Jack D. Rittenhouse Call for Nominations

Jack D. Rittenhouse Call for Nomination Guidelines

Deadline April 27, 2018

The Jack D. Rittenhouse Award is given annually at the PubWest Conference. The Rittenhouse Award was established in 1990 as a way to thank and honor those who have made a real contribution to the western community of the book. The award is given annually in memory of Jack D. Rittenhouse, the West’s legendary bookman.

Nominations are open to publishers, authors, booksellers, sales representatives, librarians, and book designers, as well as anyone who has made a significant and lifelong contribution to the community of the book in the West. The award may be given to a living person or it may be given posthumously. One does not have to be a member of PubWest to be nominated.  The nominee does not have to know they have been nominated, but that is up to the individual nominating the person.

Nominations should clearly state what this person (or persons) have done to fulfill the mission of the award. Please include information about their successes, failures, and efforts to advance the book. List participation in all relevant activities related to books that may be useful in considering a nominee such as writing, editing, selling, publishing, designing, and/or producing books, as well as involvement in book fairs, associations, libraries, board of directors, and the community at large, etc. Also include a chronology of key dates related to their lifetime efforts.

It is useful to have others who also know the nominee submit supporting endorsements for your nominee. Such endorsements can contain additional and anecdotal information about the nominee.

Companies, businesses, organizations, and associations are not eligible for the Rittenhouse Award. Individuals may not nominate themselves.

All Rittenhouse nominations will be eligible to win for three years after the date of their nomination. If after three years, the person(s) is not selected, they will no longer be considered unless they are nominated again.

Please send nominations to executive director Kent Watson at kent@pubwest.org.

To learn more about the Jack D. Rittenhouse Award and see past winners, click here.

2018 Jack W. Swanson Scholarship Recipients

PubWest announced today that it has picked two winners for its 2018 Jack W. Swanson Scholarship. Since 2013, PubWest has sponsored the scholarship, which is designed to bring book publishing interns or first- and second-year publishing-house employees, free of charge, to the PubWest annual conference to network and learn from other publishing professionals and well-known keynote speakers. PubWest 2018 will be held at the Westin Pasadena in California, February 15–17.

This year’s winner are Alyssa McDougle and Katelin Ross.

Alyssa McDougle completed her undergraduate degree in literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. At UCSC, she served as an editor for Matchbox Magazine and Red Wheelbarrow Anthology, two student publications. Her writing also appeared in Eyecandy Magazine. As a lifelong reader and writer, Alyssa is passionate about making contributions to the world of publishing, which she joined after graduation in 2016 as a client relation coordinator at Publishers Group West. At PGW, Alyssa has become familiar with the intricacies of online publication through assisting numerous clients. In her free time, she volunteers with the Prison Literature Project. She lives and writes in San Francisco.

Katelin Ross completed her undergraduate degree in English literature at Emporia State University, Kansas. At ESU, she served on the publishing staff of the Flint Hills Review magazine, a student driven, annual publication with a regional focus and national circulation. After graduating, she attended the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver, class of 2013. She then went on to enjoy four years working for the Tattered Cover Book Store as a retail manager and event coordinator. Currently she holds an associate publicist position at Shambhala Publications, in Boulder, Colorado, where she strives to become the greatest advocate for her authors.


The PubWest Board of Directors is proud to be able to offer two scholarships this year, made possible by the funding provided from a GoFundMe “Next Generation Campaign” for the Jack W. Swanson Scholarship. The campaign site is live and can be accessed at https://www.gofundme.com/PubWestNextGeneration. Once the campaign reaches its $5,000 objective, Ingram Content Group will match the donation. We are just shy of this goal and hope that anyone in publishing will help. Donations of any size are appreciated.



“PubWest firmly believes in the future of publishing, and as a long-standing trade association, one of our central roles is to promote publishing as a lifelong profession,” said Kent Watson, executive director of PubWest. “The career trajectory of past scholarship recipients has been incredible, and this year we decided to extend our fundraising outreach to all industry professionals who want to support the next publishing generation.”

Book Your Room at the Hilton Pasadena Today!

We’ve filled up the Westin Pasadena! If you’re still looking for a room we have a block of discounted rooms available at the Hilton Pasadena. The Hilton Pasadena offers accessibility to the city’s best attractions. Stroll to Old Pasadena, only minutes from the hotel with a wide range of shopping, sight-seeing, dining and entertainment options. Swim lengths in the sparkling pool and recharge in our fitness center. Enjoy our on-site dining, perfect for private receptions with an impeccable dining experience.
Please support the association by staying at the conference’s overflow hotel and you’ll also get a discount on your conference fees. A block of rooms at a deeply discounted price has been reserved for PubWest 2018 attendees. There are a limited number of rooms in the PubWest block available only until February 3rd, so make your reservations soon!
The rate for single or double occupancy traditional rooms for PubWest 2018 attendees is $189 per night, plus tax. These special conference guest room rates will also apply two days before and two days after the official conference dates, based on availability, so you can combine business trips, take a little time for rest and relaxation, or get out and do some exploring in Pasadena at your leisure.
Click here to reserve online or call (626) 577-1000. Please be sure to specify that you are with PubWest to receive our rate.

Welcome New Publisher Member

Established in 1920, the University of Washington Press supports the university’s research, education, and outreach missions by publishing important new work for an international community of scholars, students, and intellectually curious readers. As one of the largest book publishers in the Pacific Northwest, the press also offers a broad range of regional books for general readers, often developed in partnership with museums, cultural organizations, and local indigenous communities.

PubWest Book Design Awards Call For Entries


A Competition Reflecting the Best of Book Design and Production 

PubWest Book Design Awards were developed to recognize superior design and outstanding production quality of books throughout North America. As we celebrate our 41st annual awards, PubWest invites you to submit your 2017 titles.


Winning an industry book award can be used as an effective marketing tool to boost sales and invigorate publicity. Your books don’t have the opportunity to be recognized… unless you enter!

Entry Categories

Contest Rules

Entry and Payment Forms

Past Design Award Winners

Welcome New Associate Member: Sagest

Sagest (formerly Charles Allen Imaging Experts) custom publishing creates beautiful award-winning books. We offer bespoke book production services. Our clients have included world-class museums, galleries, authors, artists. art collectors, publishers, and historical societies. Projects have ranged from richly illustrated art and history books to graphic novels to artist portfolios to children’s picture books. The one common thread is a commitment by us and our clients to producing the best possible book. We present the “art of the possible”, with options for the budget-minded. We are proud to be part of the team that won the Judges’ Choice Award in the PubWest 2017 Book Design Award, for The Huntington’s book – Gardens, Art, and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints.

Extended Early Bird Prices for PubWest2018

We’re extending our Early Bird Discount into the new year!
Register by January 5, 2018, to save 15% on registration fees.
Our 2018 theme is Raising Voices: Creating a Vibrant Publishing Future. To be successful in publishing new books, new titles in a series, or ebooks, “Raising Voices” is an imperative: our content must be fresh and diverse, our publishing missions need to be understood, and our marketing efforts have to be seen and heard. For every segment of conference’s schedule-each keynote, each panel, each intensive session, and each event-our theme will be at the forefront.
Join us for four great keynotes, three intensive sessions, eight program sessions, and peer-to-peer roundtable discussions all focused on how to make your voice heard.

PubWest Announces 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Honor John Mutter and Jenn Risko

PubWest, the leading trade association of small- and medium-sized book publishers, has awarded its 2018 Jack D. Rittenhouse Award to John Mutter and Jenn Risko, co-founders of Shelf Awareness.

The Rittenhouse Award was established in 1990 as a way to thank and honor those who have made an important contribution to the Western community of the book. The award is given annually in memory of Jack D. Rittenhouse, the West’s legendary bookman.

“The Jack D. Rittenhouse Award recipients have all made extraordinary contributions to how books are made and sold,” said Bill Fessler, PubWest board president and publisher at American Traveler Press. “The roster of honorees includes publishers, retailers, educators, and writers who have made a real contribution to the Western community of the book. This year, it is a true pleasure to induct Jenn Risko and John Mutter for their work at Shelf Awareness.”

John Mutter and Jenn Risko will accept the Rittenhouse Award during the PubWest 2018 conference, scheduled for February 15–17 at The Westin Pasadena in Pasadena, California.

John Mutter was the longtime executive editor for bookselling at Publishers Weekly. In the mid-1990s, he launched one of the first trade e-newsletters: the former PW Daily for Booksellers. It became very popular, and when it was ended and John left PW, booksellers immediately rallied, asking him to start his own newsletter.

Jenn Risko landed her dream job with Pacific Pipeline twenty-five years ago, where she was given an old Ford Taurus, an enormous territory, and bags of western publishers’ titles. She has held sales and marketing positions at Rand McNally, Falcon/Insiders’ Guides Publishing, and the National Academies Press. She met John Mutter at a Falcon Publishing sales conference, and got into trouble for “hogging” him. Upon hearing of John’s exit from PW, she called him to ask what his plans were.

Shelf Awareness was born shortly thereafter in June of 2005, out of a need for a community newspaper for independent booksellers, librarians, and the publishing trade at large. Shelf Awareness Pro, as it’s now known, quickly became the daily must-read of 40,000 industry subscribers. The publication is well known for championing independent bookstores at a time when their future was in doubt.

In 2011, as book review sections were dwindling, indie bookstores were being referred to as “showrooms” for Amazon, and Borders had collapsed, Shelf Awareness launched a consumer-facing e-newsletter, Shelf Awareness for Readers. It highlights the best books being published each week and is branded on behalf of more than 100 independent bookstores to more than 415,000 indie bookstore customers. It is estimated to have helped indies sell hundreds of thousands of books.

Following the success of Shelf Pro and Readers, in 2016 the American Booksellers Association enlisted Shelf Awareness to build a new platform and create the e-newsletter for their Indie Next List program. The Indie Next List e-newsletter is delivered on behalf of more than 100 bookstores to 465,000 avid readers.

In 2017, Shelf Awareness will have delivered more than 70 million e-newsletters, and has more than 650,000 combined Twitter followers, Facebook likes, and Instagram followers. It has successfully deployed tens of thousands of advertisements for publishers, and remains the industry favorite to influence booksellers, librarians, and the largest audience of independent bookstore customers.