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Feb 06 2012

Cover Design Contest — “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”

I’m self-publishing a book — “Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless” — and I’m going to need a cover. And since I know there are talented designers among my readers, I’ve decided to turn it into a contest!

Here’s what you need to know.

The book is largely being built around my blog post, Atheists and Anger, in an expanded version that includes many more examples. That should be your main inspiration. Other chapters will defend this litany of rage and the validity of anger as inspiration for social change; explore in more detail why moderate, progressive, ecumenical, interfaith, New Age, and “spiritual but not religious” religion are valid targets for atheist anger; summarize the best arguments for why religion almost certainly isn’t true; explain and defend atheist activism and so-called “atheist evangelism”; and provide a resource guide for people who want to participate and take action in the atheism movement.

The tone of the book is fairly serious, but it uses a lot of humor, it’s written in my usual conversational tone, and it’s meant to be inspiring. It’s aimed at both atheists and at believers who want to understand atheism and atheist anger. I want the cover art to express anger, but in an inviting and inspiring manner. Humor is great if you can make it work without undercutting the seriousness of the content.

Text on the cover should include the title — “Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless” — and my name.

The design should look good as a book-sized physical object in people’s hands… and as a thumbnail image on websites.

Technical specs: I’ll need three different formats. Fortunately, the first one can easily be turned into the other two.

For the dead tree edition, I’ll need a 6″ x 9″ PDF, in either CMYK or RGB color, at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI. (I’ll eventually need the PDF incorporated into a full jacket with a back cover and a spine — but the back cover and spine will be text only, with a summary, a bio, and some blurbs, so that shouldn’t take too long.)

For Kindle: I’ll need a JPG at 300 DPI, sized at 600×900.

For Nook/ePub: I’ll need a a JPG at 300 DPI, between 5KB and 2MB, sized at 750×1125.

Any art you use must be either original or copyright-free. (If you do use stock or other non-original art, please let me know the source.)

Contest submissions should be emailed to [email protected] It’s a good idea to follow submissions with a follow-up email, in case your attachment got glonked in my email.

Contest submissions must be received by February 15, 2012, at 11:59 Pacific time.

The winner will receive:

$100, paid via PayPal. (If you don’t have PayPal, we’ll figure something out.)

Ten copies of the book. You can wait until I publish the physical dead-tree edition (soon to follow the e-book editions), or you can get them in whatever ebook format I use that allows me to give gift copies that can then be re-distributed (I believe Smashmouth will let you do that). Or if you want to divvy them up, and get one ebook and nine hard copies, or seven ebooks and three hard copies, that’s ducky with me.

Credit as designer, with URL if you have one: on the back cover when the hard copy is published, in physical and ebook editions in the acknowledgements and indicia page, and on my blog when the book announcement is made (and, of course, when the contest winner is announced).

An interview on my blog.

The five runners-up will each receive one copy of the book, in whatever ebook format I use that allows me to give gift copies, or the physical book when it’s published, as you prefer.

Please email me with any questions, at [email protected] I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with!

41 comments

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  1. 1
    Zinc Avenger

    I have a suggestion without the artistic talent to follow it through:

    A little girl of about 6, a christian (“jesus loves me” T-shirt or some such obvious symbol), face contorted with ugly rage, brandishing a cross outwards from the book cover. It should be posed so that there is no doubt that she’s not raging at the cross. The image should clearly convey “ugly rage”, with some “little girls taught to hate” subtext.

    The intent is for someone who sees it to “get” the rage first, and then if they look closer they see it’s ugly christian rage juxtaposed with the title of the book “Why are you atheists so angry?”, and that it’s that sort of religious ugliness that atheists rage against hardest.

    I hereby relinquish all claim to that idea in the hope someone might find it useful or inspiring and make something far better than I ever could!

  2. 2
    Deen

    Too bad you probably won’t be able to use this cartoon by John Addis, but it was the first image that came to my mind.

  3. 3
    Anonymous Atheist

    “or you can get them in whatever ebook format I use that allows me to give gift copies that can then be re-distributed (I believe Smashmouth will let you do that).”

    FYI:
    - Amazon ebooks could be gifted by you to the winner’s desired recipients, with their email addresses. They would then each own the ebook and have it available in their account for future re-downloading.
    - If you don’t turn on DRM when you first publish the ebook on Amazon, Amazon ebooks are redistributable and convertable to non-Kindle formats. (If you do turn on DRM when you first publish, it can’t be turned off without unpublishing and starting over.)
    - Smashmouth is a band. Smashwords is an ebook distributor. ;)

  4. 4
    Anonymous Atheist

    Addendum to my first point: Or, gift them all to the winner’s email address, and they can forward the emails to their desired recipients at any later time.

  5. 5
    Avoids exploitation

    What an exploiter! Hold a contest to get free work from artists and then the winner gets a hundred bucks. Shame on you!

  6. 6
    Megan Gedris

    Not to be snarky (well, okay, to be a little snarky), if I wrote a book called “Why are you graphic designers so angry?” it would be about this kind of thing.

    Designers are skilled people who deserve fair compensation for their work. With contests like this, you will either receive sub-sub-sub-par design work that looks crappy and may actually harm book sales by giving it an air of cheapness, or you’ll get good design work from a designer who spent 20 hours on it but who ends up making $5/hr. (Not to mention all the people who spend their time to design something who DON’T get chosen and therefor receive NO compensation for their work.)

    All the while driving down design prices for the entire industry. These are skills that should gather at least $50/hr. for such services, but since SO MANY PEOPLE hold contests like these, it has driven industry prices down to insulting levels. Artists doing free work competing for the chance to work for small compensation – this is not what a healthy industry should be, and contests like this are one more shot of poison.

    This is not something that is ALL YOUR FAULT, Greta, and I make no attempt to place on you more than your 1/1,000,000th share of the blame. But it makes me sad to see you contribute to something that is making my industry dry up and die. I would like to encourage you to do away with the contest, find a designer you like, negotiate a fair price, and get a nice cover that lends legitimacy to your own work and the work of your designer. Paying more now will probably net more book sales in the long run.

    Thanks for listening. Sorry if I sound like a jerk. I’m really trying not to. It’s just so frustrating to see someone I respect so much disrespect my own career field.

  7. 7
    Ologies

    Megan,

    While I agree with the bulk of what you’re saying (I’m in the industry, myself), I admittedly rolled my eyes far and wide at this: “But it makes me sad to see you contribute to something that is making my industry dry up and die”

    Dry up and die? Graphic design is a massive industry that, in my humble opinion, is at the strongest and most popular it’s been in ages.

    I’ve been in this kind of similar debate with designers who balk at others charging $50 for logo designs, among other things. There is a time and a place for these kinds of contests – inasmuch as it’s Greta’s (and others’) right to hold contests, it’s our right as designers to refuse to enter if we feel it is beneath us.

    We are people who deal with marketing things to people. Fact is, there is a market for cheap design and there are designers who are willing to fill it – that’s not destroying anything, in fact, it’s created a niche. It may be one that you don’t particularly like, but it’s a niche nonetheless. Move on to greener pastures if you value your work over things like this, there’s nothing wrong with that at all and there are others who will gladly pay for your services, as well.

    The problem has more or less already sorted itself out in your reply. Designers who want guaranteed pay for their time will do so, and those with more time or less experience (who may produce lower quality work) will enter and Greta (and others who do this sort of thing) can deal with that, as well. As much as I hate the “this will be good experience/portfolio work/etc.” excuses, there is a time and a place for such things. Not every designer can charge $500 to brand a company. Not every designer cares about level compensation. So long as there is a niche, there is someone who will probably fill it.

  8. 8
    Megan Gedris

    Well, see, the thing is, I’m having a harder time getting fair compensation for my work because more and more when I quote a fair, industry standard price, I get met with “Oooh, that’s too much. We could get someone else for 1/4 of that.” Contests like this are a major part of that. It’s gone from being competitive pricing to making it standard to pay a designer less than minimum wage for their work. Maybe it’s not the same everywhere, but design shops around me are closing up left and right, and companies are firing their in-house designers for the sake of cheap design farms. From *my* vantage point, the industry is not strong at all.

    Greta absolutely has a right to hold this contest if she wants, and like I said, she holds no more than her 1/1,000,000th share in the blame, as this is widespread and she’s not gonna singlehandedly destroy the industry. But like I said, it hurts to have my field seen as worth so little by someone whose work I value a lot, so I gotta speak up about that.

    This isn’t a non-profit. Greta will make money off this. I find it unethical to make money off work that hasn’t been fairly paid for. That’s just my view.

  9. 9
    Allison

    Megan, you have my support. I’m not a graphic designer, but I am a freelancer who’s contributed to several anthologies. $100 for the BOOK COVER… the book cover that is a huge part of selling the product… it just doesn’t seem like a fair price at all. Especially during a recession, with so many freelance designers out of work and needing a living wage.

    I wouldn’t take $100 for something I put 20 hours of work into. I wouldn’t even consider it.

    And whether it takes 20 hours or 2 hours, it’s still an enormous part of the book and the designer should be paid accordingly, not the lowest possible bid.

  10. 10
    Ologies

    Sorry, I feel I should add a bit to my reply for clarification.

    I think that if you can afford to compensate a good designer fairly, you absolutely, positively, without a doubt should. ESPECIALLY if you can afford it. Exploiting popularity or desirability because you don’t want to pay someone properly for their efforts is bad. Truth is, I don’t know Greta’s budget or any kind of detail about any of this to be able to say with a degree of confidence.

    That being said, I don’t feel it’s within my right to A) tell someone they can’t hold a contest and B) tell a designer they can’t do this kind of thing.

  11. 11
    Ologies

    Okay, okay. Last addendum, I promise.

    After some discussion with a friend on the matter, I can absolutely agree that lowballing designers on something that will in turn be disproportionately profiting yourself thereafter is fairly deplorable.

    I don’t think things like this are the sole evil that contributes to agencies closing/downsizing. Graphic design absolutely exploded in the last 5-10 years and is one of the more commonly pushed degrees (especially for a 2-year degree) out there. The market is positively saturated with amateurs who just got their first pirated copy of Photoshop and want to get their feet wet. It’s basically a trendy job that is kind of hitting its peak.

    I think contests are great for amateurs and students, as well as those who really need to fill out their portfolio. I did this kind of thing when I was unemployed so I had something to show to employers. Time and place, as I said.

  12. 12
    Eli

    I think a picture of Jesus assaulting people with a weapon in the temple would fit the title.

  13. 13
    Grimalkin

    I do have to agree a bit with the other posters mentioning the cheap price for a graphic designer. I’m a bit of a commission artist, and what people think constitutes appropriate payment is very low.

    That said, all of the peanuts I’ve been paid for my art have been virtual peanuts anyways, as I’m just starting out and I used virtual pet sites with fake money as a place to test the waters… so below minimum wage AND a ten books would be striking gold for me.

    Hell, having my art used on Greta’s book would be reward enough.

    But I definitely will be giving a shot at this! Three questions for Greta, though, should you read this:

    Do we need to submit our submissions in the three formats that you listed, or could we submit them in any image format and then give you the proper formats if we win?

    Would it be acceptable for a pseudonym to be used for credit to the designer? I can’t see why this would be an issue, but in the snowballs-chance-in-hell probability that I could win, I’d want to be sure on that.

    Third, are you looking for a more minimalist cover (like the one PZ seems to be using for his book) or something more illustrated? Or do you have a set preference at all?

    /barrage o’ questions

  14. 14
    Grimalkin

    ..And then I reread the last sentence and realized that she said where to ask questions!

    Wooops.

  15. 15
    Greta Christina

    Avoids exploitation, Megan, and Allison: If I could afford to pay the going market rate for a book designer, I would. I can’t. I have no idea how much I’m going to make on this book, or even if I’m going to make a profit on it at all. I’ve never self-published a book before, and this project is a big gamble for me. And my cash flow at this juncture is pretty close to zero. My choice is not between “Hold a contest” and “Hire a designer at the going market rate.” My choice is between “Hold a contest” and “Design a shitty book cover myself.”

    As Ologies points out, while this contest might not be right for full-time professional designers, it might be great for students, amateurs, and people who are just getting started in the business and are looking to gain visibility and experience. When I was starting out as a freelance writer a little over 20 years ago, I did lots of work for far below market rate and in some cases pro bono: to get experience, to get my name out there, to make contacts, and to contribute to projects I cared about and that didn’t have much of a budget. It was effective, I’m happy that I did so, and I don’t feel that I was exploited. I can understand how you might not feel that way — but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable approach to starting out in a business.

  16. 16
    Hosh

    I want to see a picture of the backside of a man, camera at knee-level looking up, bald, wearing a plain white shirt with both fists raised to the sky in clear anger, against a slightly cloudy sky with a very prominent and bright sun.

    The theist will pick up the book, interested in confirming their own beliefs that atheists are angry at god. I mean, directly AT God.

    That’s how you’ll hook them!

    The more misunderstandings and ignorences get cleared up, the better place this world will be.

  17. 17
    Rieux

    Very off-topic but very happy news: the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Proposition (H)8 is unconstitutional. Barring further review by the full circuit court (not very likely) or the U.S. Supreme Court (possible–and unpredictable), marriage equality is back in California!

  18. 18
    llewelly

    Look at the puffy clouds on blue sky billboards which asked: “Are you good without god? Millions are.

  19. 19
    Casatron

    To my fellow designers:

    I feel your pain. In most circumstances, I absolutely agree with the No-Spec position. When Pepsi holds a contest to find a new logo from amateur designers, I think it’s an affront to the entire graphic design industry. But, in this case, I think there are a few things to consider:

    1: Greta is not a multi-national corporation with millions of dollars in her pocket. As she explained earlier, this is not a choice, it’s the only option. Pepsi can afford to go to a big name design shop and get the top quality work they’re willing to pay for. Greta is an independent writer who doesn’t have those kinds of resources. You are holding her to an unfair standard. She is self-publishing this book, which, to me, is no different from a garage band self-producing their album and asking one of their friends to draw the cover. The punk/indie music world has a very rich history of interesting work produced for little to no money. I don’t understand why the independent publishing world should be any different.

    2: As an independent writer, Greta has given us hundreds (if not thousands) of hours worth of enticing, thought-provoking reading material for free on an almost daily basis for years, and I’m pretty sure the return she gets in ad revenue pales in comparison to what her talent is actually worth. She certainly doesn’t get paid by every single reader who benefits from what she writes. I can honestly say that reading her columns has changed my life and helped me think about things in ways I never had before. She has been an integral part of my journey towards a better understanding of atheism, feminism and human sexuality. If I can offer my skills as an artist to her as a show of gratitude, then I am more than happy to do so.

    3: Atheism is nothing if not activism. The cornerstone of any grass roots movement is people willingly donating their time and talents. There are people in this movement, like Greta, who work tirelessly for next to no money. They fly around the country (sometimes the world) and speak to people for the cause without any restitution. Skepticon is free. Ask any one of those speakers if they feel “exploited” for appearing, and I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you the opposite. This is, and should be, a communal movement and I believe in that. Occupy Wall Street attracted countless artists willing to donate their time, talents, and materials for the cause because they believed in it, and our movement should be no different. I can’t fault you for not feeling the same way, and like I said, I sympathize. But I do think it’s pretty unfair to castigate Greta for asking the members of her community if they’re willing to collaborate with her.

    There are many fronts in which the very real battle over spec-work and “design contests” should be waged. IMO, this is not one of them.

  20. 20
    Ron

    I wish I were talented with design, because I have a hard-hitting idea for the cover art by way of a colorful montage:

    -Atheists torturing and burning the faithful during the inquisition
    -Atheists in pitched battle in the holy land, slaughtering Christians, Muslims and Jews
    -Militant atheists beheading Jewish journalists
    -Atheists drowning and hanging suspected Christians in early America
    -Atheists whipping African slaves who object to their families being separated and sold
    -Atheists flying jetliners into buildings
    -The bombing and/or burning of places of worship by militant atheists …

    Oops, I think I have these details wrong
    Never mind.

  21. 21
    nemothederv

    How about a picture if Jessica Rabbit(or a non copyright appropriate substitute) with a caption underneath that says.

    I’m not angry. I’m just othered that way

  22. 22
    Another Matt

    Darn. I have no visual art skill, but if you ever need someone to compose a string quartet…

  23. 23
    Duff

    It may be usefulto note, for those that haven’t listined to Geologic Podcast before, that the first 5 minutes or more of this particular episode exhibits George practicing his Ukrainian. This is not his usual language. Skip to 41:23 minutes for the section I mentioned.

  24. 24
    fastthumbs

    On the subject of exploiting graphic artists – May I suggest instead of $100, how a small percentage of the profits from the initial run (or for the first year of sales) – if the book sells well, then I suspect the winning artist would get more than $100. If the book is a flop, then the winning artist gets only the free books.

    In all cases, someone gets some experience and a portfolio piece to show off for other projects. Is this reasonable?

  25. 25
    Hunt

    Oh, Jesus Christ on a Popsicle stick, pro designers. Get over it. The woman asked for donations a month ago, remember? Not exactly Donald Trump-like behavior.

    Sheesh.

  26. 26
    Jaime

    Anger can have its place, but it tends to harm the one who is angry more than the one the anger is directed to.

    Moreover, it can cloud judgment and lead to underestimating opponents if held on to.

  27. 27
    andrea

    seems like some people assume that only “real” graphic artists do good work and would be the only choice for a cover. Sad.

  28. 28
    C Tran

    Let’s be positive.

    I’m not a designer. I’m an engineer. And I’m entering this contest because I like drawing things that don’t have any gears once in awhile. It’s a perfect way for me to hone my skills, contribute to something I care about, and earn a couple bucks.

  29. 29
    Ani Sharmin

    Afraid I’m not much at drawing or design, but I hope lots of others who enjoy your writing and can draw are motivated to participate in your contest.

  30. 30
    Stonyground

    Maybe a picture of the seventeen year old who has been deprived of the rest of his life by his godsoaked parents who thought that prayers and olive oil would be a useful treatement for appendicitis.

  31. 31
    C. Mason Taylor

    Casatron, I agree pretty thoroughly with what you said. Another important thing to consider is there’s a massive difference between one struggling artist (Greta, writer) petitioning another struggling artist (???, designer) to collaborate for the sake of a common cause, and a serious, in-the-black, for-profit company doing it.

    I still feel, respectfully, that a contest is not the way to go. As a writer myself, who has an enormous interest in comics, I’ve spent a lot of time on forums and in conversation with struggling pencillers, inkers, letterers, and so on. It is not unheard of for a writer to come up with a project and see if she can’t find collaborators who believe in it to work with her for free, cheap, or for a future profit share. However, in that case, what she’d do is precisely that: look for one person to do each job, make an agreement, and then respect the contributions of her fellow artists. What she wouldn’t do is ask several people to do the work in its entirety, and then, give one ‘lucky’ person the privilege of being a part of the finished project, and the rest somethign very, very small, or squat.

    I think–again, respectfully–that the thing to do in this situation, would have been for Greta to ask a designer/graphic artist she knew whose work she was familiar with, who cared about the cause, and discussed the possibility of fitting this into their workload. Failing that as an option, there could still have been a ‘seeking designers’ blog post like this one, except instead of holding a contest, setting out the situation and the conditions, making it clear this was low-paying, borderline ‘pro bono’ work, and then looking through the designers’ respective portfolios and making a decision based on that, rather than having an all-comers showdown in which (potentially) quite a few people, a mixteur of pros, hobbyists, amateurs and newbies, submit a finished product that goes unused for no pay.

    It’s true, in comics, the collaborators besides the writer have a great deal more creative ownership in terms of the total time invested than the cover designer for a prose work, but I don’t think a cover designer’s creative ownership is zero, either.

  32. 32
    Christianne

    I won’t be participating, even though I’m a struggling illustrator/designer myself. I take the Graphic Artist Guild’s no spec stance very seriously. But, if I may, rather than run this contest, why not run a crowd sourcing campaign for the book on Kickstarter instead? This could accomplish several things: it could make sure that Greta has the funds to pay a designer, it could make sure that Greta is publishing the book with minimal or no financial risk to herself, and it could establish a market for the book prior to publication.

    Just a suggestion.

  33. 33
    Matt

    Why don’t you make your own? You could just come up with words which display how atheists have been persecuted, the implements with which they’ve been persecuted, and the names of famous people who’ve been martyred for the cause. You could take these words and put them together in different fonts and colors to cover the front of the book. You could even fit 99 of them on there but the print would get rather small. Since your book is about ideas I’d think this scheme would be appropriate.

  34. 34
    Shumyla

    I am not trying to fan the flames here, but AIGA says that the starting price on a book cover is around $1500. It’s an industry standard. You have to take into account the hours the artist is spending on sketching, designing, communicating with you, and revising. Some design contests are fine, if what you want done is within reason. A book cover is a LOT of work and therefore $100 is not only not within reason, but is also insulting… It’s a lot of wasted effort, especially for the people who don’t win. SOLUTION: Find yourself a GOOD designer, HIRE them, and compensate them at least $15/hour if they have a college education.

  35. 35
    Angry Atheist

    Hey Greta.

    I’d love to help you promote the book. I’ve recently just set up the website http://www.theangryatheist.com. Let me know if you would like any advertisement/endorcement :)

  36. 36
    E Pluribus Unum

    So this is why there are so many bad book covers. At least Greta had the good sense to know the cover is important and to make an effort do something about it.

    How could we convince Greta to change the title of this book? It is one of these myths we should not perpetuate, the angry atheist. Yes, we have so much to be angry about, enough to fill several books, but do we really want that angry image in people’s heads when they think of an atheist? Maybe a simple reversal, place the blame where it is, call the book “Why does religion provoke so much anger?” Atheists may take the brunt of the anger but religions provoke anger in other people as well, like people of other religions. All I am saying is most Atheists have developed extraordinary coping mechanisms to this onslaught of religious bullying and actually have a happy well adjusted outlook on life. No one can maintain the kind of white hot rage religion provokes no matter how justifiable it is. Sometimes it helps if you just think of things in Jon Stewarts’s voice. Put things in perspective and make the most of the short life we have. Angry is not a word I would use to describe most prominent Atheists. Not the first word anyway.

    Incidentally, I have been doing research on this very subject for a documentary. Not the anger, the work for free phenomenon. There are so many ways to to look at this issue. But mostly there are so many ways people are being screwed. It seems that artists have taken the brunt of this abuse.

    Hey Greta, how about a trade of services? Perhaps someone could use some help from a master wordsmith :-}

    How do you people feel about trades?

  37. 37
    scramble

    Gonna weigh in here on the compensation debate.
    I don’t know a lot of speciics for the graphic design world, but I, too, work in an undervalued, artisan-based, freelance field. I do fashion design and tailoring and believe me, with the influx of cheap, labour-exploitative clothing from China, few feel the pain of “your work is NOT worth what you charge” more than we do. It is so insulting and discouraging. And so there is a strong sense of solidarity among us, and a mutual agreement not to undercut each other EVER for the bride who wants a $300 custom-built wedding dress. Ridiculous. So, I understand absolutely the concern here on the part of graphic designers. Stand you ground and don’t ever sell yourselves short. Artistic labour is as valuable as any other labour, and we *need* strong voices to stand up for it.

    I do, however, occasionally do pro-bono work for a cause I believe in. In addition to supporting myself, I’d also like to make the world a better place. Occupy, as mentioned above, is a good example. I wasn’t the only one providing free work at my local occupy site either; lawyers worked for free, nurses worked for free, security guards, cooks and political activists worked for free. It was mutually beneficial in a very tangible way, and it helped foster a new movement. I said above, we arts workers need to stand in solidarity with each other. This includes Greta, who, as it has been pointed out, has provided a great deal of free labour for years, to our benefit and to the benefit of a movement many find invaluable. I really don’t believe she’s exploiting anyone here.

  38. 38
    P Smith

    The term “angry atheist” is almost always a projection by the rabidly religious, wanting to falsely infer their own anger and violence upon others. Annoyance, disdain and disgust are what most atheists feel and convey, and they are not the same as anger.

    There’s nothing I can find on the Atheist Cartoons that mentions copyrights and usage, but this old favourite says it all about who’s really angry:

    http://www.atheistcartoons.com/?p=1192

    If you needed to shorten it for the cover, I would suggest borrowing the 1st, 2nd and 4th parts from the left, and 1st, 3rd and 4th parts from the right.

    .

  39. 39
    Avicenna

    I am not a qualified graphic designer so I am unaware of the whole costing issue. But I don’t mind doing this work for gratis or even a small prize.

    So with that in mind I have submitted a cover for her book. (I hope I get picked and all that!)

    Are we allowed to display our entries prior to a decision or would that be cheating? Oh and I do feel that after the contest is decided, all the entries should be displayed. Like an art gallery.

    A

  40. 40
    E Pluribus Unum

    I agree! “Annoyance, disdain and disgust are what most atheists feel and convey, and they are not the same as anger.”

    And I would add frustration, sadness, amazement, exasperation and many other emotions before anger. Most times the sheer dichotomy of logic, fact, reason and fairness is so wide it could short circuit the brain. Anger is certainty not the default emotion of an atheist, not the most prominent, dominant or definitive. If it were, we would all probably die in our 20’s. Atheists are able to function and flourish against a multitude of religious obstacles. To be happy and productive imagine how much more, how much we could grow as humans without the religious influence in our our government and corporations and society.

    A long time ago I began visiting atheist websites to keep my sanity. The ever present religious bullying and persecution had become too much to ignore. I was living a life without religion as much as one can in America; however, religion is constantly and regularly forced upon you at almost every turn. So I decided to do something about it. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. And that is what I see as atheism’s biggest obstacle, people who claim to be belong to a religion but are in all essence atheistic in their actions and daily lives. They simply belong to a gang, real lord of the flies kind of stuff. Now I have learned more about religion than I have ever wanted to and joined several gangs myself. There is something really wrong about these two things. I just want to live a life free from religion.

    Is voicing my opinion in a place like this blog an expression of anger? I view it as constructive, a healthy outlet of frustration. A political protest against oppressive forces, activism against theocracy. Why are you here reading this? It would be nice to see the reason rally become a huge success and someday I hope to see fairness in out laws for ALL the people instead of favoritism for religion. Is this just a hobby, entertainment, what is this? Just trying to cope with the constant relentless religious persecution?

    Yes, some issues, instances of religious bullying will prompt genuine anger maybe they should, but it is all relative. For instance, on a scale of one to ten, how do you measure being pulled over by a cop wearing a cross necklace wondering if it because you have a Darwin fish on your bumper? Seeing churches built right next to schools? Having to sit through or being singled out by a “moment of silence”? Wondering if Pat Tillman was murdered? Preferential treatment for the religious through legislation, tax loop holes, lucrative contracts and the looting of our treasury? The tight grasp and control religion has over the of the media? Do we really choose to celebrate “ the holidays”, any religious holiday, try avoiding religion for just one day, and why are almost all of our holidays religious? On and on, yes your head could explode if your default emotion were anger but it’s not, it is what ever you want to to be.

    You can choose to be angry all the time or you can choose to cope with these things in another way. We have learned from science that the brain grows neurons for whatever you do. So the more you use anger or any other emotion the more ability you have in whatever is developed and the more apt you are to use those neurons We have the ability to sculpt these neurons like a body builder so why not something positive? Like writing a book :-}or sharing you thoughts with other like minds? Try to make the world a better place? So for those of you who might be religious and rending this, please conceder growing some new neurons.

    Ok so back to the book, I am sure this book will be read by atheists. But we also want religious bullies to read it and have that epiphany, that glorious moment of oh our actions are doing so much harm. I want to change. Will those minds be attracted by an “Angry Atheist” or something else. My vote is with something else. Even Lewis Black knows when to back off the anger angle and hit the humor button. You know he is only upset because he genuinely cares and caring among other things are a qualities much more predominate in him than anger will ever be.

    How many of these people would you first describe as angry?
    http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Main_Page

    Remember it is not a “culture war” like the media tells you, it is a religious war!

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    Marcus Ranum

    How about a close-up of a yelling mouth?

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    The Most Beautiful Cover « grimalkinblog

    [...] So Greta Christina is holding a contest for the cover design of her book! [...]

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