Edible Book Fair returns in person after two years online


Rachel Rudisill / The Sunflower

A cake inspired by the novel “Where the Crawdads Sing.” The novel is set in 1969 North Carolina

Wichita State hosted the edible book fair in person this year after two years of hosting it virtually. Students, staff and faculty are invited to the event to design any dessert inspired by a book or character. The idea came from the Dean of Libraries Kathy Downes.

“It’s exciting to be back after being strictly online,” event organizer Kelsey Unruh said.

Library staff members originally planned to move the fair online for 2020 and 2021. Participants took pictures of their dessert and posted it online for judging. Event participants could vote virtually for their favorite dessert.

The fair was hosted this year in person on April 1. Participants brought their desserts into the Albah Library to be displayed. Participants flowed in and out of the library throughout the day and were encouraged to vote anonymously for their top three favorite desserts. Marbles were placed in a brown paper bag with the book title and author printed on the front and the identity of the baker was unknown.

This was staff member Rachel Crane’s second year participating.

“When the edible book festival is brought up, you think of books with food in the title,” Crane said.

For her first entry, Crane designed a pizza with a face on it. This year, she took inspiration from the children’s novel, “Everything on a Waffle” by Polly Harvard.

The desserts do not have to be about a specific character. The designs can also be about a cover, a pun or overall theme of a novel.

“I just try to think of good book covers, like something where I could just make the book, but it would look good,” library staff member Maria Sclafani said.