Portland or Bust: Scholarships A-Plenty for Winter Institute

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The American Booksellers Association's Second Annual Winter Institute, to be held in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday and Friday, February 1 and 2, 2007, promises to be a winter wonderland of terrific educational programs, networking, and fun for attending booksellers. And for a certain number of booksellers, this year's Winter Institute will be especially rewarding as, once again, ABA and its Publisher Partner Sponsors are offering scholarships to the Winter Institute to ABA member booksellers.

"ABA and its Publisher Partner Sponsors are deeply committed to the goal of bookseller education," said Len Vlahos, director of education for ABA. "By helping even a small number of ABA members attend the Winter Institute, we're going a long way to furthering that goal."

Here's a look at the different scholarships:

Publisher Scholarships

Thus far, 11 Book Sense Publisher Partner Sponsors and five Supporting Sponsors have generously offered to provide financial support for the Winter Institute, including sponsoring scholarships for booksellers. These scholarships will be chosen randomly and awarded to ABA member booksellers that have accounts in good standing with the particular publisher.

Publisher Sponsors:

  • HarperCollins
  • Holtzbrinck
  • Houghton Mifflin
  • Hyperion
  • MIRA
  • Penguin Group
  • Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Perseus Book Group
  • Random House
  • Unbridled Books
  • Workman

Supporting Sponsors:

  • Grove Atlantic
  • Hachette USA
  • John Wiley & Sons
  • Peterson's
  • Scholastic

Emerging Leaders Scholarship

Over the past year, the Emerging Leaders Group, which is led by four independent bookstore managers and buyers, has been actively working to identify, and foster the development of, the next generation of booksellers. The group has worked with ABA, the regional trade associations, and publishers to provide scholarships to bookselling events and to organize Emerging Leaders receptions in different areas of the country. Because ABA believes the mission of the Emerging Leaders is of great value to the wider community of independent bookselling, and the Winter Institute's comprehensive two-day education program has much to offer booksellers at all levels of experience, the association is once again providing an Emerging Leaders Scholarship to help cover the costs for one bookseller from an ABA member store who wishes to attend the second annual event, to be held on February 1 - 2, 2007, in Portland.

Booksellers can apply directly for the scholarship, or storeowners may nominate their employees. Application is via e-mail to ABA Education Director Len Vlahos at len@booksense.com. The e-mail should identify the candidate and the store in which she or he works (with contact information). In addition, information should be provided about the candidate's role in the store, his or her feelings about bookselling, the candidate's potential for a long-term bookselling career, and how she or he might benefit from the Winter Institute. Applicants should put "EL Scholarship" in the e-mail subject line.

The Emerging Leaders Group will review the applicants and choose a winner. The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 19, 2006. The scholarship consists of airfare to Portland from the winner's city of residence, and three nights' hotel accommodations at the DoubleTree Portland, Lloyd Center. Winners are responsible for ground transport and meals; however, most meals are included in the Winter Institute program.

ABA Scholarships

At each of the nine regional shows, ABA member booksellers who stop by the ABA booth and drop off a business card will be eligible to win prizes. In a random drawing, ABA will award a color inkjet printer. The printer winner will then be entered into a grand prize drawing with the eight printer winners from the other fall trade shows. The grand prize winner will be awarded airfare to, and up to a three-night hotel stay at, the association's 2007 Winter Institute.

Thus far, the following booksellers have each won a color inkjet printer at regional trade shows, qualifying them to enter into a drawing to win airfare and a hotel stay at ABA's Winter Institute in Portland, Oregon, February 1 - 2, 2007:

  • Ann Lacefield of An Open Book (a bookstore that will open in Greeley, Colorado, in about five weeks), at the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show;

  • Archie Kutz of Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport, New York, at the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show;

  • Liza Bernard, co-owner of the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont, at the New England Independent Booksellers Association Annual Trade Show; and

  • Lisa Sharp, owner of the five-month-old Nightbird Books in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Fall Trade Show.

The Winter Institute will be held at the Doubletree Portland-Lloyd Center, where ABA has negotiated a special rate of $99 per night for attendees. All hotel reservations must be made through ABA; the hotel will not take direct reservations for this event. Booking is through the online form on the ABA site. Event registration, which is being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, will be capped at 500 booksellers.

Education sessions and special events, which include most meals, fill the two-day event, so ABA is encouraging booksellers to arrive in Portland on Wednesday, January 31. Programming begins at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday with a Welcome Breakfast, followed by the plenary session, "A Whole New Mind," featuring bestselling author Daniel Pink.

The Winter Institute is only open to booksellers at ABA member stores. The event registration deadline is November 15, 2006.

Questions about the Winter Institute program should be addressed to Vlahos at len@booksense.com. Questions about hotel reservations should be sent to ABA's Margaret Petrie at margaret@bookweb.org.

Watch for schedule updates and more Winter Institute news in upcoming editions of Bookselling This Week.