Call for Entries: Banned Books Trading Cards

Post Date:06/20/2017 9:21 AM

Chapel Hill Public Library and the Cultural Arts Division of the Town of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation Department
ll for Entries:
5th Annual Banned Books Week
Artist-Designed Trading Cards

Project Summary

DESCRIPTION: Chapel Hill Public Library seeks small scale (5” wide x 7” tall) original artworks on paper to be used for a series of trading cards inspired by banned or challenged books or authors. Prize money awarded.

ELIGIBILITY:  Open to artists of all ages within Orange, Durham, Wake, Chatham, and Alamance Counties.



Project Overview

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual national event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the intellectual freedom. Held from September 24–30, 2017, BBW highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the dangers of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books throughout the United States.

For information about Banned Books Week:


For ideas and inspiration, explore these lists of banned books:





The Chapel Hill Public Library (Library), in partnership with the Cultural Arts Division, celebrates intellectual freedom and Banned Books Week in an interesting, fun, and unique way. We ask local artists to create small scale (5” wide x 7” tall) works of art inspired by a banned/challenged book or author.

Based on their artistic excellence, seven of these works will be selected by a jury to receive $100 awards and be printed as trading cards, with the artwork on the front and the artist’s statement and information about the highlighted book or author on the back. All entries will be displayed during BBW and beyond at the Library and selected artist-designed cards will be printed and distributed to the public at the Library and other locations in the area. A special $100 award for best youth entry will also be given to an artist under 18 years of age.  


How and What to Submit

All submissions must be in hard copy format on paper (digital artwork is encouraged, but must be submitted on paper. Artists, please print in high quality.). 

Original artwork will be returned to the artist at the conclusion of the project unless the piece wins. Winning entries will be auctioned to support the Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library, a 501-C3 non-profit.  Artists may submit up to three different works of art. 

All submissions must measure 5 inches wide by 7 tall inches (no horizontal artwork accepted) and include a ¼ inch bleed on all sides (meaning important words and images should be ¼ inch inside of the edges of the artwork; see diagrams and template).  Final printed cards will measure 2.5 wide by 3.5 inches tall; the standard size of a trading card.

Each submission must be accompanied by a complete submission form that includes name, age and contact information for the artist; the title of the book and name of the author that inspired the artwork; and a brief 50-word-or-less statement of how the piece reflects the book and/or author.

Nonconforming entries will not be eligible for exhibition or award.  By submitting artwork to this exhibition, artists are granting Chapel Hill Public Library the right to reproduce artwork images for publicity and/or sale of reproductions of the submitted design in any medium to benefit the library.


Selection Process

A Selection Committee comprising local arts and literary professionals, Library staff and Cultural Arts Commission members will review all complete submissions and select seven finalists whose works will be printed as trading cards.



The project will be publicized in the local media, the Town via website, social media, mailing lists, and in-house promotion at the library.


Project Timeline  

August 28, 2017 - deadline for submissions

September 05, 2017 - review and selection of seven finalists, notification sent

September 22, 2017 - Exhibit Opening & Meet the Artist Reception

September 24, 2017 – Entries on display at the library for Banned Books Week (September 24–30) and packs of the winning cards are available to the public.

Delivery and Questions

For delivery in person, by mail or for additional information please contact:

Christine Bennett
Chapel Hill Public Library

100 Library Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
T:  (919) 969-2021


About the Library

Chapel Hill Public Library is a place for everyone. Through literacy development, lifelong learning opportunities, recreational reading, technology initiatives, and robust arts and cultural programs, CHPL’s mission is:

Sparking Curiosity. Inspiring Learning. Creating Connections.


About the Division of Cultural Arts Office and the Public Arts Commission

The Cultural Arts Division of the Town of Chapel Hill’s Parks & Recreation Department develops and implements art programs to increase public awareness and access to the arts, and provides opportunities for local artists to display their work. The Office is advised by the Chapel Hill Cultural Arts Commission, an eleven member volunteer board established in 1992 and appointed by the Town Council. 


The Cultural Arts Division and Chapel Hill Public Library reserve the right to refuse any or all submissions, to refuse any finalist, to waive informalities in proposals or procedures, or to withhold the award of a commission should it be determined that submissions are not adequate, or for any other reason prior to a written contractual arrangement being reached.

Download Call for Artists with complete submission information

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