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Awards & Scholarships

Annual Awards

We present two awards to members of our community at the annual Fall Conference:
the Saul Gilman Award and the Independent Spirit Award.


The Saul Gilman Award

The Saul Gilman Award is presented annually for outstanding service as a sales representative to New England independent bookstores. 

Past Winners

 2019 Emily Cervone, Chronicle Books
2018 Kate Sullivan, Random House Children’s Books
2017 Maureen Karb, Como Sales
2016 Anne DeCourcey, HarperCollins
2015 Biff Donovan, Penguin Children’s
2014 Debra Woodward, Candlewick
2013 Nikki Mutch, Scholastic
2012 Bob Werner, Macmillan
2011 Ann Wachur, Penguin Group
2010 Ellen Pyle, Macmillan
2009 Roger Saginario, Hachette
2008 Tony Giordano, New England Book Sales
2007 Katie McGarry, Simon & Schuster
2006 Peter Redding, Como Sales
2005 Bill Palizzolo, Northeast Publishers Reps
2004 John Muse, Simon & Schuster
2003 Random House New England Sales Force
2002 Nanci McCrackin
2001 Karen Gudmundson, HarperCollins
2000 Marc Seager
1999 Adena Siegel, Harvard/MIT/Yale University
1998 Karl Krueger, Penguin
1997 David Epstein
1996 Horace Coward, University Marketing
1995 Alan Fairbanks, Little Brown
1994 Arnold Nickelsberg, New England Book Sales
1993 Ralph Woodward, Woodward & Consolino
1992 Raymond “Bud” Fairbanks, Random House
1991 Jane Sherrill, St. Martin’s
1990 Hal Wilson


The Independent Spirit Award

The Independent Spirit Award presented by the Book Publishers Representatives of New England (BPRNE) recognizes the New England independent bookstore of the year.

Candidates shall be a current member of New England Independent Booksellers Association, principally a bookstore, have been in business for three years or more, and have exhibited creative excellence in the broad spectrum of retail book selling. 

Recommendations for a particular bookstore are open to the BPRNE membership. Each year any member may submit the name of one nominee accompanied by a short statement in support of the choice. The submittals should be sent to the Officers at least two weeks before the spring meeting. The officers will prepare a ballot of all qualifying nominees for the spring meeting for a discussion and a vote by the attending membership. In the event of a tie, there shall be a run-off.

Past Winners

2019 Wellesley Books in Wellesley, MA
2018 Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, MA
2017 Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH
2016 Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, VT
2015 Phoenix Books in Essex in Burlington & Rutland, VT
2014 Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH
2013 Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, VT
2012 Brookline Booksmith  in Brookline, MA
2011 Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT
2010 Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA
2009 Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA
2008 Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta, ME
2007 New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton, MA
2006 Brunswick Bookland in Brunswick, ME
2005 Toadstool Bookshops in Nashua, Peterborough & Keene, NH


Educational Scholarships

Due to COVID-19, NEIBA programming will be virtual for the foreseeable future. Until we can meet again in person, our educational scholarships are on hold.


Rusty Drugan Scholarship

The Rusty Drugan Scholarship for Emerging Leaders is awarded annually in memory of Wayne “Rusty” Drugan, Executive Director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association from 1992 to 2006.

Booksellers may apply directly for the scholarship or be nominated by others in the industry. Applicants must presently be working full-time in a NEIBA member bookstore and have been working for at least a year. The scholarship includes 2 nights at the Fall Conference NEIBA Headquarters Hotel and 1 ticket to each meal function.

Past Recipients

2018 Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY
2017 Katie Eelman, Papercuts J.P. in Boston, MA
2016 Cathy Taylor, Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT
2015 Alex W. Meriwether, Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA
& Ryan Elizabeth Clark, Gibson's Bookstore in Concord, NH
2014 Ann Zimmerman, Everyone’s Books in Brattleboro, VT
2013 Skylar Atkins, Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, VT
2012 Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA
2011 Stacey Fish, Village Bookstore in Littleton, NH
2010 Josh Christie, Sherman’s Books and Stationery in Freeport, ME
2009 Susan Schlesinger, Brown University Bookstore in Providence, RI
2008 Susan Fox, Red Fox Books in Glen Falls, NY
2007 Megan Sullivan, Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA


Fall Conference Scholarships

Every year, NEIBA offers five scholarships to attend the annual Fall Conference, two sponsored by publishing partners and three sponsored by NEIBA:

  • NEIBA Scholarship for First-Time Attendees
    • for booksellers who have not attended the Fall Conference in 2+ years
  • NEIBA Scholarship for Frontline Booksellers
    • for booksellers with less than 5 years of experience 
  • Friends of NEIBA Diversity Scholarship*
    • for booksellers committed to diversity in literature and bookselling

Each scholarship has a value of $500 to be used for 2 nights at the hotel and 1 ticket to each meal function.

*Because diversity comes in many forms, and means different things to different people, we are not asking you to tick a box on this application as to how you feel you qualify for this particular opportunity. Instead, we’re trusting this community to honor this award with honesty. We at NEIBA are also committed to confidentiality and will withhold the winner’s name upon request.


Spring Forum Scholarships

This year, NEIBA is offering 1 scholarship to attend the Spring Forum. This scholarship has a value of $300 to be used for 1 night at the hotel and 1 ticket to each event.