Carl Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition

The Carl Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition encourages students at Washington University to read for enjoyment and to develop personal libraries throughout their lives.

For more information on Carl Neureuther and book collecting resources, please see the research guide.

Awards

Awards will be given in two categories: graduate and undergraduate. There will be a first- and second-place award for each of the two categories. First prize is $1,000; second prize is $500.

Eligibility

Except for previous Neureuther winners, any full-time, currently registered Washington University student is eligible to participate. Students enter by submitting a two- to four-page essay and a bibliography of her/his collection. Collections of any size and on any subject are eligible. Judging is based on collection description, personal value, and writing quality.

Collection Requirements

The book collection must be owned by the contest entrant. (NOTE: If and when an entrant’s essay is awarded a prize, s/he must be prepared to submit a representative sample of books [three to five] from the collection to the contest committee for temporary display by the Libraries.) Collections may be of any size and on any subject and should reflect the owner’s intellectual, personal or recreational interests.

Criteria for Entry

Entries accepted in Special Collections at Olin Library from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.

All entries must consist of the following elements:

  1. A completed entry form.
  2. An essay. The essay should be typed, double-space, on white, 8 ½ x 11-inch paper, at least two pages but no longer than four pages. [See Judging section, below, for essay criteria]. Submit three copies; one with your name on it, two without.
  3. A formal bibliography to demonstrate a representative sampling of the book collection. This can be attached to the end of your essay. Use an established style guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style or The MLA Handbook or one of the APA Style series. Submit three copies; one with your name on it, two without.

Judging

Judging of the essay will be based on the theme and scope of the collection, approach to collecting, personal value to the collector, and quality of the writing, but will not be judged on rarity, marketplace value, or size of the collection. Judging will be conducted by a panel of volunteers drawn primarily from the faculty of Washington University, with a past graduate-level winner or local WU Libraries supporter often serving as well.

Notification

Once judging is completed all entrants will be notified. The winners of the competition will be notified at the end of March, at which point they will submit three to five books from their collections to the contest committee, which will host an awards luncheon in early April with the judges and the university librarian. Portions of the winning collections may be displayed in Olin Library for a brief period, and the winning essays will be posted on the Libraries’ website.

2014 (27th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st Place: Corey Twitchell, Combining Fact and Fiction: My Collection of German-Jewish Writing
2nd Place: Kelly Oman, Ordering Chaos in the Novels of P.G. Wodehouse

Undergraduate Winners
1st Place: Joyce Hankins, A Self Portrait
2nd Place: Talya Zax, The Old-Fashioned Girls

2013 (26th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st Place:  Sarah Sobonya, Keeping Abreast of the Literature …
2nd Place: John Gauthier, Arturo Belano and the Storybook War

Undergraduate Winners
1st Place: Brian Feldman, A Muse for Recollection: On Collecting Ancient Greek Textbooks
2nd Place: Lauren Henley, Asthmatic and Alone: How Books Became My World

2012 (25th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st Place: Anne Jensen-Urstad, Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be: the collected works of Haruki Murakami
2nd Place: Ervin Malakaj, The Book-Filled Crate

Undergraduate Winners
1st Place: Karina Louise Stridh, Life as a Joke: In Defense of the Comedic Narrative
2nd Place: Alexandra Barger, Notes from the Post-Apocalypse

2011 (24th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st Place: Tanya Roth, No Mere Reader: A Collection of Memories
2nd Place: Priya Banerjee, A Story of Life, Love, and Death

Undergraduate Winners
1st Place: Emma Hine, Secret Clubs and Schoolgirl Shamuses: Growing up with Trixie Belden
2nd Place: Benjamin Murphy, Who’s That Girl? The Many Faces of Mexican Women

2010 (23rd Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st Place: Anna Teekell Hays, The Accidental Enthusiast: On Collecting World War II Books in the Internet Age
2nd Place: Amit Patel, Summers with My Bapuji: Opening Up a World of What-Ifs

Undergraduate Winners
1st Place: Michal Hyrc, Fantazja o Polskiej Fantastyce: A Fantasy about Polish Fantasy
2nd Place: Maggie Gorman, A Deliciously Interesting Collection of Words

2009 (22nd Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Doc M. Billingsley, Oj Kojtz´iban, Oj Kojk´asi´k: We Write, We Survive: The Rebirth of Maya Literacy
2nd place: You Xu, From Elements to a Set

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Hana Damore, How I Won Over a Hundred Dollars Worth of Books, Inspired an Independent Study, and Became the Hero of My Homeroom
2nd place: Christina Pulles, A Collection Enriched by Cultural Difference… and a Little Magic

2008 (21st Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: DJ Kaiser, The Gift of Drama
2nd place: Matthew Fluharty, The Farm Books: On Keeping, and Giving Up, a Book Collection

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Shannon Petry, Policy in Prose, and More: A Love Affair with Foreign Affairs
2nd place: Michael Dango, Impossible, Infinite Illustrations

2007 (20th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Tafline Crawford, Science and Politics in the History of Paleoanthropology
2nd place: Carter Smith, Thinking the Line: A Collection of Books on Poetry and Visual Art

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Robin Meyer, My Collection: Defined
2nd place: Lauren Hosek, The Not-So-Silent Past: An Archaeology Collection

2006 (19th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Ryan Shirey, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Collector of Scottish Books
2nd place: Benjamin Cawthra, The Improvising Image: a Jazz Photography Collection

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Jennifer Feder, Women’s Wisdom: Sharing Her Voice
2nd place: Wendy Xin, The Kindred Spirits of my Dusty Upper Shelf

2005 (18th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Rachel Slaughter, Well-Tempered Elegance: A Collection Of 1950s Literary Criticism
2nd place: James W. Hofman, II, Japan, The Ambiguous, and My Shelf

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Devin Naar, From Salonika to America and Back
2nd place: Temu Brown, On My Friends

2004 (17th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Aimée Dowl, Dissecting Meaning from the Parts: the Anatomy of a Personal Collection
2nd place: Heidi Spear, Forbidden Passion into Personal Collection

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Samuel Hirst, Russian Chronicle: A Development in Books
2nd place: Amanda Thatch, My Own Museum

2003 (16th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Michael Murphy, Zap! Pow! Out!: Twentieth Century Queer Comics
2nd place: Steven A. Pijut, Marginally Speaking: A Collection of Modernist and Post-Modernist Texts

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Stephanie Hanson, Constructing Meaning from the World: A Fusion of International Fiction, Poetry and Essays
2nd place: Steve Scharre, Jesus, Muhammad and the Relentless War for Peace

2002 (15th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Kamaal Haque, Half a World Away: History, Ethnography, and Literature of Afghanistan and Pakistan
2nd place: Donna Armistead, Twentieth Century Theatrical Dance Library

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Jennifer Losi, Shelf Life: An Obsession with Collection
2nd place: Brittany Hayden, Archaeology and the Ancient World

2001 (14th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Fran Hooker, Narratives of Exploration
2nd place: Kendall Miller, The Art and Use of the Japanese Sword

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Amanda Verbeck, The Many Faces of Spirituality
2nd place: Nicolas Montemayor, How to be a Working Actor

2000 (13th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Derek Gary Dahlke, Illustrated Books from the Betty Hennessy Project
2nd place: Robin Hermann, Exploring the Fantastic: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Travis Gosselin, The Great Conversation
2nd place: Garth Hallberg, Studies in Humanity

1999 (12th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Hester Baer, German Cinema: History and Theory
2nd place: Melanie J. Evans, Children’s Books

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Oriana Fox, Stürm und Drawing: A Collection of Fine Art Books
2nd place: Brian Williamson, Paths toward Graphic Satire

1998 (11th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: David Earhart, The Pacific War through Japanese Eyes: Primary Sources, 1931-1948
2nd place: Mary Jean Speare, Nineteenth Century French Opera Collection

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Cosette Reeves, Imagination
2nd place: Eric Strongin, untitled collection of military history, fantasy, science fiction works.

1997 (10th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: No information available
2nd place: No information available

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Khara A. A. Coleman
2nd place: No information available

1996 (9th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Michaela Gieseenkirchen, Works of Gertrude Stein
2nd place: Padraic Kennedy, Irish History

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Shawn Johnson, Philosophy and Theology
2nd place: Joshua Karch, The Bronte Sisters

1995 (8th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Derek Blakeley, Writing Their Own Histories: Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Other Studies By and About British Politicians
2nd place: James McCarter, The Origin, Development, and Pastimes of Multi-cellular Life

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Sarah Frey, Star Trek: Vision for Tomorrow
2nd place: Valerie Montalvo, Why Walk When You Can Fly: The Modern Collection

1994 (7th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Marianne Erickson, The Writing of Uwe Johnson
2nd place: Robert Tripp, English Legal History: Eight Hundred Years of Justice

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Jeremy Wilkins, The J. Patout Burns Divinity Collection
2nd place: Ted Stevco, The Art Form of Cartooning

1993 (6th Annual Competition)

Information not available

1992 (5th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Jeffery W. Zents, The Collection of Philosophers
2nd place: Steven Lewis, Chinese Studies: Politics and Culture

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: John Overholt, The Thirty Years War, 1914-1945
2nd place: Monika K. Norwood, Little Afrika in Big America

1991 (4th Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Daniel Curley, A Burgeoning Library of Greco-Roman Mythology
2nd place: Jennifer K. Mundale, A Philosopher’s Library

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: John Overholt, Dr. Who: 30 Years of the Unknown
2nd place: Douglas A Deden, Fractal Geometry and Chaos Theory

1990 (3rd Annual Competition)

Graduate and Undergraduate Winners
1st place: Elizabeth A. Ambrose
1st place: Adrian Seeser

2nd place: Rebecca Haidt
2nd place: Cinda Ogden

1989 (2nd Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: Rod Shene, The Ache of Modernism: 100 Years of Modern Letters
2nd place: Michael S. Smith, Land Under the Pole Star: Man and the Artic

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: David W. Beisecker, Men of Ideas: Creators of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
2nd place: Edward C. Rafferty, A Civil War Narrative

1988 (1st Annual Competition)

Graduate Winners
1st place: James Robertson, An Historian’s Working Library
2nd place: Leland J. Scott, Scottish History and Culture: Medieval Emphasis

Undergraduate Winners
1st place: James Kellogg, 19th Century Travel and Adventure in America
2nd place: Alan Weiner, Reading Art