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.”

Binc Foundation and Macmillan Diversity Scholarship Returns

The Binc Foundation and Macmillan Publishers announced today that they would be offering the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship for the third year in a row. Nine scholarships in total will be awarded to booksellers from underrepresented groups to cover the cost of travel, lodging, and meals (up to a maximum of $500) to attend a fall regional show for NEIBA, SIBA, NAIBA, MPIBA, NCIBA, MIBA, SCIBA, GLIBA, and PNBA.

The application period opened on June 15th and will close on July 15th, 2019.

One of the recipients from 2018 Julie Jarema from Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia told Binc, “Thanks to the Binc/Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, I was able to attend my first SIBA Fall Trade show in Tampa. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to travel to meet other booksellers; listen to an amazing lineup of lectures and panels; and get excited about the upcoming books! It was a great introduction to the larger bookselling community.”

“We have received such overwhelmingly positive responses from recipients of past years, and are delighted to continue our partnership with Binc,” said Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chairs Malati Chavali, VP, Publishing Strategy Operations and Angus Killick, VP, Associate Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. “We believe the program is exposing a new and diverse generation of booksellers to a critical industry forum for exchange of ideas and knowledge, and setting a path for a healthy future for independent bookselling.”

“The Binc Foundation exists to help booksellers thrive,” said Binc Executive Director, Pam French. “By working with Macmillan Publishers to bring diverse voices to regional trade shows, we’re enriching conversations and improving the bookselling industry as a whole.”

Booksellers can find out more details and apply at https://bincfoundation.submittable.com/submit/141545/2019-macmillan-bookseller-professional-development-scholarship. Applications must be completed by July 15, 2019.

To be eligible to apply for a scholarship;

  1. Applicants must fall into one of the following categories:
    1. People of color, defined as people of African/African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Native American/Indigenous descent.
    2. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.
    3. People with disabilities (includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses).
  2. Applicant’s store must be a member of one of the regional independent bookseller organizations.
  3. Applicant must be a regular part-time or full-time employee of the bookstore.
  4. Applicant must be currently employed and have 90 days of continuous employment with the bookstore.

The applicant will answer three brief essay questions and the winners will be anonymously selected by a panel composed of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners, and a representative from Macmillan Publishers.

Binc Announces 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Recipients

Anah Redding, Colin Blumer, Mary Glenn, Sophia Glenn, Hannah Guter, Rebecca Keith, Anna Leedy, and Samantha Melton

Eight recipients have been selected to receive a total of $29,500 in scholarships as part of the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Program.

The recipients were selected from fifty-one applicants. Winners are attending colleges and universities in California, Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, Alabama, Utah, and Michigan. They are studying a vast range of subjects from music, nursing, psychology, marketing, graphic design and more.

Susanne Blumer, owner of the bookstore Sassafras on Sutton in Black Mountain, North Carolina told Binc, “We were thrilled to learn of Colin’s scholarship! Binc was one of the first to call me when the roof of my bookstore collapsed last December and now they are helping us with our son’s college. We love Binc and we love this industry!”

Seven (7) $3,500 scholarships were awarded to dependents of booksellers and one (1) $5,000 Karl Pohrt Memorial Scholarship was granted to a current independent bookstore employee who has overcome learning adversity or is a non‐traditional student.

The Binc Higher Education scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and room and board. Since 2001 the Foundation has supported the educational goals of more than 700 booksellers, granting over $2 million in awards.

Providing financial assistance to help booksellers’ families achieve their educational and professional dreams is a rewarding part of maintaining the bookseller safety net, according to Binc Executive Director Pam French. “For eighteen years Binc has helped ease the cost of a college education for booksellers’ families. Reading about the scholarship winners and their educational goals is always inspiring,” she said. “A big congratulations to all of the students!”

Scholarship America (Scholarship Management Services) conducted the third‐party academic selection process to evaluate the scholarship applicants. The evaluation process utilized selection criteria including financial need, prior academic achievement, and leadership capabilities (including participation in school and community activities) as well as work experience, a statement of career and educational goals and objectives, and unusual personal or family circumstances.

Further details about the scholarship recipients can be found here. Information about how bookstore employees’ dependents can apply for the 2020 Higher Education Scholarship Program will be released early next year.

2019 Higher Ed Scholarship Winners

A Unique Opportunity to Attend the Denver Publishing Institute

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Sourcebooks and the Denver Publishing Institute, announce a new scholarship opportunity for booksellers interested in exploring a career in the publishing side of the industry. Applications for the scholarship to attend the Denver Publishing Institute in Denver, CO will be accepted from December 15th, 2018 through March 8th, 2019.

This scholarship includes, tuition, housing and meal plan, and up to $2000 to cover travel and lost wages.

Eligibility is open to US booksellers who meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed at a brick and mortar bookstore at the time of application and for the duration of the program.
  • Have their store owner or manager’s permission to be absent during the four weeks of the program.
  • The bookstore must be owned by an entity deriving a substantial portion of its income from the sale of physical books.
  • Must have worked in the bookstore for at least 90 days.
  • Intend to remain employed in the book industry.

The application and selection process is as follows:

  • Applicants must apply and be accepted through DPI’s regular application process and pay a $65 application fee. https://gradadmissions.du.edu/apply/
  • A separate scholarship application must be uploaded to the online application as a supplemental document and submitted before February 27, 2019.  https://www.du.edu/publishinginstitute/apply/scholarships.html
    • A Binc Selection Committee will choose the winner from those applicants based on their resume, personal statement, and references.
      • The Binc Selection Committee will be made up of three members of the Binc Board of Directors and Program Committee members.

The scholarship, worth up to $7,000, will be distributed as follows:

  • Binc Foundation will pay DPI directly for tuition to the program on the winner’s behalf.
  • DPI will provide housing and meal vouchers to the winner.
  • Up to $2,000 for travel and lost wages will be reimbursed to the winner.
    • Winner will submit receipts for travel expenses to Binc.
    • Compensation for lost wages will be based on the average hours worked for the 90 days preceding the date of the award and will need to be verified by the store owner or manager.

The Denver Publishing Institute (DPI) is a 4-week-long summer program (July 14 – August 9, 2019) at the University of Denver. DPI is taught by industry professionals who work for trade, university, textbook, and independent publishers throughout the country. Recent graduates have gone on to work at Sourcebooks, Harper Collins, Penguin Group, Oxford University Press, Chicago Review Press, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill. Course and lecture topics include book marketing, manuscript editing, copyediting and proofreading, digital marketing strategies, the role of the bookstore, and many more.


“After years of working as a bookseller, attending DPI expanded my understanding of the book industry in profound ways. From learning about the variety of careers in publishing to having a leg up in landing the interview for my dream job, I can soundly say that the program’s benefits are still with me years later. Most of all, I’m so grateful that DPI’s in-depth programming and exceptional speakers enabled me to be so much more effective on my first day at Penguin Random House than I would have been otherwise. DPI changed my life, and I’d do it all over again if I could!”

Justin Goodfellow, DPI’12, Sales Manager, Penguin Random House