Walking The Wire: Booksellers to go to Winter Institute 2020 in Baltimore Named

The kiwi booksellers who have been selected to attend the 15th Winter Institute conference in Baltimore in January 2020 are Renee Rowland from The Twizel Bookshop, and Surinam Reddy from Time Out Bookstore in Auckland.

Each year since 2014, Booksellers NZ has sent two New Zealand booksellers to the American Booksellers Associations’ Winter Institute Conference, held in January in cities across the US. Scholars return with innovative ideas from the conference, and from the week-long work experience that occurs after the conference.

The panel that selected the scholars were Gareth Ward (Wardini Books), Juliet Blyth (Vic Books) and Stella Chrysostomou (VOLUME). They say, ‘All applicants for this year’s scholarship had excellent written applications, with aspirational goals in regards to the Winter Institute Scholarship. The successful applicants articulated these goals and gave precise responses to questions about perceived outcomes.’

The judging panel were impressed with the successful applicants’ focus, energy and wide understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the trade.

renee rowland

While The Twizel Bookshop has only been open for a couple of years, owner Renee Rowland has great aspirations for the store. She says, ‘This scholarship means the absolute world to me! To go from my tiny bookshop in the wop wops to the bright lights, big city of Baltimore and the heart of the American book industry will be amazing.

‘I look forward to learning from the very best in the US, and to bringing back ideas, knowledge, and perspectives to share with the bookselling whanau in New Zealand so that we can all adapt and endure and keep doing what we love in a changing world.’

Surinam Reddy has been working at Time Out for over four years, and is currently their Assistant Manager. She says, ‘Winning a scholarship to this year’s Winter Insitute is an honour. I am so lucky to work and be recognised in an industry full of passionate, knowledgeable and community-focused peers.

Suri reddy


‘I look forward to learning innovations of the trade and the ways in which small, independent bookstores have continued to thrive and become cornerstones of communities in an era of online giants, and sharing this with New Zealand booksellers.’

WI15 will be held from 21-25 January in Baltimore, and scholars will have the opportunity to work at an American bookstore for the week following the conference.  Flights and accommodation are covered by Booksellers NZ.