The Literary Platform is hosting an international competition inviting creatives to produce an animation that illustrates a rare and prophetic audio recording of Douglas Adams talking in 1993 about the Evolution of the Book.

In 1993 Douglas Adams, the world-renowned author of The Hitchhikers Guide of the Galaxy, recorded a short piece of audio for his US publisher of the time – Bob Stein of Voyager Expanded Books. Who would know how prophetic his words would sound nearly twenty years later, and how accurate his sense of the evolution of the book was.

In this short recording, kindly donated to The Literary Platform by Bob Stein, Douglas Adams charts the evolution of the book from the ‘hardware problems’ of writing on rocks, to scrolls, to the bound book and finally the silicon chip.

The competition invites creatives to produce an animation that best illustrates the words of Douglas Adams. Entrants are invited to use part, or all, of the Douglas Adams recording to create an animation to complement the words.

How to Enter

Entrants are asked to upload entries to a new user-generated competition platform called Launchpad6. The public will be able to vote for their favourite animation in order to help the judges get down to a longlist of candidates. The judging panel will then choose their winner, and the winning entrant will be announced on Towel Day – the annual celebration on the 25 May, which is a tribute Douglas Adams. On that day, fans around the universe proudly carry a towel in his honour.


The winner of the competition will win an iPad2 loaded with Douglas Adams books and apps and a Don’t Panic towel to carry on Towel Day. Selected entrants will also see their work hosted on The Literary Platform and exhibited at an event to tie in with Towel Day celebrations.

The competition platform is now open for entries and the deadline for uploading entries is 15 April 2012. The longlist will be announced on 30 April with final judging leading up to the Towel Day announcement on 25 May 2012.

About Douglas Adams

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a “trilogy” of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams became known as an advocate for environmental and conservation causes, and also as a lover of fast cars, cameras, and the Apple Macintosh.

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