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Douglas Adams Towel Day Animations

The Literary Platform hosted an international competition inviting creatives to produce an animation to illustrate 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 the 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.

Entries were judged by Stephen Fry, Bob Stein (SocialBook, Inc), Ranjit Dhaliwal (The Guardian) and Merlin Nation and Chris Angelkov (Atyp).

The competition invited creatives to produce an animation that best illustrates the words of Douglas Adams. Entrants were invited to use part, or all, of the Douglas Adams recording to create an animation to complement the words. You can hear and download the recording here.

Entrants uploaded entries to a new user-generated competition platform called Launchpad6. The public voted for their favourite animation in order to help the judges get down to a longlist of candidates. The judging panel then chose their winner, and the winning entrant was announced on Towel Day 2012 – 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 won an iPad donated by Launchpad Digital loaded with Douglas Adams books and apps and a Don’t Panic towel to carry on Towel Day. Selected entrants also saw their work hosted on The Literary Platform and exhibited at a launch event to tie in with Towel Day hosted by Tor Books, publishers of Douglas Adams.