Binc Launches New Scholarship for Book and Comic People

ANN ARBOR, MI—A new $10,000 scholarship given to five booksellers or comic retailers will provide aspiring writer-booksellers the financial support to focus on a full-length manuscript. The Susan Kamil Scholarship for Emerging Writers was established by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and bestselling author Charles Duhigg and his wife, Liz Alter, a professor of biology at California State University Monterey Bay. The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation is administering the scholarship.

Any writer working on a full-length manuscript, graphic novel, or comic who is currently employed at a physical book or comic store in the U.S. and has been for a minimum of three months is eligible. The application period will start March 25 and run through April 7, 2024. To learn more about eligibility and apply visit

Kamil was executive vice president and publisher of Random House when she died in 2019. Her publishing career, spanning more than 40 years, began in the 1970s working in the children’s book division of Macmillan Publishers. Over those years she was known for recognizing new literary voices and introducing them to the public.

“She so loved writers,” said Duhigg of Kamil. “It was never about what was best for Susan, but about how she could help an author find their voice and their story–and then share that story with readers. She devoted her life to this business, and I hope she would be happy to know that she continues to inspire emerging writers and support their careers.”

Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of The Power of Habit, which spent over three years on New York Times bestseller lists. His second book, Smarter Faster Better, was also a New York Times bestseller. Duhigg currently writes for The New Yorker magazine and his latest book, Supercommunicators, was published earlier this year.

“I’ve been lucky to meet many booksellers over the years and have always been struck by their passion and enthusiasm for getting books in the hands of readers,” he said. “I wanted to give back to this great community of book lovers and know from friends of booksellers and store owners that many are writers themselves. I hope this helps someone who loves to write and is working on a draft; that it gives them a boost and helps to push them over the finish line.”

The following panel of judges will award the first five scholarships:

Chriscynethia Floyd is vice president and publisher of Our Daily Bread Publishing. Her 25+ year career spans both secular and Christian publishing, where she has served as a vice president in sales, marketing and editorial. She joined Binc’s board of directors in 2024.

Lillian Li is the author of the forthcoming novel Bad Asians (2025) and the novel Number One Chinese Restaurant, which was an NPR Best Book of the Year and longlisted for both the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize.

Lindsay Lynch is the author of the novel Do Tell, a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next Pick, and a featured title on the Today Show. She is also a book buyer for Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN.

Jonathan Putnam is the author of historical fiction, including the Lincoln & Speed Mystery series. He is a past board member of the Historical Novels Society of North America and serves as the treasurer on Binc’s board of directors.

“We are so grateful for Charles’ and Liz’s support,” said Binc Executive Director Pam French. “Their generosity has the power to change the lives of booksellers and comic retailers who also have a passion to write and create. I look forward to reading more stories from book people.”


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