Sitting on stage as part of the Excellence in Graphic Literature (EGL) Awards ceremony last year, I experienced a lot of different emotions. On the one hand, I was really excited by all the energy in the room and all the positive attention the awards were receiving from the creators and publishers who joined us to celebrate the best graphic literature published in 2017. On the other hand, I was nervous.
I began 2018 as an Associate Professor of Literacy in Florida, and as the Chair of the EGL Awards Middle Grade jury. By May 1, I was still the Chair of the Middle Grade jury, but I also became the new, incoming Director of Education at Pop Culture Classroom (PCC). I had moved across the country to Denver, Colorado and knew I would now be responsible for the success of the EGL Awards in 2019.
Today, after almost nine months as the new Director of Education, I am no longer nervous. Working behind the scenes since the first award ceremony I have come to realize that I am living the dream. I literally get to be a part of a program that advocates for and legitimizes the teaching of diverse graphic literature in classroom and library settings around the world.
With that being said, I want to celebrate and share with you the titles that were the winners of the 2018 EGL Awards. If you keep a list of TBR (To Be Read) titles, I recommend every single one of these titles.
Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland’s Spill Zone (First Second) won one of the most coveted prizes of the evening, the EGL Book of the Year Award.
To recognize their achievement PCC worked alongside well-known sculptors Kristine and Colin Poole to create the Saga Sculpture for Book of the Year.
Also winning an EGL Award and Saga Sculpture was Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts), which won the EGL Mosaic Award, an award that honors the most diverse and culturally significant title of the year.
Winning the four categories and earning the first ever Saga medallions, were the following creators and their titles:
- Best in Children’s Books: Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (First Second)
- Best in Middle-Grade Books: As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman (Iron Circus Comics)
- Best in Young-Adult Books: Home Time: Book One by Campbell Whyte (Top Shelf)
- Best in Adult Books: The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson and Landis Blair (First Second)
With the second year of the EGL Awards quickly approaching, I am no longer nervous. I am honored and excited to be a part of a program and a team that works hard behind the scenes to legitimize and advocate for the best graphic novel titles of the year. And, on June 1, 2019, I will once again be on stage to celebrate this year’s EGL Awards nominees and winners.
Stay tuned, for during the evening of June 1, 2019, all the nominees and winners will be announced at Denver Pop Culture Con (DPCC)! Get your tickets now to be able to attend the EGL Awards ceremony and join us in celebrating the best graphic literature of 2018.
If you are a creator or a publisher and want to submit your 2018 titles the deadline is quickly approaching: February 15, 2019. Here’s a link for submitting titles and directions for how to do so: https://popcultureclassroom.org/egl-program/.
My team and I look forward to seeing everyone at DPCC on June 1,2019.
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Pop Culture Classroom