Online Exhibition and Voting
April 9-11, 2021

Live Event with Voting Results
Sunday, April 11, 2021

Contest entry: Free
Attendance: Free

Tip: You can view the exhibition in full screen mode by selecting the 3 vertical dots in the bottom bar and choose “Enter Full Screen”


Voting closes at 3:00pm EST on April 11, 2021

Flickr Gallery

Visit the Flickr gallery to view larger images and see a few additional images for some entries

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.

2021 Festival


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

Winning Entries

Best Vegan

  1. Give a Mouse a Cookie
  2. Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead


  1. Murder on the Orient Express
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird

Best Content

  1. Brave New World
  2. 1984

Best Effort

  1. Harry Potter & the chamber of secrets
  2. Harold & the Purple Crayon

Best Literary Theme

  1. The Mouse that Roared
  2. Divine Comedy

Best in Show

Sponsored by the Friends of the Libraries Advisory Council

  1. Rainbow Fish
  2. The Martian

Contest Entry

Register via online entry form before 12pm, Thursday, April 1

  • Eligibility: Open to all Johns Hopkins affiliates (students, faculty, staff, and alumni).
  • Entry requirements:
    • The dessert must be made from edible materials.
    • The dessert does not have to look like a book; it simply needs to be inspired by one.
    • You must provide images of your edible book, your recipe, and a one-sentence description about your entry. Optional: You may submit up to two short videos showing the making of your edible book or a narrative discussing what inspired your entry. Your supporting content will be showcased on our Edible Book Festival online gallery.
    • Please follow the JHU Social Compact when creating your edible book.
  • Deadline: All supporting content must be received by 12pm on Thursday, April 1. You will receive a link to where you can upload your content after you register for the festival.

Questions or Comments? Email Heidi Herr at and follow @jhuspecialcollections on Instagram to see highlights from previous festivals.

The application period has closed. Please join us next year!

The Read It & Eat It Cookbook

We are creating an edible book festival cookbook featuring recipes for desserts entered in the contest. All participants will receive a limited run print edition of the cookbook, and the digital edition will be available online.

Photo Albums on Flickr


image from photo album of cakes


edible book cake


Edible book cake


edible book cake


edible book cake


Edible book cake


edible book cake


  • Who can compete?

    Students, faculty, staff, and alumni 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?

    In 2021 only you will be eating your dessert, so no need to alert us of potential allergens. Just be careful to make something you will be safe eating!

  • Can I change books after submitting an entry form?

    Yes. Please contact Heidi Herr at 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.

  • How will I submit my entry?

    Registered participants will receive an email with a link to the submission form and instructions. Submissions are due April 1, 2021.

  • What file formats are accepted?

    Photos: .jpg files with a 2MB maximum (up to 5)

    Videos: .mp4 files with a 20MB and 2min maximum (up to 2)

  • 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.