BTW News Briefs

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

American Small Business Championship Contest Opens

For the second year, small business owners can apply online from now through February 12, 2016, for the  American Small Business Championship, a contest sponsored by SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives Association) to reward small business owners around the country.

Two small businesses from each state and the District of Columbia will be selected as winners of a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, expense-paid attendance at a regional training event, SCORE business mentoring for one year, and a promotion showcasing each Champion’s story. In addition, one small business will be selected as Grand Champion from the group of 102 Champions and will receive a grand prize of $25,000.

To enter, business owners must answer the question “What dream would you be able to achieve if you were to win this Championship?” in one of two ways: by submitting a 30- to 60-second video, or a photo and written statement of 1,500 characters or less. In the contest’s second stage, entrants will have from January 14 until February 12 to garner at least 100 votes from family, friends, customers, and supporters.

The 102 Champions will be announced in mid-March. The Grand Champion will be announced on September 15 at the SCORE Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.

Full contest rules are available online.

Penguin Merges Berkley Into Putnam/Dutton

Penguin Publishing Group has merged its Berkley imprint into the unified Putnam and Dutton imprint, Publishers Weekly reported on Tuesday.

Ivan Held, previously named president of the merged Putnam and Dutton, will now take over the direction of the Berkley Publishing Group. As a result, Leslie Gelbman, president of Berkley Publishing Group, is leaving the company at the end of January after 27 years.

According to Madeline McIntosh, president of the Penguin Publishing Group, the three imprints will maintain their distinct “publishing direction and identity,” each with its own editorial, marketing, and publicity departments. At the same time, McIntosh told PW, Berkley’s managing editorial, production editorial and production departments will be “more closely integrated with the rest of the publishing group.”

McIntosh did not comment on whether the merger was part of any effort by Penguin to cut back its number of mass market titles, which have seen declining sales and lost much of their market share to e-books. She told PW that Berkley remained “committed” to publishing mass market paperbacks, while continuing to “refine the size of the list in order to ensure optimum results per title.”

ALA Partners With Penguin Random House in Support of National Readathon Day

The American Library Association (ALA) announced on Wednesday, January 13, that it is working with Penguin Random House on the second annual National Readathon Day, which will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2016.

For National Readathon Day, readers everywhere are encouraged to partner with their local libraries, schools, and bookstores, and use social media to read and raise funds in support of literacy.

Last year’s inaugural Readathon Day raised funds for the National Book Foundation’s literacy programs. This year, Readathon Day is presented as part of ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign, and funds raised will benefit ALA’s Every Child Ready to Read initiative, which supports early literacy development of children from birth to age five in libraries across the country.

Leading up to and during #Readathon2016, readers are invited to contribute to ALA and Every Child Ready to Read by visiting the Firstgiving Fundraising page and sharing the campaign with friends and family.

National Readathon Day’s official website features more information on how to get involved online and in person, including using the hashtag #Readathon2016 on social media, sharing images and videos, and hosting local reading parties.

We Need Diverse Books Announces Inaugural Mentees

We Need Diverse Books has announced the winners in the nonprofit’s newly launched mentorship program.

From nearly 300 applications received, five applicants were chosen to work with award-winning authors and illustrators. The winners are:

  • Lisa Braithwaite, nonfiction mentee with Patricia Hruby-Powell
  • Deirdre D. Havelock, picture book mentee with Nikki Grimes
  • Sun Jones, young adult mentee with Malinda Lo
  • Charlene Willing-McMannis, middle grade mentee with Margarita Engle
  • Jacqueline Alcántara, illustration mentee with Carolyn Dee Flores

“Because so many deserving writers and illustrators applied, I’d like to see the program expand next year,” said WNDB Mentorship Committee Chair Miranda Paul. “I’m also hoping we can provide all of the applicants some kind of opportunity to get feedback or learn from our mentors, most likely through a web-based event in the coming months.”

Photos and biographies of this year’s mentors are available online; mentee bios will be published later this month.

2016 Pacific Northwest Book Award Winners Announced

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) has announced the winners of its 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Awards.

The six winners were chosen by a volunteer committee of independent booksellers from 250 nominated titles. To be eligible, books must have been published between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2015, and be written by a Pacific Northwest author.

The winning books are:

  • Call Me Home by Megan Kruse (of Seattle, Washington), Hawthorne Books
  • Children & Other Wild Animals by Brian Doyle (of Portland, Oregon), Oregon State University Press
  • The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough (of Seattle, Washington), Arthur A. Levine Books
  • The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson (of San Juan Island, Washington), Basic Books
  • Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt (of Portland, Oregon), Ecco Press
  • Unicorn on a Roll: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson (of Auburn, Washington), Andrews McMeel

Selected committee comments for the winning titles can be viewed on the 2016 Book Awards page of the PNBA website, and printable shelf-talkers and a web banner are available for booksellers to download.

Original essays from each of the winners will be featured on the NWBookLovers blog over the next several weeks, and local plaque presentation events will be shared on NWBL and promoted by local host bookstores and on author websites as details emerge.

William Johnson Named Lambda Literary Foundation’s Program Director

William Johnson has been named the Lambda Literary Foundation’s program director after three years as managing editor of

Johnson will continue to oversee the LGBTQ web magazine’s reviews, interviews, and features while assuming a leading role in the administration of Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices and its growing community outreach efforts, including conferences, organizational partnerships, and literary events.

Working out of his Brooklyn, New York, office, Johnson will become Lambda’s third full-time employee and will report to Executive Director Tony Valenzuela at the organization’s Los Angeles headquarters.

The Story Prize Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2016 Story Prize were announced on Tuesday, January 12. The $20,000 prize, now in its 12th year, will honor one of three outstanding short story collections, which were chosen from 100 submissions representing 64 different publishers or imprints.

This year’s finalist short story collections are:

  • There’s Something I Want You to Do by Charles Baxter (Pantheon)
  • Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson (Random House)
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann (Random House)

The 2016 judges are Anthony Doerr, author of bestselling World War II novel All the Light We Cannot See (S&S), public library manager and Book Riot podcast host Rita Meade, and New Yorker staff writer Kathryn Schulz.

The winner will be announced at The Story Prize’s annual award event at the New School in New York City on Wednesday, March 2, where finalists Baxter, Johnson, and McCann will read from and discuss their work. The two runners-up will each receive $5,000.