Biggest surprise: There were no pop-ups. Not one. After we humbly petitioned and then raucously celebrated getting Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart as judges, there were no entries. Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, people! These are paper engineering artists! They have an entire studio dedicated to pop-ups in NYC. They did the official pop-ups for Disney, for the Narnia books! They are the authors of Encyclopedia Mythologica and Encyclopedia Prehistorica, the cutting edge pop-ups that are redefining the genre. Shez collected a marvelous list of resources and how-tos for the pop-up page at the contest site, just in case people needed help finding tutorials. No entries. Not one.
Another surprise: There were fewer than 10 entries in all the K-2 categories, total. That shocked me! I thought the younger kids would be more involved.
The biggest stack on the table *by far* was the 7-9 grade group and the biggest category in that group was the novel excerpt! Amazing! I am so surprised and impressed with these middle school aged authors! The huge outpouring of prose, the staggering pile of pages -- completely glorious and inspiring.
Hey, it is ALL GOOD! Having said all this, we received another huge post office crate full of entries on Friday that we've yet to sort. Maybe that one is full of pop-ups -- who knows?! We've got a ton of entries and more coming in. We're going to be able to afford nice prizes and all the postage. We are very excited. It's awesome opening up these packages and seeing everyone's work. There are some beautiful, beautiful ABC books, some really awesome comics, lots of short stories and poetry, and even some novel cover art (my favorite category!). The panel is going to have a hard time narrowing it down in some of these categories! Very very gifted writers doing excellent work.
I'll keep you updated as we go along. This is fun!