Banned Books Week 2021
Books Unite Us; Censorship Divides Us
This year, CoW takes its theme for Banned Books Week from the American Library Association:
Have you ever made friends with someone who loved the same book you did? You started the conversation as strangers, but you feel so passionately about the ideas expressed in this book that you end as comrades in arms?
It’s a book that speaks to shared experience, shared pain—and therefore lights the way to shared learning, shared hope, and shared healing. Perhaps it’s powerful enough to make former enemies into allies, and you would defy an empire to protect this book.
It could be a history that’s been silenced, a book that propounds an outlawed ideal. It’s a book you teach your own children or anyone else you love, and they love it because you loved it.
It’s so dangerous a text that intergalactic armadas are launched to destroy it, or at least keep the book from spreading its readership, and mages would craft elaborate castles to safeguard.
Send us your stories of books that unite the geekiest con-goer, the most curmudgeonly asteroid-pirate, the steampunk bot that’s been asleep for a hundred years. Send us your stories of books that swordmasters would talk over with dragons. Send us tales of books that turn the unlikeliest beings into friends in speculative worlds. Send us tales of books that transcend time and space to gather the disparate into families.
We’re not quite looking for books as “macguffin” stories, but a demonstration into how a book could forge bonds with others. Therefore, the book should feature prominently in the story rather than be a prop, and we love yarns that hit us in the feels. A tale that makes us ugly cry while meaningfully addressing this theme of uniting is very likely to get accepted.
As an example, consider the Saga comic, how a novel featuring a wreather and a landfallian getting along peacefully inspires Alana and Marko to fall in love. Or if a lowly treach-bat teaches an eldritch terror how to read… would that not inspire a friendship? We would love to see how you, author, interpret this theme!
We do see how the dual nature of the theme “unite” and “divide” could be hard to do in one story. Feel free to focus on one of these two aspects.
Our sweet spot this sub window is under 5,000 words, with the absolute limit being 6,000 words.
Submissions will be accepted from June 13th to June 26th, through our Moksha portal.
We anticipate making final decisions on stories by the end of July.
If you’re still looking to submit, we are looking for HOLIDAY STORIES! Submissions for Holiday themed stories will open on June 27, 2021 and will close on July 3, 2021 (Do Not Send Holiday Stories During Banned Books Week Submissions!!!).
We already have our Halloween story picked out and can’t wait to show it to you!
But we are looking for
ONE WINTER STORY
ONE VALENTINE’S STORY
With respect to both these BBW and Holiday Stories calls:
Yes to LGBTQ+ stories. Yes to Ace/Aro stories. Yes to non-binary stories. Yes to BIPOC stories. Yes to stories featuring disability, neurodiversity, and all the previously mentioned groups in nuanced, sensitive, and authentic ways. We must be missing some groups, but please know WE WANT AND WELCOME ALL FACETS OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE.