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Celebrating Freedom This Fourth Of July

Fourth Of July

Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 in the United States with parades, backyard barbecues, patriotic songs, and, of course, fireworks! On this holiday commemorating the United States’ declaration of independence from Great Britain, let’s keep in mind one of the most important freedoms we enjoy—the right to express our ideas. Here are some of our favorite authors reminding us that freedom of speech is something to fight for and cherish.

“As a nation, we’ve been through too many fights to preserve our rights of free thought to let them go just because some prude with a highlighter doesn’t approve of them.”

—Stephen King, American author

Stephen King at the premiere of The Green Mile, December 1999 in New York City. Photo by Everett Collection/


“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

—George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm

Photo by The New Paradigm/Flickr


“Nobody has to read this book…if you read it and you dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book…No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.”

——Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass

Photo by Chris Boland/Flickr


“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

—John Milton, English poet, author of “Paradise Lost”

Photo from Everett Historical/Shutterstock


“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

—Thomas Jefferson, writer of The Declaration Of Independence

Thomas Jefferson
Photo by Aaron Fulkerson/Flickr


“I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech—alike for the humblest man and the mightiest.”

—H.L. Mencken, influential journalist in America in the ’20s and ’30s

Photo by Carl Van Vechten/Wikimedia Commons


“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.”

—John Steinbeck, author of Of Mice & Men

Photo by Nobel Foundation/Wikimedia Commons


“The thought that leads me to contemplate with dread the erasure of other voices, of unwritten novels, poems whispered or swallowed for fear of being overheard by the wrong people, outlawed languages flourishing underground, essayists’ questions challenging authority never being posed, unstaged plays, canceled films—that thought is a nightmare.”

—Toni Morrison

Morrison at a May 2009 autograph session at the L’arbre a Lettres bookstore in Paris, France. Photo by Olga Besnard/


“It’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”

—Judy Blume, author of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Judy Blume appears at the Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books in April 2012. Photo by Brad Camembert/


“Your silences will not protect you…our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever…once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end…And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

—Audre Lorde, Caribbean-American writer

Photo by K. Kendall/Wikimedia Commons

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Do you have a favorite quote that is about the importance of freedom of speech?


Poets & Writers Beware

Signing a contract with a literary journal can be exciting! But don’t let your enthusiasm get the best of you. We’ve said it before: Contracts favor the person/people who write them. Protect yourself by making sure you have a complete understanding of the hidden dangers that can be lurking in your literary journal agreement.   Protect… Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of A Literary Journal Contract: The Bare Bones Of Basic Phrases

Before you sign a contract with a literary journal, be sure you understand it! The language of literary magazine contracts can sometimes be confusing. Here’s a review of some basic terms and phrases to help you better understand what you’re agreeing to. Grant of rights. The first part of your contract usually discusses what rights… Continue Reading

Writer’s Relief Links Roundup, May 2013

Photo by TylerIngram via Flickr

Our staff members are always on the lookout for the latest tips, trends, and helpful tools for writers so we can better guide our clients and readers. And while we’ve always offered a variety of free staff-written articles, our Links Roundup posts provide readers with regular updates on our favorite online resources offered by other… Continue Reading

Pick Your Pathway: How To Turn Your Book Into A Movie

How To Turn Your Book Into A Movie

Many writers dream of seeing their novel or nonfiction book turned into a movie. But much like trying to write in a genre with which one is unfamiliar, it can be a bit of a culture shock to shift from the publishing industry to the film industry. The pathway that writers have traditionally taken to break… Continue Reading

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