Kelly Writers House will host its annual Edible Books Contest on Dec. 4, where participants can create a food-based representation of a book that is important to them.
The event will take place at KWH, starting at 5:30 p.m. The event was first held in 2009 and aims to provide a space for Penn community members to use humor while creating literary-inspired, edible works of art.
In the past, the event has seen a range of submissions from detailed cakes to creative last-minute pieces, Jessica Lowenthal, KWH director, said.
“It is a way for students to come together in a lowkey way to celebrate books, food, and also community,” Lowenthal said.
Notable submissions in prior years have been “Jane Pear,” a simple pear with a bonnet nudging Charlotte Brontë's “Jane Eyre,” and “Fifty Shades of Earl Grey," which was 50 cups of Earl Grey tea brewed to different shades of gray based on E. L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey."
“It’s rare that we have a repeat,” Lowenthal said.
According to members of KWH, the event is more like a party than a contest.
“It’s to celebrate literature in a kind of fun and whimsical and funny way to make our love of books and food come together,” Alli Katz, KWH program coordinator, said.
While the submissions are technically meant to be edible, some submissions are more architecturally sound. According to Lowenthal, while “Gum Girl” based on Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" was one of the most original submissions she had ever seen, it was not edible.
“It was a giant ball of chewed-up gum. It was really disgusting,” Lowenthal said.
To give all submissions a fair chance, the contest has multiple categories for prizes. Judges pick the best submissions for categories such as “Best Pun,” “Readers Choice,” and “Most Architectural.”
The event is sponsored by the Blaze Bernstein Memorial Fund, which honors Blaze Bernstein, a member of Penn's Class of 2020, who passed away in 2018. The event also features a category for the “Blazest Award."
“If you've never come to the Writers House before, this is an excellent time to come,” Katz said.