Writing to your favorite authors is a great idea, no matter the time of year or the occasion. Authors, like all of us, like to hear that their work has had a positive impact on the world and on readers, specifically. This can be especially difficult if an author’s book has been challenged or banned. Such a process inherently changes the nature of the author’s relationship with readers (sometimes for the better, but not always), and with the general public, as well. So this week, the American Library Association has set out to provide support for the authors of banned books, and connect them with readers who have loved and who have needed their words.
Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite 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.
Here’s a note from the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom to you, our fearless readers, about the Dear Banned Author campaign:
Your words have the power to sway decisions, to defend access to books, to stop censorship. Your words can combat the silencing of stories. Thank you for reading banned books and defending the freedom to read. This page has printable postcards and tips on how to write a letter. What book has impacted your life? Choose an author from the Banned & Challenged Author Addresses & Twitter Handles list and start writing! The list also includes links to authors’ Twitter handles, if you also want to share your story online. Please feel free to use the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor, so we can share these stories widely.
Keep writing, rebel readers,
So, this Banned Book Week, why not take a moment and share some good wishes with your favorite author of a banned book? The Dear Banned Author webpage includes lots of tools to help you out, including printable postcards, a list of banned and challenged authors (and their Twitter handles), letter writing tips, and more.
You can also share you letters on social media using the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor and #BannedBooksWeek.