By now most of you know that we won't be having a 2012 season of the MEFAs. This news of course makes me very sad, because these awards have been one of the few constants in my life. I also had some of my own stories that I was looking forward to seeing compete in the awards, as I'm sure everyone else did.
I've been thinking these last few days about Gandalf's words to the hobbits just before the Ringbearers sailed west: I will not say: do not weep, for not all tears are an evil. As sad as it is that the MEFAs are ending, the reason it's so sad is because they were such a positive experience for so many years. That makes me grateful on top of being sad. So the ending of the MEFAs is definitely bittersweet, but with a measure of sweet mixed in with the bitter.
I wanted to thank everyone who has been involved with the MEFAs. This turned out to be harder than you'd think, because (unlike governments and elephants) I do forget. I had every intention of thanking people going all the way back to 2004 – but since I can't find any lists from the time, I'm sure I'd leave some people off. And that's the last thing I want to do! I'd also have to name most people who are members of the [MEFAwards] Yahoo group, and a fair few who aren't. I've always felt that with the MEFAs, it's not just our formal volunteers – liaisons, categorizers, banner makers and so on – but also people who participate in the awards by reviewing and letting their pieces compete that have made our event such a great experience over the years.
I do want to thank publicly everyone who had volunteered to help with the 2012 awards. The fact that we didn't end up needing your services doesn't change the fact that you were willing to pitch in:
- Banner-Makers: cactuskim, Ellin Ithilwen, nautika, Nosterineth, and Uvatha the Horseman
- Categorizers: Dreamflower, Elliska, Inkling, Linaewen, and Marta
- Liaisons: Agape4rivendell, Aliana, Angelica, Cathleen, Dreamflower, Elliska, Inkling, Levade, Linaewen, and Virtuella
- Membership Manager: Elliska
- Promoters: Cathleen, Dawn Felagund, Dwimordene, Ellie, Inkling, Larner, Neme Indil, and obsidianj
- Ratings Panel: curious wombat, Fiondil, Keiliss, Larner, Neume Indil, Raksha the Demon, Russandol, and Sulriel
- Technical Support: Aranel Took and Tanaqui
- Welcome Manager: Nath
Additionally, the following people deserve special recognition.
- Ainaechoiriel, who gave us the awards to begin with
- Anthony Holder, Aranel Took, and Tanqui, who designed our website and helped people use it
- Aranel Took, for designing our archive (and hosting it now so it will still be on the web in the future)
- Elliska, who made sure each member only had one account on our website
- Elliska and Inkling, who (as the longest serving liaisons) helped hundreds of authors each year. The three of us also categorized the majority of stories in recent years. All the liaisons and categorizers worked hard; these two ladies were truly superlative.
- Dreamflower and Linaewen, who this last year really stepped up to help run things behind the scenes, first with categorizing and then with everything that came after.
- Radbooks, who for years helped out as both liaison and categorizer, and also contributed many good ideas to our post-mortems
- PipMer and Radbooks, who both served as welcome managers.
- Rhapsody, Fiondil, Beruthiel's Cat, Nieriel Raina and Neume Indil, who helped organize banners and made sure we had a good variety
- Foxrafer, elea24, and Tanaqui, who forwarded author replies to their reviewers.
- Annmarwalk, Rhapsody and Levade, who posted MEFA reviews to Yahoo and LJ by hand
As for myself, I've always either found people to volunteer in different roles or done the work myself. That covers a lot of different tasks. In recent years I typically was the one to write and update most of the text you see on the website, and the announcements you saw around the interwebz about the MEFAs. I also looked over each nomination to make sure the form was filled out correctly, sent out emails to every competing author at different points in the awards, answered any questions people had as best I could, and worked with Aranel and Tanaqui to develop new web features (strictly as a dreamer – I never typed a line of code).
It's been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. So I want to thank you, any author or reviewer who made the awards possible. These awards have given me some great opportunities to give back to fandom but also to grow as a person. (I can't believe how young I was when I started helping out here!)
If you want to do something to commemorate the MEFAs, I'd suggest two things. First, thank a volunteer. Not me; I mean your liaison or the artist who made that banner you liked. Someone who shaped your MEFA experience in a much more personal way than I could have. Then go to our archive, at www.mefawards.org and find a story that interests you and review it. Rewarding authors through feedback – particularly lesser-known ones whose work is still first-rate – is one of the things I always loved most about these awards.
The MEFAs are ending, and that is certainly sad, though fandom will go on. Even our awards won't vanish from the internet entirely. We will still keep our archive online so you can find old stories and reviews. Even though there won't be any new MEFA seasons, the thought of all those old nominations I can still read is a comforting one. And while I'm turning off new comments at the LJ community and Yahoo groups associated with the MEFAs, the old messages at those groups will always be there.
If you need help with something MEFA-related, please email me and I'll get back to you as quickly as I can. I also hope to respond to everyone who has emailed me lately, though it may take some time. (I broke a bone in my hand last week so typing for long periods can be painful.) So some of you may be hearing from me in the future. In any event, I hope to see you at the archives, LJ, and other fandom haunts.
Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace!