Banned Books Week Writing Contest

book cover of PersepolisGet your pens and computers ready, this year’s banned book week is celebrating Persepolis, a coming of age story about Marji, a young Iranian girl who grew up in a time of turbulence, and looking at the world from her perspective. While the book (and subsequent film) have received accolades, including being named one of the best books the year it was released by The New York Times, the book has also faced challenges, specifically in regard to its language and depiction of torture, which is what has contributed to it landing on the Banned Book list. CALS will be celebrating Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, with several events, including a writing contest, book giveaway, and virtual film screening.

The 8th annual Banned Books Writing Contest offers writers an opportunity to choose from two writing prompts inspired by the book. Submissions must be 100-500 words typed and can be submitted via mail or email September 1-22. Participants must be at least 16 years of age. The winner will receive $400, and an honorable mention prize of $100 will be awarded. Learn more about the contest and writing prompts here >>

“The Banned Book writing contest re-energized my love for researching, writing, and creating quality content. Writing about the late, great Nelson Mandela was a reminder of what it meant to endure hardness and to seek peace. Who knew that soon after, we would be feeling the pains of society during the global pandemic?! That exercise set my mind to do just what Nelson Mandela did – endure! Winning the contest was the cherry on top! Much success to all of the future participants!” -Angela Wilson, 2020 contest winner

On Tuesday, September 28, at 6:30 p.m., the library system will host a virtual screening of the 2007 film adaptation of Persepolis, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature. During this screening, the winners of the writing contest will be announced.  Additionally, CALS will be giving away 50 copies of the book on a first-come, first-served basis beginning September 1. A copy of the book can be requested by emailing with “Crazy Free Books” in the subject line; a mailing address must be included. Complete details on all of these events can be found here.