Nominations for the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards recently opened, and Goodreads is coming under fire for its decision to eliminate several categories. Children’s & Middle Grade, Poetry, and Graphic Novels were removed from the awards. A new category, Romantasy, has been added.
The annual awards celebrate the most popular titles on the book-tracking platform by allowing users to vote on their favorites across several genres and formats. This year marks 15 years since the awards’ inception in 2009 and the milestone was marked with new changes to the number of categories.
Goodreads told PW in a statement, “Our goal is to have the Goodreads Choice Awards reflect the books that are most popular with our members, based on the millions of books added, rated, and reviewed on Goodreads each year. As part of this, we have made adjustments to our categories over time, and, this year, we will not include Children’s & Middle Grade, Poetry, and Graphic Novels as separate categories.
Separately, reflecting the amount of reader interest we’re seeing in Romantasy on Goodreads this year, we are including this as a new category in 2023. We will continue to have separate Romance and Fantasy categories.
Overall, our community is incredibly diverse in the breadth of their reading, with fans across hundreds of genres and sub-genres.”
Goodreads has been criticized in recent years for the lack of diversity in its award book nominations and selections. This year, readers voiced objections to the changes, citing that the removal of several categories meant for young readers reduces the visibility of both authors and books.
Publishing professionals took to social media to advocate for the removed categories.
A petition was posted on Change.org on Friday by several literary agents, spearheaded by Faye Bender of the Book Group, calling for Goodreads to reinstate two of the categories, Children’s & Middle Grade and Graphic Novels. The petition states, “If we don’t encourage and support younger readers by bolstering the visibility of books written and published for them, who will grow up to read adult books?”
This article has been updated.