Date TBD
12:30pm – 2:30pm
Glass Pavilion

Contest entry: Free
Attendance: Free

cookies in the shape of hats

Edible Book Festival

The Sheridan Libraries Edible Book Festival began in 2014 and is now a highly-anticipated Johns Hopkins tradition. It is one of many such festivals that take place around the world on or around April 1 to celebrate books, art, food, and culture. In our festival, edible books are desserts inspired by literary titles, characters, or authors. Contestants are encouraged to combine word play with books, decoration, and ingredients.

Edible Book Festivals began with the Books2Eat website in 2000 and are now celebrated internationally. The event was created to commemorate the birthday of gastronome and author Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. April Fools’ Day is also the perfect day to eat your words.

The Sheridan Libraries Book Festival is sponsored by the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center.

2020 Festival

Contest Entry

Register via online entry form before 12pm, Thursday, March 26

  • Open to all members of the Johns Hopkins community.
  • The dessert must be made from edible materials and able to be displayed for a few hours without melting or spoiling.
  • The dessert does not have to look like a book; it simply needs to be inspired by one.

Judging

All attendees may judge submissions. Winners are chosen by popular vote. The categories are:

  • Best in Show
  • Best Literary Theme
  • Best Effort
  • Most Delicious
  • Funniest/Punniest
  • Best Vegan Cake New for 2020!

Questions or Comments? Email hherr@jhu.edu

Schedule

Monday, March 30, 2020
12:30pm – 2:30pm
Glass Pavilion

9:30am – 12pm Contestants drop-off entries
12:30pm Public viewing and judging begins
12:45pm Eating of books begins
1:30pm Voting ends
2:00pm Winners announced

Contest entry: Free
Attendance: Free

Sustainability at the Festival

We encourage attendees to bring their own water bottles to help reduce single-use disposables at the event. Cutlery, plates, cups, and napkins are all compostable. Be sure to place the items in a compost bin when you are finished with them. Voting is done online instead of by paper ballot.

Photo Albums

2019

edible book cake

2018

Edible book cake

2017

edible book cake

2016

edible book cake

2015

Edible book cake

2014

edible book cake

Last Year’s Winners

Best In Show

1st Place

edible book cake
The Handmaid’s Tale (LaVera Jackson)

2nd Place

edible book cake
Hamlet (Liam Cheng)

Best Literary Theme

1st Place

edible book cake
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Laura Nugent & Isabella Altherr)

2nd Place

edible book cake
The Lord of the Flies (School of Medicine Team)

Most Delicious

1st Place

edible book cake
Birds of America (Chloe & Sage Otterson)

2nd Place

edible book cake
The Lorax (Clarissa Chen)

Funniest

1st Place

edible book cake
Portrait of the Artist as a Young [Fl]an (Casey Lurtz)

2nd Place

edible book cake
The Communist Manifesto (Special Collections Student Employee Team)

Best Effort

1st Place

edible book cake
The Emperor of All Maladies (Deborah Buffalin)

2nd Place

edible book cake
A Pocket for Corduroy (Emily Velandia and Marissa Lewis)

FAQs

  • Who can compete?

    Current students, faculty, and staff of Johns Hopkins University are invited to enter the competition. The general public is welcome to attend the event and cast a vote for their favorites.

  • May I enter more than one dessert?

    Of course you may! This is especially important because some students and staff like to participate with their friends, but also want to try to make a literary-themed dessert on their own.

  • What about allergens?

    Notify Heidi Herr hherr1@jhu.edu if your entry will contain a known allergen (such as peanuts) or if it suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions (for instance, if the dessert is gluten-free or vegan).

  • Can I change books after submitting an entry form?

    Yes. Please contact Heidi Herr at hherr1@jhu.edu by March 26 with any book changes.

  • Do I need to be present to win?

    No, you do not need to be present to win. Participants will be contacted via email with the list of winners and a link to where you can download photographs from the event. Winners can pick up their prize from Special Collections or receive it through campus mail.

  • What supplies will be provided at the event?

    We will provide knives and pie/cake servers with serrated edges. In addition, forks, plates, napkins, cups, beverages, and hand wipes will be available.

  • What is the layout of the event?

    There will be large round tables, each accommodating roughly three desserts. The tables will have table cloths, and each dessert will have its own handmade placard. For special set-up requests, such as access to an outlet, please contact Heidi Herr at hherr1@jhu.edu.

  • What can I win?

    Prizes include a selection of locally-made sweets and gift cards to area restaurants and cafes. First place prizes are values at about $60, and second place prizes are valued at about $40.