The New Jersey Center for the Book represented the state of New Jersey at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C sponsored by the Library of Congress on September 5, 2015. More than 175 authors from around the country and thousands of visitors flocked to the Washington Convention Center for the 15th anniversary celebration of the festival with the theme of Thomas Jefferson’s quote “I cannot live without books.”

The theme for New Jersey’s exhibit was the “Circle of Excellence” in recognition of our state’s record of having national winner’s for several years in the prestigious student writing contest Letters About Literature sponsored by the Library of Congress.

This year we celebrated National Level 1 Winner, Gerel Sanzhikow and National Honor Level 2 Winner, Jonathan Hoff, who joined Joshua Tiprigran, National Level 3 Winner 2009 in our “Circle of Excellence” display featuring their award‐winning essays.

The 25th Anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s landmark book Oh the Places You’ll Go was the book that we chose for our exhibit, with its powerful message affirming our theme that every person, especially our young people, has the talent and potential to make a difference in the world.

Our exhibit was wildly popular with families and visitors, and we happily fielded questions, such as “Was Dr. Seuss from New Jersey?” sharing with visitors the talent of New Jersey’s student writers. The many teachers, parents, grandparents and students who stopped by New Jersey’s exhibit were inspired by our theme, many committing to participating in this and other writing opportunities in the coming year.

If you haven’t been to the festival, held every year over the Labor Day weekend, consider a trip to Washington, D.C. to enjoy this wonderful day- long celebration of authors, books, reading and the written word.

National Book Festival