About CALS Banned Books Week

Join us for our annual celebration of Banned Books Week, during which entertaining CALS events will commemorate the battle against censorship!

Groups that resist book banning have protected classic works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Lord of the Flies. These books that address important themes often contain disturbing scenes, as they reflect realistic challenges and situations in our world. But without disturbing us, authors would not be able to convey important truths such as the violence and injustice caused by racism, or the mistreatment of the mentally ill. Banned Books Week honors freedom of choice for individuals, as well as the freedom to write on and read about important cultural topics even when those topics have the power to offend.

Spotlight: Fight Club

Fight Club posterThis year, Banned Books Week at CALS will center on Fight Club, the powerful 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The 1999 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt, Ed Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter became wildly popular after its release on DVD, spawning cultural catch phrases such as “The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.” But what caught the public imagination about the story was its exploration of masculine identity in a world dehumanized by consumerism, where many people are trapped in low-paid, meaningless, and even unethical work in the service of corporate profit. These themes have grown increasingly relevant in the decades since the novel’s publication, and the problems identified by Palahniuk are driving many cultural and political debates in 2019.

Banned Books Week 2019 at CALS will wrap up with a screening of Fight Club on Thursday, September 26, at the Ron Robinson Theater.  Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Crazy Free Books

30 copies of Chuck Palahniuk’s book are FREE for the taking. Please contact SixBridgesBookFest@cals.org starting Sept. 4. First come, first smacked, errr… served.

Banned Books 2019 Writing Contest

Aspiring writers, take note! CALS 2019 Banned Books Week writing contest is inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. The writing contest has one $300 grand prize and one $100 honorable mention prize; winning entries will be selected based on creativity, flow, style, and originality.

Contest Rules

  1. You don’t talk about this contest.
  2. You don’t talk about this contest.
  3. Entries should be 50 to 750 words. Typed.
  4. Choose A, B, or C. Include menace, social satire, and humor.
    • A) Marla’s stream of consciousness monologue to herself, written after first night at Paper Street.
    • B) Description of a new committee to add to Assault, Arson, Mischief, and Misinformation. Include 4 to 8 committee rules for space monkeys.
    • C) Ad copy for Paper Street Soap Company recipe.
  5. One entry per Arkansas resident, 18 and older.
  6. On the first page of each submission include the author’s name, address, email, and telephone number. Please send entries to CALS Banned Books Writing Contest, 100 Rock Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. If emailing entries, please send those to SixBridgesBookFest@cals.org
  7. Entries will be accepted beginning September 1. Entries must be received by September 20.
  8. The winner and honorable mention from the 2018 Banned Books writing contest are ineligible to win.

If you prefer, download a .pdf copy of these rules.
The writing contest winners will be announced at 7 p.m at CALS Ron Robinson Theater, prior to the free screening of Fight Club.

Banned Books Week Events