Trigger Warning Template

scaredLynne Cantwell wrote an excellent article on the relatively new trend of providing trigger warnings for books.

Of course, it is impossible to know what might offend or shock another person. This can make it difficult to write a trigger warning that would accomplish the desired objective. It is also important to authors that any trigger warnings avoid creating spoilers, ruining carefully-crafted and suspenseful passages in the book for readers who may not have such delicate sensibilities.

Obviously, someone needed to step up and provide a ready-to-use template for these trigger warnings. We’re here to help. We asked our crack legal team* to come up with a template that could be used to meet these complex criteria. You’re welcome.


This book contains words, including, but not limited to: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, interjections, and prepositions. If you are a person who has suffered a psychological trauma from any of these types of words, individually or in combination with other words, please do not read this book. Also, you should probably stop reading this warning, as it is also comprised of words. Maybe we should have put that first.

If you have any known or suspected sensitivity to punctuation marks, including but not limited to: periods, commas, apostrophes, question marks, exclamation marks, that upside-down question mark thingy, and that other thing that looks like the chemical symbol for boron, you should stop reading now. Actually, we already used some punctuation marks in this warning. Sorry about that.

Persons who have an aversion or sensitivity to warnings should stop reading before the very first sentence of the first paragraph of the warning. Our apologies for placing this so late in the warning.

We hope you enjoy the book. If not, you probably shouldn’t have been reading it. Our apologies.

*The Crack Legal Team wishes it to be known that the term “Crack Legal Team” as used herein is not meant to imply any sort of legal training or qualifications of any kind. Further, they are not lawyers, and do not play lawyers on T.V.

Author: Stephen Hise

Stephen Hise is the Evil Mastermind and founder of Indies Unlimited. Hise is an independent author and an avid supporter of the indie author movement. Learn more about Stephen at his website or his Amazon author page.

33 thoughts on “Trigger Warning Template”

  1. Glad you warned me. Now I know to avoid books with words in them. What do I do about my picture and image sensitivity?

  2. Oh my. Can’t stop laughing. What a great start to my morning. And I’m glad you clarified “crack legal team.” I’d initially thought it might refer to lawyers smoking crack.

  3. Loved it! And anyway, isn’t that what blurbs are for? “This book is funny.” “This book has a lot of blood and guts in it.” “This book…….”

  4. So, we can legally use this as our warning? Do we need to give attribution? And if so should there be a warning about the warning and its attribution? Come to think of it, should there be a warning for that warning as well? We want to make sure everything is covered perfectly here.

  5. But what about those who cannot read or don’t want to read? There needs to be one of those universal visual images. Think Mr. Uck , skull and crossbones, anything that successfully conveys the danger associated with reading. Get it right and you probably have a best seller.

  6. Exactly right – that’s going in all of my current titles. However, I wish to point out that I get nervous when people call a full-stop a “period”, and, frankly speaking, I expect Indies Unlimited to be more attentive to that kind of thing. Period. πŸ™‚

  7. This post was very upsetting. There should have been a warning on the warning stating that this was satire. I find satire causes me extreme distress unless I’m warned in advance that it is satire. Please be more thoughtful in the future.

    1. I wish you had put a warning on your comment. I now find myself beset with whatever symptoms might generate a large cash settlement. πŸ˜‰

  8. One wonders what the Neolithic creators of the cave paintings at Lascaux would have thought of all this. “Warning: these walls depict scenes of violence and our spiritual relationship to the world around us. Those who prefer to starve to death and/or feel alienated from the mysteries of life may be offended.”

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