Bookwoman Logo
ContentsVol 77  Number 1
Fall 2013
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PresidentPresident's Letter
Valerie TomaselliDear WNBA members,


I find myself writing my first Bookwoman message of the 2013-2014 season on August 28, fortunate timing as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  


The celebrations today have reminded me of the power of words, the power of ideas poetically rendered. I am thinking in particular about one phrase, spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr., on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, five words that have the grace of a poem and the strength of a call to arms: ". . . the fierce urgency of now." What a potent idea, how eloquently expressed. The perfect adjective "fierce," conveying force and anger; "urgency," a noun so well-tuned to the needs of the moment; and the final exhortation of "now," ever more persuasive because of its unusual syntax


I hope that all of us who recognize the power of words to shape our lives might be motivated by the elegance of such a simple poem. As writers and editors, we work toward such metaphorical clarity. As publishers, marketers, booksellers, and librarians, we promote works filled with such compelling ideas. And as readers, we thrill to the brilliance of such thoughtful and potent language.


At the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, my message is simple: Let's look for those perfect words, those astonishing phrases, those indispensable books, and celebrate them!


Happy reading!  


Valerie Tomaselli

President, Women's National Book Association


" . . . when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station, can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace . . ."

~ President Barack Obama

From his August 28, 2013, speech commemorating the March on Washington. Full transcript available at
WritingContestWNBA's Second Annual Writing Contest
Submission Period: August 15th - November 15th, 2013
Submit your entries
  • Online submissions only
  • Unpublished work only
  • Fiction: 2500 word limit (no novel excerpts or memoirs)
  • Poetry: 3-5 pages maximum
  • WNBA Members: $15 per entry/Non-Members: $20 per entry

  • $250 cash prize and publication in The Bookwoman, the official publication of the Women's National Book Association 
  • Winners announced March 2014 

This year's fiction judge is New York Times best-selling author Meg Waite Clayton, and multi-award-winning writer/poet, Molly Peacock, will judge the poetry entries.  


Read last year's winning entries in The Bookwoman--Special Contest Issue.

Questions? Contact: [email protected].

Sustaining Members
Atria Books
National Reading Group Month Sponsor 
The Crown Publishing Group 
Extra Libris -- Great books and more to go with them
National Reading Group Month Sponsor

Dancing Chiva Literary Arts, S.C.

HarperCollins Publishers
(Amistad,Ecco, Harper, Harper Paperbacks, HarperPerennial,
WilliamMorrow, William Morrow Paperbacks)
National Reading Group Month Sponsor

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
National Reading Group Month Sponsor

Other Press
National Reading Group Month Sponsor

Penguin Group (USA) / Penguin Young Readers Group
WNBA Pannell Award Sponsor

National Reading Group Month Sponsor

Friends of National Reading Group Month
American Booksellers Association
Book Group Buzz--A Booklist Blog
Kobo-A Rakuten Company
Reading Group Choices--Selections for Lively Book Discussion
Reading Group Guides--The Online Community for Reading Groups

GGR Logo
In this issue . . .

President's Letter 

WNBA's Second Annual Writing Contest Announcement

WNBA's 2013
Nominating Committee

Chapter News

* Boston
* Charlotte
* Detroit
* Los Angeles
* Nashville
* New Orleans
* New York City
* San Francisco
* Seattle
* Washington, DC 

Real Presidents of WNBA
Annette Marie Haley (Detroit) interviews Detroit's new chapter president, Willetta Heising

UN Corner
UN Fall Report
By Jill Tardiff (NYC)

Malala Day

By Jenna Vaccaro (NYC)

Yale Writers' Conference 2013
By Joan Jackson (LA)

Jane Austen on the £10 pound note. Edith Wharton on the $10 bill?

Important Copyright Information for Contributors 

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WNBA's Executive Officers
VP/President Elect:
Carin Siegfried

Gloria Toler

Immediate Past President

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.

Submission Guidelines
for The Bookwoman
Updated deadlines, formatting, and word count specifications for the upcoming season are
available here.

Interested in submitting an article to The Bookwoman? Contact us at:
NominatingWNBA's 2013
Nominating Committee
The nominating committee for the upcoming election year has been announced:
Carin Siegfried,
Committee Chair (Charlotte),
Jane Denning
(NYC), and Daphne Kalotay (Boston).
Chapter News


Our Meet the Agent session, held in conjunction with the National Writers Union, took place at the Coolidge Corner Library and featured literary agent Lorin Rees.


Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. Our members-only book club, led by member Cynthia Biron, met to discuss The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D., by Nichole Bernier and The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout.


Our Honoring Our Own party & Annual Meeting was held at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown; members shared their news, from completing work on a short story to having just sent a novel out to literary agents, and celebrated one another's accomplishments.


We have started a database of member-authors available to meet/Skype with book clubs. If you are in a reading group, check out our list of books & authors:  


Member News 


I am Holding Your Hand Myfanwy Collins read from her work I Am Holding Your Hand at the Haverhill Public Library.

  At the Concord of the Rivers  

Anne Ipsen presented her book At The Concord of the Rivers at the New England Authors Expo in July.


Daphne Kalotay's second novel, 

Sight Reading, was published by HarperCollins in May.

Defiant Brides Nancy Rubin Stuart discussed her book Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married at the Historic 1699 Winslow House & Cultural Center in Marshfield.

  Clover House 

Henriette Lazaridis Power read from her debut  novel, The Clover House , at the Boston Public Library.


Maryanne O'Hara read from her novel Cascade at Westborough Public Library.

 The Art Forger 

B.A. Shapiro's novel, The Art Forgerwas released in paperback to become a New York Times bestseller.

  The Other Room

Kim Triedman's debut novel, The Other Room (Owl Canyon Press) will be published in October. She has a new blog:


Report by Daphne Kalotay
 [email protected]  



The WNBA-Charlotte is getting ready for another stellar programming year. We re-launch in September with two different events, both social. On September 9 we'll host our WNBA Charlotte Annual Fall Networking Event at a fun pub called The Peculiar Rabbit! Then, on September 14, some members (and spouses) are participating in the Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Annual Rock & Read 5K. Our WNBA-Charlotte team will not only be running for a good cause, but also will be onsite with a table to sell tickets to our 4th Annual BiblioFeast event, which celebrates National Reading Group Month in October. As you can see, we're well on our way to a busy and fun year! 


Member News


Carol Baldwin, WNBA At-Large board member,

will be teaching fiction writing at Charlotte Piedmont Community College this fall, which targets the intermediate writer. More here

The Wisdom of Hair 

Kim Boykin's novel The Wisdom of Hair was picked by Azalea Magazine as a best summer read!  


Holly Hughes, WNBA-Charlotte secretary, had her short story, "Finger Paint," published in the inaugural issue of Stone Crowns Magazine in early August. Fellow WNBA-erKidnapped by the CartelBetsy Thorpe, helped to edit.

Karen Scioscia
was interviewed about her book Kidnapped by the Cartel by the Women in Crime Ink blog 


Report by Jessica Daitch


September will mark our first meeting of the 2013-14 year; and we're looking forward to hearing about the upcoming Southern Festival of Books, October 11-13. This is the 25th anniversary of Nashville's book festival, and Humanities Tennessee is pulling out all the stops to celebrate this milestone.


Our preparations for the festival begin early, as we make plans for our incredibly popular National Reading Group Month event, "Breakfast with Authors," on October 12. Jill McCorkle, Margaret Renkl, Cathie Pelletier, Suzanne Rindell, and John Milliken Thompson will be our guest panelists. 


WNBA's breakfast is one of the biggest draws of the festival; every year we host an overflow crowd for coffee, pastries, and a lively and enlightening panel discussion. Chapter members do plenty of work behind the scenes as well, transporting authors, moderating discussion groups, and generally making ourselves useful, in addition to manning our large WNBA booth. This outreach is particularly important as the festival brings book lovers from near and far to Nashville, and we always gain several new members. 

Member News

The Final Cut J.T. Ellison, author of nine critically acclaimed novels, teams with New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter, for their new book, The Final Cut (A Brit in the FBI). Publisher's Weekly describes the first book in a new international thriller series as "full of jaw-dropping action sequences." Janis Ian has written her first children's book (along with Ingrid & Dieter Schubert), The Tiny Mouse, about a bored mouse who goes on an adventure and narrowly escapes a grisly death at sea. The accompanying CD features Janis singing "The Tiny Mouse" plus a singalong version.


Joy of Being Dr. Veeraja Rajaratnam, a consultant scientific editor, is a well-published scientist and poet. Her latest work, Joy of Being: Poetry for the Heart, Mind and Spirit, has been called a "dance of rhythmic words emanating from the joy of God's gifts and in awe of His creations."


Gary Slaughter was special co-host of a Big Blend Radio show about World War II. Author of the Cottonwood novels, a series of books set in a small Michigan town during the war, Slaughter talked about WWII's stateside POW camps. More here.  


Report by Susan Lentz

[email protected] 

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NOLA2New Orleans

WNBA-NOLA on Facebook 


We take things easy in New Orleans in the summer  

(as I write this, I'm waiting for an air conditioning repairman), and our chapter takes August off. But we got the season off to a good start with an anniversary celebration in June at La Thai Restaurant, where I reported on my fabulous trip to Nashville for the National Board meeting - thanks again, Nashville friends, for such great hospitality.


In July, we met at Marigny Dupuy's new home for a potluck and welcomed some wonderful new members. We went around the circle and talked about the books we were reading, a wonderful icebreaker that gave us all some insights into what we liked and what we were thinking about. One of the faves was The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud. AND, we began brainstorming about events for the National Board meeting here in 2016.


Our chapter has made great strides in developing the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction. We have raised more than $25,000, and the competition for debut crime novel is now open. For more information, check out the web site,, which launched in mid-August. The deadline to submit a book is November 1.


Coming up this fall - a new member event in September highlighting fall reads, a copyright law workshop, our National Reading Group Month events in October, and a Book Arts competition in November. We are continuing our annual holiday book drive for the Metropolitan Women's Shelter as part of our holiday celebration.


Member News  


SusanThe Booklover's Guide to NOLA Larson, president of WNBA-NOLA, is happy to have finished updating and revising The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans, which is available now. Larson hosts "The Reading Life" on WWNO, the New Orleans NPR affiliate. Listen at


Report by Susan Larson
[email protected] 

NYC2New York City


Our new season of programs begins with our annual networking party on September 11. We'll be raffling some very beautiful books at the end of the evening and will also start this fall's community service project--a book drive for the Kids Research Center.

We'll follow that on September 18, with a dialogue between two intriguing authors, both WNBA members--with topics ranging from their latest books, their inspirations, and how women authors fare in today's publishing world. Ruth Ozeki is a film-maker and author of the recently Man Booker-nominated A Tale for the Time Being, and Carole DeSanti is the author of The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. and an editor at Penguin, where she champions independent voices in women's fiction.


On September 22, our chapter will once again share a booth with the National Reading Group Month folks at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Last year's event was a great success and we hope to continue the positive experience this year. For our chapter's key NRGM event on October 23, we return to NYC's famous Strand Bookstore with a panel of renowned authors including Michèle Forbes, Caroline Leavitt, Bernice McFadden, Roxana Robinson, John Searles, and moderator and WNBA-NYC member, Elizabeth Nunez. WNBA Members receive free admission and a $15.00 Strand gift card. (Non-members pay $15 tickets at the door).  


We have another exciting panel event lined up November 12. "How I Got the Story: Women Writing Women's Lives" will take place at Pace University. Panelists include authors Jean Fagin Yellin, Marnie Mueller, Nancy Rubin Stuart, and Diane Jacobs, who will discuss the challenges and methodology of writing biographies. For more information on any of these events, contact Rosalind Reisner at: [email protected]


Member News


Cheryl J. Fish was a semi-finalist in L Magazine's
search for pocket fiction, and in the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Alumni Association's fiction writer's contest for an excerpt from her novel manuscript
Off the Yoga Mat. More at


Good to Her Enid Harlow will read from her new novel, Good to Her, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Tachair Bookshop, 260 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. Check out her book here. Enid recently published the short story The Piano Room.


Lucine Kasbarian's interview with author Vahan Zanoyan about his investigations regarding sex trafficking in Armenia appeared in Asbarez Weekly. Zanoyan's new suspense thriller, A Place Far Away, is about the subject at hand. More here


Follow that Car Jaime Nelson's Follow That Car!: A Cabbie's Guide to Conquering Fears, Achieving Dreams, and Finding a Public Restroom by Jimmy Failla, will be out this November. (Jaime is project manager for the book.)


Cast-Iron Cooking Irene Rawlings' Cast-Iron Cooking with Sisters on the Fly has recipes for the campfire or kitchen. Sisters on the Fly is a group of more than 4,000 women, who restore vintage trailers and go adventuring. More on Colorado Public Radio.


Harriet Shenkman's latest poem "Fourth Date" was published at, where she is poet-in-residence.


Rachel Slaiman continues to publish her articles and book reviews in both the print and online versions of Latin Trends Magazine. Specific articles can be found on Rachel's LinkedIn page.

 The Partner Track 

Helen Wan's debut novel will be published by St. Martin's Press on September 17. The Partner Track is about a young Asian-American woman competing for partner at a prestigious global law firm.


Report by Rosalind Reisner & Jenna Vaccaro 
[email protected]

In the Event of Full Disclosure Cynthia Atkins' new book In the Event of Full Disclosure was recently reviewed in CW Books. "Cynthia Atkins' extraordinary collection is a display of precious, vacuum-packed, uranium-heavy poems...illuminating your heart and guts from the inside."~ Seb Doubinsky. Read more here.  

Distant Sunrise


Francess Cole's autobiography Distant Sunrise - The Strength in her Pain to Forgive, presents a  transformation against all odds when a divine presence is called upon. .  


Lily Willens and Khaled Hosseini Lily Willens was recently invited by the UN High Commission on Refugees to a concert and soiree to meet Khaled Hosseini, UN Goodwill Envoy. She writes, "...of course he remembered me since we spoke to each other in French."


Barb Winters' book Remembering My Son Paul was written to help her cope with the loss of her first child. His story, spanning his life, reveals his indomitable spirit and unflagging determination to battle cancer. She thanks Carla Danziger for providing helpful suggestions.


Spessart Roots Mary Wuest's Spessart Roots: A History of the People of a German Forest, reveals peasant life through the centuries: wars, witch persecutions, famines, heavy governance. Stories of individuals bring the forest's history to life.  For more information visit  

Report by NC Weil
[email protected]

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2013 Bookwoman Award goes to
Detroit's Rochelle Riley!


Rochelle Riley
Photo credit:
Rocky Mountain Telegram

The Detroit Chapter of the Women's National Book  Association is honored to bestow the 2013 Bookwoman Award to Rochelle Riley in recognition of her vast, varied, and passionate efforts in connection with promoting literacy and community responsibility.


Rochelle's column at Detroit Free Press often focuses on pressing social, political, and cultural issues, such as the responsibility of communities and government to its people; public education; and the crisis of Michigan's functional illiteracy in adults. It is this last issue that has earned her the national Scripps Howard Award in recognition of her efforts in waging an 11-year campaign against functional illiteracy. During this time, she has managed to connect a vast network of volunteers and has raised tens of thousands of dollars to fund literacy programming.  


In addition, Riley has won numerous awards, including a 2013 National Headliner Award, the 2013 Distinguished Leadership in Media Award, the 2011 Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, and the 2011 Neal Shine Award for Media Commitment to Philanthropy. She is a four-time winner of the Michigan Associated Press Editorial Association Award and a two-time winner of a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.  


Her columns covering the Detroit city government corruption scandal, involving former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, were part of the Detroit Free Press team's entry that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting.


Presentation of the award will be at BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, 17700 Haggerty Road, Livonia MI 48152, September 28, 11AM to 2PM. Tickets are $25.00. Contact Tanya Davidson at 313-533-8056 or at [email protected].

Member News


Running through the Raindrops Shannon Janeczek, of PublishSavvy, announced two  books this spring, Running Through the Raindrops: Finding the Joy in the Chaos of Raising Kids, by Lori Elliott, and Remember the Nails: 40 Days of Doing Something Uncomfortable on Purpose, by Steve  Schofield. They also did a presentation in May, titled "10 Things You Can Do to Help Market Your Book."  

Report by Annette Marie Haley 

 [email protected] 

LA2Los Angeles
Kathryn Fitzmaurice & Margi Preus
Kathryn Fitzmaurice
& Margi Preus
Our Judy Lopez Award dinner was, as usual, interesting and inspiring. Kathryn Fitzmaurice, (A Diamond in the Desert), intrigued us with information about how to research a book, and with amazing pictures of documents and people from the era of Japanese internment after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And Margi Preus, (Shadow on the Mountain), brought to life the true adventures of a fourteen-year-old Resistance Movement spy during the invasion of Norway by Nazi Germany.
Member News

Everybody has the Right Lisa-Catherine Cohen and her songwriting collaborators have just completed a CD called Everybody Has The Right,
a gay-marriage anthem commissioned to Lisa-Catherine and Chris Bennett in 2004 when Bush tried to change the constitution to redefine marriage. [email protected].

Kim Gottlieb-Walker's book, Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae, 1975-1976, the Photographs of Kim Gottlieb-Walker, has gone into a second edition. (Titan Books UK/Random House USA).

Lou Carter LeayLou Carter Keay has been elected President of Intertel, the international society for the intellectually gifted. Intertel is known as the "Top 1" Society, for which members qualify in the top one percentile of IQ tests, (one percentile higher than Mensa.)

Conny Caruso Hutchinson Conny Caruso Hutchinson's Look for Foothold In The Mountain is coming out soon. This creative nonfiction is a compelling exploration of the power of love and of a woman's determination and spirit.

Cradle Songs Sharmagne Leland-St. John's Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood
, edited by Sharmagne Leland-St. John and Rachelle Yousuf, has won the 2013 International Book Award ~ Honouring Excellence in Independent Mainstream Publishing in the category of Best Poetry Anthology.

Barbara Meltzer Barbara Meltzer received two honors for her pro bono work advocating for the 50+ population. During Older Americans Month, Barbara received the West Hollywood's Senior Month Award for outstanding contributions to the city. She was also given The LINK Award by the Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults 

Barbara  Schiffman's e-course, Barbara Schiffman
"Taking Your Leap of Faith" has been published online by Each lesson-chapter includes embedded audio and video. This e-course ranked in the Top 25 of 3000 entries in the Next Top Spiritual Author 2010 contest. Get e-course registration info here.

Dream Oracle Cards Kelly Sullivan Walden launched her "Dream Oracle Cards." Based on the 53 most common dream themes, they feature the art of world-renowned fusion artist, Rassouli. Enjoy free dreamy gifts by going to:

Report by Ruth Light
[email protected] 
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SF2San Francisco

The Women's PowerStrategy™ Conference

Report by Patricia V. Davis


When Pauline Sherwood first formed The Women's National Book Association in 1917, she did so because women booksellers had been excluded from the all-male Booksellers League. Her goal then for the Women's Book Association, as is still the goal of WNBA, was to "inspire and educate, promote literacy and other charitable efforts" for women by women.

It was for similar reasons that I founded  The Women's PowerStrategy™ Conference. To inspire, to educate, to promote literacy, and most of all, to help women "strategize" and harness the power we have gained through the efforts of women such as Pauline Sherwood. And that is why I was so pleased and honored that my San Francisco Chapter of The Women's National Book Association came out in full force to support the endeavors of this very special conference.   

Women's Power Strategy1
Keynote speaker, Malissa Shriver (third from left)
posing with teens from Girls Inc. 

Our inaugural conference was held during Women's National History Month on March 24, 2012; and the head of the California Arts Council, Malissa Shriver, was our keynote speaker, who gave an impassioned speech on Women and Vulnerability.  


This year's conference was held at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Sonoma County; and our keynote speakers were Jennifer Tacheff and Zakiya Mackey, who are devoted program leaders from Girls Inc. Through our promotional and fundraising efforts, we were able to sponsor teens from Girls Inc. to attend The Women's PowerStrategy™ Conference free of charge, along with teens and leaders from the Boys and Girls Club of America, The Sonoma Mentoring Alliance, Voices, and The Valley of the Moon Children's Shelter.

Member News


Scent of Jasmine Nitza Ruth Agam's Scent of Jasmine was featured in Peninsula Progress, June 2013. An intimate, honest memoir about loss and grief during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, set in Israel and the US, revealing the effects of war.
Times They Were A-Changing
Kate Farrell
's (with Amber Lea Starfire, Lind
a Joy  Myers) Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s features 48 women authors who pushed through the boundaries, trampled the taboos, and felt the pain and joy of new experiences. 


Joan Gelfand's post, "Retreat," was published in the Huffington Post on July 8th. Joan is hosting a monthly, one-hour segment on artists & writers, on Kelly Sullivan-Walden's "the D spot." Joan will read at the Litcrawl/Litquake on Saturday, October 19.


Something in Stone Linda Loveland Reid's second novel, Something in Stone is the story of dynamic women who wrangle over their foibles about sex, jobs, politics, and love while being confronted with death and one overriding mystery. 


The Wednesday Daughters Meg Waite Clayton's The Wednesday Daughters, sequel to bestselling The Wednesday Sisters, is a story about motherhood, friendship, and secrets and dreams passed down through generations-with English Lakes setting and a Beatrix Potter twist.

Report by Kate Farrell 

[email protected]

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Supporting Authors Who Promote Literacy


Seattle chapter members attended a wonderful eventon July 14, that featured Elizabeth George, well-known literary mystery writer, as the main speaker.  

Seattle Brunch 2013
Left to right: Judy Solberg, Linda Gray, Garth Stein
(author & event MC), and Leslie Adams

The event is an annual benefit brunch put on by the Seattle7Writers, a collective of well-published authors, now numbering around 60, who are

devoted to promoting literacy in their communities. Proceeds went to benefit 826 Seattle, a nonprofit writing center for all Seattle students. The audience was made up of book groups, writers, and others involved in the book business, so Elizabeth answered a question that is often asked of her: How does she go about writing her novels?


Elizabeth George 
Elizabeth George 

Her Process (liberally paraphrased and interpreted  here, because this Bookwoman correspondent was too entranced to take detailed notes):


~ Every author, she says, first "is struck" by something--something in the news, something in their community, an idea, that rivets them.

~ Once Elizabeth has the idea, she focuses on place. For her, that involves going to that place and doing voluminous picture-taking, exploring, focusing on physical detail, and asking the place to speak to her--to tell her what there is about it that she will include in her story. She claims to be seriously unimaginative and so finds it critical to get as much concrete detailed info as she can for her story development.

~ The third step, which she might do on the airplane home or shortly thereafter, is to write up a short statement of what the book is about--about a page long.

~ Next come the characters. She jots down a list of characters who would be involved in the story. This first list is broad, and characters might be identified loosely, like witness one--milkman, witness two--mailman, investigators--police sergeant and inspector, etc. There may be fifteen or so characters on this list, who would be involved in the crime, the investigation, the subplots, etc.

~ She develops the characters in more detail--writes briefs on them and their involvement in the story she's writing, including some quick scenes. From this she is able to identify which of the characters are the strongest and will become the main characters in the book.

~ Elizabeth writes brief descriptions of many or most of the scenes that will make up the story, including subplot scenes. Included are things like who's in the scene and what happens. She lets the characters tell her those things, rather than controlling the characters. They are the source of the storyline at this point.

From this she develops a quite detailed outline of the entire book.

~ Now, she feels secure in where she is in her story development and can finally do what she loves, which she says is the part where her soul gets involved and soars--she writes the first draft.


Writers' processes vary greatly, of course, and it is always fascinating to hear about them. We loved hearing about Elizabeth's. Supporting literacy at the same time was a fabulous bonus.

Member News

Benedict Hall Louise Marley's (writing as Cate Campbell) Benedict Hall is set in 1920s Seattle, features a young woman physician and the wounded World War I veteran she tries to help. Praised for its period detail and local color, it has been called "the American Downton Abbey." (writing as Cate Campbell)  


Flight for Control Karlene Petitt is an international airline pilot, graduate student, mother, and grandmother. Her debut novel, Flight For Control, is not only entertaining readers worldwide but is providing a peek inside an industry where fiction mirrors truth. Who's flying your plane?

Painted Skies

Sue Simonich's Painted Skies
was nominated as a finalist in the Readers' Favorite writing competition for 2013. Winners will be announced on September 1, 2013.  See more info at Painted Skies.

Report by Linda Gray
RealPresidents2The Real Presidents of WNBA
Annette Marie Haley

Annette Marie Haley (Detroit) Interviews

Detroit Chapter President, Willetta Heising  


Willetta Heising is the author and publisher of a series of award-winning reader's guides  

for mystery fiction. Before launching her book venture, Willetta spent 20 years in the business world, chiefly at Michigan's largest bank where she held positions in facilities planning, market research, product management and private banking. A former Certified Financial Planner and one-time instructor in economic geography at Wayne State University, Willetta earned a B.A. degree in geography and sociology from Valparaiso University. She also worked briefly as a Detroit city planner, and site location analyst for a Michigan supermarket chain. Born in Coronado, California and growing up in a large Navy family, she attended schools in six states, Norway and France, before moving to Michigan where she has lived since graduate school days.


Willetta Heising
Willetta Heising

Why did you originally join WNBA?

I learned about WNBA at an open reception hosted by the national board at the American Booksellers Association convention in Chicago the summer of 1995, and joined the Detroit chapter several months later. The year was memorable because my first book, Detecting Women (now in its 3rd edition) was published in 1995. WNBA was one of several organizations I joined to further my "book world" education and increase my networking opportunities. But WNBA is the only one of those organizations I still belong to, almost 20 years later.


Why did you take on this leadership role? What have you gained from it?

My chapter was in need of a president and I volunteered. Because I've only held office for a few months, it's a little early to talk about what I've gained from the experience. I will say that I returned from the national board meeting in Nashville (my first) completely energized by the women I met. Those three days reminded me that no one is ever a stranger in a group of booklovers.  


Hobbies or sports, free time pursuits

I am a voracious reader of crime fiction--over 1700 novels since 1999 when I started keeping strict records. I watch too many crime dramas on TV, and know more about HGTV programming than I should. At last count I subscribed to at least two dozen magazines. I always find time for the nonfiction books of Malcolm Gladwell and Mary Roach and anything from science writer Sharon Begley. I'm particularly fascinated by brain and memory research. Other hobbies include genealogy, collecting cast iron banks, old locks and keys and an antique map or two. No shortage of hobbies here!


What is your best life short story?

During one Friday in November during my junior year in high school at Dreux American High School, 40 miles west of Paris on an American military base, "Gunsmoke" (dubbed in French) was playing on the TV in the lounge. Amidst all the laughter, I heard the TV go silent, and then the announcement, "Le président des Etats-Unis est mort." No translation required. President Kennedy was dead. It took a few minutes for the news

to register, then silence and the tears started. It was just after 8 o'clock in the evening and we were several hundred teenagers, mostly American, grades 9 through 12, who were away from home, at boarding school.   

JFK Assassination in French Press
French newspaper reports of the death of
President Kennedy. Copyright: British Pathe 

I don't remember how many hours we spent in the chapel that night at a candlelight vigil, but I do remember the 30 days of full military mourning that followed. All social events were cancelled, buildings were draped in black and we were not allowed to leave the base in groups larger than three. The French so loved the Kennedys that when we did go into town, local residents--especially older women--would often come up to us, throw their arms around our necks and weep. Six months later, when my three roommates and I went to Chartres to get our hair done for the prom, we were embraced by every French woman in the salon, many in tears. The Kennedy assassination has been called a defining moment of the 20th century. It certainly was a watershed event for me.


What/who would you hate to be without?

I'd hate to be without my favorite hair products and a big bottle of Trésor perfume, my Kindle Fire for playing Words With Friends, Diet Coke with plenty of ice, fresh produce, and friends who never tire of talking about books. It goes without saying that access to books is essential.


You are happiest in what situation?

Talking with interesting people and sharing their stories with an audience, large or small, is what makes me happy. Everyone has a story to tell and I delight in being the one to help them share it with others. The first time I moderated an author panel with more than 500 people in the audience, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!


What's currently on your nightstand?

The latest crime novels by Linda Fairstein, Denise Mina, Sam Cabot, Daniel Silva and Paul Doiron, along with Why Geography Matters by Harm de Blij and Wait, The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy.


WDetecting Womenhat do you see as your leadership role for WNBA Detroit and WNBA national especially with the imminent 50th and 100th anniversaries respectively?

When I launched my publishing venture in 1994, I had no idea how completely unqualified I was to produce Detecting Women. Had I been better informed, I would have known I was all wrong for the job. Almost 20 years later I have to pinch myself. I can't believe I became Detroit chapter president by volunteering! All I have to do is harness the amazing talents and energy of our Detroit chapter board. We already have our calendar in place for 2013/2014 and are making plans for the chapter's 50th anniversary in 2016 and WNBA's 100th anniversary in 2017. I can't think of a more exciting time to be part of this community of book women.


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: 
Yale Yale Writers' Conference
Joan Jackson
By Joan Jackson (LA)


Long interested in seeking a writers' conference to raise the bar of my craft as a novelist,
I nonetheless kept putting it off. But when I received an email notification in March from the Summer Yale Writers' Conference, (I later learned due to my subscription to the New Yorker), I jumped on it.


Maximum submission 1300 words. Within five days I was accepted. And elated! The application also requested a choice of workshop (fiction in my case), workshop faculty adviser (bios provided), and a choice of authors for one master class (Tom Perrotta). All were accepted.


By May 1, each participant was to submit a maximum of 5500 words to critique at each workshop--12 workshops in total of 10-12 students each. My fiction workshop had 10 participants.


Joan Jackson at Yale
Joan propping up the
firmament at Yale.
Dorm living in a private room was an option I also chose, in part due to its inclusion in the price of $2400 (breakfast/lunch included) for the 10-day conference, but mostly because I wanted to live on the historic, jaw-dropping, architectural grandeur of the Yale campus. It did not disappoint!


Morning workshops consisted of craft study and submission critiques (2 per day). Individual conferences with our faculty adviser on days in-between provided an in-depth line critique of our submission. Each afternoon various speakers (from journalist Joe McGinnis, to the book review editor of The New Yorker) and/or panel discussions took place.


Panels included representativess from independent presses, agents, literary journals, and editors. Pitching sessions were an option if approved by your faculty adviser. I pitched to one press and one agent (multiples not permitted). And I was asked to submit when my manuscript was COMPLETED AND REWRITTEN AND REWRITTEN AND EDITED!


The relationships I formed, connections made, and inspiration and encouragement I received have made for an invaluable experience. It's spurred me on to complete my novel by the end of the summer!


Keep writing!     


This report first appeared in WNBA-LA's newsletter.  

Voluntary Chaos 

Joan Jackson graduated from Ohio State University and pursued further French study in Grenoble,  France. She taught French, then managed a French Tahitian export company in Oregon and traveled throughout French Polynesia. Joan is now a freelance writer, has published several magazine articles, and has a collection of short stories. Her debut novel, Voluntary Chaos was published in 2009, and she currently working on her second novel, Just In Time. She and her husband reside in West Los Angeles, California where Joan devotes much of her time to spiritually supporting friends and families of alcoholics and addicts.  


Back to top 

UN2UN Corner
By Jill Tardiff (NYC) Jill Tardiff
WNBA UN DPI/NGO Main Representative
(The Women's National Book Association is a Non-Governmental (NGO) member

of the United Nations, supporting the UN in its goals.)    


At the United Nations Get to Know the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.


From The New York Times, Sunday, September 1, 2013

Work, Work, Family, Work, by Dulcie Leimbach


At the Department of Public Information

The Women's National Book Association Congratulates the New Membership
of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee 2013-2014



Anne-Marie Carlson, Chair -- The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International

Dr. Mary E. Norton, Vice-Chair -- Felician College

Catherine White, Vice-Chair -- International Association of Women in Television

Kelly Roberts, Secretary -- NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Janet Salazar, Treasurer -- Foundation for the Support of the United Nations


Board Members

Austin Chu -- Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation

Judy Lerner -- Peace Action International

Dr. Frank Goldsmith -- World Federation of Trade Unions

Dorit Heimer -- Lawyers without Borders

Jo Anne Murphy -- Fairleigh Dickinson University

Carl Murrell -- National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the U.S.

Ann Nicol -- United Nations Association of New York

Michelle Peppers -- The Ribbon International

Fanne Munlin -- National Council of Negro Women

Dr. Holly Shaw -- Sigma Theta Tau International, The Honor Society of Nursing & Adelphi University

Elisabeth Shuman -- Association for Childhood Education International

Ademola Olugebefola -- NY Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence

Frances Zainoeddin -- Gray Panthers


Special Notice

María Luisa Chávez, Chief, NGO Relations Section Retires After 35 Years in Service at the United Nations. The Women's National Book Association thanks her for her service and dedication to the NGO community.


Unicef United States Fund 

News From U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Closer and Closer to Zero

DYK? UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization and is not daunted by war or conflict, disaster or disease, geography or logistical complexity. Create your personal profile to receive updates about the work of the US. Fund for UNICEF in the world.

 Believe in Zero2





The World:

Syria -- Take Notice (and Action) Today.

The escalating violence in #Syria is having catastrophic consequences on the country's children and families. More than 4 million children are at risk.


You can help the #ChildrenOfSyria. Make a donation in support of UNICEF's relief efforts:

Major Fall 2013 Campaigns:

Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF

Join the Kids Helping Kids Movement

TOT for Unicef2  

About Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

Since 1950, T-O-T has raised more than $170 million since 1950 to help children around the world - monies that have enabled UNICEF to save and improve children's lives by providing health care, improved nutrition, clean water, and education.

Making an Impact


Meet Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF Ambassador Laura Marano

Order T-O-T materials here:


Donate Now

Make your Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF donation online


Believe in Zero 3  


 Believe in ZERO: Share the Message

There are several ways to share the message about U.S. Fund for UNICEF:

On YouTube, On Facebook, On Twitter


Spread the News

U.S. Fund for UNICEF News Stories, Announcements and Media

News stories, press releases, publications, and field notes at your finger tips.


Download and Share the U.S. Fund 2012 Annual Report


UNICEF USA on Google+



Malala Day at the United Nations

By Jenna Vaccaro (NYC)
WNBA UN DPI/NGO Youth Representative

Jenna Vaccaro attended a very special event at the United Nations which took place on July 12, 2013, in honor of Malala Yousafzai. Read Jenna's report on Malala Day on WNBA-NYC's blog.


WNBA's UN Team 

Jill A. Tardiff, WNBA UN DPI/NGO Main Rep(WNBA-NYC)
Marilyn Berkman, WNBA UN DPI/NGO Alternate (WNBA-NYC)
Nancy Stewart, WNBA UN DPI/NGO Alternate (WNBA-Nashville)
Jenna Vaccaro, WNBA UN DPI/NGO Youth Rep (WNBA-NYC)
Editors2From the Editors
Jane Austen Jane Austen on the £10 note!
Now how about Edith Wharton on the $10 bill?

"There is the concern we may find ourselves where there are no women on our bank notes... But one thing we are determined to avoid is any suggestion that we have the £5 note in some sense reserved for women. That would clearly be demeaning."
~ Sir Mervyn King, Governor Bank of England (1 July 2003-1 July 2013)

Interesting to learn that Sir Mervyn was concerned with the appearance of demeaning women with a note of small denomination and not demeaning them by complete exclusion. Of course, what he's not saying is that Jane Austen only made the cut after a vigorous campaign was waged to have at least one woman represented on the paper currency; a campaign that resulted in the most grotesque threats on Twitter against two of the women who spearheaded the campaign, Caroline Criado-Perez, and Stella Creasy, MP. (The subsequent backlash against those threats eventually led to the Report Abuse button on Twitter. Read more here.)

Where does the US stand in honoring women on its currency? Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea have made appearances on the largely unpopular dollar coins, and in 2003, Helen Keller was selected for Alabama's commemorative state quarter. Martha Washington graced the 1886, 1891 and 1896 (with husband, George) silver certificates and that's about it.

So, how about having Susan B. Anthony on the $1 bill; Rosa Parks on the $5; Edith Wharton on the $10; Sojourner Truth on the $20; Harriet Beecher Stowe on the $50; and Sally Ride on the $100? Let's compromise and settle for a 50/50 gender split, with fair representation of all minorities too. Hard to believe Abraham Lincoln would mind stepping aside for Martin Luther King Jr.

Who would you like to see on the $10 bill? Best answer published in our winter issue. (Extra points if you choose Edith Wharton!) Email us at: [email protected].

Gloria Toler (Nashville) & Rhona Whitty (NYC)
Bookwoman Coeditors


Annette Marie Haley (Detroit) 

Bookwoman Copy Editor 


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