People who want to channel their “inner nerd” have an outlet, thanks to the Metropolitan Library System's fan fiction and art contest.
The contest was started seven years ago by an anime club that met at the library and has grown to more than 100 entries in the two categories. Fan art includes crocheted Neopets and a tree skirt that was embroidered with the image of anime characters.
Anime are Japanese animated films and television shows.
“The first one we had a really good group and we got tons of really cool and diverse types of arts,” librarian John Hilbert said. “Someone baked a cake in the shape of a cat. We had a tree skirt that ended up winning. It can be any medium as long as it can fit through the door.”
Entries into this year's contest began trickling in this month. Savannah Mitchell went to art school at the University of Oklahoma, and now teaches art programs in the library system. She entered the contest when it began and now helps judge the entries.
“I did it as a way to get myself out there,” she said. “The work is a lot of fun. I enjoy the process quite a bit, but I also wanted to get feedback on my work. Everyone gets a certificate of participation but we try to give them some kind of feedback.”
A good entry combines established characters and art that is developed by a fan.
“Something that is original and doesn't look like it was copied is always good,” Mitchell said. “Novel media is always good. The Christmas tree skirt that won the first year and the cake are good examples.”