The IBPA Publishing University Scholarship Program provides members of the independent book publishing community interested in advancing their publishing program the opportunity to apply for a complimentary ticket to IBPA Publishing University. IBPA awards one complimentary ticket to each IBPA affiliate association and a limited number of complimentary tickets to at-large IBPA members (i.e., members not associated with an IBPA affiliate). IBPA has full discretion over the awarding of a scholarship to IBPA Publishing University.
Scholarships awarded in 2020 will not rollover to 2021. 2020 scholarship winners must reapply for 2021.
The IBPA Publishing University 2021 scholarship application deadline was November 30, 2020.
The IBPA Publishing University Scholarship is intended for individuals working in the independent publishing industry who need assistance in growing their publishing program. When the conference is held in-person, IBPA encourages affiliate associations to provide a stipend to help cover their scholarship recipient’s travel and accommodation costs. Please check with your local affiliate association to see if this is being offered.
In evaluating applicants, IBPA considers how the scholarship will assist the individual to become a successful publisher. IBPA also requires that the recipient share what they learned at IBPA Publishing University through an article published on the IBPA website and, if applicable, with their affiliate association members.
Each applicant must be:
A current member of both the sponsoring affiliate association and IBPA.*
Actively participating in the publishing process as a publisher of their own or others work.
In a position to benefit immediately from the scholarship.
*A limited number of at-large scholarships are awarded to current members of IBPA who are not associated with any affiliate association (one scholarship awarded to each winner).
IBPA considers the following questions when reviewing each applicant:
How will attendance at IBPA Publishing University assist the individual in his/her publishing career?
How will attendance at IBPA Publishing University be translated into the day-to-day operations of the individual’s business?
How will the scholarship winner share the information learned at IBPA Publishing University with their affiliate association or the IBPA community at-large? This sharing may take various forms, such as a published blog post, presentations at meetings, and mentoring of others throughout the year.
Did the applicant win an IBPA Publishing University scholarship in 2019? To serve as many members as possible, a scholarship cannot be awarded to the same member two years in a row. After two years, scholarship winners are welcome to reapply. (Because IBPA Publishing University 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19, 2020 scholarship winners are welcome to reapply for 2021.)
The current scholarship includes:
Full conference ticket for IBPA Publishing University 2021, scheduled to be held online from April 7-10, 2021.
Networking opportunities with peers and mentors.
IBPA Publishing University 2021 Scholarship Winners
Wisdom House Books
Miranda Evon is the senior publicist for an indie publisher Wisdom House Books, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She recently graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in May of 2020 with a BFA in writing and creative writing. With minimal publishing experience and a passion for marketing, she joined Wisdom House Books as a public relations assistant and worked her way to the senior publicist. Miranda also freelances for magazines and newspapers local to Raleigh, North Carolina, such as WALTER Magazine and the News & Observer.
Miranda collaborates with her team to engage with the authors and find creative solutions to promote their books. The public relations team’s goals are to enhance the authors' experience in marketing their books and establish relationships with publishing boutiques and organizations worldwide.
Wisdom House Books is a Publishing Boutique, offering all the advantages of alternative publishing while maintaining a standard of the highest quality production and design. Our mission is to produce quality books that make a positive difference in the world. Whether you have an inspiring personal story of social justice, a spiritual message, a new method for academic success, or would like to publish a book of poetry, we will personally and professionally guide you and your book through the publishing process with care and integrity.
ANGELICA R. JACKSON
Crow & Pitcher Press
Angelica R. Jackson has published articles on gardening, natural history, web design, travel, hiking, and local history. Other interests include pets, reading, green living, and cooking for food allergies (the latter not necessarily by choice, but she’s come to terms with it).
Angelica started writing fiction for publication when she finished high school, but unfortunately the publications were not interested in the derivative science fiction stories she was producing at the time. She tackled her first novel some ten years later and published her debut, Crow's Rest, with a small press before later getting her rights back and re-releasing the book under her own Crow & Pitcher Press. The new edition of Crow's Rest won a silver medal in the 2019 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards in the Audiobook: Fiction category.
She followed that up with the sequel, Merlin's Stronghold, and the final book in the series, Spellmeet, is expected to launch in Summer 2021. Angelica also keeps busy with her Charming Corby Jewelry line and visual art, like the photographs collected in her book Capturing the Castle: Images of Preston Castle (2006-2016).
She shares a home in California's Gold Country with a husband, two rescued dogs plus a reformed-feral tabby, and far too many books (if that's even possible). She is the author of the award-winning Faerie Crossed young adult urban fantasy series.
Phoenix Media & Books LLC
Katie Otey is the co-founder and publisher for Phoenix Media and Books LLC. She is also an author and poet with an affinity for humorist writing. She has been in love with books since she was three years old and has spent the last eight years as a member and Network Representative volunteer for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
She is committed to publishing a wide variety of books for adults and children with a bent toward fun stories written by underrepresented authors.
Katie is a self-proclaimed learn-a-holic and has studied and conquered many different topics. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics from the HBCU Tennessee State University and a Masters in Education from McKendree University. She has worked a wide range of jobs from financial insurance, health insurance, car insurance (at Progressive before Flo became a thing), shipping and receiving, teaching, and government. She has always loved a challenge and is excited to combine her tenacity with her passion for books to ensure Phoenix Media and Books delivers an amazing experience for its authors and readers alike.
When Katie isn't reading, writing, or publishing, she is singing, traveling, studying Spanish, helping friends with math, trying to jump double dutch without slipping a disk, or performing family skits with her kids.
RAFFAELA "MARIA" RIZZO
Giro di Mondo Publishing
Raffaela Marie's passions are faith, family, and friends. She devotes her energy to capturing family stories and reading books. She lives her faith by volunteering to improve literacy, feed the hungry, and helping women succeed in business.
She is the mother of two adult children, and a grandmother of two youngsters, and author of Thank you for the Shoes and other stories. A former business executive, she has also worked as a free-lance journalist, and for the NY Times magazine group in marketing and promotions.
As the inaugural President of The National Peanut Board, she spearheaded a national marketing campaign which increased USA grown peanut consumption by more than 50 % and peanut butter by 73%. Her efforts helped to educate consumers about the nutritional and delicious benefits of peanuts and alleviate problems and educate the public about peanut allergies and how to handle all food allergies in food service environment.
She is the current President of Giro di Mondo Publishing, a subsidiary of Ottima Group Consulting. She and her husband, Mark, started the businesses as they entered life 3.0 with decades-long experience in corporate America.
Giro di Mondo is a full-service, hybrid publisher providing concierge-like services to help select authors achieve their dreams of publishing their books.
She earned an MBA degree from Jacksonville (FL) University and a BA degree in media studies from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Joshua Weber has always had a love for literature, so it wasn’t a surprise to his family when he quit his day job in 2017 and became an intern with the hybrid publisher Calumet Editions.
In the past four years, he has held many roles at Calumet: developing marketing campaigns, proofreading manuscripts, communicating with authors, and now holds the role as the Office Manager at Calumet’s headquarters in Edina, Minnesota. Josh thrives on finding creative solutions to seemingly impossible problems while trying to realize an author’s wish of having the best possible version of their book published.
Publishing has entered a new era, and Calumet Editions is an author-focused publisher on the leading edge of these changes. They seek authors who want to develop a strong presence in publishing and are willing to work hard to achieve that goal by author branding. This business model was very appealing to Josh who wants to see new innovations happen within the publishing industry and be involved in those changes.
He is a graduate from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with Bachelor’s degrees in English and Political Science. In his spare time he also volunteers at the community radio station KFAI located in Minneapolis where he engineers, co-hosts, and interviews authors for the weekly program Write On! Radio. He has begun writing blogs for the Calumet website and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Miette Gillette is the founder and publisher of Whiskey TIt, a radical press dedicated to literary experiments, visual beauty, linguistic playfulness, and intellectual rigor, leading to texts that would otherwise be abandoned in the traditional landscape. Our titles often establish new hybrid genres with titles best described as “low-tech noir,” “absurdist pataphysical cyberpunk,” and “historic burlesque.”
The story of Whiskey Tit is a maternal one. The press came into the world when the publisher, as a new mother struggling with the challenge of maintaining a healthy writing habit, sat down to write while nursing, and discovered that a small glass of whiskey next to the laptop she worked on had, for years, been her personal source of inspiration. With a newborn at her breast and Google as her friend, she determined the exact amount she could sip without transferring the alcohol to her milk. It wasn’t much, but symbolically enough. She then discovered that she couldn’t, in fact, dedicate hours of uninterrupted work to her writing as a new parent, and turned her attention to helping a friend with an “unpublishable” manuscript try and find a home in traditional markets, which led her to realize that, with a stubborn and intrepid amount of curiosity, she could publish the text herself. Eight years and 27 titles later, Whiskey Tit aims to do our part to support an ardent and thriving underground community of literary artists.
Gillette lives in rural Vermont, after several years working for large publishers in New York City. There, she works a small subsistence farm, trains for marathons in the mountains, and continues to drink tiny nips of whiskey while raising her daughter and cultivating new voices in avant garde literature.
Eternal Tree Books LLC
Priya Kumari is the founder and owner of Eternal Tree Books LLC, an independent publishing company. The aim of her company is to work on native cultures and civilizations. Understanding plural perspectives is pivotal to ensuring co-existence and this inspired her to start her publishing journey.
Some of her company’s upcoming illustrated children’s books are on topics like human solidarity, relevance of cultural festivals, yoga, Hindi activity book. Upcoming books for adults include Chinese poems on kindness to animals with translations in English and Sanskrit, cultural paintings with poetic interpretations.
Priya is originally from the Himalayan foothills of India. Being a daughter of a bookstore owner, she grew up with books and her immense love for books continues to define her. She studied public accounting (CPA and CA) and worked for the big 4 audit firms. Her first book was on an Indian festival of brother-sister bond, Raksha-Bandhan. She was acknowledged by experts and authors for writing about the festival in a unique way.
Priya resides in New Jersey with her husband and two kids. For more information about Priya and her upcoming projects, visit eternaltreebooks.com.
An independent publisher since 1989, Charlotte Pierce collaborates with her Pierce Press authors to publish books for children and adults in topics relating to sustainability, peer learning, creativity, diversity, and stewardship of the Earth.
Pierce Press specializes in captivating destinations with the DayTripper Books imprint; alternative & collaborative education with the Peeragogy Books imprint; and children’s books with the Gigglequick Books imprint. All three imprints incorporate themes of sustainability, accessibility, diversity, social justice, and environmental sustainability.
Charlotte's Pierce Press Productions provides turnkey podcast production services, niche marketing materials, website management, and video production for nonprofits, small businesses, & individuals.
Charlotte joined IBPA affiliate Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) in 2007 and has held several board and project team positions over the years, including president, vice-president, and secretary. She's also a longtime IBPA member and advocate for the resources IBPA provides.
Ambika Sambasivan is the co-founder of Yali Books, an independent publisher opening a window to South Asian cultures through children’s literature. Yali Books is creating spaces for conversation through stories and art, providing South Asian families meaningful connections to their heritage.
Ambika discovered her love for crafting books as an illustrator. Yali Books began in 2014 as a collaborative project between Ambika and her mother, Kala Sambasivan, an author and newspaper columnist. Six years later, Yali Books is honored to showcase an expanding bookshelf of stories that offers parents, educators, and librarians ways to develop their collections and address gaps in representation.
As the publisher at Yali, Ambika is committed to shaping stories that reflect and validate the experiences of children of color, particularly those of South Asian descent, through relatable and inspiring stories based on their lives. To this end, she actively seeks out and mentors underrepresented voices in writing and illustration to craft authentic narratives. She enjoys every aspect of running a small press and owes a deep debt of gratitude to IBPA for helping her grow as a professional.
JANET F. WILLIAMS
Good Day Media
Janet F. Williams authored You Don’t Ask You Don’t Get, named by Kirkus Indie as Best Specialized Instruction Book in 2010, one of their top ten books of the year. She founded her company, Good Day Media, to provide a publishing platform and now uses it as an umbrella for all her creative endeavors. In 2013, she published a YA novella, Superior, under her pen name for lesbian fiction, Zoe Amos. And Sapphire Books picked up her romance, Talk to Me (March 2021 release).
Janet helps authors with all stages of manuscript development, critique, and editing for fiction and non-fiction, and now provides LGBT sensitivity reading. As a writing coach, she instructs those who desire individual attention. She teaches at the Southern California Writers’ Conference in San Diego and Irvine, and is a sought after speaker. Janet helps businesses with website content, correspondence, ezines and ebooks.
Several of her books are in different stages of progress, both fiction and non-fiction. After winning a few awards for her literary short stories, she is working toward assembling them into a book-length compilation. Her current project is working on the first draft of her memoir, a cross between Wild and 13 Reasons Why with a dollop of Eat, Pray, Love.
Janet resides in North San Diego County where she loves to be in nature. In her spare time, she writes the stories she likes to read.