The Susan Kamil Scholarship for Emerging Writers

The Susan Kamil Scholarship for Emerging Writers was established in 2024 by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and bestselling author Charles Duhigg and his wife, Dr. Liz Alter, a professor of biology at California State University Monterey Bay.

The $10,000 scholarship, given to five booksellers or comic retailers, will provide emerging writer-booksellers the financial support to focus on a full-length manuscript.

The application period closed on April 7th. 


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 for organizations like Simon and Schuster Publishing, and HarperCollins Christian Publishing She joined Binc’s board of directors in 2024.


Johanna Hynes has worked in bookselling her whole career, starting at the now infamous Hungry Mind. She has worked as a sales rep for W.W. Norton & Co. and is now the field sales manager of PGW/Two Rivers/Ingram Academic. Johanna is a former board member of NEIBA, MIBA and GLIBA, and is a current member of the Binc Program Committee. 


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.


Christie Roehl is a former member of Binc board of directors, former board Secretary and Treasurer, and current member of the Binc Program Committee. Currently a Retail Manager and was formerly a Borders Bookstore Store Manager and Borders Group Foundation volunteer. Also currently volunteering in the Walsh College mentor program. 


Melissa D. Weisberg is a sales rep for Macmillan Publishers, a position she’s held for 20 years. Before that she owned an independent bookstore in Michigan for a decade. 

Susan Kamil

This scholarship is named after Susan Kamil. Kamil was executive vice president and publisher of Random House when she died suddenly 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 the course of her career, she was known for recognizing new literary voices and introducing them to the public. Among the authors she worked with are Salman Rushdie, Annie Barrows, Ruth Reichl, Sting, Elizabeth Strout, and Sophie Kinsella.



How much is the scholarship for?
The scholarship is for $10,000. Two $5,000 payments will be made to each winner, one in June and one in October.

Who is eligible for this scholarship?
Any unpublished writer over the age of 18 working on a full-length manuscript, graphic novel, or book-length comic who is also currently employed at (or owns) a physical book or comic store in the U.S. or its territories (as defined by Binc) with a minimum of three months of continuous book or comic store employment.

Does my project have to be complete?
No, but it must be in progress. You will need to provide 5-10 pages from your current draft as part of the application process and share more about your project and timeline.

What if I quit my bookstore/comic shop job after receiving the award?
If you are selected to receive a scholarship, you are expected to continue working at the bookstore or comic shop where you are currently employed. Half the scholarship will be awarded upon selection; the second half will be awarded four months later with proof of continued employment at a bookstore or comic shop.

Do I have to tell my employer I’m applying for this scholarship?
Applicants must discuss their application and potential selection as a scholarship recipient with their store owner/manager prior to applying for the scholarship. Binc confirms all eligibility requirements, including employment status.

How can I use the money?
Recipients have the flexibility to allocate funds for classes, office space, coaching, technology, developmental editing services, or any other expense enhancing their ability to focus on completing a manuscript.

What if I’ve already been published?
This scholarship is for emerging writers who have not yet published a full-length manuscript. Applicants remain eligible if they have published essays, short stories, journals, or other online or print publications.

Is this scholarship taxable?
The extent to which the scholarship is taxable depends on a number of factors, including whether you are a candidate for a degree at a qualified educational organization and the manner in which you use the scholarship funds. More information is available at We recommend you consult with your own CPA or other tax advisor regarding your particular tax situation.

What if I have a second job?
No problem! As long as you continue to work at the bookstore/comic shop where you are currently employed, you can use the scholarship to cover any expense that enhances your ability to focus on completing a manuscript.

Do I have to prove I finished my project or show how I spent the money?
The recipients will be responsible for no other deliverables beyond attesting to receipt of funds and continued employment at a bookstore or comic shop.