The Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists has been officially launched, organized by the Friends of Carla Gray committee and managed by the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation. The scholarship honors Carla Gray, the executive marketing director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, friend of so many in the business and booklover/bookseller extraordinaire, who died a year ago today.
The year-long professional development scholarship is intended to help a bookseller with fewer than five years of experience connect with other booksellers, publishers and authors and establish the kind of long-term relationships that Carla knew keep the book industry thriving. The scholarship includes funds to attend Winter Institute 2019 and one of the 2019 fall regional booksellers association trade shows. The bookseller will also be granted funding to support a community outreach project of their own creation.
Hannah Harlow, Jenna Johnson and MaryBeth Long formed the Friends of Carla Gray committee shortly after Carla's death and have worked since then to raise the funds to establish the scholarship.
"Carla's career ranged across many aspects of our industry," the committee said. "But in every incarnation she was devoted to getting the right book into the ideal readers' hands. She was also endlessly optimistic about the publishing community and wanted to see it grow in interesting ways. She knew it was up to individuals to keep the books at the center of the work and to take care of each other personally and professionally.
"We want to help emerging booksellers find early opportunities to build a network in the industry, but we also want to help them create innovative, long-term projects that remind readers how central their stores are to the towns and cities they serve. We're hopeful that this scholarship will be able to supplement the extraordinary peer mentoring and community outreach that's already a hallmark of the bookstore ethos. And that it will encourage new booksellers to step forward and share their talents and vision."
Applications will be accepted between July 9 and August 9. The inaugural review committee will include the founders as well as author Justin Torres, Kate Layte from Papercuts JP, Michael Taeckens of Broadside Expert Literary PR and a representative from the Binc Foundation's program committee. The first Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in 2019. For information on how to contribute to the fund, go to bincfoundation.org