poetry Awards Committee selects the prestigious Excellence in Poetry Award every other year, honoring a poet for their aggregate body of work. This is NCTE’s oldest children’s book award, established in 1977! This committee also annually selects a Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels List. The Orbis Pictus Award® for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children was established in 1989. As NCTE’s Position Statement on the Role of Nonfiction Literature attests, nonfiction has a unique, important place in the classroom for students of all ages. This award helps find and elevate texts to meet that need for educators nationwide. The Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children Committee has recognized fiction that invites compassion, imagination, and wonder since 2014. It celebrates fiction texts for readers three to twelve.

The committee terms are three years in length. Members contribute to the work of the committee by attending regular meetings, suggesting titles to read, reading many books provided from publishers and found on their own, discussing the books, and attending NCTE’s Annual Convention for the final book selection meeting as well as announcements at the Children’s Book Awards Luncheon, along with other duties as needed.

We would love to consider your application for any or all of these committees! The application is not long; we do ask for a few key pieces of information to ensure we find a diverse group of members to round out the committees’ needs each year. These include information about why you’d like to serve, what strengths you bring to the committee, your resume or CV, and evidence of how you engage with children’s literature in the form of a sample book review or annotation either created for the application or provided from another location such as a blog or review site. If you are interested but hesitant to apply for any reason, feel free to reach out to us with questions. Teachers working in K–12 classrooms in particular need to be represented in these committees as vital connectors to what students need and want to read. This role is a valuable qualification in and of itself.

Learn more by following the links above. And please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. We look forward to getting to know you and hopefully learning from you in the future.

If you are looking for more ways to be involved with children’s literature at NCTE, we also encourage you to learn more about Build Your Stack®, learn more about the Mathical Book Prize (to which NCTE is a contributing partner), and read or sign up to write for the Language Arts journal.