Pan Macmillan has launched a competition for seven independent booksellers across the UK and Ireland to celebrate the 175th anniversary of parent company Macmillan.
The 'Independent Bookshop Innovation Award’ was announced on Thursday (22nd February) at the Scottish Booksellers Association conference in Edinburgh. It sees seven indie bookshops each awarded £1,750 to launch a "new and innovative project" in their store, with those focusing on community outreach or supporting new readers particularly encouraged.
Booksellers must be from the UK or Ireland, with the submitted scheme either based in-store or in conjunction with a local community partner. The project can be specific to a particular genre but must be related to books.
Submissions for the award are now open, with a deadline of 18th May. A shortlist of stores will be announced on 15th June, ahead of Independent Bookshops Week the following week. Winners will be announced at the Booksellers Association Conference in Birmingham on 10th September.
The shortlisted stores will be selected by their representative in conjunction with Richard Green, the publisher's independent bookshops manager, and Sarah Clarke, sales director. Each store will then receive a visit to discuss the proposal with two members of the Pan Mac judging committee, which comprises their representative as well as either Clarke, Green or Anna Bond, UK sales director and another judge, to be announced.
Anthony Forbes Watson, Pan Mac m.d., said: “Macmillan turns 175 this year and we want to commemorate in particular the entrepreneurial spirit of brothers Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, who founded the business in 1843 by opening their own bookshop, before becoming publishers.
"Macmillan's oldest partnership is with booksellers and we will acknowledge this special bond with the launch of the Macmillan 175 Independent Bookshop Innovation prize, which celebrates our bookselling partners today, who continue to help us find new ways to bring authors and readers together.”
Macmillan revealed earlier this month that it would use the founding of the company as an opportunity to celebrate "the distinct family feel and personality of the business". The publishing group operates in more than 70 countries worldwide.
As well as the independent booksellers’ initiative, other activities include panel discussions and a reissue of "one of the most successful anthologies in literary history", The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs & Lyrical Poems in the English Language, edited by Francis Turner Palgrave, as part of the Macmillan Collector's Library in October.
For more information on the competition, contact Clarke on 020 7014 6068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.