|Dear WNBA members,
Fresh off the annual meeting of our national board in Nashville, my excitement about the WNBA has skyrocketed. The source: a recognition of how multifaceted and robust this organization is as it approaches a major milestone: in 2017, four short years from now, we will celebrate our 100th anniversary.
By now, many of you know our history, but I'm summarizing it here, and taking the opportunity to add a couple tidbits you might not know:
- On October 29, 1917, three years before women had the right to vote in national elections and one year before the end of World War I, fifteen women gathered in downtown Manhattan--at Sherwood's Bookstore--to form the Women's National Book Association.
- In the early years, while Manhattan was its home, corresponding members expanded the WNBA's reach. These "out-of-town" members were the prime impetus for The Bookwoman, first published in November 1936, to keep its far-flung membership informed and connected.
- And while Boston is now the next oldest chapter in the organization, other chapters before Boston's 1954 founding set up shop (but since have closed), including Chicago in 1947 and Cleveland in 1952.
- Amazingly, a chapter in Pittsburgh was established in 1930, but the silence of the WNBA archives on the chapter after its founding seems to indicate that it did not outlast the throes of the Great Depression into which it was born.
- The Nashville chapter followed Boston by two years, and now, there are 10 chapters across the country, including three new chapters in the last five years: Seattle in 2007, Charlotte in 2009, and New Orleans in 2011.
This brief outline, however, can only barely convey what I'm so excited about: how far-reaching not just in geography but in mission the WNBA is.
Consider all that we did this past season:
- In September, we introduced the online version of The Bookwoman, allowing for more frequent and efficient communications across the country.
- In October, we celebrated the joy of shared reading through our sponsorship of National Reading Group Month events and our Great Group Reads list.
- By the first of the year, we had named two young women-Diana Cavallo and Jenna Vaccaro--as our first-ever youth representatives to the United Nations Department of Public Information.
- In April, we announced the winners of our inaugural WNBA Writing Contest aimed at honoring emerging writers.
- In May, at the Children's Book and Author Breakfast at BookExpo, we presented the Pannell Award to two bookstores in Michigan (a coincidence!) that excel in connecting kids with books--Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor and Bookbug in Kalamazoo.
- And at the annual meeting two weekends ago, we honored an outstanding bookwoman, Ann Patchett, with the WNBA Award in Nashville, at Parnassus Books, the bookstore she founded with co-owner Karen Hayes. The award was given in recognition of the intelligence, skill, and passion with which she weaves her stories, and through which she champions independent bookselling.
On top of all this, activities and programming at the chapters abound, forming the core of the WNBA. Some examples:
- a luncheon with published author Nichole Bernier in Boston
- Charlotte's evening dedicated to the best of new cookbooks
- Detroit's author/publishing panel in April
- a literary tea with three authors in Los Angeles
- a February panel on social media for writers in Nashville
- New Orleans ' establishment of the Pinckley Prizes for crime fiction
- New York City's Biography of Young Adult Bestseller panel
- San Francisco's Pitch-O-Rama with agents, editors, and publishers
- a discussion of "voice" in fiction and nonfiction led by a creative writing professor in Seattle
- Washington DC's Poetry Month panel of women poets.
In the coming months, you'll hear about the detailed plans we are undertaking to celebrate our 100th anniversary. For now, let's think about all we do and start the celebration!
President, Women's National Book Association
P.S. The historical detail mentioned above was harvested from Women in the World of Words, published by the WNBA on its fiftieth anniversary. It's available at this link on the Member Only section of our website.
|2012-13 WNBA Award
Presented to Author Ann Patchett in Nashville
(L to R) WNBA Award Winner Ann Patchett, Award Chair, Nancy Stewart (Nashville), and WNBA National President, Valerie Tomaselli (NYC)
(Photo by Annette Marie Haley (Detroit) )
This year's winner of the prestigious WNBA Award is Ann Patchett,
the award-winning and bestselling author of several works of fiction, among them, Patron Saint of Liars, named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Taft, winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for best work of fiction; Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002; The Magician's Assistant; and her latest State of Wonder. Among her nonfiction titles are Truth and Beauty and What Now?. In addition, Ms. Patchett has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Gourmet and Vogue.
The award was presented at Parnassus Books in Nashville, the independent bookstore that Ms. Patchett founded in 2011 with publishing veteran, Karen Hayes.
To read more about Ms. Patchett and the WNBA Award, please go to our website, www.wnba-books.org/news/wnba_award or click here.
The WNBA Award is presented to a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books or the allied arts and has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.
WNBA's Executive Officers
For further information on the national board, chapter presidents, committee chairs, please go to the WNBA website
You may also download a pdf of the information here.
|WNBA's Second Annual Writing Contest
We are looking for early readers in poetry and fiction for the January/February 2014 reading period. Winners will be announced in early March. Details of the upcoming contest are available on our website here.
Sustaining Members 2012/13
Dancing Chiva Literary Arts, S.C.
(Harper, Harper Paperbacks, Harper Perennial, Amistad, Ecco, William Morrow, William Morrow Paperbacks)
Ingram Content Group***
Penguin Young Readers/Penguin Group (USA)**
Friends of WNBA 2012/13
Red Hen Press*
SONY Reader Store/SONY Style*
Pannell Award Sponsor**
NRGM & WNBA Award Sponsor***
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for The Bookwoman
Updated deadlines, formatting, and word count specifications for the upcoming season are
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|What WNBA Means to Me
By Susan Larson
One of the highlights of the literary year in New Orleans is the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (TWFEST) in March, a long weekend of plays and talks with writers and actors. I'm the vice president for literary programming, so it's an especially fun time for me.
Imagine my delight when Ruth Light from WNBA-LA wrote to say that one of their chapter members, Cynthia Levin, was coming to town for the fest. I picked her up at the Hotel Monteleone, the Monday after, and we made our way Uptown to PJ's Coffee Shop on Maple St. We swapped notes about the Fest, Cynthia told me about her writing class at UCLA and her fabulous idea for a book, and the book fair she runs. Hours went by in a flash!
Then I gave her a little driving tour of literary spots and took her by the Little Free Library that commemorates our founding member Diana Pinckley next to Latter Library on St. Charles Ave. All in all it was time well spent, and the beginning of a great friendship.
It's always good to check out WNBA chapters when you're visiting! And really, what's more fun than playing tour guide in your home town? Cynthia says she's going to make the Fest her personal vacation every year, so we'll be meeting again and again. Can't wait!
|WNBA Pannell Award Presented at Book Expo America in NYC
Susan Knopf presenting the awards at Book Expo America
(Presentation begins at approximately 26 minutes into video.)
The Women's National Book Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 WNBA Pannell Award given annually since 1983 to two bookstores that excel in contributing to their communities in ways that bring books and young people together. The winner in the General Bookstore category is Nicola's Books
of Ann Arbor, MI; and the Children's Specialty Store category winner is The Bookbug
of Kalamazoo, MI.
A jury of five book industry professionals deliberated for four weeks, then selected the winners based on creativity, responsiveness to community needs and an understanding of young readers. Jurors complimented all of the nominees for the valuable contributions they make to their communities. The two winners were cited for their "over and above" commitment and "partnering skills to benefit children, families, and the community at large" (Nicola's Books); as well as having a "terrific history of civic engagement, actively engaging in all aspects of the local community to stay relevant and of service to
children and their families"(Bookbug).
In addition to WNBA, the Pannell Award is underwritten by a generous gift from Penguin Young Readers Group.
Meet & Greet at More Than Words Bookstore
and Luncheon with Author Nichole Bernier
Over twenty-five members and their guests attended WNBA-Boston's free "Meet & Greet" at More Than Words bookstore café in Waltham, where attendees toured the facilities of this unique and inspiring youth program. The chapter's members-only book club, led by member Cynthia Biron, met to discuss The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, and What is the What by Dave Eggers.
Co-president Dawn Rennert held a Luncheon with the Author at her home in Concord, where Nichole Bernier spoke about fiction writing and her novel The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
A database has been started of member-authors available to meet/Skype with book clubs. Interested Boston members should contact Anne Ipsen at anne at anneipsen dot com.
Nichole Bernier, whose novel The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. has now been reissued in paperback, was a featured author at "Booktopia," a readers' retreat sponsored by the Books on the Nightstand podcast.
JoeAnn Hart published the novel Float.
Daphne Kalotay's article "The Calm Before the Calm: Silence and the Creative Writer" was published in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers.
Amy Kwei's book, A Concubine for the Family, has been short-listed for the "Best Book Award" by the Chinese-American Librarians' Association.
Randy Susan Meyer's novel The Comfort of Lies made The Boston Globe's bestseller list.
Maryanne O'Hara's novel Cascade has just been released in paperback.
Karyn Polewaczyk has a permanent column in the Weekly Dig called "Freelance Lady," and will cover the writing life from a woman's perspective. And on Jezebel.com she published a new article, Stop Apologizing! Why Are Women So 'Sorry' All The Time?.
Henriette Power has published her debut novel, The Clover House, which made The Boston Globe bestseller list.
Tracy Strauss published an article,
My Deep, Dark Secret, in Salon.com.
Nancy Rubin Stuart has published a new nonfiction book, Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married, about the wives of political radicals Henry Knox and Benedict Arnold.
Gilmore Tamny's novel My Days with Millicent is being published in serialized form on OhioEdit.com.
Kim Triedman published a new collection of poetry, Plum(b).
On April 28, chapter members and friends gathered at the home of longtime member Joan Jackson, for the third "Literary Tea." Originally started as an annual tea, it has become such a successful event that plans are to hold three per year. Attendees drank tea, enjoyed tea cakes and desserts, and listened to three incredible authors speak and read from their books.
The authors were Lydia Crichton (Grains of Truth, a romantic thriller set in Egypt); Susan Sherman (The Little Russian, a historical fiction novel chosen by People magazine for "Great New Reads in Fiction"): and Helen Sedwick (Coyote Winds, a young adult novel of true tales about coming of age during the Dust Bowl). Julia Drake, WNBA-LA immediate past president and owner of Julia Drake Public Relations, scheduled the authors, and chapter member Jeff Slottow played the piano.
Lindsay Lees, a new member, is spearheading the organization of the chapter's first writing critique group. WNBA-LA has publicized it and gotten a very good response. The first meeting took place in May.
Lisa-Catherine Cohen performed at the M Bar for LA Women in Music (LAWiM) on March 13. Backing her was a fantastic band led by producer/composer, percussionist, Steve Reid, who has played with the likes of Miles Davis, Supertramp, and who cofounded the Rippingtons--and has played on over 700 albums.
Allison Pescosolido, M.A., and her business Divorce Detox, were on the cover of the New York Time's Style Section in December. The article profiles how a New York Times reporter flew to Los Angeles to get a Divorce Detox from Mrs. Pescosolido. Her success in helping clients with relationships and divorce has led her to become one of the nation's leading relationship experts.
Alva Sachs, board member of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California (RIFSoCal) and award-winning children's author, shared a special day with the LA Kings Stanley Cup Champions celebrating reading and literacy. RIFSoCal and the LA Kings joined together at the Staples Center to collect books, raise money, and raffle a signed team hockey stick, all for the love of books and kids!
Barbara Schiffman signed her book The Akashic Muse: Collaborating With Your Soul & The Akashic Records for Writing & Other Creative Endeavors on April 4 at Ascension New Age Bookstore & Cafe in Bonsall, CA, and led a free mini workshop on enhancing creativity. On April 7, Barbara taught a class there on accessing your own Akashic Records. More here.
Kim Gottlieb-Walker's coffee table photo book
Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae has entered a second printing and is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all good bookstores. There is also a French language edition entitled "Bob Marley, Portrait Inedit en Photo, 1975-1976, Photographies de Kim Gottlieb-Walker.
Nashville Hosts the National Meeting!
L to R: Lee Fairbend (Nashville), Kathleen Dietz (Nashville), Linda Gray (Seattle), Jill Tardiff (NYC), Valerie Tomaselli (NYC), Bebe Brechner (Nashville), Gloria Toler (Nashville), Daphne Kalotay (Boston), Tabitha Whissemore (DC), Jane Kinney-Denning (NYC), Rachelle Yousuf (LA), and Kate Farrell (SF)
June 8-10, the chapter welcomed national board members to the Scarritt-Bennett
Conference Center, adjacent to the Vanderbilt University campus. Meetings took place during the day, but the evenings were spent socializing. Friday night those in town were treated to a tour of Nashville's premier art museum, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Saturday evening a garden party was held at member Barbie Chadwick's home. But the highlight was Sunday evening's presentation of the WNBA Award to best-selling author Ann Patchett. Board members, chapter members, and local dignitaries gathered for a cocktail reception at Parnassus Books, the independent bookstore
(L to R) Joan Gelfand (SF), Kate Farrell (SF), Jane Kinney-Denning (NYC), Willetta Heising (Detroit), Mary Grey James (Nashville), Susan Larson (NOLA) enjoy a garden party at Barbie Chadwick's home.
Ms. Patchett and business partner Karen Hayes opened in 2011. The Nashville chapter is thrilled at the presenting of the award to one of its own, and is delighted that the ceremony could take place at Parnassus, a store with close ties to so many members.
(Don't forget to check out the list of Best Books, June 2012 to June 2013, which is a very personal and subjective list compiled by the board. Go to the From the Editors column to find out how to win one of the books!)
The Nashville chapter wrapped up another year of great programs and successful community outreach. In May, members gathered for the traditional year-end garden party, and immediately began gearing up to host the national board meeting.
WNBA member Carolyn Wilson has organized her 23rd annual summer reading program, the 2013 Willodene Scott Summer Reading Series, which is co-sponsored by WNBA-Nashville and the Beaman Library, Lipscomb University. This year's theme is "Based on the Book: Books into Film." Nashville's book community looks forward to this popular six-week series every summer. Carolyn does an excellent job of lining up area librarians and professors to lead the discussions, and sessions are always well-attended. This year's selections include: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, Atonement by Ian McEwan, The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, Possession by A.S. Byatt, and The Last Station by Jay Parini.
Alana White's The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, Portuguese rights have recently been sold. The historical mystery is set in Italy during Florence's Golden Age. www.alanawhite.com.
Gary Slaughter guest-hosted a 90-minute live broadcast on Big Blend Radio. The program, "Secrets From the Cuban Missile Crisis," featured Gary and four shipmates from the USS Cony discussing the confrontation between their destroyer and a Soviet submarine, an event that almost brought the United States and the Soviet Union to nuclear war.
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The Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction
It's Jazzfest season in NOLA, so everyone is enjoying great music, good food, and out-of-town visitors!
WNBA-NOLA has been rocking along with plans for the Pinckley Prize, honoring one of its founding members, Diana Pinckley. There have been several meetings to establish criteria and appoint judges, and the chapter is continuing its fundraising for this. May 16, the chapter hosted a reception at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women's Nadine Vorhoff Library, when David Wilson of the Graduate Management Admissions Council presented a $10,000 check and the chapter formally announced the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction. Prizes will be given to two women (in 2014): one for a debut novelist, one to an established writer with a significant body of work. The first awards will be presented at an event at the 2014 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (TWFEST), which will also include a conversation with the two winners as part of their programming.
Some members also worked on the Pinckley Little Free Library, which is a wonderful addition to the grounds of Latter Library. It was dedicated on May 13. And Linda Prout and Veronica Brooks-Sigler are working on Little Free Libraries around town. Several of NOLA's members also were World Book Night givers.
In April, the chapter hosted novelist Pam Houston at a reception/reading at the beautiful home of historian Patricia Brady, and was treated to a wonderfully intimate reading from Contents May Have Shifted, a real treat.
In other news, many members have gotten involved with edible books. Artist Yuka Petz hosted the second annual Edible Book Festival at Alvar Library, a great success. Sheila Cork put together a Cake Baking Contest at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), and member Antoinette de Alteriis was one of the winners! New ways are being explored to include book arts in NOLA's programming.
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|New York City
Career Skills Panel
WNBA-NYC's "Career Skills Panel" event took place at the Time and Life building, March 10. Moderated by Andrea Baron, WNBA-NYC Student/Young Professional Outreach Chair and Adjunct Professor, Pace University MS in Publishing Program, a panel of experts including Angela Bole, Deputy Executive Director, Book Industry Study Group, Inc. and Alexis Bressler, Human Resources Specialist, Macmillan Publishers, discussed the new realities of the publishing industry. This year's "Query Roulette" was the chapter's most successful ever. Organized by Kathryn Bild and Rachel Weiss-Feldman, it was held at the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and featured 11 literary agents, 24 writers and 110 meetings.(Thank-you to the AAP's Tina Jordan and Becca Washington!) NYC's second "Independent Bookstore Crawl" took place on May 9, and this year featured Crawford Doyle, Kitchen Arts & Letters, and the literary mecca of the Upper East Side, The Corner Bookstore. Those attending adjourned to a neighborhood restaurant for dinner.
"Spring Brunch" took place on April 28 at the home of member Diana Altman. Animated discussion, networking, and enjoying wonderful food with fellow WNBA-ers was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in New York. Thank-you to Diana for once again hosting this event in her home!
Deirdre Bair was nominated for the prestigious Plutarch award for her recent book, Saul Steinberg: a Biography.
Jane Kinney-Denning, WNBA-NYC president, interviewed John P. Stern, president of Storm King Art Center, the sculpture park in Mountainville, for Chronogram magazine. Read the interview here.
Linda Epstein, WNBA-NYC VP-Communications, and Stefanie Lipsey, are hosting a writing and yoga retreat, July 25-28 in Long Island. WNBA members get a 10% discount. writingandyogaretreat.com.
Bill Greer has produced the new web site of the New Netherland Institute. The site features his digital exhibition "Arent van Curler & the Flatts: How History, Archaeology & Art Illuminate a Life on the Hudson."
Kit Grindstaff's middle grade fantasy The Flame in the Mist is now out! See the trailer here on Kit's website. "Fast, creepy fun."--Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar. Connect with Kit on Facebook and Twitter.
Masha Hamilton, winner of the WNBA Award in 2010, has just published her new book, What Changes Everything.
Amy Hill Hearth's Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society is a book club pick for Simon & Schuster, a Reader's Digest Select Edition, and a main selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a book club with 550 chapters.
Lucine Kasbarian's The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale won the 2013 Nautilus Silver Award in the Children's Picture Book category.
Pamela Milam's Premarital Counseling for Gays and Lesbians was released in March. In June, Pamela signed a contract with the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency for her second book.
Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being, recently reviewed in The New York Times, is the story of a 16-year-old Japanese girl named Nao, whose diary washes ashore on a small Canadian island off the coast of BC. http://www.ruthozeki.com.
Joan Regen-Ramirez had a story, The Last Hurrah of General Jackson, published in www.short-story.me.
Melissa A. Rosati, CPCC now represents the Institut Van Gogh, Auvers-sur-Oise, France, as the Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships, USA. She is organizing a $50M campaign titled "Van Gogh's Dream", for the U.S. market.
Harriet Shenkman, WNBA-NYC's Academic Liaison, had a poem, Unrequited Love, featured on the web site BoomerCafe.org. Two of her other poems, Lost in Egypt and Riff on Coupling, have been published in the online literary journal www.booksbywomen.org.
Harikleia Sirmans was awarded the George Gaumond Award for exemplary scholarship and service as MLIS graduate student at Valdosta State University.
Stephanie A. Smith's Baby Rocket, the second in a trilogy, was published in June by Thames River Press. www.stephanieasmith.net.
Valerie Tomaselli, WNBA national president, announces that City of the Dead, the first book in MTM's middle grade series, Horrors of History, earned a Junior Library Guild citation.
From Book Idea to the Bookshelf:
The Process and Business of Publishing
Co-hosted with the Charlotte Writers Club, WNBA-Charlotte gathered together experienced book industry representatives on February 19, many of whom are WNBA-Charlotte members, to discuss how a manuscript goes from the idea stage to a published book for sale to the reading public. This event--"From Book Idea to the Bookshelf: The Process and Business of Publishing"--was a HUGE success with nearly 100 people attending!
The discussion ranged from finding an agent to self-publishing opportunities as well as the importance of engaging an audience via an online presence. Featured panelists included: Agent Josh Adams, Adams Literary; Independent Editor Betsy Thorpe, Betsy Thorpe Literary Services (WNBA member); Kelly Bowen, Publicity Director, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; Amanda Phillips, MarComm Manager at distributor/wholesaler Baker & Taylor (WNBA member); Independent Bookseller Sally Brewster, owner of Park Road Books in Charlotte (WNBA member); Lisa Williams Kline, author of the middle-grade novels Eleanor Hill (winner of the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award), The Princesses of Atlantis, Write Before Your Eyes, and the Sisters in All Seasons series[JD2]; Independent Book Marketing, Sales and Promotion Consultant Susan Walker (WNBA-Charlotte President).
Latin American and Latina Women Writers
and Literature in Translation
Following on from that success, Charlotte was privileged to give its members a fascinating and enjoyable evening on April 22, with a program entitled "Latin American and Latina Women Writers and Literature in Translation" with Magdalena Maiz-Peña, Professor of Hispanic Studies at Davidson College.
Latin American and Latina writers--Isabel Allende, Alicia Partnoy, Laura Restrepo, Clarice Lispector, Elena Poniatowska, Julia Alvarez, Esmerelda Santiago, Sandra Cisneros, Cherrie Moraga, and many more offered a wide range of wonderful fiction, nonfiction and poetry in Spanish and in English translation. Professor Maiz-Peña was the perfect guide through this literature she loves so much. Members learned a lot, laughed a lot, and came away with a list of books they can't wait to read! A list of recommended books was provided at the meeting. It will be available on the WNBA-Charlotte website in the near future.
Professor Magdalena Maiz-Peña
Professor Magdalena Maiz-Peña specializes in twentieth-century Latin American Women Writers, Life-Writing and the Politics of Representation, and Contemporary Latin American Literary and Cultural Narratives. Her teaching interests include Basic and Intermediate language courses, Introduction to Hispanic literatures and cultures, Contemporary Latin American literatures, and The Latin American City and its historical and cultural representation. She is the author of Identidad, nación y gesto autobiográfico, and coeditor of
Modalidades de representación del sujeto auto/biográfico femenino. Her recent publications have appeared in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and the U.S. She is presently working on a book project on Urban Spaces, Gender, and Cultural Production in Mexico 1920-1950. At Davidson College, Professor Maiz-Peña has been awarded The Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award (1995), the ODK Outstanding Teaching Award (1997), and the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award (2006). She was recently recognized for her work on the Latino Community with the Latin American Coalition Award (2007).
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Third Annual Detroit Publishing Panel
At our Third Annual Detroit April Publishing panel, Young Adult authors living in Michigan spoke to a crowd of teens and adults at Novi Library on the eternal themes of YA lit and its recent rise in popularity as an adult reading choice. Following are the four authors: Tracy Bilen is the author of What She Left Behind, a young adult thriller from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster. Tracy studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. Amy Ackley is the author of
Sign Language, a novel drawing on the experience of losing her father at a
Saving June and Speechless, both published by Harlequin Teen. Speechless was named one of 2013's Best Fiction for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Ari Berk is an award-winning writer, visual artist, and scholar. He holds degrees in ancient history, American Indian studies, and comparative literature and culture. He is the author of Death Watch and Mistle Child, among many others. He is a professor of folklore and mythology at Central Michigan University. Books were sold and autographed but the teens also took tons of photos of themselves with the authors. This free April event always draws a big, diverse crowd and we cannot wait for next year!
young age. It won the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult fiction. Hannah Harrington is the 26-year-old author of
(L to R back row) Amy Ackley, Ari Berk. (L to R front row) Tracy Bilen, Hannah Harrington.
"The Detroit Metro Book & Author Society Luncheon" gathered a crowd of almost 1,500, one of the largest book events in the country. WNBA Detroit has sent representatives to this Board and is instrumental in the PR and volunteering to make it a successful twice-a-year event. Authors this year were Debbie Macomber, the best-selling author of over 150 romance novels and contemporary women's fiction. Over 140 million copies of her books are in print and four have become made-for-TV movies; Brad Thor, often called the "master of thrillers," his internationally published best sellers include The First Commandment and Lions of Lucerne, whose latest novel is Black List. Also attending this year were Paul French, an acclaimed British historian and China expert, his best-selling true crime novel is Midnight in Peking; William Kent Krueger, an award-winning crime writer known for his Cork O'Connor series of books, set in Minnesota, his new mystery novel is called Ordinary Grace; and Richard Snow, a popular historian whose new book, I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford, the story of the model T--the machine that transformed America--and of Ford himself. The next "Book & Author Luncheon" will be held on October 21.
May also brought members together to honor the board and cheer on the incoming board members at the annual business meeting dinner held in the beautiful upper rooms of Redford Public Library. There were many short book talks by members and trading of books, too. A drawing for a board-donated goodie bag capped the evening--always entertaining in its own right! Of course, marvelous dessert is a must.
To draw WNBA Detroit's far-flung membership together during the rest of the year, Tanya Davidson, the new Social Media/PR chair, has begun a WNBA Detroit Book Club, beginning this summer with The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. The chapter is looking forward to getting to know each other and sharing their passion for books and reading. Titles the group will read will be voted on. Anyone interested in joining, either in person or via the virtual world, is welcome!
The 10th Annual Pitch-O-Rama
The "10th Annual Pitch-O-Rama: Meet Agents, Editors, and Publishers" on Saturday, April 13, at Swiss Louis Restaurant, Pier 39, in San Francisco, was a rousing success! The event returned to a venue on the Bay that had been renovated and offered spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay. With limited enrollment, writers had a chance to pitch their books in an informal, relaxed atmosphere.
The 10th Annual Pitch-O-Rama
The literary professionals were expanded this year to include agents, editors, small press publishers, and publishing consultants. The Small Press Publishers Panel presented another option with two featured authors: Betsy Graziani Fasbinder published by She Writes Press and Maggie Oman Shannon published by Viva Editions.
Finally, a delicious luncheon was served quickly and efficiently as participants watched the sea lions and ferryboats ply the waters. As Andy Ross, a literary agent, said, "We should do this every day!"
This event is an annual fundraiser that allows the SF chapter to pursue its educational and charitable goals: literacy programs for homeless families, bookstore events for the reading public, outreach workshops for writers, lecture series with San Francisco Public Library, and networking for its members.
On April 30, WNBA-SF cosponsored the 17th annual "Effie Lee Morris Lecture" in partnership with the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the SFPL Fisher Children's Center. The featured
speaker was Eve Bunting, award-winning author of over 250 books, who spoke eloquently about "Picture Books That Can't Be Written: Social Issues in Children's Literature."
Eve Bunting and Susan Pace-Koch
WNBA members were on hand at the reception preceding the lecture as greeters and ushers, and they handed out free tickets for the book raffle. Member Susan Pace-Koch, an aspiring author of children's picture books, kept Eve Bunting company at the book-signing table. Soon the auditorium filled up with a larger than average-sized audience, partly due to the increased publicity throughout the SF chapter network. Ms. Bunting was a delight, humorous and heartfelt, telling of her need to express her outrage at social injustice through the medium of children's picture books in spite of publishers' objections. Her commitment and skill to accomplish this was apparent in the passages she read and in her commentary.
At the end of the program, the chapter raffled off five splendid picture books written by Bunting to the audience, and also provided paperback versions to those who tweeted about the event. Ms. Bunting, who remained on the stage and participated in the raffle, is a spry cailín (colleen) with a charming brogue, full of vigor and spirit, who admitted to all that she is well over eighty.
San Francisco Writers Conference 2013
By Joan Gelfand
Every year for the past ten years, the SF chapter of the WNBA has had the pleasure of hosting an information table at the SFWC. Over the years, the conference has brought the chapter numerous new members and served as an impromptu information center for writers seeking information on such wide-ranging topics as the UN, writing workshops, or eBooks.
As the children and their families arrived for the free session with author R. L. Stine on Saturday morning, I was amazed at their sheer joy and anticipation. They were true fans of Stine, lovers of his horror books for kids (Goosebumps series), and delighted to be meeting him in person. Soon the Room of the Dons filled with kids, parents, grandparents, librarians, and teachers. When Stine began his presentation, I was as enthralled as the rest of the audience as he led us through an interactive storytelling session. I giggled like a 10-year-old at the silly ideas the kids added to the composite story of the "Haunted Car." What I learned was that I am never too old to enjoy outrageous creativity. And Stine is one of the best at that.
To read the rest of Joan's report, please click here.
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Author Event at Parkplace Books
The evening of April 29 found Seattle WNBA hosting a social gathering of members and potential members at Purple Café and Wine Bar, a fun restaurant that is convenient to one of our favorite independent bookstores, Parkplace Books, where we later migrated for a wonderful author event.
Over wine and nibbles at Purple we got to know several new faces--women who write, read, are active in reading groups, and/or otherwise love books, and came to learn about the Women's National Book Association. Much interest in joining was expressed and we are looking forward to seeing more of these ladies in the near future.
The author event at Parkplace Books was a delight--actually a double delight--as two members of Seattle7Writers (a collective of well-published Northwest authors devoted to promoting literacy in their communities) read from their latest novels, answered questions, and chatted about their writing processes.
(L to R) Erica Bauermeister, Linda Gray, Judy Solberg, Leslie Adams, Jennie Shortridge.
Jennie Shortridge (Love, Water, Memory), and Erica Bauermeister (The Lost Art of Mixing), are both bestselling authors who often do tandem readings. These two women write differently from each other, but have deep respect for the other's process and writing style. Both are accomplished in another creative endeavor that informs their writing significantly: Jennie in singing, and Erica in cooking.
Both emphasized how much they have learned not only from each other, but from the critique group they've formed with some of the other Seattle7Writers, and how their writing has grown in ways they would never have imagined without that interaction. The readings were riveting, and attendees lined up afterward to have their copies of the new books signed by the authors.
Poetry Month at Busboys & Poets
WNBA-DC hosted a Poetry Month program at popular DC venue Busboys & Poets. The panel of five women poets addressed the issues of "The Culture of Rape and the War on Women." A word about the panelists: Cynthia Atkins was born and raised in Chicago and received a BFA and an MA from the University of Illinois and an MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts. She is the author of Psyche's Weathers and the forthcoming collection, In the Event of Full Disclosure (Wordtech, 2013), with themes of mental illness/wellness and family life. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and were nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Her honors include residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. She currently teaches English at Virginia Western Community College. She was the founder and for eight years the artistic director of Writers@Jordan House/FAIR. Atkins currently lives on the Maury River of Rockbridge County, VA, with artist Phillip Welch.
(L to R) Moderator Michelle Sewell, Riggin Waugh, Cynthia Atkins, Martiza Rivera, Katherine Young, and Beth Konkoski, posing against a backdrop, in the Langston Room, of people who struggled for peace. Photo by Meredith Pond
Beth Konkoski is a writer with roots in the Adirondacks and a life with her husband and two children in northern Virginia. Her chapbook of poetry, Noticing the Splash, was published in 2009 by BoneWorld Press. Her poetry and fiction have been published in numerous literary journals. She has a piece forthcoming in Smokelong Quarterly.
Maritza Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet and army veteran who has lived in Rockville, MD since 1994. Maritza is the creator of a short form of poetry called Blackjack and her work appears in literary magazines, anthologies, and online publications. She is the author of About You, a collection of poetry "for women and the men they love" and A Mother's War, written during her son's two tours in Iraq to make the intensity of war a reality for everyone. Maritza participates in the Warrior Poetry Project at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and serves on the board of directors of Split This Rock in Washington, DC.
Tote bag-winning writer Riggin Waugh lives in Takoma Park. She is the editor of two anthologies--Dykes With Baggage: The Lighter Side of Lesbians in Therapy and Ex-Lover Weird Shit: A Collection of Short Fiction, Poetry, and Cartoons by Lesbians and Gay Men. Her poetry, short fiction, personal essays, and interviews have appeared in many anthologies and literary journals and on the occasional bathroom wall.
Katherine E. Young is the author of Day of the Border Guards, which is forthcoming from the University of Arkansas Poetry Series. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, and many other literary magazines. Her translations of Russian poet Inna Kabysh were awarded a share of the 2011 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender Prize.
Moderator Michelle Sewell kept things moving. Each poet was introduced, and then had ten minutes to read her work, after which the floor was open to questions from the audience.
|The Real Presidents of WNBA
|Annette Marie Haley|
Annette Marie Haley (Detroit) Interviews Los Angeles Chapter President, Ruth Light
Ruth was born in Ohio in a tiny town where her school life flourished and her home life was chaotic. She sought solace from the family's fat, old, cantankerous Welsh pony, and survived to go on to Bowling Green State University next to the Heinz processing plant, which made her time there smell like ketchup. In Ruth's third year at Bowling Green,
a friend invited her to go along to California, and with no hesitation, she went! They camped their way across the states, then Ruth enrolled in Long Beach State, but dropped out to get married. During this time, she heard about the Montessori Method of education, and was smitten. She enrolled in the internationally accredited Montessori course, and found it to be an excellent fit for her holistic outlook on children and education. Ruth graduated and spent 35 industrious and happy years in the classroom. Along the way, she went back to college at Antioch University and earned her undergrad degree.
Ruth Light (LA President)
Fast forward to today and you will find Ruth in the Culver City Adult School two days a week, her arthritis progressing to the point that working with little children has become just too hard physically. She now works with teens needing to make up credits for graduation, and often her earlier work with the little ones informs her current work with the teens!
Ruth makes her home with her darling (tall!) gentlemanly husband Glenn in a perfectly sized open plan hillside home; just beyond the flower-surrounded deck and past the valley is the blue Pacific. Ruth is a relaxed and welcoming hostess who practically bubbles over with joy every moment she is awake. Anyone who knows her adores her and becomes her friend forever. You just cannot help but love Ruth Light!
Why did you originally join WNBA?
For the wonderful, intelligent women! A friend told me I would meet interesting people in WNBA, and she was right.
What other positions in WNBA have you held? What did you enjoy in those jobs?
I was the LA chapter president several years ago, and I was National Secretary for four years. I have enjoyed the travel associated with the national meetings, and I have enjoyed the opportunities for personal growth. My ability to organize and my comfort with public speaking have certainly been enhanced by my work with WNBA. And the women! The women of WNBA are a cut above, and I have made some lifelong friends.
Why did you take on this leadership role?
|(L to R) Margaret Auer (Detroit), Annette Marie Haley (Detroit), Ruth Light (LA), Jill Tardiff (NYC) |
in Santa Monica
In June of 2012, I was on the LA chapter's search committee for a new president, and found that the chapter members I spoke to about the presidency usually had an agenda of their own...or they were uninformed about the mission of WNBA and saw the organization only as a platform for publicity. I asked our vice president, Rachelle Yousuf, even though she was very new to WNBA, if she would consider taking the reins. Instead, she suggested that she "shadow" me for a year, and then, if she felt ready, she would step into the president's role. And Eureka! This plan has worked very well, and our chapter is stronger and more stable for having done this. Rachelle will be in Nashville as our president in June, and we are delighted!
What is your best life short story?
(WARNING---there is animal death in this story!) My brother Ned and brother Hal, as they were poking sticks one day into the shrubbery around our house for no reason other than they were kids and they wanted to, found a dead cat. I was watching them, and saw the surprise, which turned to wondering, which turned to excitement when Hal said, "Let's cook it!" I suppose it's not really my life story since I was just an onlooker as they snuck into the kitchen to get a pot and matches, and filled the pot up with water at the outdoor spigot, and put that heavy pot on the old brick fireplace that we used to burn the trash. And I didn't even help them drag that carcass over to the fireplace, nor help them lift it with sticks and drop it into the boiling water, nor did I go and look in when they both yelled "Maggots!" But I didn't "tell" on them, so somehow I became complicit, and ownership of a story certainly derives from watching and keeping a secret...right?
Ruth Light (LA) and Margaret Auer (Detroit) in NYC
What/Who would you hate to be without?
Glenn, my husband of 20 years. Keith, my son. Bonnie, Matt, Jeff, and Jessica, step-kids and spouses. Darlene, my BFF. My nine grandkids. My three huge pillows when we go camping. Diet Coke.
You are happiest in what situation?
I'm happiest when I am outdoors, having a picnic along with a hike, with my husband and my son and any other family I can gather around, with resting/talking times woven into the schedule. (Editorial comment: Ruth HIKES not just "hikes.")
What fun hobby-type activities do you enjoy?
Grandkids are not a hobby, but we are rich in them and do spend a lot of our spare time in the summer visiting with them. They stay at our house, or we visit at their houses. They range in age from fourteen years down to almost two, and are all healthy and active. We feel very happy to have them! Is aquacize a sport? I do that every Monday night. Writing! I am in a thoughtful, enriching, serious writing group. Movies! Love 'em! Have you seen 42?
Do you care to mention any goals in your life?
I want to finish that book I've been writing for about ten years! And yes, it will include the dead cat story!
(Editorial side story: Ruth has been a joy to travel with during the last four years I have served on the National Board. She is an entertaining guide on the side and always helpful in any capacity. She willingly got into my car to drive through floods in Detroit from an island dinner, packed WNBA members into her and her hubby's cars to drive to a Southern California authors awards event, lead us to a fabulous grand old California place tucked away in Marina Del Ray for lunch; walked arm in arm with us at sunset on the Santa Monica Pier, and happily hauled a boatload of us in her car, snaking through the "upper crust" streets of Malibu, to the Hollywood area, the La Brea Tar Pits, and beyond. She was with us at a New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert at the Plaza, at the top of the Rockefeller Center in NYC with Margaret Auer and me, and she's always game for new life experiences! I wish we could clone Ruth Light. (Dibs on the patent!)
Annette Marie Haley is the immediate past president of WNBA Detroit, and WNBA's national secretary. Annette Marie is a retired librarian who serves on foundation boards, library boards, and in many fundraising capacities in her community in Michigan. You may contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The Women's National Book Association is a
Non-Governmental (NGO) member of the
United Nations, supporting the UN in its goals.)
Town Hall Meeting Airs Concerns of NGOs Associated with UN DPI
On March 13, 2013 the WNBA was invited to participate in a town hall meeting for NGOs associated with the United Nations Department of Information (DPI) to discuss the urgent concerns of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee over our future status with the UN.
The meeting was held at the Salvation Army on East 52nd Street, as ongoing renovations at the East River UN Headquarters have resulted in limited space and access. It was led by Charles Hitchcock, Chair of the DPI/NGO Executive Committee, joined by Mary Norton, Vice Chair; Catherine White, Vice Chair; Kelly Roberts, Secretary and Chair of the Youth Subcommittee; and Janet Salazar, Treasurer, on the dais.
Copies of a letter written by Mr. Hitchcock on the behalf of the Executive Committee to Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, incoming Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, were distributed to attending NGO members.
In mid-December of 2012, the Executive Committee learned indirectly and without consultation of a drastic reorganization of the Department of Public Information that included proposed budget and personnel cuts. Some changes had been expected with retirements at DPI, but the elimination after 65 years of a dedicated liaison with NGOs came as a shock and generated concerns over the role of Civil Society with the UN. For years UN officials have called Civil Society (NGOs) the "third pillar" of the UN, but the proposed reorganization now called into question the importance of that third pillar.
The Executive Committee met with Mahar Nassar, the Director of the Outreach Division of the DPI. He assured them that conferences and weekly briefings would continue, but nothing was put into writing and he was unable to allay their concerns. As the letter states:
We believe that the reorganization as presented diminishes greatly the role of civil society, which is associated with DPI. The replacement of the NGO Relations Chief's position by someone who was initially not hired to oversee activities of the NGO community is difficult for us to understand ... our concerns, amongst others, include the continuation of weekly briefings at Headquarters; this weekly event has brought NGOs and university students from the metropolitan area and beyond to the UN. Additionally, they have given us very important material to take back to our NGOs, academic institutions, and ... respective communities.
Several representatives of NGOs took the floor to express their views. Cyril Ritchie, president of CONGO (Congress of NGOs affiliated with ECOSOC) , felt this could threaten CONGO's mandate to provide access by NGOs to UN meetings and decisions and that the fact this was being done without NGO input would set a bad precedent. Marjorie Cohen of the League of Women's Voters questioned how this was going to affect NGOs as the people's representatives in both providing and learning information. Eva Richter of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women felt this signaled a sea change at DPI, beginning with the Thursday briefings that once had reflected the interests and input of the NGO community and now were increasingly being replaced by panels on subjects of less interest. Others were concerned about access, both substantive and physical, to UN Headquarters, if NGOs are marginalized by the proposed reorganization and budget cut of $100,000 to DPI, limiting the opportunities to network. Your WNBA representative raised the issue of how NGOs can fulfill their mandate to teach about the UN if access is limited. Others agreed that this might hamper the increasingly opaque process of accreditation, especially since NGO goals are not being officially outlined.
There were also those who reminded us that the UN was not required to consult with outsiders on internal changes and that the reorganization stressed the advocacy role of NGOs. This, however, only applied to NGO/ECOSOC as NGO/DPI cannot advocate.
Votes were taken on a multi-prong approach, including the letter, to make clear NGOs' desire to continue to participate at the highest possible level.
Also of concern was the impact of budget cuts on the Annual Conference, which for 64 years NGOs associated with DPI have planned and executed, bringing together 1500 NGO representatives working in disparate fields in about 60 countries. A decision should be made by late spring on whether to hold the conference in New York City this fall.
Social Storytelling in the Age of Data - Meaning and Momentum. How Do NGOs Leverage Social Media to Reach Broad Audiences? A report by youth representative Jenna Vaccaro.
Department of Public Information Youth Orientation Program. A report by youth representatives Diana Cavallo and Jenna Vaccaro.
WNBA's UN DPI/NGO Team
Valerie Tomaselli, WNBA National President ~ Jill Tardiff, Main Representative ~ Nancy Stewart, First Alternate ~ Marilyn Berkman, Second Alternate ~ Diana Cavallo, Youth Representative ~ Jenna Vaccaro, Youth Representative
|Websites, Blogs, and Content Management Systems
What is the difference and which one is right for you?
By Linda Lee
(The following is a chapter from Linda's forthcoming book, Smart Women, Stupid Computers, The Savvy Guide to Using the Internet.)
You have many choices on how to start your website.
- Hire a professional to create your site, and help you with updates and changes.
- Use a web builder program like Go Daddy or others, but many of these have been phased out in the last few years and you never know if they are going to stick around.
- Learn how to create a website using a program like Dreamweaver or Adobe, or a free HTML page builder such as Nvu. This is the most difficult option because these programs are quite complicated to learn.
- Create a WordPress blog website, which has templates to choose from or hire a professional to custom create a WordPress theme. This is the best choice if you want to run your own site with relative ease. There are tons of free training online and many great support forums.
- Use a CMS (content management system), such as Drupal or Joomla. You can learn how to set it up or hire someone to do it. WordPress has also evolved into a full content management system.
What is the difference between a website, website builder, CMS (content management system), and a blog?
- Website (or "web site")--a collection of related web pages, images, videos, or other files that are hosted on a web server, usually accessible via the Internet.
- Website Builder Programs--a set of tools available online to help build your own website. Usually these are included in some form with your web hosting or may cost extra. They use templates and guide you through set up; you usually just add the content and photos. You can run this through your web hosting control panel. The drawback on using these templates and services like Go Daddy and others is they can be dropped at any time. You are at the mercy of others when you use these web building programs. I have seen so many of them come and go over the years.
- Content Management System (CMS)--a type of website set up that allows the owner to run their site without a webmaster. There are many options available, and most people will still need to hire a professional for the initial set up. Once it is ready, you will learn how to login, add content, and use the system you have selected. WordPress has evolved into a content management system website builder and is one of the easiest systems to use and learn. Content management systems also include Drupal, and Joomla.
- WordPress is now the number one CMS on the Internet. Why? Because there is so much support for it, lots of free training, and it works!
- Blog (short for web log) is a type of website, usually maintained by the owner who can login to the site and add content and photos and other things. The blog style website features all the posts the author writes and publishes. It is a website but the blog section is the content vs. sales pages, book pages, and the other types of pages and sections you add to a full content management system style website.
- Blog websites are becoming more common, since the days of using a blog as just an online journal are over. Many people still user Google's Blogger as their free blog site, especially if they are not trying to run a business. Blogger is meant to be phased out at some point. Google is notorious for just dropping programs like this.
- There are many free templates to choose from. Often it is easier to have a professional set it up. WordPress is my favorite CMS and is the most widely used blogging/website platform in the world. You can also set up a website for free in five minutes with WordPress if you have no budget for a website. I have a video on how to do that here.
- This is a great way to become familiar with the system and get comfortable with using WordPress before you install your own website on your own hosting.
- If you are serious about running a business or professional website, I recommend you get your own self-hosted WordPress site where you use your own hosting and domain name.
- Most hosting companies offer free installation of WordPress on your own hosting account. Then you need to install the theme and add the content to the site or have your web designer/webmaster do that for you.
To read the rest of this chapter from Linda's forthcoming book, please click here.
Linda Lee is a writer, speaker, educator, and website designer who demystifies the online experience. Linda specializes in WordPress and teaching WordPress. askmepc-webdesign.com. smartwomenstupidcomputers.com.
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|From the Editors
Pick a book . . . any book!
Looking for suggestions for what to read this summer? Well, look no further, because we have a list compiled by some of the country's finest bookwomen, i.e., WNBA's national board members.
Be the first reader to email us
, and we'll send you your choice of any one of the books from this Best Books of 2013
list to get you started.
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We'll see you back here in September. Until then, have a lovely summer of reading!
Gloria Toler (Nashville) & Rhona Whitty (NYC)
Annette Marie Haley (Detroit)
Bookwoman Copy Editor
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