Mythopoeic Awards

Acceptance Remarks — 2022

2022 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

Jo Walton, Or What You Will

Thank you so much. This really, really means a lot to me. I’ve had a lousy pandemic and it is really, really nice to be appreciated. When I got an email from you guys last year to say that my novel Lent had been nominated for the Mythopoeic Award, it felt like I was getting a postcard from my real life in which I write books and my books get nominated for awards. And that was just so special and excellent.

When I heard that I was nominated this year, even though I was absolutely sure that Piranesi was going to win because it’s brilliant (you should totally read it if you haven’t), I still thought I will absolutely go to Albuquerque and have fun and just say thank you to all of you. Thank you so much. I’m so glad you liked Or What You Will. It came out in July 2020 and sunk without a ripple. It was not the book that people were looking for in that moment. It is lovely to get some recognition for it because I think it’s pretty good as well.

Thank you very, very much.

Or What You Will

2022 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature (tie)

Lori M. Lee, Pahua and the Soul Stealer

It’s such an immense honor to win the 2022 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature. I first learned of the Mythopoeic Society about a decade ago when I first began delving into publishing, and attending Mythcon has always been on my author wish list. Not being able to attend this year was disappointing, but the blow was considerably softened by the award!

I wrote this book with the hope that it would reach readers like me, who dearly needed to see herself represented in fantasy books, so it means the absolute world that it has resonated with so many. Thank you so much for this recognition!

Pahua and the Soul Stealer

Eden Royce, Root Magic

While I am deeply regretful I cannot be with you all tonight, I am honored and immensely grateful for this award. All because I wanted to write a book set in the place where I grew up, with the landscape, language, food and traditions I remember. My little Gullah Geechee twins Jez and Jay have captured hearts and I am thrilled about what this means for children’s publishing.

It means that dialect in books for young readers can work. It means we can include cultural references along with historical occurrences and tackle complex, difficult subjects in a way kids understand. It means books can be set in the American South featuring Black characters and still include joy and triumph along with the challenges that brings. While I told myself I’d be happy if only my mom loved it — she does! — I’m glad others do as well.

I suppose this is where I give my thank-yous so here we go:

Thank you to the Mythopoeic Society for choosing Root Magic as the recipient of the 2022 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.

To my worried mother who told me as a young woman who could never seem to settle on something I loved to do, “Just stick with something.” That thing was writing.

To my amazing husband for his listening ear and his unwavering support.

To my grandmother and my great-aunt. Although you are both gone, your knowledge and wisdom have stayed with me and they infuse everything I do.

To my agent, Adrian Ranta and my editor Jordan Brown for taking a chance on this Southern Gothic story that is such a deep part of my history, full of folklore and traditions. I’m so humbled to be able to show this small slice of Gullah Geechee culture on the page.

And of course, to the readers who have embraced Jez and Jay, my Gullah Geechee twins and their discovery of the magic already inside them.

I appreciate you all and thank you so, so much!

Root Magic

2022 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies

Holly Ordway, Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages

Thank you very much for this award. I’m delighted and honored to have my work on Tolkien recognized in this way by the Mythopoeic Society, which has been such an important presence in Inklings Studies for many years. It was a privilege to have Tolkien’s Modern Reading listed alongside such excellent work by my colleagues in this field. I’m grateful for this honor, and find it deeply encouraging for my ongoing work on Tolkien in his cultural and biographical context.

Tolkien's Modern Reading

2022 Mythopoeic Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies

Philip Ball, The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination

It is a tremendous honour to receive this award. What delights me most is the implication that the mere existence of modern myths is not after all seen as controversial — that, on the contrary, we recognize ourselves still as mythmakers. These stories continue to do important cultural work, as they always have done. I’m deeply grateful to the judges for validating that idea, and to my publishers, the University of Chicago Press, and my editor Karen Merikangas Darling for having faith in it.

I am sorry that I cannot be with you in person to receive the award, but it is very exciting and touching to be, as it were, invited into your community. May your conference be vibrant and fulfilling in these difficult times!

The Modern Myths

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