California Dreaming: Scholarships A-Plenty for Winter Institute

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The American Booksellers Association's first annual Winter Institute, to be held on January 26 and 27, 2006, in Long Beach, California, is gearing up to be a winter wonderland of excellent educational programs and networking for attending booksellers. The weekend in California is certain to prove even more rewarding for booksellers who have won scholarships to the Winter Institute. This fall, 10 scholarships were awarded by ABA to booksellers attending the regional trade shows, and, in the next week, 22 more scholarships, sponsored by 11 Book Sense Publishing Partners, will be awarded to ABA member booksellers. In addition, ABA recently announced a new "Emerging Leader Scholarship" for which it is seeking nominations.

Publisher Scholarships

Grove/Atlantic and Simon & Schuster recently joined a number of publishers that are sponsoring two bookseller scholarships to the Winter Institute. All told, 11 Book Sense Publishing Partners have generously offered to provide financial support for the Winter Institute, including sponsoring two scholarships each for booksellers. ABA will announce the winners of publisher-sponsored scholarships this week.

Publishers providing bookseller scholarships for the Winter Institute are:

  • Grove/Atlantic
  • HarperCollins
  • Hyperion
  • Penguin Group for Young Readers
  • Perseus
  • Random House
  • Scholastic
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Thomson/Peterson
  • Time Warner Book Group
  • Workman
Emerging Leader Scholarship

Over the past year, a group of younger, independent booksellers has formed a grassroots organization, calling itself "The Committed." Communicating by e-mail and phone, this group of emerging leaders shares best practices, acts as a support group, and provides a sounding board for new ideas.

ABA believes the mission of "The Committed" -- to help identify and grow the next generation of booksellers -- is of great value to the wider community of independent bookselling, and as such, wants to foster its success. To that end, ABA is providing one "Emerging Leader Scholarship" to attend the Winter Institute. Store owners are encouraged to nominate booksellers that have been in the business for less than two years and show a commitment to furthering the success of independent bookselling.

ABA will randomly draw the name of one nominee and pay his or her airfare and hotel costs to attend the Institute. Also, at the Institute, ABA will provide a time and place for "The Committed" to meet in-person at our Winter Institute: Thursday night, January 26, at 9:30 PM, in the Long Beach Hilton. All submitted names will be added to an emerging leaders listserv for information about future gatherings. To submit a nomination, bookstore owners should send an e-mail to BookSense.com Director Len Vlahos at len@booksense.com with "Emerging Leader" in the subject line. Questions may also be addressed to Vlahos via e-mail or at (800) 637-0037, ext. 6650.

ABA Scholarships

This fall, ABA awarded scholarships to the Winter Institute to booksellers at each of the regional trade show. Winners were selected at random from booksellers who dropped off a business card at the ABA booth on the trade show floor. The scholarships include airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the Institute.

Here's a list of the 10 booksellers who won a scholarship to the inaugural Winter Institute while attending one of the regional trade shows this past fall:

  • Mary K. Culver of Reading Railroad: A Children's bookshop in Sylvania, Ohio, won a scholarship at the Great Lakes Booksellers Association's 16th Annual Trade Show.

  • Mary Suelflow of Bound to Read in Marshall, Minnesota, won a scholarship at the Midwest Booksellers Association 25th Annual Trade Show.

  • Mark Stauder of Anthology Book Co. in Loveland, Colorado, won a scholarship at the 2005 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show.

  • Susan Weis of Breathe Books in Baltimore, Maryland won a scholarship at the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Trade Show.

  • Tom Holbrook of RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Karen Baker of The Country Bookseller in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, each won a scholarship at the New England Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show.

  • Christine Mayall of Bookshop Benicia in Benicia, California, won a scholarship at the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show.

  • Mandi Peterson Richmond of Inkling's Bookshop in Yakima, Washington, won a scholarship at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show.

  • Anna Hall of Yellow Dog Books in Madison, Mississippi, won a scholarship at the Southeast Booksellers Association Trade Show.

  • Kathleen Russo of Russo's Books in Bakersfield, California, won a scholarship at the recent Southern California Booksellers Association Authors Feast & Trade Show.