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Washington University Libraries Announce Winners of Student Essay Contest

The Washington University Libraries are happy to announce the winners of the 33rd 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 offers four cash awards to full-time Washington University students: $1,000 and $500 at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Participants submit brief essays about the books in their collections. Washington University faculty members serve as judges for the contest.

This year, Matt Weinstock, who is pursuing an MFA in fiction writing, won the top prize in the graduate category for the essay “Party-Bottom Paperbacks: Cruising Used Bookstores in Search of Queer History.” Joe Gutierrez, who is working on an MFA in poetry, came in second with “Grief Work: I’m Almost Ready to Feel Better.”

In the undergraduate category, Sydney Weiss, a freshman majoring in psychology, took first place for the essay “Page to Stage: A Roadmap to Comedic Playwriting.” Tian Geng, a junior who is majoring in philosophy-neuroscience-psychology, won second place for “Birds of a Feather.”

The organizing committee thanks all of the students who participated in this year’s contest. The 2020 winning essays, as well as those of past winners, are available here and will be added to the Open Scholarship repository.

For more information about the contest, contact Director of Communications Kimberly Singer.