Winners of the Booksellers New Zealand Scholarship will see two bookstore managers travel to New Mexico for the Winter Institute conference. Leading retail tactics on how to run their stores will be taught among other lessons across the three days.
Ruth Bruhin, manager of Poppies New Plymouth, and Pene Whitty, manager of University Book Shop Canterbury are winners for the 14th annual scholarship. The two will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico to learn new tricks of the trade at the Winter Institute conference.
The conference includes talks from top authors, as well as panel discussions and workshops to help booksellers run their stores to the best of their ability.
Since 2014, Booksellers NZ have sent ten dedicated kiwi booksellers from bookshops all over New Zealand to the Winter Institute conference in the USA, in partnership with the American Booksellers Association.
Bruhin from New Plymouth says the opportunity to see what is happening in the book industry internationally is a great experience.
“I will be keeping my mind wide open, with particular interest in how indie stores have not just survived but thrived despite the many challenges of the industry. I hope to come home with a few great ideas that we can share.”
The Booksellers NZ Winter Institute Scholarship is sponsored by Book Tokens Ltd, who this year took over sponsorship from Kobo Rakuten. Chair of Book Tokens Ltd Juliet Blyth says experiences overseas are of a much more impressive scale.
“It was mind blowing and exciting. The books, the people, the opportunities, they’re all there. It was life-changing, sure WI is about growing your business, best practice – but really, it’s about growing yourself, grow yourself you grow your business – simple. This is why Book Tokens believed in it enough to invest in continuing the scholarship.”