Enter the WU Libraries’ Essay Competition

The WU Libraries are giving away cash prizes to the students who write the best short essays about their personal book collections. That’s right, students — ponder the contents of your bookshelves, write a brief essay, and you could win cash.

The Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition is now in its 29th year. Named for Carl Neureuther, a 1940 graduate of the WU School of Business who set up an endowed book fund for the Libraries, the contest was designed to inspire reading for pleasure among students and to encourage the cultivation of personal libraries. Past winners have showcased collections of literary criticism, cookbooks, and queer comics.

The contest is open to any full-time WU student and offers four cash awards: $1,000 and $500 at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The entry deadline for the 2016 contest is Wednesday, March 2. Eligible students should submit the following materials by that date: 1) a completed entry form; 2) a two- to four-page essay about the book collection; and 3) a bibliography listing the books in the collection. Judges, who are volunteers chosen from the faculty and university community, will take a number of factors into account when assessing the essays, including the scope of each collection, its thematic unity, and its personal value to the collector.

Entry forms, examples of winning essays, and information on how to enter are online here. Students should deliver their materials to the Department of Special Collections on the main level of Olin Library weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 2. Winners will be announced and awards presented in late March and early April.

For more information, contact Julie Hale at (314) 935-6569 or jhale@wustl.edu.

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