Banned Books Week

Every year in September, Cast of Wonders celebrates 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.

Banned Books Week 2020

This year, Banned Books Week runs from 27th September to 3rd October. The Cast of Wonders event will be guest edited by Laura Pearlman.

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.


Submissions will be accepted from June 15th to 30th, through our Moksha portal. We anticipate making final decisions on stories by the end of July.

Prior Episodes

2019’s theme was Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Turn the Light On!

Oppression wants to cover our lives in a blanket of darkness, but each small act of resistance, each defiant moment of hope, brings light to our shared spaces.

  • Guest editor Julia Rios
  • Production by Jeremy Carter
  • Episode artwork by Alexis Goble


2018’s theme was Libraries.

With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one – but no one at all – can tell you what to read and when and how.” – Doris Lessing

People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.” – Saul Bellow

A good library can give you answers to the questions you never knew you had. A good librarian can open doors to worlds you never knew existed.


2017’s theme was  Text Against Tyranny: the stories some would silence, and the power of literature, in all its forms, to enlighten humanity’s darkest hours.


Cast of Wonders 214: The Price of Stories by Shannon Connor Winward, narrated by Katherine Inskip

Cast of Wonders 215: Problematic by Brian Lawrence Hurrel, narrated by Tatiana Grey

Cast of Wonders 216: This Story Begins With You by Rachael K. Jones, narrated by Jen. R. Albert

The following episodes are examples of the type of stories we have run for prior Banned Books Week events: