WSFA Small Press Award - Peter Beagle's 2007 Acceptance Speech

One of the advantages of being a DC writer is that so many of the people that I want to thank, well, you're all right here. (As befits a story that has some time travel, I'll thank you in reverse chronological order.)

First, I thank the Washington Science Fiction Association. I'm honored simply to have the story named along with the other finalists, which, by the way, are a great bunch of stories -- I've read them all, and everyone else here should too. I'm sure Craig, Neil, Stephen, and Sean will be happy to help with that.

I'm also thrilled to have an award in common with last year's recipient, Peter S. Beagle. Mr. Beagle's stories were among the first to show me the full emotional range and power of fantasy.

A side note: having a home convention of Capclave's quality is truly amazing -- thank you for that too.

Next, I thank the editor of Paradox Magazine, Chris Cevasco, who's with us this weekend from Brooklyn. Everyone should write historical speculative fiction for the privilege of working with such an excellent editor. His support for this story has been incredible.

Next, could the members of the Writers' Group from Hell, past and present, raise your hands? The members of the WGFH were the first readers for "Wizard of Macatawa" they have always been extremely generous with their time to improve each of our stories. Thank you.

Scott Edelman, who could not be here tonight, represents my instructors at Clarion, during which I did the research for this story in the state library of Michigan when I probably should have been writing or critiquing or drinking, and he also introduced me to the WGFH. Thank you, Scott.

Next, Beth Delaney. Beth has had to deal with odd side trips up perilous roads to creepy Michigan cottages and piles of dusty Oz books on the nightstand. She was also the first person to enjoy the completed story. Thank you, Beth.

Near the end now -- are there any Oz fans in the room? I want to thank the Oz fans (and even those not quite so fond of Oz) who've read this story, and have generally been receptive to it. I'm a little rough on the fictional character of Frank Baum, but I quite grateful to the real author.

Did that cover everyone in the room? Well, who didn't I get? If you hated Oz, this story was especially for you. So thank you too. If you haven't read the story yet, I'll thank you to read it -- I'm sure Chris would be happy to help you with that. Or you can listen to it at tomdoylwriter.com.

Well, I'd love to talk about this story all night. Heck, maybe I will -- but not with all of you at once. I'll conclude with my version of the Oz special forces march:

We are the hollow men, we are the stuffed men, headpieces filled with straw. Kick ass!

Thank you all.