The annual book collection essay competition sponsored by Washington University Libraries is celebrating its 26th year this winter, offering four cash prizes to students who submit short essays about their personal book collections. The entry deadline for 2013 is set for Thursday, Feb. 28.
Any current fulltime WU student who has a passion for collecting books can compete in the Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition, which offers first- and second-place prizes of $1,000 and $500 at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Eligible entrants must supply the following by the deadline: 1) a completed entry form; 2) a two- to four-page essay about the collection; and 3) a bibliography listing the books in the collection.
The book collection can be on any subject and should reflect the owner's intellectual or personal interests. Past winners have shown off collections ranging from acting handbooks, to women's memoirs, to Newberry Award-winning children's books, to Mayan literature, and more.
Judges, who are volunteers chosen from among the university community, will consider the collection's scope, thematic unity, personal value to the collector, and other factors.
Entry forms, past winning essays, and details about how to enter are available online at library.wustl.edu/collections/neureuther.html. Entry forms also are available at the Olin Library checkout desk.
Students should deliver their materials to the Department of Special Collections on the main level of Olin Library weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. Winners will be announced and awards presented in late March and early April.
The Neureuther competition is made possible by the financial contributions of Carl Neureuther, a 1940 WUSTL graduate. The contest is designed to encourage students to read for enjoyment and to develop personal libraries or book collections throughout their lives. Past participants--student entrants, contest organizers, and volunteer judges--speak fondly of the competition.
"I felt like I was among my kindred spirits," says Sunny Pervil, one of the library's National Council members who recently served as a judge. "These people are the people who keep our libraries going. They see what a difference books made in their lives and want to make sure others have that opportunity."
For more information, contact the contest committee chair, Evie Hemphill, at (314) 935-6569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.