It's certainly one of the prettiest awards I've ever gotten, as you can see in the picture above.
Alas, I couldn't make the trip from England to Florida to be at the ceremony, so my friend and fellow-editor Beth Meacham accepted for me. (Beth is the person who convinced me to look for a job in publishing thirty years ago, so I'm particularly pleased that she agreed to do this.) Several friends have asked if I would share the little acceptance speech I gave Beth to read for me, so here it is:
"I feel quite overwhelmed by receiving this award. I'm deeply honored that it comes from SFWA – an organization filled with many of the best writers working in America today. And I'm especially honored, and humbled, to share the award with Donald Wollheim and Tom Doherty. The books that Don Wollheim published at DAW first brought me into the fantasy field and shaped my tastes as a young fantasy reader. To Tom Doherty I owe an even greater debt, for I've worked for him as a consulting editor at TOR since 1986. His support of my work, as both an editor and a writer, made my career possible -- and I'm pleased to have this opportunity to say a very public: Thank you, Tom.
"I came to the New York publishing industry with a background in folklore studies and a deep love of magical fiction – which was still rather thin on the ground in those early days of the fantasy genre. I was barely 19 when Jim Baen took a chance on me and hired me at Ace Books...and I've been working in the Fantasy field ever since, going on three decades now. I’m deeply grateful to this genre for giving me a home – and more than that, to giving a home to a whole generation of writers who, like me, have a particular passion for fantasy rooted in fairy tales, folklore, and myth.
"Since 1987, I've been running an arts organization called The Endicott Studio -- which supports the creation and study of myth and mythic arts. I was touched that my work at Endicott was specifically cited in the announcement of this award, and I'd like to share the honor with Endicott's co-director, Midori Snyder, and all our Endicott colleagues and collaborators.
"My deepest thanks to the SFWA Board of Directors; and to all of the good folks I've worked with over the years, especially Chris Schelling, Ellen Datlow, Merrilee Heifetz, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Thomas Canty, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Jim Frenkel, Sharyn November...and, of course, Beth Meacham, who was my earliest editorial partner-in-crime.
"I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes, from one of my favorite writers: Patricia McKillip:
"'At its best,' she says, 'fantasy rewards the reader with a sense of wonder about what lies within the heart of the commonplace world. The greatest tales are told over and over, in many ways, through centuries. Fantasy changes with the changing times, and yet it is still the oldest kind of tale in the world, for it began once upon a time, and we haven't heard the end of it yet.' "