"Heavy Medal" Season Culminates with Mock Newbery Webcast on January 27

Join bloggers Steven Engelfried and Emily Mroczek-Bayci for a conversation of Newbery contenders and a vote for the "Heavy Medal" winner.

The Youth Media Awards (YMA) are almost here. On January 30, the excitement culminates with the announcement of the YMAs, including the coveted Newbery Medal.

To be fully in the spirit that Monday morning, register for “What’s It Really Like? Join the 2023 Mock Newbery LIVE!” on Friday, January 27 at 1 p.m. ET. The virtual event will present a discussion with “Heavy Medal” ­bloggers Steven Engelfried and Emily Mroczek-Bayci and others that will mirror the conversation of the actual Newbery committee. 

“The Mock Newbery webcast is kind of the climax of the ‘Heavy Medal’ ­season,” says Engelfried. “We spend ­several months writing about the best children’s books of the year and their possible Newbery chances, but this is the first time we have live conversations among our Mock Committee members. It’s fast-paced, high-level discussion, and when they’ve talked it all out, the final ­ballot happens, which is always suspenseful and exciting.”

Engelfried and Mroczek-Bayci will lead a discussion with expert panel members that models the deliberations of the Newbery Committee. The Mock Committee will discuss five books that are chosen as final contenders and follow the same process as the official Newbery Committee.

“On our Mock Newbery blog we try to mirror the work of the real committee wherever we can,” says Engelfried. “Our webcast discussion is only an hour, compared to the untold hours spent by the real group, but it provides a taste of what that experience can be like—both for the committee participants and for the hundreds of viewers who get to observe, ask questions, and cast their own ballots. For me, and I hope for others, it’s a fun and informative exercise and a great lead-up to the announcement of the real Newbery Award.”

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