Probably the most important thing for a person to realize when considering the various YALSA Awards and Lists is that each has its own calendar for what happens when.
Because of how much takes place during the course of being on a Committee, I’ve broken this down into two halves. First, the Committee calendar, from January to June: (and, of course, this is all from YALSA’s website):
January: “Committee meets at Midwinter to discuss process and procedures; discusses any titles suggested from November and December releases. Books should be arriving from end of November until January; members can begin reading as soon as first book arrives.” Note (as you’ll see next week) that work has begun even before January, because (as you may remember) the books being considered are not ones published during a calendar year, but from November 1 to October 31.
March, April, May: “Committee reads, suggests and discusses titles. Chair asks for up to three nominations from each member from the suggested titles list to discuss at Annual. Four individuals elected for the next committee.” As you can see, the calendar is addressing two committees at this point. First, the current committee (reads, suggests, etc.) but also the next committee (the four elected individuals).
June: “Committee meets and discusses nominated titles at Annual.” Now you know the primary thing I’ll be doing at Annual — sitting in a conference room, in air conditioning, talking books. Me being me, I have to point out that occasionally, Annual is in July. Also in June: “President-Elect makes appointments for new committee.”
Next week: the second half of the YALSA Nonfiction Award committee calendar.