Edible Book Festival - General Information

The 15th Annual Edible Book Festival will be held virtually on April 3, 2021! Watch our Facebook page for updates. 

Watch the Great Edible Book-off

What is the Edible Book Festival?

Around April 1st, bibliophiles, book artists, and food lovers around the world gather to celebrate the book arts and the (literal!) ingestion of culture.  Participants create an “edible book,” which can be inspired by a favorite tale, involve a pun on a famous title, or simply be in the shape of a book (or scroll, or tablet, etc).  All entries will be exhibited, documented, then EATEN!  Photographs of all edible books will appear in the Edible Book Festival gallery.

The Champaign-Urbana Edible Book Festival is sponsored by the University Library and Common Ground Coop, and supported by the generous help of campus and community volunteers and prize donors. It is a fundraiser to support the crucial work of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

Information and Tentative Schedule for the 2021 Edible Book Festival

The Edible Book Festival will be held virtually on April 3, 2021.

This year, the Festival will be held in the spirit of the Great British Bakeoff, where partipants will have one hour on zoom to assemble and decorate their edible books. Hosts will provide commentary and spotlight interviews during the ‘competition time.’

You may do all the preparation you need (i.e. baking, making frosting) prior to April 3 to save on time constraints, however please leave one hour of active preparation for on screen participation during the live event (i.e carving, assembling, decorating, adding finishing touches). 

Prior to April 3:
any necessary prep work (baking, making frosting, etc).

April 3:
10:45am: Introduction from hosts, Eastern Illinois Foodbank, and Common Ground Co-op

11:00-12:00: ‘Competition time.’ You may any and all necessary preparation prior to the event, but we’d like the event to be active. With that in mind, please try to plan for approximately one hour of working time on screen.

12:00-12:15pm: Learn more about Eastern Illinois Foodbank and how your contribution helps.

12:15-12:30pm: Judge’s commentary and awards

12:30pm: Virtual eating of books!

2021 Festival Award Categories

Starting to think about your edible creation for this year’s festival? Consider fitting your entry to one or more of these categories! Please keep in mind that for the 2021 virtual festival, there will be no prizes awarded (only bragging rights!).

  • Best Depiction of a Classic
  • Best Visual Presentation
  • Most Appetizing
  • Funniest/Punniest
  • Best Entry Based on Book for Children or Teens
  • Best Collaborative Creation
  • People’s Choice

Who can participate?

Whether you’re a professional chef or just like to play with your food, the festival is open to anyone in the UIUC & Champaign-Urbana communities. For inspiration, take a look at entries in the galleries below. For the 2021 virtual festival, participants must have access to WiFi and a device with a camera with which they can participate via Zoom.

If you don’t have time to make your own edible entry, join us in watching the competition at 11am! We’ll add a link to watch shortly.

If you’d like to make something at home and show it off without participating in the ‘competition,’ use the hashtag #EdibleBookCU on social media.

Join us on Facebook to get the most up-to-date information on the festival!

Rube Goldberg’s Normal Humdrum School Day by the Kota Family
2018 Edible Book Festival
“Brambly Hedge” by Anneka Vetter

2017 Edible Book Festival
“Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Briana Lawrence
2016 Edible Book Festival
Alice in Wonderland
Shilpi Saxena
2015 Edible Book Festival
October Pie(s)
Created by Kaity Bequette
2014 Edible Book Festival
Wild Rumpus
Created by Sarah Heller
2013 Edible Book Festival
The Life of Pi
Created by Barb Strauss
2012 Edible Book Festival
Huckleberry Finn Corduroy The Secret Garden
Created by Jerry Lyke and Chris Johns
2011 Edible Book Festival
The Corn Ultimatum
Created by Rachael Weber
2010 Edible Book Festival
“The Legend of Sleepy Challah” by Valerie and Samuel Hotchkiss
2009 Edible Book Festival
Arley McNeney
My Last Duchess
2008 Edible Book Festival
Julia Keener
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats


2007 Edible Book Festival
Donald Eggert
The Great Gatsby
2006 Edible Book Festival
**Buffy Vance
Welcome Spring