Speaking out for banned and challenged books is vital in the fight against censorship. Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign that encourages readers to write, tweet, or email banned or challenged authors during Banned Books Week (September 27 - October 3, 2020), sharing what their stories mean to them.
Hosted by the American Library Association, Dear Banned Author raises awareness of censorship while supporting the power of words and those who write them. Authors have also shared fan letters as support when there's a public challenge to their books.
Ways to Participate
- Write a letter or email to a banned and challenged author, sharing how their words have impacted you. Use these Banned & Challenged Author Addresses.
- Host a letter-writing program at your library or school, bringing writing supplies and a list of author addresses. Use these Tips for Hosting Programs.
- Reach out to a favorite banned or challenged author by tagging them on Twitter and including #DearBannedAuthor. Use these Tips for Tweeting and Tweetable Postcards.
- Share your #DearBannedAuthor story on Twitter for a chance to win Banned Books Week merchandise! Learn more about the #DearBannedAuthor Drawing and read the Official Rules before entering.
Select a postcard image to open a print-ready PDF.
Attach one of the below postcard images when you tweet to your favorite banned or challenged author using the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor. Explore banned author Twitter handles, tips for tweeting, and examples of shared letters.
Easily send a postcard to an author’s email address. Canva offers hundreds of images, fonts, and elements to capture the attention and show your appreciation to your favorite banned author. Once you’ve written a message to the author, save your design as a PDF or an image file and attach it to an email.
Create Your Own Postcards
Platforms like Felt allow you to customize and send individual postcards — straight to the banned author. Felt takes care of the printing and stamps. You can even use your own handwriting!
Banned Author Addresses and Twitter Handles
Find banned and challenged authors' publisher mailing addresses, email addresses, and Twitter handles on this printable Google Sheet.
Do you have a banned or challenged author address you want included? Please email us the author name and publisher address.
Dear Banned Author Drawing and Prize
Share your #DearBannedAuthor story on Twitter to be entered to win Banned Books Week merchandise! Read the Official Rules before entering. Beginning September 27 at 8 a.m. CDT through October 3 at 8 p.m. CDT, share one of the following on Twitter with the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor:
- A description or memory of a banned or challenged book;
- A thank-you message to a banned or challenged author;
- A picture of a postcard written to a banned or challenged author; or
- A quote from a banned or challenged book.
One grand-prize winner will be selected at random from eligible entries and contacted via Twitter. The grand prize includes:
- Make Orwell Fiction Again Tote
- I Read Banned Books Sticker
- Discover What You’re Missing Mug
- I Read Banned Books Sticker Roll, 100/roll
- Free Your Mind Banned Book Bracelets, 15/pack
- Find Your Freedom to Read Bookmark, 100/pack
- Find Your Freedom to Read Poster
- Freedom of Speech Buttons, 18/pack
Tips for Hosting an In-Person Program
- Print out postcards or letterhead, as well as multiple copies of Banned and Challenged Author Addresses.
- Provide non-messy snacks like pretzels or popcorn.
- Provide a wide variety of writing instruments with fun choices for color and ink type. Include Wite-out and stamps.
- Have resources for dictionaries, thesauruses, and writing or grammar guides available.
- Create a playlist for background music to set the tone of your event (for example, soothing classical or scores from books that have been made into movies).
- Create tabletop prompts for inspiration.
- For extra fun, purchase a toy mailbox for readers to “send” their postcards and letters. Melissa & Doug have a few varieties.
Tips for Hosting a Virtual Program
- Design the program like a letter-writing workshop. Share tidbits about the post office, the history of the mailman, the elements of a letter, or the essentials of grammar. Invite a calligrapher for a demonstration, or a local historian to highlight letters sent from community members.
- Instead of hosting a program, add the postcard writing as an addition to your book club meetings or virtual storytimes.
- In addition to the virtual program, create a take-and-make component with printed postcards, pens, pencils, inspirational quotes about letter-writing.
Tips for Tweeting
When tweeting to a banned or challenged author, or posting about it online, consider:
- Including the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor. This allows the American Library Association to find and share your stories.
- Discussing how the book impacted your life, made you feel, or your favorite quotes
- Posting a photo of you reading the book or of your postcard
- Blurring or covering up your own address or private information before sharing pictures of postcards
Logos and Letterhead
Find additional Banned Books Week images on the Free Downloads webpage.
|Dear Banned Author logo: PDF and JPG||Letterhead: PDF and PDF with bleed/crop marks|