The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation announced today that they will be offering two $750 scholarships to comic book store owners and their employees to attend the Diamond Summit in Baltimore, Maryland on October 26th and 27th, 2022. The funds may be used for travel, replacement wages, lodging, and meals.
The Diamond Summit, being held before the Baltimore Comic Con at the end of October, gives comic book retailers a chance to beet comic bok publishers and creators, including presentations, promotional items and networking possibilities. Often the promotional giveaways can be sold to cover the cost of the trip but this will make it a lot easier.
On the new scholarship, Diamond said, "We are thrilled that Binc sees such value in our programming and the summit's networking opportunities that they are supporting retailers who could otherwise not attend. Their continued support of the comic industry and our retail partners is unmatched."
Binc's Executive Director, Pam French, said, "We are proud to offer this new professional development scholarship to comic retailers and their employees to attend the Diamond Summit. Through this scholarship, more retailers will have the opportunity to attend the Summit gaining valuable learning and networking opportunities."
Binc's communication and project manager, Judey Kalchik, is excited to be attending the Summit this year. Kalchik encourages everyone to stop by Binc's table to say hello, ask questions about emergency assistance and scholarships, and offer Binc suggestions and feedback. Binc is always looking to hear from comic shop owners and employees.
To apply for a scholarship to the Summit, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- The applicant's store must be in the U.S. and either a retail bricks-and-mortar store owned by an entity a substantial portion of whose revenue is derived from the bricks-and-mortar sale of books/comics, -or- a mobile or pop-up store with an ongoing overhead investment that is open to the general public and maintains an annual average of 30 hours per week with an employee present.
- The applicant must be a regular part-time or full-time employee or owner of a comic shop.
- Applicants must be currently employed and have 90 days of continuous employment with the comic shop.
- Comic store owners and their employees can apply for a scholarship here.
Applications are now open. The deadline to apply is October 3rd, 2022 by 5pm ET. Also, nominations are now open for Diamond Comic Distributors' 2022 Retail Best Practices Awards (BPAs) and the Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Improvement Award. Winners will be revealed during the summit.
The Diamond BPAs seek to identify and honor comic book specialty retailers that demonstrate "best practices" in their stores, thereby offering their patrons and community a consistently appealing shopping experience. All comic book and specialty hobby store retailers serviced by Diamond are invited to nominate their store for consideration. The categories for the 2022 Diamond BPAs include:
- Best Kids / All Ages Section
- Best Interior Signage
- Best Toys / Collectibles Section
- Best Community Involvement
To be considered for a Diamond BPA, retailers need to Click HERE to access the online submission form. One form per entry category. All entries are due by Friday, September 30 by 11:59 PM ET. Each entry needs to include a written statement (no more than 500 words) explaining why you believe your store is deserving of the award along with any supporting photos. All submissions will be made available to retailers for voting. Winners will be announced during the Summit and each will receive an engraved plaque noting their achievement.
The Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Improvement Award — named after Dave Hawksworth, Diamond's late Outside Sales Manager — grants $5,000 to a local comic shop owner to be used for improvements to their business. An Ohio native, and a longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Hawksworth joined Diamond in 1996, following the company's acquisition of Capital City Distribution. Dave served as an Outside Sales Manager, visiting thousands of comic book shops during his 20-plus years at Diamond, befriending each retailer and helping them to grow their business. Now, an annual award in his name will honor that legacy, financially helping comic shop owners to make improvements to their stores.
Comic shop owners interested in applying for the award should submit a statement completing the sentence "If I received a $5,000 award to improve my business, I would…"
The award is open to brick-&-mortar stores worldwide. Retailers are encouraged to provide further details, such as a full explanation, pictures, videos, or any other media that would showcase how they would improve their store.To be considered for the Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Improvement Award, retailers can click HERE to access the online submission form. One form per entry category. All entries are due by Friday, September 30 by 11:59 PM ET. A panel of Diamond and industry professionals will review the entries and select a winner. The winner will also be revealed at Diamond's 2022 Retailer Summit.