Raise your hand if this has happened to you:
You’re tabling at a local event, chatting with someone on a bus, having a beer with a co-worker, or in one of the countless situations when you’re explaining your anarchism to a non-anarchist who’s curious. They seem interested, open to your ideas, or eager to try to share them with others in their life. As you wrap up your conversation, they ask you for a good, basic, accessible introduction to anarchist ideas – one they can read to their kids or share with their skeptical friends or distribute in their small town. What do you give them?
If you’re anything like us, your distro table has ample supplies of historical narratives, advanced theoretical critiques, and topical analyses, but when it comes to a simple primer to get the anarcho-curious started, your stocks are surprisingly scarce. This has proved frustrating again and again, from the Occupy encampments to anti-election leafleting to everyday outreach. There are plenty of primers out there, but a lot of them are poorly written or out of date. For years we distributed Fighting For Our Lives, but now it’s at long last out of print. You can recommend books, but what can you copy by the hundreds and give to any old person?
And that’s why we’re announcing the ANARCHIST PRIMER COMPETITION, taking
place at the 4th Carrboro Anarchist Book Fair in Chapel Hill, NC!
Attention all anarchists: you’ve got three weeks! On Saturday, November 23rd, you can table with your new primer, share them with the seasoned veterans, shy consumers, and undercover cops who patronize the book fair, and then we’ll have an event in the evening where everyone has the chance to present their work in ten minutes or less. A panel of judges will award black ribbons for the best primer in various categories, including:
-Best topical/for a specific audience or purpose (i.e. for Occupy weirdos, to hand out at the polls on election day, for queer pride events, etc)
-Best all-ages primer
-Best troll entry
The parameters are simple: 5,000 words or less (the shorter the better), no more than 20 pages in whatever design format you choose, photocopyable for mass distribution, and intended to introduce anarchy and anarchist ideas to a wide audience. If you can’t make it in person to table, send your entry along with someone who can. And we can pick up copies of each other’s work, and by the end of the weekend we’ll have tons of creative new options for introductory primers to share when we next find ourselves needing them.
GO! Get writing, get creative, get competitive. We’ll see you in North Carolina in a few weeks!
the collective for Another Carrboro Anarchist Bookfair (ACAB)