There is a tradition in some circles that after an awards ceremony the folks who did not win awards get together and give their acceptance speeches. I had the pleasure of seeing such an unceremony at a Nebula Awards after party and it was beautiful. Everyone had written such beautiful love letters to story, to friends and family, to imagination making a difference, and a belief that this world can be better if we dream more and speak to diverse truths.
Falling Leaves was a Finalist for the Aurealis Awards, but unfortunately I could not fly to Australia to attend the ceremony. It is a true cliche that it is an honor just to be nominated. I would have loved to hear all those acceptance speeches (from winners and alternate reality winners) and so in celebration of Falling Leaves going live on EscapePod (go listen!) here is my alternate reality acceptance speech:
I would like to acknowledge the Ngunawal people who are the traditional custodians of this land. I would also like to pay respect to the elders past and present and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people present.
Thank you to Cat and Alison for making it out to the awards ceremony and being my friends and family when I cannot be there.
I’ve never written a potential acceptance speech before. It’s such a delight to be nominated. Writing is often something done alone and in the dark and it is a precious thing to feel seen. Thank you for seeing this story.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me. Writing can be lonely, but it also takes a village.
From grey Seattle I raise a glass to writing communities, such as Clarion, Sounds on Paper and Horrific Miscue. To the geek and gamer diaspora centered around Phenomenon Roleplaying Convention who did so much for my creative spirit. To Inner Chapters, the bookstore, bar and cafe where this story found its first spark at an open mic night. To Lynne M. Thomas at Apex Magazine who saw this story’s worth and helped me turn it up to eleven, and to Sigrid Ellis who saw it through to publication
To my friends and family. To my husband and partner in crime, Mike McClure, you do so much to support me and believe in me. I may need to invent new words to describe how much you mean to me.
Thank you Aurealis judges for seeing this work. Thank you for seeing these two angry young women trying to find connection in a world of pain, anger and so much beyond their control. They are the kinds of women that aren’t often heard, they are too angry, too messy and conflicted. Thank you for seeing and valuing their stories, they are strong and capable, they complex, warm and funny, and they will find healing paths although it may be long, jagged and strange.