2023 Banned Books Display Instagram Contest

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WHAT: After several consecutive years of unprecedented book challenges, it is more important than ever to celebrate Banned Books Week. From October 1–October 7, 2023, show ABA how your store is promoting banned books in your community for a chance to win a scholarship to Children’s Institute 2024! Submissions are due by midnight (ET) the end of the last day of Banned Books Week, October 7.

WHO: ABA Member Bookstores with Instagram accounts can create spectacular and eye-popping displays for customers to enjoy during Banned Books Week. Judging of all eligible entries will be conducted by a panel of bipartisan judges.

WHEN: The contest runs from October 1 through October 7. On or about October 17, 2023, judges will award One (1) Grand Prize, consisting of one (1) scholarship to Children’s Institute 2024; and two (2) Honorable Mention Prizes, consisting of one T-shirt in a size, color, and design of your choosing (as available)

HOW: Bookstore Instagram accounts have until October 7, 2023, to share one post (photo/photo carousel), tag @AmericanBooksellers, and use #BannedBooksDisplayContest and #BannedBooksWeek in the caption to be entered to win.

Your display should:

Here are some additional ideas:

  • Lean into the “I Read Dangerously,” “Let Freedom Read,” or “fREADom” motifs.
  • Use ABA’s Banned Books Week kit if you ordered one.*
  • Place your display somewhere visible and eye-catching.
  • Curate your list for your community. Use PEN America’s Index of Banned Books 2022 or other local resources to target local bans.
  • Make your list representational. Book bans disproportionately target books by and about LGBTQIA2S+ people and people of color.
  • Tie sales to activism. Use your display to distribute information about censorship in your community or around the country, or draw attention to grassroots organizing against censorship.

Judging criteria:

  • Visual presentation
  • Creativity and originality
  • Banned Books Week messaging

Bonus points for: Stacks the Bookstore Cat, humor, use of color(s), education and advocacy regarding banned books

All prizes are courtesy of the American Booksellers Association.

See Official Rules for more information.

*All Banned Books Week kits have been distributed for the year. No preference will be given to members using ABA materials.