Calling all African Bookstagrammers and BookTokers! We have a special prize that is geared toward book collectors of color. Apply to the David Ruggles Prize by June 9, 2024

The David Ruggles Prize was established in 2021 to encourage and support young book collectors of color. The prize honors the legacy of David Ruggles, an early American abolitionist, publisher, and Underground Railroad conductor. The New York grocery store he opened in 1828 soon became the country’s first Black-owned bookstore.

The three prizes—$1,000 grand prize, $500 second prize, and $250 third prize—are awarded annually to applicants whose collections are deemed most outstanding by our fantastic panel of judges.

This year’s judges include Islam Aly, Lauren Burke, Angelina Coronado, Sara Powell, and Bridgett Kathryn Johnson-Pride.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Entry is open to anyone aged 35 and under, anywhere in the world. (We kindly ask applicants to submit in English, which will ensure the fairest possible assessment by the jury.) Note that we take an expansive view of the word book. This needn’t be a collection of traditional hard- and softcovers (which are certainly fine). When it comes to your book collection, we’ll defer to your appreciation of what makes a book. Comic books and graphic novels, zines, contemporary book art, handwritten manuscripts—all are welcome.
  • To enter, simply submit your responses to the questions in the form. If you prefer to send your responses as a PDF, email it to [email protected]. Photos are not required, but they are encouraged and may enhance your application. You can send any photos to [email protected]. Remember that you must own all of the items in your collection. If someone else started your collection—if you inherited one, for example—be sure to explain its origins and tell us how you made it your own.
  • Finally, the monetary value of your collection doesn’t matter one bit. Whether it cost you last month’s rent, or whether you scavenged everything from the trash, the judges will consider the degree to which your collection achieves what you intend it to do.
  • Past applicants who did not receive a prize are encouraged to apply again. Before simply resubmitting your previous application, keep in mind that the judges will be looking for evidence of growth. Past prize winners may apply with a different collection three years after winning.

Deadline: June 9, 2024

Submit here.

Good luck to all applicants!