Sunday, October 24, 2010

Leslie Howle, Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

I had the pleasant duty yesterday of accepting an award for my good pal, Leslie Howle.  It was the Last Drink Bird Head Award (long story behind that; short version: it was created by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer) for tireless energy.  Given, as they say, "in recognition of individuals who selflessly give of themselves for worthy causes, websites, or organizations."  Below is what I said in its entirety:

Leslie spent over 20 years working as Workshop Director for Clarion West, another three years working at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame as Senior Manager for Outreach and Education, and two more years working on the museum’s Hall of Fame Committee after leaving that position.  In 2006 she started her own non-profit dedicated to running a series of speculative fiction writing workshops and readings through Richard Hugo House and the University Book Store, and that highly successful program continues to this day.  She helps out with the annual Locus Awards Weekend and this year will head up programming for writers at Norwescon.   

The award is specifically fore "tireless energy."  I've seen Leslie absolutely exhausted.  But she never let that stop her.

Leslie didn't believe she was going to win, but I nagged her into writing a few words anyway.  Here's what she has to say:

First I want to thank all the little people.  No wait, I AM the little people!  When I was twelve, my older brother came home on leave from the Army with a box of primo science fiction and fantasy paperbacks.  Naturally I dragged the box out of his closet the minute he went back to the Army and consequently was exposed to radically new ideas and ways of thinking about the world and humanity at exactly the right age. I was never the same.  I was always a reader and a writer, but I became an educator and provocateur, and the experience of working with and being inspired by creative, wildly imaginative minds like your Michael, for instance, is what fuels my so-called tireless energy.

What I do is not so much a function of tireless energy as it is the fact that all of the talented writers, readers, artists, and other imagineers I’ve had the good fortune of working with and learning from stoke the fire that keeps my motor running. 

I love this community and am continually inspired to do what I can to help writers and promote their work.  We live in troubled times, and more than ever need science fiction and fantasy’s ability to serve as a politically subversive medium for commentary and  warning against possible futures.  I do this work because I believe that what all of you do goes beyond entertainment.  It’s important and meaningful. You hold a mirror up to humanity and ask who are we?  You ask what if? 

I believe in you and I got your back.  Thanks.

You can find full info on the LDBH Awards here.


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