30th Annual Ray Bradbury Creative Contest
Waukegan-native Ray Bradbury and author of Fahrenheit 451 understood the importance of reading, writing, and education to a successful society, saying “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” Bradbury saw the slow destruction of books and the written word and was fearful. In Waukegan, not only do we see the rising popularity of eBooks, acronyms, and textspeak today, we live and work with those who do not even have the foundation of basic reading and writing skills in English or in Spanish. As the written word continues to disappear, the future of libraries, literacy, and free access to knowledge is uncertain. In your contest submission, please consider a future without the written word. What would society look like? What would happen if your freedom to read and learn disappeared? How do you feel about banning books?
Congratulations to the Winners
Written- Middle School
Written- High School
- The Start by Aaron Andrews
My piece is about how they probably started burning books and libraries.
Visual- High School
- Walls Separating My Imagination by Jaqueline Martinez
In a world with no books, or any existing words at all, has no openings to the other side. The other side is supposed to represent imagination… These walls are the only things that separate fantasy and reality. Doesn’t one go mad if anything were to happen like so? My image shows a young girl breaking that wall with the help of books…a weapon against reality. (the image is viewed from right to left)
- The impending age of Non-Imaginative Children by Alexander Antillon
Society today is based around the latest iPhone or biggest and sleekest tablet. While libraries and books become obsolete, children and adults lose the greatest ability known to man, imagination. Without the imagery and descriptive writing of books we lose the ability to create images in our head, creativity for our children and our lives regulated by smart devices. The internet has become our virtual library while apps and television display computer generated images (CGI) to create our imagination for us. Books allow us to not only think for ourselves and develop our own answers but also guarantee that the information provided is true and not edited or hacked by random people online. Libraries provide safe havens for us to dwell in history, swim in science fiction, or walk with dinosaurs; they offer intelligent librarians to help with your search or suggest fascinating readings based on your interests, unlike the online search engines that suggest what you may like based on your history of browsing. A world without books and libraries is a world that is controlled and influenced by electronics, making us biological robots that allow our electronics to think for us, suggest what we may enjoy, and communicate to others. The written word is important because it not only allows us to think for ourselves and mentally develop but also enables our children and their children’s children to develop a mind and personality of their own and not what the television influences them to do or be engulfed in tablets, smartphones, and laptops.
Look for all entries published in an upcoming Literary Journal this summer.
If you have questions about the Creative Contest, please call Rena Morrow at 847-623-2041 x 231, or email rmorrow [at] waukeganpl [dot] info.