Macmillan and Binc Award Regional Trade Show Scholarships to Nine Booksellers

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Macmillan logoNine booksellers from stores across the country have been awarded scholarships to attend independent booksellers association trade shows as part of a new program from Macmillan Publishers, in partnership with the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation.

Binc logoThe Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship is a pilot program that provides professional development to booksellers who have been traditionally underrepresented within the industry. It will provide $500 to attend a regional trade show, which can be used to cover the cost of travel, lodging, and meals.

Dozens of booksellers applied for the scholarship, including people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Booksellers were asked to complete several short essay questions, which were then evaluated by a panel of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners, and publishers. The nine winners were selected from each of the regions represented by independent booksellers associations: Great Lakes, Midwest, Mountains and Plains, New Atlantic, Northern CaliforniaNew England, Pacific Northwest, Southern California, and Southern

The nine winners of the inaugural Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship are:

The Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Council has been working with Binc’s diversity task force to make sure booksellers in underrepresented groups receive more career opportunities and options for enrichment. Macmillan and Binc introduced the pilot program in response to bookseller requests as well as the results of the 2016 Binc Bookseller Survey, which reflected a need for more diverse booksellers and books.

“Creating positive changes to increase diversity is a shared responsibility in the bookselling industry,” said Binc executive director Pamela French. “Partnering to help diverse booksellers participate in the important conversations taking place at regional gatherings is a great way for Binc and Macmillan to leverage their resources. There’s so much good we can do when we work together.”

Scholarship judges included Angus Killick, co-chair of the Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Council and vice president and associate publisher of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; Denise Chavez, owner of Casa Camino Real Book Store and Art Gallery in Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Erica Merrell, owner of Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, Florida. The panel also included two Binc Board members: Matthew Gildea, book team business director at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, which has locations in Kentucky and Ohio, and board vice president; and Christie Roehl, chair of the Binc programs committee and board secretary.

“The personal testimonies were all very compelling and I had a tough time rating the applications,” said Killick. “These booksellers are incredibly committed to what they do, and the difference they know they can make.”