Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 27 - October 3, 2020), readers are encouraged to write or tweet to banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there's a public challenge to their books.
Speaking out for banned and challenged books is vital in the fight against censorship. This webpage includes resources and ideas on participating in the Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign and hosting letter-writing programs.
- Write a letter to a banned and challenged author, telling them about a favorite title or 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 sharing your story using #DearBannedAuthor. Use these Tips for Tweeting.
- Share your #DearBannedAuthor story on Twitter for a chance to win Banned Books Week merchandise! Learn more about the Dear Banned Author Drawing and read the Official Rules before entering.
Select a postcard image to open a print-ready PDF.
Find banned and challenged authors' publisher 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.
The Office for Intellectual Freedom has many lists of frequently challenged books and authors, including children’s titles and books with diverse content.
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 Sept. 22 at 8 a.m.CDT through Sept. 28 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
- Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark Buttons 18/pack
- Banned Books Children’s Titles Bracelet
- Banned Books: Defending Our Freedom to Read
Tips for Hosting a 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 too!
- Place dictionaries, thesauruses, and writing or grammar guides on the tables.
- 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.
- Provide stamps.
- For extra fun, purchase a toy mailbox for readers to “send” their postcards and letters. Melissa & Doug have a few varieties.
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
Promotional Tools for Libraries
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|