Neureuther book-collection competition seeks WUSTL student entrants

Contest to encourage reading for enjoyment celebrates 25 years

The annual Neureuther book collection essay contest sponsored by Washington University Libraries celebrates its 25th year this winter and offers four cash prizes to students who submit short essays about their personal book collections.

Any full-time WUSTL undergraduate and graduate 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.

The entry deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012.

Eligible entrants must supply the following:

  • a completed entry form;
  • a two- to four-page essay about the collection; and
  • 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 submitted collections on a range of subjects, including acting handbooks, women’s memoirs, Newberry Award-winning children’s books and Mayan literature.

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

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.-5 p.m. Winners will be announced and awards presented in late March and early April.

The Neureuther competition is made possible by the financial contributions of the late 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