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The 2023 Neureuther Essay Award Winners

The Washington University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of the 36th annual Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition. Named for Carl Neureuther, a 1940 graduate of the Washington University School of Business who set up an endowed book fund for the University Libraries, the contest was designed to inspire reading for pleasure among students and to encourage the development of personal book collections.

The competition is open to all full-time Washington University students, and awardees win four cash prizes of $1000 and $500 at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Participants submit brief essays about the books in their collections. Washington University faculty read the essays and select the award-winning entries.

Undergraduate student winners

In the undergraduate category, Juliet Nisly, a first-year student majoring in political science, was awarded the first prize for her essay, “The Great Plains and Growing Pains.” Ella Doppke, also a first-year student and an anthropology major, won second place for her essay, “One Book, Never One Story.”

graduate student winners

Danielle Ridolfi, an MFA student in illustration and visual culture at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, won first prize in the graduate category for her essay, “Paging Through Palimpsests: Used Picture Books and Their Connections to Place.” Elsa Chanez, a PhD candidate in Japanese language and culture in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, won second place for her essay, “My Library is Full of Ghosts.”

The organizing committee thanks all the students who participated in this year’s contest. Neureuther competition’s award-winning essays, from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on Open Scholarship.