Edible Books Festival returns to Heard Libraries, serves up fun puns and tasty treats

Kayce Gill, health sciences collections librarian at Eskind Biomedical Library, with her winning entry “Slimer’s Lunch”

Bakers and book lovers came together at the 2024 Edible Books Festival hosted by the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries on April 1. The event, held on campus for the first time since 2019, was sponsored by the university’s Banned Books Initiative.

Vanderbilt community members were invited to create their interpretations of a favorite literary work in edible form. More than a dozen entries were made from anything that can be eaten—including cake, cookies, pie, crackers, gelatin, fruit, vegetables, candy and more—as long as the submission could be displayed for a few hours without melting or spoiling.

Following a public viewing of the entries in the Central Library Community Room, a panel of judges determined who would take home the top prizes. This year’s judges were Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Director Rory Dicker, artist Amy Kuttab, and College of Arts and Science senior Corrina Lueptow. The crowd in attendance also voted for the People’s Choice winner.

Best Banned Book
“Web of Delight” (Charlotte’s Web)
Rachel Lane Walden

Best Depiction of a Children’s Book
“The 100 Dresses” (The 100 Dresses)
Ramona Romero

Best Depiction of a Classic
“Black Beauty” (Black Beauty)
Jennifer Bennet

Best Team Entry
“¯\_(ツ)_/¯” (Atlas Shrugged)
Stacy Curry Johnson, Noah Shook, Rachel Lane Walden

“Naked Lunch” (Naked Lunch)
Melissa Mallon

Most Appetizing (tie)
“Gender Queer (Reveal Cake)” (Gender Queer: A Graphic Memoir)
Ryan King

“Life of Pie” (Life of Pi)
Z. Aulino

Most Creative
“The Bluest Cake” (The Bluest Eye)
Claire Reber

Judges’ Choice
“Slimer’s Lunch” (Ghostbusters II)
Kayce Gill

People’s Choice
“Slimer’s Lunch” (Ghostbusters II)
Kayce Gill

Heard Libraries join other libraries around the globe in celebrating Edible Book Day with events held on or around April 1. After judging and the presentation of winners at Vanderbilt’s event, all were encouraged to “eat the books.”

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