And an important notice that I will copy and paste from the Head of Programming's e-mail:
IF YOU DO NOT GIVE US A REASON TO SCHEDULE YOU ON A PANEL, WE WILL NOT.
If you don't fill out your panel resume, which is the text field under each panel selection, after the ranking, we cannot appoint you to that panel. This is a significant policy change from prior years, so please heed the warning. Even if you have been a panelist for ages, we may not be able to accommodate you. Please do not make us hunt you down.
Yes, this is different from prior years. Yes, we are serious. I, for one, will not be hunting you down; I have a lot of people interested in many of the Lit Track panels (one panel has 26 people interested in those 5 panelist slots), and I'll be using this to help narrow things down. If you don't follow instructions, no panel for you.
Also, when you fill it out, really fill it out. I have seen the following:
* "I'm a book reviewer for [redacted]."
* "If you put me on the panel, I'll tell you why I should be on the panel!"
* "I read a lot of books so I'll have a lot to say."
If that is the only thing in your text box, you're automatically disqualified. Harsh? Maybe, but look. I actually try really hard to get an excellent mix of people who have interesting and diverse opinions, plus a strong moderator. I want every panel to rock. I want the best possible combination of people I can get (scheduling is always the killer of perfect panel composition). You may be the absolute best person for panel X, but I will not know unless you tell me.
So tell me.
EDIT: I am totally amused at one person's note, after a good paragraph about why they should be on the panel, of "Hi Shira!" Hi yourself! :)
ALSO EDIT: Some of these decisions are going to be really freakin' hard and will probably mostly come down to scheduling. Like, almost all of the 26 people interested in that one panel would be great on it. Kinda wish I could run it five times just to hear from everyone.