Neureuther competition seeks book-collecting entrants

Students who have a passion for collecting books can compete for prizes of $1,000 or $500 by entering the 24th annual Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition.

Sponsored by Washington University Libraries, the Neureuther competition offers prizes to four students who write short essays about their personal book collections. A first prize of $1,000 and a second prize of $500 are awarded at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Applicants must be current full-time students at WUSTL and must supply the following by Wednesday, March 30:

  • a completed entry form;
  • a two- to four-page essay about the collection;
  • a bibliography listing the books in the collection; and
  • three to five books from the entrant’s collection.

The book collection can be on any subject and should reflect the owner’s intellectual or personal interests. Past winners have shown off their collection of acting handbooks, women’s memoirs, Newberry Award-winning children’s books, and Mayan literature, among other topics.

Judges 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

Students should deliver their materials to the Department of Special Collections on the main level of Olin Library weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Entry forms also are available at the Olin Library checkout desk.

Winners will be announced, awards will be presented, and books will be returned in late April and early May.

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.

For more information, contact Evie Hemphill at (314) 935-6569 or