*****Incoming Message from the Year 2221*****
As the Octavia Butler Home and Repository approaches its 200th anniversary, we want to invite the various communities across the solar system to reflect, celebrate, mourn, and process the past 200 years with us.
We cordially invite you to participate in a community archive curated by the Octavia Butler Home and Repository which will include artifacts from the years 2020-2220.
This invitation is for documents, photographs, audio files, video files, and more from the past 200 years. We encourage you to explore the physical and digital archives of your families, organizations, and communities for things that highlight important personal, local, global, and interplanetary moments.
In accordance with the vision of the Octavia Butler Home and Repository (see below), submissions that especially highlight the combined role of and changes to race, gender, and sexuality will be prioritized. Archives hold things someone decided were important enough to be saved. What moments in the lives of your families and communities from 2020-2220 do you want to save?
Thus far, we have been pleased to receive a donation that includes photographs from the 2023 Black women’s march that led to the Don’t Touch My Hair law in 2027 and the original designs for Secretary of Arts Education Janelle Monáe’s half-android body.
How to Submit
Your submission should be no more than 5,000 words and please send no more than 3 artifacts at once. Use Times New Roman or Arial text. We are are accepting multiple submissions and collaborative submissions. Feel free to create with the whole family or friend group.
We are not accepting any submissions that contain gratuitous violence, particularly sexual violence, or unnecessary use of racial slurs.
When you are ready, send your submission to email@example.com. When you send your submission, include the names of all contributors and a brief description of your submissions (including any background information we need to know to understand it). Be sure to tell us what year your submission is from (i.e. the year 2035, the year 2146, etc.)
We are accepting submissions on a rolling basis.
We are offering some resources to assist in your submission process:
Please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions and our Prompt book. There is a sample submission on our Resources page.
Here are some ideas for the kinds of documents and other materials you can submit to the archive:
- Dialogues (snippets of conversations)
- News headlines
- News articles
- Celebrity gossip
- Event invitations
- Short stories
- Social media posts
- Social media descriptions
- Shopping lists
- Software or app descriptions
- Photographs, drawings, doodles
- Event programs
- Electronic communications
- Journal/diary entries
- Reports, memos
- Dictionary entries
- Encyclopedia entries
- Transcripts or recordings of court cases, speeches, lectures
Contact us to speak with an Octavia Butler Home and Repository representative to talk about an archive curation workshop.
The Octavia Butler Home and Repository began as one small, digital art gallery in what was then known as Sacramento, California in the year 2020. Created just four years before Parable of the Sower, a text now hailed as prophecy, was set, the founders named in honor of Butler’s prophetic vision and the inclusive nature of her work. The Octavia Butler Homes are now a network of spaces that function as gardens, libraries, temporary housing, community clubs, and art galleries. The Octavia Butler Homes are committed to uplifting the dreams, work, and knowledge of womxn who also align with the historical markers of Black, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, and People of Color. The archive aligns to these commitments as well. This network believes in the dreams of Octavia Butler for an expansive understanding of gender, a compassionate approach to social justice, and a call for equity and reciprocity in our relationships.
About Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler is often considered the matriarch of black speculative fiction. Born and raised in Southern California, she attended the Clarion Writer’s Workshop and the Screenwriter’s Guild Open Door Program to study her craft early on in her career. Her most famous works include Kindred (1979), the Patternist series (started in 1976), and the Earthseed series (started in 1993). Butler is the namesake for the Octavia Butler Home and Repository because of her vision and how she saw and centered the lives of people many would overlook. Her work and its principles guide the work and the love of the Octavia Butler Home and Repository family.
We look forward to reading your submissions!
Planting seeds with hands and hearts,
Jasmine H. Wade IV
The Octavia Butler Home and Repository