Winesett Book Collecting Contest

Due to budget and participation factors the Winesett Book Collecting Contest has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Please check back for updates.


To inspire students to discover the great pleasures and satisfaction of book collecting, McConnell Library is sponsoring a book collecting and essay contest. The contest is open to all Radford undergraduate and graduate students.  Cash prizes up to $750 can be won for a book collection that represents a well-defined field of interest, and the best essay on the collection’s subject matter.

Prior award winners have covered diverse topics such as Graphic Novels, childhood book collections, craft books, and strong women in fiction.

The winner of the Winesett Book Collecting Contest will also be eligible to enroll in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is open to winners of college and university book collecting contests and includes a first prize of $2,500, a second prize of $1,000, and a third prize of $500. An award ceremony for the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest will be held at the Library of Congress.


2016 Winesett Book Collecting Contest Submission Guidelines

Each submission must include the following:

1. A cover page listing your name, email, standing (freshman, senior, grad student etc.) and major.

2. An essay of 500 to 1000 words addressing the following:

·    What is the purpose of the collection, what makes these books special to you, and how did you become interested in the topic or theme?

·      How did you start the collection and how did you go about finding these particular books?

·      What are some of your favorite books in the collection, and what makes them precious to you?

Creativity is encouraged!

3. An annotated list of at least ten books from your personal collection, following this format:

·      Each book must be properly formatted in APAMLA, or Chicago/Turabian citation style.

·      Each book must have a two or three sentence annotation describing why it is an important part of your collection.

Email your files (Word documents or PDFs preferred) to Bethany Mott.


The deadline is Friday, November 4, 2016.


First Prize: $750
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $150

Submission Deadline:
Friday, November 4, 2016 at 11:59pm

Awards Ceremony:
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 4:00pm. Third Floor, McConnell Library. The awards ceremony will feature a Loeb and Folio exhibition, Make Goth Work.

The contest is open to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Radford University during the Fall 2016 semester. The books must be the owned by the student and be part of his or her personal collection at the time of submission. The collection may contain hardback and/or paperback books; but, no library books, textbooks, or electronic books are allowed. Contest winners will be required to allow McConnell Library to borrow ten books from their collections for exhibit. Books will be displayed in a locked case in the library during January and February, 2017. We will show off your collection!

Judging Criteria:
Submissions will be judged based on the creativity and thoughtfulness exercised in developing the collection, the strength of the essay, and what the collection means to the owner - not on the academic or literary quality of the books in the collection.

Topics and themes may be diverse, encompassing: literature, history, manga, science-fiction, fantasy, natural history, astronomy, memoirs, criminal justice, Virginia history and culture, vampires, economics, the Beatles, travel books, popular novels, mystery novels, eco-criticism, short story collections, women novelists, the American Civil War, American poets, Beat writers, books on sports, graphic novels – whatever subject that fuels your passion to read and collect books.

The theme may be as broad (“My collection of novels”) or narrow (“My collection of books about the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson.”) as you like.

A panel of five judges will review the submissions and judge on criteria established by the National Book Collecting Contest, including “innovation and interest of book collections, descriptive essays and bibliographies and knowledge and appreciation of items in their collections both for content and as objects of craft”. The judges include library staff and faculty and teaching faculty.

For questions, comments, or information, please contact Bethany Mott at or 540-831-6126. Prize money is provided by the Winesett Endowment. To learn more about the Hazel Winesett please refer to "Hazel Grove Winesett: The Best Friend" (PDF), a biographical essay by retired University Librarian David Hayes.