Every year, Bookshop Santa Cruz holds a series of contests in which aspiring authors and photographers can convey their visions to the local community — and every year, the staff at Bookshop Santa Cruz is blown away by the submissions. May 25 marks the beginning of the submission period for this year’s photography contest, which is already a source of excitement for Bookshop Santa Cruz employees.
“The images are all really creative, and the bulk of them are taken by amateur photographers,” said Casey Coonerty, Bookshop Santa Cruz owner and manager. Her family has owned the independent bookstore since 1973.
The annual photography contest will conclude by celebrating its 16th birthday in autumn 2010. Students, locals, and anyone else interested in participating are encouraged to send in an image that displays a unique visual representation of what it means to read.
The photo contest — which receives at least 100 submissions annually—calls for a unique expression of reading. Those who are eager to express their ideas are also drawn by the prizes offered to the first, second, and third place winners, which include gift certificates of $250, publishing of submissions online, and a display of submissions in the store.
Takaki Metoki, a Santa Cruz local who has participated in the contest in the past, was eager to get started on his submission for this year’s competition.
“I’ve been brainstorming ideas, but I don’t have a really definite idea right now,” he said.
According to Coonerty, past submissions have been extremely varied. Coonerty has seen pictures taken in places all over the world, from shantytowns in developing countries to right here in Santa Cruz.
Bookshop Santa Cruz employees have expressed an interest in seeing more participation from UC Santa Cruz students in the contest.
“Students offer ideas that reflect their place in the community,” said Adrienne Mages, a Bookshop Santa Cruz employee. “I think we’d all like to have more students get involved in the contest.”
Employees look forward to judging the photos and selecting a winner. Submissions are due on September 1, which allows ample time to select a photo for submission. Coonerty also said that the Bookshop accepts submissions via U.S. mail so that the contest is more accessible to community members at a distance. Literary enthusiasts are encouraged to apply.