The Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship is returning for a second year to award nine professional development scholarships to diverse booksellers in 2018, one for each regional independent bookseller association.
The program sponsored by the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation and Macmillan Publishers offers a maximum of $500 for a bookseller from a traditionally underrepresented group in the industry to attend their regional show. Introduced as a pilot program in 2017, the scholarship was intended to encourage a greater number of individuals from diverse groups to choose and/or continue careers in bookselling. This year’s application period will begin on June 1, 2018, and end on July 1, 2018.
“We were delighted by the response to the scholarships last year and are so pleased to be able to offer them again in 2018. Judging by the responses we received from last year’s participants, this is a worthwhile and rewarding program, which opens up a valuable experience to booksellers who would otherwise find it out of reach,” said Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chairs Monique Patterson, Editorial Director, St. Martin’s Press, and Angus Killick, Vice President, Associate Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
This is Binc’s first industry-sponsored scholarship since it began offering professional development scholarships in 2013. Each scholarship package — one for each regional trade show — will cover the cost of travel, lodging, and meals for one bookseller to attend their regional show.
Binc Executive Director Pam French said the Foundation is excited to continue programming that strengthens the bookselling industry by providing support to diverse and underrepresented booksellers.
“The Binc Foundation exists to help booksellers thrive,” French said. “By working with Macmillan Publishers to bring diverse voices to regional trade shows, we’re enriching conversations and improving the story of the bookselling industry.”
To be eligible, applicants must fall into at least one of the following categories: People of color, defined as people of African/African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Native American/Indigenous descent; people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or people with disabilities (includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses).
In addition, the applicant’s store must be a member in good-standing with one of the nine regional independent bookseller organizations. The applicant must also be currently employed as a regular part-time or full-time employee of the bookstore with 90 days of continuous employment.
The applicant will answer three brief essay questions, and winners will be selected by a panel composed of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners, and publishers. Applications must be completed by July 1, 2018. Booksellers can find out more details and apply on the Binc website.