Technology Changing the Way You Read? Win Cash for Your Thoughts


Silicon Valley Reads 2014 Essay and Poetry ContestHas technology changed the way you read for better? Worse? You, or someone you know from middle school to adult, can win cash by sharing your insights in an essay or poem in the 2014 Silicon Valley Reads essay and poetry contest, co-sponsored by the Cupertino Library and the Cupertino Library Foundation (CLF). The deadline is just four weeks away, on March 17.

The annual essay contest is open to Cupertino adults and teens in grades 9-12, and focuses on responses to a question springing forth from the two featured books from the 2014 Silicon Valley Reads program. This year’s book selections are: The Shallows: What is the Internet Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr, and Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

This year’s essay contest question is: “Is technology changing the way you read and access information? Is this bad or good?”

Cupertino’s Poet Laureate, Jennifer Swanton Brown, in conjunction with the Cupertino Library Foundation, has inaugurated a poetry contest to accompany the Silicon Valley Reads offerings for the Cupertino community. Poetry contest entrants may be adults, high school teens, and middle-school students, grades six through eight.

Cash prizes will be awarded by the Cupertino Library Foundation in all categories, with the grand prize for the essay contest being $500 for the top teen and adult; $300 each for the second prize adult and teen. For the poetry contest, there is a cash award of $350 each for the top adult, teen and middle-school entrant. Second prize is $200 each for an adult, teen and middle-schooler.

The guidelines for the essay and poetry contest are posted on

All entries must be received online at by 11:59pm Monday, March 17th, or hand-delivered to a Cupertino Librarian by close of business the same day. The winners will be announced by March 30th.

“Adding the poetry contest to our Cupertino Silicon Valley Reads program encourages teens in high school and middle school,” said Gayathri Kanth, Cupertino’s Community Librarian. “The Library, the Library Foundation, and the community all come together around this event. Essays and poetry also fit well into the goals of the Common Core Standards.”

Essays are to be no more than 500 words, and original work. There is no fee or purchase necessary to enter. Winners will be notified by March 30th.

“As a long-time program sponsor of Silicon Valley Reads, Cupertino Library Foundation is proud to be able to foster the community-wide conversations about the featured books through these essay and poetry contests. It always amazes me the interesting insights  expressed by the Cupertino readers,” said Eno Schmidt, president of the CLF board. “We are particularly excited to be teaming with Cupertino’s Poet Laureate Jennifer Brown in introducing the Poetry contest for the first time, and celebrate community through this additional creative outlet.”

For the past five years, community partner, the Rotary Club of Cupertino, has contributed the cost of the featured books to be available through the area high school libraries to encourage teens to participate in the essay contest.

The Cupertino Library Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation  with the purpose  to raise money  to continue programs encouraging life-long learning and self-improvement through the Cupertino Library. It seeks major donations from corporations and the business community and from other foundations as well as individual donations and planned gifts and bequests. For further information go to: