Applications Open for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists

Applications opened today, September 1st, for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists.

One bookseller will have the life-changing experience to attend two amazing bookselling events as well as receive a grant to make their community stronger. This scholarship is focused on finding new readers and ensuring access to books that improve readers’ lives while integrating bookstores even more fully into their communities. Applications will be accepted through 10/21/2019.

2020’s award will be the second Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Friends of Carla Gray Committee and the Binc Foundation. The scholarship is awarded annually to a single bookseller with at least one year but fewer than five years of bookselling experience, who has not attended an industry tradeshow or an ABA sponsored event.

The winning bookseller will be awarded a year-long scholarship for professional development, which includes: travel and hotel for attendance to Winter Institute, travel and hotel for attendance to their regional tradeshow, and a stipend to fund a community outreach project.

Jenna Johnson (Friends of Carla Gray Committee) said, “We are so heartened to see the continuing support for this scholarship program and are excited to help new booksellers imagine ever more ways to engage and inspire their communities. We are looking forward to the new round of applications and to watching Carla’s enthusiasm and can-do spirit live on through these emerging leaders.”

“The Binc Foundation is honored to commemorate Carla’s legacy by offering this scholarship as a way to honor Carla for the beloved friend and book lover that she was to all who knew her,” says Pam French, Binc’s executive director. “We look forward to learning about the winner’s community project and meeting them in person at next year’s Winter Institute.”

Booksellers can apply at https://bincfoundation.submittable.com/submit/145144/2019-carla-gray-memorial-scholarship-for-emerging-bookseller-activists

The application period runs from September 1 to October 21, 2019.

Criteria and Eligibility

  • Applicant has at least 1 year but fewer than 5 years of bookselling experience.
  • Applicant is willing and able to commit one year to complete the requirements of the scholarship and intends to remain employed at the designated bookstore until the completion of the community outreach project.
  • Applicant’s store meets the criteria of “bookstore” as defined by Binc policies. (Please email info@bincfoundation.org if you have a question about your store.)
  • Applicant’s store is a member in good standing of the ABA and their regional trade association.
  • Applicant is a regular part-time or full-time employee of a bricks & mortar bookstore.
  • A maximum of one scholarship will be awarded each year.
  • Applicant may receive this scholarship only once in their tenure as a bookseller.
  • A bookstore may receive this scholarship only once.
  • Bookstore owner agrees to partner on the community outreach project.

This scholarship and its recipients will celebrate and honor Carla’s boundless enthusiasm for the books themselves, her delight in pairing the right book with the right reader, and her unwavering faith in the bookselling community.

If you would like to honor Carla’s legacy with a donation to this scholarship fund and help change booksellers lives, you can do so here: https://secure.donationpay.org/bincfoundation/?source=carlagray.

Denver Publishing Institute Connects Industry to Community

This article was originally published by the University of Denver on August 27, 2019

The Denver Publishing Institute (DPI), now in its 44th year, is emphasizing the voices of booksellers through a scholarship program made possible by DU, Sourcebooks and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc). Kate Kenney (center) is the event coordinator at Bank Square Books and a newly minted graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute.

After earning her MFA in creative writing at Western Washington University, Kenney sought out what she most loved—working with books. It was at the Boulder Bookstore that Kenney first found out about the Denver Publishing Institute.

“I found a flyer in the breakroom and thought this would be a really great opportunity. I wouldn’t have been able to attend DPI without the scholarship and I’m so grateful to be here. Every time I hear a speaker, I think about how much it’s going to help me as I move forward.”

The Denver Publishing Institute provides opportunities for students, publishers, librarians and young professionals like Kenney to experience a wide range of what the industry entails. This four-week immersive program is centered around workshops, lectures and special sessions led by top professionals drawn from the world of book publishing. As a core part of the program, students make connections, build professional networks, receive career support and get to interact with industry leaders in both formal and informal settings.

Denver Publishing Institute

Jill Smith, the Director of the Denver Publishing Institute, explains the breadth of the program. “Students come to us from all around the country. For the first time this year, I put up a map and had students put a pin where they wanted to find a job. We’ve always had a sense that they come from everywhere and go back everywhere, but where is everywhere?”

“Just by looking at the pins,” Smith continues, “they can see that they are forming a widespread network through DPI. This is one of our strengths.”

What unites these individuals is a shared belief in the power of books to impact people, an idea captured in Sourcebooks’ motto: “Books. Change. Lives.” Sourcebooks is one of the largest independent publishers in the U.S., publishing 400 books a year across most genres.

Todd Stocke, editorial director, explains the company’s investment in the voices of booksellers like Kenney. “We come from roots of both marketing and bookselling. We have a client-focused approach to our publishing model, with ‘client’ encompassing our authors, our readers and our retail partners.”

Bookselling is integral to a full understanding of the publishing world, says Stocke. “A lot of times publishing folks like to stay in their own heads, when where their heads should be is in a bookstore because that’s where people are buying their books. At Sourcebooks, we’ve worked hard to retain that mindset over the years.”

Stocke lectures on “Digital Innovations in Publishing” with a focus on how digital technologies open possibilities across the book industry, including booksellers in a brick-and-mortar store.

“The core of what I talk about is change positivity—folks being open to what is beyond what they already know. Publishing used to be a linear process, but now we can experiment with the entire process along the way; from its origins to how it takes shape as a finished product.”

Talks like Stocke’s that embrace the full range of the book industry, are a primary strength of what the Denver Publishing Institute offers its students, says Smith.

“What I love is being able to present the entire book publishing ecosystem and having students come and learn about everything. It helps them find where they fit best into the whole system.” Smith continues, “Going through the program, they might realize a career path they never previously considered. It’s a beautiful thing to see students find their path.”

Kenney agrees, noting the broadened perspective she’s gained during her time at DPI. “I was surprised going through the program how much booksellers talk about all of this but we don’t think about it as someone’s job. We’ll be shelving books and say ‘great cover,’ or we’ll comment on someone’s author photo—we see the whole industry as booksellers, but we don’t know it. Here at DPI we get to engage every part of publishing.”

Bookseller Stories // Vol. 5 // August ’19

There are times in life when it seems that everything is going wrong at once. Or that the universe is conspiring against you. The good news is, because of you, during these hard moments when it feels like there is nowhere to turn and the unexpected pile-on of bad news feels unending, Binc is here and ready to help.


A bookseller recently suffered a stroke which seemed to unleash an unending string of misfortune and hardship. While recovering from the stroke, their spouse lost their job. A beloved sibling passed away requiring out-of-state travel and weeks off of work. A change in their spouse’s health resulted in the resurfacing of an old illness. The bookseller fell, and their injury required surgery. Their spouse’s mother was recently admitted into hospice care, so the family is preparing for the possibility of the need to travel and arrange another funeral this year.

Even with health insurance, worker’s compensation, an understanding employer, and a small savings account, this bookseller and their family have been completely wiped out, emotionally, physically, and financially.

When a bookseller hits a string of misfortune like this, you give the gift of relief and breathing space during extraordinarily difficult times. Because of generous supporters like you, this bookseller will be able to take care of their immediate needs, build back up their savings that much more quickly, and take a deep breath. We are hopeful that their string of unfortunate events has come to an end, and this bookseller and their family can begin to recover.

P.S. We never want anyone to compare their need to anyone else’s and we never want people to not call Binc for help because “someone else needs it more”. Thankfully, today, it is not a matter of helping one bookseller and not another. Due to the generosity of supporters like you, we can help every qualifying bookseller who comes to us for help.

“Bad things happen to people no matter what the situation is, so that’s what I tell people: use the help that is offered.”—A Bookseller Helped by our Donors

Macmillan/Henry Holt Announces Matching Donation Campaign for Me by Elton John to Binc Benefiting Independent Booksellers

Ann Arbor, MI – To celebrate the forthcoming publication of Elton John’s memoir, Me Macmillan/Henry Holt will donate $10 to Binc for every independent bookstore order of 20 copies or more, up to a total maximum match amount of $5,000. All orders placed by independent bookstores before November 15 are eligible for this program.

“We are proud to support our bookselling community and Binc; this program creates an opportunity to do so that we hope will be meaningful to the independent booksellers,”  said Maggie Richards, VP, Henry Holt and Company.

Pam French, Binc Executive Director said, “We are honored to be working with Macmillan/Henry Holt on this innovative fundraising effort. By contributing to Binc, Macmillan/Henry Holt is giving booksellers the opportunity to strengthen the safety net for themselves and their colleagues while doing the daily work of ordering books for their bookshops.”

The Foundation has been able to assist forty-four booksellers and their families and has distributed $103,039 in emergency assistance (as reported by the Foundation at mid-year January 1st – June 30th, 2019), due to the commitment of sustaining partners, including Macmillan. This assistance has alleviated medical debt, provided a safe place to live, afforded booksellers needed medical care, and much more.

Pam French concluded, “We couldn’t do this work without our publishing partners like Macmillan and are grateful for their continued support and creativity. Publishers supporting booksellers make this whole industry stronger.

2019 Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship Winners Announced

For the third year, nine booksellers from communities across the United States will attend independent booksellers’ association trade shows with scholarships provided by Macmillan Publishers through the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation. These Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarships provide opportunities to diverse booksellers who are traditionally underrepresented within the industry.
The nine winners of the 2019 Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship are:
  • GLIBA – Kathy Burnette from The Brain Lair Bookstore in South Bend, IN
  • MIBA – BrocheAroe Fabian from River Dog Book Company in Beaver Dam, WI
  • MPIBA – Denise Chavez from Casa Camino Real in Las Cruces, NM
  • NAIBA – Bennard Fajardo from Politics and Prose in Washington, DC
  • NCIBA – Seth Katz from The Booksmith in San Francisco, CA
  • NEIBA – Read Davidson from Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA
  • PNBA – Markie Rustad from Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo, WA
  • SCIBA – Amanda Qassar from Warwick’s in San Diego, CA
  • SIBA – Deanna Bailey from Story on the Square in McDonough, GA

Each winner will receive a $500 scholarship to help cover the cost of attending their fall regional show.

The Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Council and Binc’s diversity task force created the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship Program in 2017 as a way to provide booksellers from underrepresented communities direct access to a key resource within the book industry, the Fall Regional Shows.

Applicants, including people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities, anonymously completed short essay questions which were evaluated by a panel of judges. Winners were selected from each of the nine regions represented by independent booksellers associations: Great LakesMidwestMountains and PlainsNew AtlanticNorthern CaliforniaNew EnglandPacific NorthwestSouthern California, and Southern.

“We were incredibly impressed by the quality of applications for this year’s scholarship. It is heartening to see the passion our applicants have for bookselling and spreading acceptance and tolerance in their communities,” said Malati Chavali, Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair and VP, Publishing Strategy Operations.

The panel of judges included Malati Chavali (Macmillan), Jeanne Costello (Maria’s Bookshop) from Binc’s Program Committee, and Ken White (Query Books) from Binc’s Board of Directors.

Pam French, Binc Executive Director, said, “We are happy to work with Macmillan to bring this opportunity to booksellers for the third year. This popular program not only furthers individual booksellers’ careers by helping them attend their regional tradeshows, the program promotes a more inclusive and diverse industry by giving an opportunity to individuals who are traditionally underrepresented at the shows. Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients. We hope you enjoy attending your regional tradeshow.”