Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Crooked Truth

Anika's Crooked Truth: 
An Acceptance Speech

This being awards season and all—I’ve been thinking about my favorite aspect of awards shows. Not the red carpet, or the dresses, or the film montage. For me, it’s the acceptance speeches.

I’m partial to the funny, self-deprecating, end-on-a-touching-note-Jennifer-Lawrencean speeches. Give me wit, give me heartstrings, give me chutzpah!

These days, a really great acceptance speech lives far beyond the two allotted minutes the winner gets at the podium. Thanks to E-News, Twitter, YouTube and Vine—stellar acceptance speeches almost always go viral—watched again and again on smart phones and laptops and tablets across the globe.

For fun, I thought I’d take a crack at writing an acceptance speech of my own. So what that I don’t have a red carpet? So what that I’m not wearing couture and chatting up George Clooney? Who cares that I haven’t been nominated for, er … anything. I’m writing my speech anyway.

For what is an acceptance speech if not a long and ceremonious expression of gratitude? And gratitude is good.

So here goes …

- I would like to thank my mother, for everything I never truly understood until I had children of my own.

- I would like to thank Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeline L’Engle, E.L. Konigsburg, Anna Sewell, E.B. White and Betty Smith, to name just a few, for writing stories that took up residence in my heart and mind and never left.

- Thank you to my tenth grade English teacher, Sister Grace, for declaring the sonnet I’d written was not my own work because the writing was “too mature,” delivering in one fell swoop confirmation that I had talent, a lesson in injustice, and just the fire a sixteen year-old needs to someday become a published writer.

- Thank you to my first job in advertising for being boring.

- Thank you to all the people that have ever read my first drafts and helped me make them better.

- I would like to thank the Internet, for providing endless opportunities to procrastinate whenever I’m not ready to write.

- I would like to thank my three daughters for giving me loads of inspiration and love, and tolerating me jotting down things they say because they might make good titles for picture books.

- Thank you to Spanx for reasons that need no explanation.

- Thank you to The Coffee Depot in Warren, Rhode Island, for having strong coffee and free wifi.

- I would like to thank my agent for being equal parts smart, kind, savvy and insightful.

- Thank you to my critique group, for Sunday brunch and for help and encouragement and Prosecco.

- Thank you to Neil Gaiman for his “Make Good Art” speech.

- I would like to thank my husband for having gone to art school, not business school, and for being talented and patient with me.

- I would like to thank God. And also Oprah. And Tina Fey.

- Last but not least, I would most sincerely and humbly like to thank every reader, parent, child, bookseller, teacher and librarian who has purchased or borrowed or shared my books. Really, I mean it, thank you.

Now, here’s the part where I walk off stage the wrong way and go chat up George Clooney.  ;)



  1. I think this is brilliant! You make me want to write an acceptance speech of my own. I feel like it's a great way to "check in" with yourself, too!

  2. Thanks so much, Renee! It's fun to write an acceptance speech, even you don't get the chance to deliver it. Nice reminder of how fun it is, and how lucky we are to do what we do. :)