The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) announced today that it will award two $750 scholarships to comic book store owners and their employees to attend the Diamond Summit in Baltimore, Maryland on October 26 and 27, 2022. The funds can be used for travel, replacement fares, lodging, and meals.
The Diamond Summit, which takes place before Baltimore Comic Con at the end of October, gives comic book retailers an opportunity for comic book publishers and creators, including presentations, promotional items, and networking capabilities. Promotional gifts can often be sold to cover the cost of the trip but this will make it a lot easier.
About the new scholarship, Diamond said: “We are delighted that Pink sees such value in our programs and the top networking opportunities they support for retailers who would not otherwise be able to attend. Their continued support for the comics industry and our retail partners is unparalleled.”
Binc CEO, French Pam“We are proud to offer this new scholarship for the professional development of comic retailers and their employees to attend the Diamond Summit. Through this scholarship, more retailers will have the opportunity to attend the summit and gain learning and networking opportunities,” he said.
Communications and Projects Manager at Binc, Jodi KalczykExcited to attend the summit this year. Kalchik encourages everyone to stop at Binc’s table to say hello, ask questions about emergency assistance and scholarships, and provide Binc’s suggestions and feedback. Binc is always looking forward to hearing from comic store owners and employees.
To apply for a Summit Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Applicant’s store must be in the United States and either a brick-and-mortar retail store owned by an entity whose revenue is derived from the sale of brick-and-mortar books/comics, or a mobile or pop-up store with an ongoing general investment open to the general public It maintains an annual average of 30 hours per week with an employee.
- The applicant must be a regular part-time or full-time employee or owner of a comic store.
- Applicants must be current employees and have 90 days of continuous employment with the comics store.
- Picture shop owners and their employees can apply for a scholarship here.
Submissions are now open. The application deadline is October 3, 2022 by 5 PM ET. Also, nominations are now open for the 2022 Diamond Comic Distributors (BPAs) Retail Best Practices Awards and the Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Improvement Award. The winners will be revealed during the summit.
Diamond BPAs strive to identify and honor specialized comic book retailers who demonstrate “best practices” in their stores, thus providing their customers and community with a consistently attractive shopping experience. All retailers of the comic book and specialty hobby stores served by Diamond are invited to nominate their store for consideration. The categories of the 2022 Basel Diamond Agreement include:
- Best section for kids / all ages
- Best indoor banners
- Top Games / Collectibles section
- Best Community Post
For retailers to be considered for Diamond BPA, they need to Click here to access the online application form. One form per entry category. All entries are due Friday, September 30th by 11:59 PM ET. Each entry must include a written statement (no more than 500 words) explaining why you think your store deserves the award as well as any supporting images. All orders will be made available to retailers for voting. The winners will be announced during the summit and each will receive an engraved plaque indicating their achievement.
The Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Improvement Award — named for Dave Hawksworth, the late director of overseas sales for Diamond Company — awards $5,000 to a local comic store owner to use to improve their business. A native of Ohio, and a long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Hawksworth joined Diamond in 1996, after the company’s acquisition of Capital City Distribution. Dave worked as a Director of Outside Sales, visiting thousands of comic book stores during his 20 years at Diamond, befriending every retailer and helping them grow their business. Now, an annual award in his name will honor this legacy, and financially help comic store owners make improvements to their stores.
Comic store owners interested in applying for the award must submit a statement that completes the sentence “If I receive a $5,000 award to improve my work, I will…”
The prize is open to brick and mortar stores worldwide. Retailers are encouraged to provide more details, such as a full explanation, photos, videos, or other media that will show how to improve their store. Retailers can click here to access the online application form. One form per entry category. All entries are due Friday, September 30th by 11:59 PM ET. A panel of diamonds and industry professionals will review the entries and select the winner. The winner will also be revealed at Diamond’s 2022 Retail Summit.