Jack W. Swanson Scholarship

This year’s winners 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.

In 2013, the Jack W. Swanson scholarship was established to bring book publishing interns or first- or second-year publishing-house employees to a PubWest conference. To learn more about Jack W. Swanson, click here.

The scholarship is funded from the sale of rights from Rail Ventures and by private donations from PubWest members who wish to encourage the next generation of book publishers.

The scholarship covers full conference tuition, travel, lodging, conference intensives, and other optional events. Only one winner will be chosen for the Jack W. Swanson scholarship.

Other scholarships may be awarded, but recipients of other scholarships may need to cover their own travel, lodging, conference intensives, or other optional events.


“I am so glad I was able to attend the PubWest conference due to the Jack W. Swanson scholarship. The opportunity to engage with so many knowledgeable people within publishing was an experience I am extremely thankful for. The conference allowed me to obtain a greater understanding of what all aspects of publishing are facing in our current world and provided great information on how publishers use innovative tools and ideas to navigate this constantly changing world (and profession). This opportunity has been the perfect stepping stone in motivating me to become even more involved with all aspects of publishing and help my generation get more involved as well.” – Alyssa McDougle

“I had such an amazing experience at the PubWest conference and came back to work feeling very inspired. I am grateful for the Jack W. Swanson scholarship opportunity and resonated with this year’s theme, “Raising Voices: Creating a Vibrant Publishing Future.” There was so much to take away: we learned different ways to optimize our top accounts, how to reach new readers, and discussed the importance of bringing diversity into the industry. It was easy to engage in every session, keynote, and roundtable. I learned so much and came away with a ton of new ideas for our books!” -Katelin Ross

“A few years out from receiving The Jack W. Swanson scholarship, I can see its positive effects rippling throughout my publishing career and place in the PubWest community. Attending the 2016 PubWest conference lit a fire under my passion for this industry, and meeting so many incredible, vibrant individuals has led to lasting friendships and valuable business connections. I learn new skills each conference that I attend, and stay connected with my colleagues throughout the year at local networking and development events. Now I am on the Board of Directors for PubWest, and am proud to be an integral part of this organization that has benefited me and other young publishers in so many ways.” – Karen Bullock

To donate to the Jack W. Swanson Scholarship fund, visit https://www.gofundme.com/PubWestNextGeneration or contact Kent Watson, Executive Director at kent@pubwest.org.