News | February 28, 2024

Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize 2024 Entries Open

Emily Forster/Honey & Wax

Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize 2024 

Submissions for the eighth annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize, a cash award of $1000 for an outstanding book collection conceived and built by a young woman, are now open.

Co-founded by Heather O'Donnell of Honey & Wax Booksellers and Rebecca Romney of Type Punch Matrix, the contest is open to women book collectors in the United States aged 30 or younger. Contestants do not need to be enrolled in a degree program or require a sponsor. Honey & Wax uses ‘women’ in its most expansive definition, one fully inclusive of non-binary, trans and gender-non-conforming collectors.

The 2023 Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize was won by Auroura Morgan for Hybrid Botanicals: A Modern Tattoo Artist’s Reference Collection. To read an exclusive interview with Auroura Morgan for Fine Books, click here.

The application deadline for this year's prize is June 15, 2024.

"If you're an aspiring collector, we encourage you to pay attention to the books that fascinate you, even if you're not yet sure why," say O'Donnell and Romney. "What do you see that others don’t? If you have a theory about the stories your collection might tell, and the curiosity to find out if you’re right, you’re a real collector in the making." 

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, and it may be organized by theme, author, illustrator, publisher, printing technique, binding style, or other clearly articulated principle. Collections should be a chosen group of printed or manuscript objects, creatively assembled, that shine light on one another.

Collections will not be judged on their size or their market value, but on their originality and their success in illuminating their chosen subjects. Entrants must write an essay of under 1,500 words describing the purpose, history, and ambition of their collection, which should also include a bibliography of between 20 and 50 items in the collection. In addition, they must include a wish list of the three books they would most like to add to the collection. Photographs are welcome, but not required.

The 2024 sponsors of this year's prize are Biblio, Bibliopolis, The Caxton Club, Christie's, and Ellen A. Michelson.