The Pasadena Unified School District recently hosted their annual science fiction festival in honor of Octavia E. Butler, the renowned science fiction author who has been inspiring readers for generations. This festival is a tribute to the author, who began her writing journey as a student at what was then Washington Junior High, now named after her.
The Octavia E. Butler (OEB) Magnet Library Science Fiction Festival welcomed visitors to indulge in a day-long celebration of science fiction. Organizers of the event brought together astrophysicists, telescopes, fantasy fiction, robotics, sculptures, essays, and book giveaways for an exciting experience.
As a part of the festival, students were asked to create science fiction pieces, including poems, stories, and works of art. However, it was optional to submit their pieces for the competition. Visitors could also participate in various activities to win fun prizes and choose a book to take home.
“We are trying to expose our kids to the ways that fiction and art and creativity go hand in hand with science. Speculative science spurs on real science, real science inspires writers to create stories that we all enjoy,” said organizer and OEB Librarian, Natalie Daily. “I’m so impressed with our students’ work this year. We have several students doing graphic fiction which takes a lot of talent because it’s visually telling the story and using words.”
The festival proved to be an exciting experience for the students, who enjoyed the many activities that took place throughout the day. "I think this science fiction festival is amazing! I love science fiction. I love Octavia Butler. I love her work. I just love this whole idea and how it’s executed," exclaimed seventh-grader Brooklyn Roffman.
The OEB Library Science Fiction Festival is an annual event, open to the entire community, made possible with the help of sponsors and educational partners such as Young & Healthy, Access Books, Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena Educational Foundation, Day One, and Octavia’s Bookshelf, among others.
This annual festival represents an exciting way to pay homage to the author while promoting science fiction, art, and creativity among young minds. By continuing to inspire students and celebrate the written word, the Pasadena Unified School District remains dedicated to providing unique and valuable experiences for the entire community.