Banned Spotlight: September 28

There’s only two days left in Banned Books Week! How are you celebrating the right to read? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Censorship with English PEN & Royal Court Theatre
September 28 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm BST
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Sloane Square, Chelsea
London, SW1W 8AS United Kingdom

In 1968, the Royal Court Theatre helped bring about the abolition of the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship powers. But even today, 50 years later, we continue to be challenged by the complexities of freedom of political expression and self-censorship.

This panel discussion explores how artists and programmers continue to reconcile truth-telling with genuine political jeopardy and contemporary cultural politics, both nationally and internationally.

Panellists will include Anthony Burton (chair, Royal Court Theatre), Anthony Neilson (playwright and director) and Anna Wakulik (playwright). The event will be chaired by Ritula Shah.

The event, co-hosted by The Royal Court Theatre, is part of this year’s Banned Books Week UK, a week long celebration of the freedom to read. More info…

Beyond Censorship: Power, Silencing and Resistance
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST
Lady Violet Room, National Liberal Club, 1 Whitehall Place, Westminster
London, SW1A 2HE United Kingdom

Please join the Authors’ Club, Media Diversified, the Jhalak Prize and Index on Censorship for a discussion of the ways in which dissenting voices are structurally silenced and the many ways of resistance. A distinguished panel of writers will share their own experiences and works on how institutions and structures operate in subtle legal ways to silence voices that are considered discomfiting, challenging and dangerous as well as ways in which contemporary writing and publishing continues to find ways of resisting such unofficial forms of censorship. More info…

A Talk With James Tager, HLS ’13
September 28 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT
Harvard Law School WCC 1010, 1585 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

James Tager, HLS ’13 and Deputy Director, Free Expression Research and Policy at PEN America, will speak about contemporary issues related to banning books. Lunch will be available first come, first served; no RSVP necessary.

Image Comics Livestream: Charles Soule
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Dallas, Texas
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. CT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). A provocative cabaret-style performance showcasing excerpts from Tony Award-winning plays and musicals such as Rent, Cabaret, Fun Home, and Angels in America, these productions are widely challenged by those who desire to censor the literary community due to the content and/or language of works. However, they will find their voices again on the Bishop Arts Theatre Center stage. Working with the TNT (Teenagers And Theatre) Apprenticeship program, Banned Together educates teen and adult audiences of how theatre and the arts can inspire conversations, activism, and challenge our mindsets. Directed by Korey Parker.


Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Atlanta, Georgia
Out Front Theater Company, 8:00 -10:00 p.m. ET

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.


Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

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.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website,, during Banned Books Week.

Penguin Random House Instagram Sweepstakes Benefitting We Need Diverse Books (all week)

This year, Penguin Random House is highlighting quotes from books that have been challenged or banned in a social media sweepstakes competition, open to participants who repost these quotes or tag a friend and comment with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #Sweepstakes. For every entry, Penguin Random House will donate one book – up to 5,000 total – to We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

To participate in this campaign, follow @PenguinRandomHouse on Instagram.

More info…

Other Events

Banned Book Buttons
September 28 @ 10:00 am – 4:30 pm EDT
The Connection Branch Library, 2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202 United States

Make a button from a variety of designs or from your favorite banned book. Supplies will be provided, until we run out. Kids in grade 5 and younger must have adult supervision to use the button maker. More info…

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 28 @ 12:00 pm – October 3 @ 8:00 pm EDT
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 340 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46260 United States

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is celebrating the freedom to read and expression of ideas during Banned Books Week! This year, Ball State University English professor Rai Peterson will be living in the front window of KVML as our prisoner. For the entire week she will be imprisoned behind a wall of banned books, while joining the community in exploring censorship and challenged works. From September 24-29, we invite you to join our prisoner for readings and discussions with guests such as Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IUPUI professor Trevor Potts, Hunter S. Thompson’s son Juan Thompson, playwright Kenneth Jones, and more! More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s event:

Friday 9/28, 1:00PM – DePaul
2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL

More info…

Banned Books Battle
September 28 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Roger B. Francis Branch Library, 52655 N. Ironwood Rd.
South Bend, IN 46635 United States

Wrap up Banned Books Week by testing your knowledge of America’s most frequently challenged books at the Francis branch (52655 N. Ironwood Rd. South Bend, IN). Pizza provided! Teams of 4-7 recommended. Individuals are welcome and will be assigned to a group. Prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. More info…

Annual Banned Books Read Aloud
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Foggy Pine Books, 471 W. King St
Boone, NC 28607

Every year we gather together to discuss the past year’s most banned books and books that received backlash in our own community. We also invite community members to sign up to read a selection from a favorite banned book. Each reader discusses why their book was important to them and how they would’ve been affected if they’d never been allowed to read it. More info…

Saboteurs Café a Pub Trivia Night: Literary Rebels
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Brick and Mortar Brewing Company, 212 E Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

On this date, we bring you a Pub Trivia Night for adults focused on banned books and literary rebels. Teams will compete in this literary themed trivia, as well as have the opportunity to enter a costume contest for the best dressed banned book character or author. Prizes awarded for trivia winners and best dressed! Limit 6 players per team. More info…