Announcing Banned Books Week 2020, and Guest Editor Laura Pearlman!


Cast of Wonders is thrilled to welcome Laura Pearlman as this year’s Banned Books Week guest editor! Laura guest edited (with S. Kay Nash) Artemis Rising 4 and 5 in 2018 and 2019 at Escape Pod, where she was formerly an associate editor. Earlier this year, she launched CatsCast – the newest and furriest member of the Escape Artists family!

Laura Pearlman is an ordinary human who lives in California with two ordinary felines. Her short fiction has been published in Nature, Shimmer, and Daily Science Fiction, among other places. Her LOLcat captions have been published on McSweeney’s.

She has a tragically neglected blog called Unlikely Explanations and can be found on twitter at @laurasbadideas.

2020 Banned Books Week Theme

September 27 to October 3 is Banned Books Week, an annual international event celebrating the freedom to read and raising awareness of the immense social value of free and open access to information. Cast of Wonders is continuing its tradition of holding a specific submission call for YA fiction to air that week, centered on this event. Censorship is a dead end. Find your freedom to read.

What We’re Looking For

Our theme for 2020 is Lifelines: books that help us get through periods of isolation.

“Books” can be any one-way form of communication: a box of letters, a podcast, skywriting — anything the recipient can’t easily reply to. “Isolation” can be either physical or social: an astronaut alone in a spaceship; a person in a place where no one speaks their language; someone in prison.

The stories don’t necessarily need to have a happy ending, but they do need to end on a hopeful note. And of course they should follow all of the standard Cast of Wonders guidelines.  You can find detailed submission guidelines, timeline, and previous years’ stories on our Banned Books Week page. Submissions will be accepted from June 15th to 30th, through our Moksha portal.