Applications opened Sunday, September 1, for the second annual Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists, which provides resources for one winning bookseller to attend two upcoming bookselling events and receive a grant that will help make their community stronger.
Gray, the executive marketing director for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and a beloved friend and colleague of many in the book industry, died unexpectedly in June 2017. The scholarship, which is awarded annually by the Friends of Carla Gray Committee and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), “is meant to 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.” It exists as an outlet to find new readers and to ensure access to books that improve their lives, while also integrating bookstores more fully into their communities.
Each year, the award goes to one bookseller with at least one year but fewer than five years of bookselling experience who has not attended an industry trade show or an ABA sponsored event. The bookseller will receive a year-long scholarship for professional development, which includes up to $1,000 for travel and hotel for attendance at ABA’s 2020 Winter Institute in Baltimore, up to $1,000 for travel and hotel for attendance at their regional trade show, and a stipend of up to $1,000 to fund a community outreach project.
“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,” Jenna Johnson of the Friends of Carla Gray Committee said. “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,” said Pamela 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 here for the scholarship. Applications will be accepted through Monday, October 21.
Criteria and Eligibility
- Applicant has at least one year but fewer than five 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. (Booksellers can e-mail email@example.com if they are unsure their store qualifies.)
- Applicant’s store is a member in good standing of ABA and their regional trade association.
- Applicant is a regular part-time or full-time employee of a brick-and-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.
- The bookstore owner agrees to partner on the community outreach project.
Booksellers can also honor Gray’s legacy by making a donation to the scholarship fund here.