Announcing the seventh annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize.


Literary Hub is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the seventh annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize, which awards $1,000 for “an outstanding book collection conceived and built by a woman aged 30 or younger,” who lives anywhere in the United States.

The prize guidelines note that “The winning collection must have been started by the contestant, and all items in the collection must be owned by her. A collection may include books, manuscripts, and ephemera; it may be organized by theme, author, illustrator, printing technique, binding style, or another clearly articulated principle. A great collection is more than a reading list of texts: it’s a chosen group of printed or manuscript objects, creatively assembled, that shine light on one another . . . Collections are judged not on their size or their market value, but on their originality and their success in illuminating their chosen subjects.”

“Thinking of myself as a collector has completely changed the way I think about books and publishing history, about the irreproducibility of specific copies,” said last year’s winner Melanie Shi, who was recognized for her collection East of France, West of Russia: Cold War Europe and the Chinese Book.

The prize, founded in 2017 by Heather O’Donnell of Honey & Wax Booksellers and Rebecca Romney of Type Punch Matrix, seeks to celebrate a type of book collector who has often gone unnoticed. “We observed that the women who regularly bought books from us were less likely to call themselves ‘collectors’ than the men, even when those women had spent years passionately collecting books,” the founders write in a press release. “And a quick online image search for ‘book collector’ brought up page after page of older men. By creating a platform that celebrates and shares innovative collections created by young women, and providing a financial incentive to those collectors as they work, we aim to encourage a new generation of women collectors.

The deadline for submissions this year is June 15, 2023. See the full requirements and apply here, and look for the announcement of this year’s winner in September.

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