Recap of September 2020 Event: Improving Publishing’s Diversity Problem, One Mentorship, Internship, and Fellowship at a Time

Many publishing companies have been looking for ways to improve diversity within the industry. Our September webinar featured a panel of three publishing professionals discussing how they have created internships, mentorships, or fellowships for people from marginalized communities who are looking to enter the industry. Our panelists were Helen Maimaris, the managing editor of F(r)iction and the COO of its parent nonprofit, Brink Literacy Project; Yasmin A. McClinton, freelance editor at Tessera Editorial; and Sarah Park Dahlen, Associate Professor in the MLIS Program at St. Catherine University and the community liaison for the Mirrors and Windows Fellowship. They spoke about how their organizations started, challenges they’ve met along the way, and the impact they hope to make on the industry as a whole. They also provided ideas for how companies can connect with more diverse applicants for their open positions.

Remember that the process for accessing recordings has changed. If you are a member and have not yet created your individual account for our new website, follow the directions on the Member Resources page to create one and get access to the recordings. If you have questions, please contact us at

Welcome to the all-new Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable website

Welcome to the all-new Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable website! It seems a fitting start to the 2020–21 season, which brings many changes.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, MBPR events will take place online at least through the end of 2020. These events are free for MBPR members, $10 for nonmembers, and $5 for students with a current student ID. Video as well as audio recordings will be available afterward in the members-only section. When in-person gatherings can safely resume, we plan to simulcast events for those who cannot attend due to health concerns or distance. Board meetings will take place the Thursday following online events; please email the president if you have business for the board.

This blog is now open for MBPR members to post on topics of interest to those in the book publishing field. Do you have news, technology updates, professional development opportunities, or event information of interest to your fellow members? Email us to submit posts.

Many thanks are due to our website committee, David Farr and Carla Valadez, as well as Scott Anderson of Room 34 Creative Services, for bringing this site from idea to reality. Thanks also to Alison Brueggemann of Storied Creative for thoughtful and responsive work in creating our new logo, and to directors Laura Drew and Melissa York for shepherding the website through the final stages to release. If you spot a problem or have a question or suggestion, please email the website team.

Finally, we bid a fond farewell to the MBPR apostrophe. With our gratitude and the full support of many style guides, dictionaries, and usage references, it has moved on to new endeavors, and we wish it well.

We will no doubt face new obstacles in the coming season, both as an organization and in our field. Whatever comes, MBPR remains committed to supporting book publishing by promoting the exchange of ideas and experience, good fellowship, and friendly cooperation among members; the highest standards of craftsmanship and integrity in book publishing; and greater understanding between all professions and trades concerned with the publishing industry.

Watch your inboxes for the opening of our membership drive in mid-August. We look forward to seeing you in the coming season!

Kellie M. Hultgren, Board President, and the 2020–21 MBPR Board of Directors

Recap of May 2020 Event: Publishing During a Pandemic: What Now, and What Next?

The May webinar (our first-ever!) featured three local publishing professionals discussing how their teams have adapted to working during the 2020 pandemic.

The panel included presentations from Spencer Brinker, director of product development at Bearport Publishing; Don Leeper, founder of Bookmobile; and Rachel Zugschwert, vice president of marketing at Lerner Publishing Group. They spoke about the challenges and adaptations that their teams have made to communication, processes, and project management and what changes we might see as a result of this temporary shift.

Both audio and video recordings of this event are available to members in Member Resources. Are you a member and don’t have the password to access the recordings? Please contact

Recap of March 2020 Event: Adaptive Financial Communication Lessons

The March luncheon featured key-note speaker Allie Moen Wagstrom, director of finance and operations at MinnPost.

Allie discussed how the lessons we are learning about the dynamic nature of the biosphere can be implemented in organizational communication around finances and budgets. Managing and communicating financial issues can be a source of challenge and opportunity for stakeholders at all levels of an organization. Comparing diverse, self-regenerating ecosystems to artificially maintained monocultures, Allie showed how an inclusive and adaptive financial culture can help nurture successful leadership.

An audio recording from this event is available to members in Member Resources. Are you a member and don’t have the password to access the recordings? Please contact