Dreaming the future…

A zine by and for young people

UPDATE! The zine is now finished, and we are so enthusiastic about the results. You can find it on this page.

In partnership with the 2020-2021 Feinberg Series, the Forbes, Jones, and Lilly Libraries are excited to announce a forthcoming zine about climate dreaming. All Western Massachusetts youth aged 18 and under are encouraged to submit. (Find the instructions in Spanish here.)

What do you appreciate about the Earth? What could the future be like on a healthy planet? Where do you want to live when you’re older?

Write, draw, or otherwise create a response to one of the following prompts by January 7th, 2021 as soon as possible! DEADLINE EXTENDED! We are still accepting submissions! Please submit as soon as possible or email cmurtishaw@umass.edu to arrange an longer extension.

The zine will be released in conjunction with the Feinberg Series event, Young People Fighting For Climate Justice, on February 1, 2021.

The Prompts

Take a walk around the block, and describe your neighborhood for folks of the future who can’t see it as it is now. What forms of life are there? What else do you notice? 

The oxygen in the air we breathe is the result of an exchange between trees and humans, who each produce something the other needs (in trees’ case, CO2). What are some other ways in which nature and humans work together to make things we all (plants, animals, humans) need to survive, or some ways they could in the future?

Dream up and draw a new plant or animal. It doesn’t have to exist, or even seem “possible”. You don’t have to write it out, but while you’re drawing think about how its features influence its lifestyle – for example, does it have webbed fingers or claws? Feathers or scales?

4. CRV: 2200
Write a super-short story or diary entry (~500 words max) from the perspective of someone living in the Connecticut River Valley in the year 2200. What is life like? (If you’re more artistic, you can draw an illustration or comic instead!)

In the future… Where will energy come from? What will the relationship between humans and the land look like? Humans and animals? Plants and humans? Choose one of the above, and write/draw your vision, thinking about what steps are needed to get there from where we are now. Get creative! For instance, your submission might take the form of a maze, timeline, or comic.

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and when it comes to things like fragile habitat, it can be especially hard to protect organisms that can’t stand up for themselves. What is a way you imagine standing up for yourself or or someone/thing with less power than you? Think of times in your own life you’ve exercised courage, or research young climate activists from around the world like Ugandan organizer Vanessa Nakate, Swedish climate advocate Greta Thunberg, or American youth climate leader Varshini Prakash for inspiration.

Submission Guidelines

Your submission should measure or proportionally fit 5.5″x8″ (a half-page of letter paper). Color is encouraged! If you are sending a written submission, please submit as a .txt or .docx file. For scans, please make sure to scan at a high quality (minimum 600 dpi using a digital scanner, or using your smartphone scanning app of choice).

If sending via mail or email, please include creator’s name, age, and town of residence, as well as contact information. All contributors are eligible to receive a physical copy of the zine; if you would like one, please also include your mailing address.

How to Submit

Submit via online form here (preferred),
by emailing kids@joneslibrary.org
or by postal mail (with submissions wrapped up securely!) to:
Forbes Zine Club
℅ Forbes Library
20 West St.
Northampton, MA 01060

Tune in to the libraries’ social media sites for other mini-assignments and chances to contribute to the zine. Find the Jones on Instagram @joneslibteens, the Forbes @forbeslibrary, and the Lilly @lillylibraryflorence.

Thank you so much! We’re so excited to see your futures!