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ContentsVol 77  Number 3
Spring 2014
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In this month's issue. . . 2014 Pannell Award Nominations! . . .Winners of WNBA's 2013 Writing Contest! . . .

PresidentPresident's Letter
Valerie Tomaselli

Dear WNBA members,


A few weeks ago, we received an intriguing request from a high school teacher in Illinois--a coach of the school's speech team. A "striving h.s. student" wanted to perform one of the articles published in the Fall 2004 issue of The Bookwoman. The article, "No Writer Left Behind," was written by Livia Kent, then production editor of the newsletter.


Having just cleared my desk of an aggressive deadline that had eaten up all my time over the last couple months, I was able to spend some moments reading the article that had so enthused the high school student. And I was so glad to have done so--inspiring it certainly is. Livia writes of her experiences teaching a poetry workshop to inner-city middle school students, and how, despite their tough exteriors, many gradually opened to the possibilities of words--putting words together to express what they only thought should be hidden inside. Here's an excerpt:


"I watch as they struggle to find similes that adequately reflect their personalities and experiences. I watch as they start to hone their poetic voices, not for accolades, but because they've recognized that through hyperbole and personification and synesthesia--all those big words they refuse to remember--they can genuinely expose their feeling to a back-stabbing peer, a preoccupied parent, or even a murdered cousin whose pull once seemed much greater than the sun's."


Yes, there it is again, the power of words. I keep coming back to this story, this theme. Where would we be without the ability to express ourselves--by setting pen to paper (and keystrokes to computer's operating system)--as well as the encouragement to do so. Livia, a teacher committed to opening new worlds to her students, knew the power of words and persevered in helping her students understand that language unlocked meaning in their lives.


So much of what we do at the WNBA revolves around this simple truth.

  • As an NGO affiliated with the United Nation's Department of Public Information, we help spread the UN's commitment to human rights, including freedom of expression. In fact, the theme of the fifteenth annual conference of the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN)--"promoting peace through education"--emphasizes the importance of literacy and education in effecting change (see the report on the CTAUN meeting in this issue).
  • Our chapters' panels and educational programs help writers, editors,
    publishers, librarians, and book people of all stripes hone their skills.  
  • Our writing contest--second annual this year, with the announcement of the winning entries below--is a testament to how the most careful crafting of words and phrases--in a poem and short story--conveys thoughts, ideas, feeling...narrative, character, a sense of place.
  • All the WNBA Pannell Award nominees, who have just finished submitting their presentations for our jurors' consideration, know how important words, especially in their composite "book" form, are to kids as they grow.

So let's celebrate these efforts. And let each of us recognize the courage and joy of self-expression . . . of each poem written, each book  published, each story told to a young reader, and each school opened in a country clamoring for peace and freedom. 


~ Valerie Tomaselli

President, Women's National Book Association


PannellPannell Award 2014
Nominations Announced!
Full text of press release with list of nominated stores here.


Since 1983, the Women's National Book Association has awarded one of the most prestigious honors in children's bookselling. Every year a panel of publishing professionals selects two winners of the award-one a general bookstore and one a children's specialty bookstore. The store nominations come from customers, sales reps, store personnel, or anyone who has been impressed with the work of a particular independent bookstore.


The nominated store puts together an electronic submission with a description of activities, goals, or any contribution to the local community that involves young people and books.  This year 22 bookstores in the General Bookstore category and 8 in the Children's Specialty Store category have been nominated.


The jurors will make their decision by late April, and a phone call will notify the winners, as well as all stores sending submissions. Each of the two winners will receive a $1,000 check and a framed signed original piece of art by a children's illustrator. The presentation of the award will be in New York at the BEA/ABA Children's Book and Author Breakfast, which draws more than 1,000 attendees.


ContestWNBA's Writing Contest
2013 Winners Announced!

We are delighted to announce the winning entries in our second annual writing contest. Thank you to our 2013 judges, Meg Waite Clayton and Molly Peacock.
Winning Entry
Gayle Towell
Winning Entry
"Late October Light"
 Rebecca Olander
Second Place
"Place Settings"
Susan Doherty
Second Place
 "Demeter's Lament"
 Kathryn Gullickson
Third Place
"Katie Earnhardt's Theory on Eggs-Over-Easy and Life Experience"
Tracy Sottosanti
Third Place
"The Night a Woman Died
on my Street"
Amy Schmitz
Honorable Mention
"5 O'Clock Somewhere"
Julia Tracey
Honorable Mention
J.H. Yun
Watch out for our special edition of The Bookwoman in April, with all the winning entries.

GGR Logo
In this issue . . .

President's Letter 

Pannell Award 2014
Nominations Announced! 

WNBA Writing Contest
2013 Winners Announced! 

WNBA's 2013/14
Nominating Committee

Chapter News

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

Independent Bookstores in the Digital Age
Linda Gray (Seattle) interviews Sarina Sheth, of University Bookstore, Seattle  

Book Drive for Kids Research Center in NYC
By Marlene Velosa (NYC)

Josephine Riss Fang
By Amy Kwei (Boston)

Great Group Reads
Review of The Other Typist
By Lorine Kritzer Pergament 

UN Corner
CTAUN Conference 2014
Compiled and edited by
Jill A. Tardiff (NYC)

12 Years a Slave--the future impact of the self-published e-book revolution.

Important Copyright Information for Contributors 

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:
Independent Bookstores 
IndependentBookstores in the Digital Age
Linda Gray
By Linda Gray (Seattle)

Linda interviews Sarina Sheth, the Community Outreach and Events Coordinator at University Book Store in Seattle, to find out how indies are finding their strengths and seeing their futures in the new paradigm brought on by digital disruption.

Click here for the full interview.

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

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

Chapter News


Holiday Tea at the Fairmont Copley Plaza
& a New Writing Award 


We ended 2013 with our annual holiday tea at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, right in the heart of the city. The theme this time around was "Tea and Thievery," and this 1990 Gardner Museum heist-inspired event was a success. Members The Art Forger and nonmembers alike enjoyed tea and scones while author B.A. Shapiro spoke about her award-winning novel, The Art Forger, and Gardner curator Margaret Curchenal spoke about artist Sophie Calle's exhibit, "Last Seen." It was a great way to kick in the holidays and experience some of Boston's rich cultural history.


In addition to our annual holiday tea, our monthly book club meeting took place at the beginning of January. We read and discussed Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland, a coming-of-age story about two brothers living in Calcutta in the 1950s. It was an enjoyable experience and a great read.


Dorothy O'Connor 

Lastly, we recently opened the submission period for a brand new writing award in the name of the late Dorothy O'Connor. The award will go to a Boston area woman who has written a column, article, or essay published in a newspaper or journal in the past year. We hope you will participate, and we look forward to many more events ahead of us.


  Member News

Lisa Borders read from her novel, The Fifty-First State, at Harvard Book Store.    


Lisa Braxton's essay is featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game: 101 Stories about Looking for Love and Finding Fairytale Romance.  


Dyan deNapoli delivered a presentation  based on her book, The Great Penguin Rescue, at Nichols Village.


Deborah Doucette read from her new novel, Bad Girls, at the New England Mobile Book Fair.


At the Concord of the Rivers Anne Ipsen sold and signed all her books, including At the Concord of the Rivers, at the Scandinavian Fair at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School.


Diane Fresquez read from her work, A Taste of Molecules: In Search of the Secrets of Flavor , at  Trident Booksellers.


Jessica Keener read from her short story collection, Women In Bed, at the Dire Literary Series.

 The Flight of Gemma Hardy 

Margot Livesey discussed her novel, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, at Carlisle's Gleason Public Library  


Maryanne O'Hara discussed her novel, Cascade, at the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center.

  Clover House  

Henriette Lazaridis Power read from her novel, The Clover House, at Wellesley Books  


You Saved Me Too Susan Kushner Resnick's, memoir You Saved Me, Too
made The New York Times best seller nonfiction e-book list! 


Nancy Rubin Stuart had a piece featured in The Huffington Post this month.Helen Keller in Love 


Rosie Sultan read from her novel, Helen Keller in Love, at Newtonville Books.


Kim Triedman read from her new novel, The Other Room, at Book on the Square (Providence RI) and at Newtonville Books.    


Jennifer Zobair was our new member spotlight in January--check out Jennifer's bio, hear why she's involved with WNBA, and how you can be too.


Report by Daphne Kalotay  


WNBA-Detroit Hosts the National Board Meeting!

Our chapter is hosting the National Board meeting this June and wishes to extend the invitation to all chapter vice-presidents (especially if you are thinking about growing into the chapter presidency and thus onto the national board). The suites at the host hotel are generous enough for two and the meal package includes Midwest deliciousness; you will not go hungry for more than a moment. The meeting can be intensely rewarding! (Lots of breaks are built in, too).


You will be a part of the plans for our organization, hear how every chapter does some things alike and some things completely different, and connect with wonderful women. There are lots of choices to see Detroit, too, with tours and sightseeing on June 5 or 6 and after the meeting June 9 and 10.  The evenings of Friday through Monday are filled with fun that the Detroit members are planning and you will be driven around by members for free. From a swim party BBQ to an elegant dinner at a private Yacht Club on an island in the Detroit River, we have plans for you to enjoy our area. The Motor City welcomes everyone with open arms! Plan now to escape to an about-to-be super cool city!  

~Annette Marie Haley,
2014 Committee Chair, National Board Meeting


(Annette's "The Real Presidents of WNBA" column will return in the next issue of The Bookwoman.)  


WNBA Detroit kicked off the holiday season with an evening of delicious food and great conversation on December 5. Just the right touch of sparkle was provided by member host Barb Walker, whose vast collection of Santa figurines was artfully displayed throughout her home.

Holiday Fireside Chat and Pot Luck Dinner

During a brief after-dinner meeting, we discussed plans for the chapter's 50th anniversary in 2016, WNBA's 100th birthday in 2017, and the upcoming National meeting to be held in Detroit in June. We are looking forward to welcoming the National Board back to the Motor City and providing pre- and post-visit opportunities for additional fun.


The highlight of the evening was an animated presentation by past president Pat Klemans, who took us behind the scenes of the 2013 selections for Great Group Reads. Along with National Reading Group Month, celebrated in October since 2007, Great Group Reads is an initiative of WNBA. As a member of two book groups herself (one large and one small), Pat was not new to the idea of choosing a work of literary fiction for its value as a focus for discussion.


What was new to Pat was the intensity of the selection process, where she was one of 23 volunteers who read 50 books in 4 months, made 21 recommendations, and lived to tell about it. When asked about the first thing she read after completing her stint as a 2013 reader, Pat admitted she read "not a thing for 3 weeks, not even a newspaper." Our collective laughter almost drowned out her insistence that she can "hardly wait to do it again." The evening was capped off with the awarding of several books as door prizes.

~  Report by Willetta Heising 

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NOLA2New Orleans

WNBA-NOLA on Facebook 


Little Free Libraries  
& the Pinkley Prizes for Crime Fiction 



For the past year, the WNBA-NOLA has solidified its place in the lively New Orleans literary community. Composed of writers, readers, publishers, and Little Free Library, every kind of book lover has participated in making our chapter a warm and welcoming place to celebrate the written and spoken word.


Out of the many events we organized and hosted this year, one particularly notable event was the "Art of the Book." Taking place in November, this event combined a competition celebrating book arts with a silent auction. The competition featured different categories, including traditional (the piece must look and act like a book), art (a book, but not necessarily readable), decorative (using a book as a medium), and wearable (book used as clothing or accessories). 


The submissions were stunning and set a high bar for next year's contestants. In addition, the silent auction served as a fundraiser while showing off our members' talents--including Valentine Pierce's wonderful singing and a lot of folks' dance steps. We reached out to local contacts and organizations, which generously donated gift certificates and other prizes. This helped wrap-up a successful event and also spread the word about our organization. We are hoping for even more success in our sophomore effort next year, which is already in the works.


To celebrate a year of hard work, member/poet Melinda Palacio opened up her home to us for our annual Christmas party. Besides a place to enjoy delicious food (read: some of the best homemade jambalaya), we also collected 350 books and 1200 coloring books--courtesy of Maple Street Book Shop, a local bookstore--to donate to a local women's shelter. The shelter was very appreciative, and we all felt that ending the year by spreading our own passion for books was just right.


These events and experiences have been incredible, and we have worked hard to build up our presence and status as a growing organization in the city. However, none of this would have been possible without the support and participation of our members. Among our growing ranks, our book lovers have had a year full of excitement as well (see our Member News). Little Free Libraries have cropped up all over the place--one will soon be coming to the front yard of our president, Susan Larson (Read an interview with Susan in the Spring 2013 Bookwoman), and our chapter's membership has increased to 56 members. All of this activity adds fuel to the fire in developing our book-loving community here in the Big Easy.


With 2014 underway, we have a whole host of events in the works and are greatly looking forward to sharing them with our supportive and enthusiastic local--and national--community. Our next big event will be the presentation of the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction March 22 at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.


Member News


Chris Wiltz, one of our board members, was recognized with the 2013 Louisiana Writer Award.  


Ann Benoit, lawyer-turned-food  photographer, recently published New Orleans' Best Ethnic Restaurants, a guide to the top 100 eateries of the Crescent City area.


Dianne de las Casas has a new children's book, Cinderellaphant.



 Report by Abi Pollokoff

SF2San Francisco


The Book Club Cheerleader's
Top 10 Book Club Books of 2013 &

the 11th Annual Pitch-O-Rama!


Marsha Toy Engstrom 
Frances Caballo is WNBA-SF's blog editor for our newly featured article that she posts twice monthly, BOOKTALK! Frances, who is also the chapter secretary and social media manager, solicits articles from WNBA members who have expertise in a given field allied to publishing. This month's author is Marsha Toy Engstrom (aka The Book Club Cheerleader) who coaches and facilitates numerous book clubs, and is part of the selection team for Great Group Reads. Who better to recommend the top book club picks for 2013 with a sneak preview for 2014?



"This ...s...l...o...w... reader is proud to proclaim that she read 80 books last year! (With a huge thanks to Audible and books on CD.) Not all of them were published in 2013--but of the ones which were, the following titles were my favorites, grouped alphabetically by theme, except for my very top pick which certainly earned it's #1 spot! If you or your reading group hasn't picked up one of these, it might be time to try one. . . "  

Read the entire article here.


We are thrilled to sponsor the "11th Annual
Pitch-O-Rama: Meet the Agents and Editors," our 
annual fundraiser for Bay Area writers, this time in the very hip Mission District, home to LitCrawl and other literary venues. We hope to attract new and diverse writers
to pitch one-on-one to some of the Bay Area's best publishing professionals in an intimate, informal setting at a reasonable price.

The Women's Building

 The Women's Building is the first women-owned and operated community center in the country with stunning murals that cover its outer walls. The Mission District is the hot neighbor in the city for techies, hipsters, and artists; it boasts co

mmunity organizations as well as Zagat-rated, trendy restaurants--quite a heady mix. We'll arrive early for the pre-pitch coaching sessions. We'll also offer ongoing mentoring in an adjacent classroom (our Green Room) for attendees who want to polish their pitch or become overwhelmed with a negative or pointed response to their pitch.  


Since we have gathered prominent pitch-takers for the event, we'll include a panel discussion on the controversial topic "Categorizing 'Women's' Fiction: Helpful or Hurtful?"and ask for their participation. Panel Presenters: Member/author,  Rayme Waters will moderate, member/book blogger, Marsha Toy Engstrom, and acclaimed author, Anita Amirrezvani, will discuss the category of women's fiction--the positives and negatives of segregating the market of writers and readers by gender. Saturday, March 29, 2014, Women's Building, 3543 18th St. (between Guerrero & Valencia Sts.), SF 94110.


For more information and to register: When the event is over, we'll treat the agents and editors to lunch at Zagat-rated Beretta


Member News 


Nitza Agam will present her memoir, Scent of Jasmine, April 24 at Bookshop West Portal in San Francisco at 7:00PM.


Shelley Buck announces her travel memoir, East: A Woman on the Road to Kathmandu. Buck sets off alone from Oakland in 1972, hoping to journey overland from Europe to Kathmandu--her travels will make her a feminist.


Lorrie Castellano and Michele Castellano Senac announce their debut book, Around the Table, A Culinary Memoir by Two Sisters. Using 73 mouth-watering recipes as a backdrop, they take a journey through memories, gossip, and family secrets with their Italian-American family.


Katy Pye's debut novel, Elizabeth's Landing, has won First Place in Fiction in the 2013 Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Awards--a story of 14-year-old Elizabeth's fight to save Wayward Landing beach.  

Report by Kate Farrell

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Washington2Washington DC


WNBA-DC's Post-Holiday Party, January 2014

by Carolinda Hales


On the second Tuesday of the New Year, a typically cold and dark evening, our WNBA chapter's post-holiday party took as its theme the sunniness and ease of Hawaii! The even-dozen attendees at the party donned paper leis; the room at The Colonnade featured strings of holiday tiki-lantern lights, a welcoming "Aloha!" banner over the doorway, and an island video in the background; and other items from the islands--such as placemat maps--kept the scene in the Pacific paradise. Guests enjoyed delicious and plentiful food and drinks and an array of scrumptious desserts, and, especially, convivial conversation at each table.  

Tabitha Whissemore suggested that each person talk about her most memorable book of 2013, whether read or listened to. The titles discussed varied widely, including among others: for biographies, the lives of two of Imperial Russia's most remarkable tsars, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great (both: Robert Massie); for international studies, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (Barbara Demick), a multi-year study of the lives of six people in totalitarian North Korea; for history (and intrigue), The Chamberlens' Secret: How a Century of Women were Robbed of Safe Childbirth (John T. Queenan, MD), the story of a family that kept secret for five generations the benefit of forceps use in delivering children safely; for history (and adventure and faith), Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James (David Downie), a personal travelogue of the French portion of the centuries-old pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, Spain; for novels, Life After Life (Kate Atkinson), The Ten-Year Nap (Meg Wolitzer), and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler); and, appropriately, alone in its own category, for social thought, The Outliers: The Story of Success (Malcolm Gladwell). People spoke with great enthusiasm about their favorite book(s), and many of them probably moved to the top of our to-read-next lists!


Some attendees brought a wrapped book from their own library to add to a bring-one/take-one book swap, and some brought a children's book to help WNBA-DC continue its tradition of donating to The Reading Connection. A raffle of donated items, most of them reading- or writing-related, was a fun ending to the party.              

 Member News

Janet Hulstrand's Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home is now an e-book! The "downsizing bible" has been updated and expanded, with links. Use free apps to view the book on your laptop. .


Lily Willens gave 11 presentations in China on her  book, Stateless in Shanghai, to expatriates of various nationalities in Shanghai and at a university in Nanjing. The audiences were especially fascinated by her talk on her childhood in Old Shanghai.


Report by NC Weil 

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Saving Mr. Banks, The 40 Book Project,
& the Charlotte Writers' Club

WNBA-Charlotte continues its 2013/14 programming year with diverse monthly events!


On November 15, we hosted a rare lunchtime gathering at Whole Foods in the Southpark area of Charlotte, titled "Happy & Healthy Holidays Start Here!" Just prior to the event, about eight WNBA members met for lunch at the well-stocked prepared foods section of the supermarket. Then, they traveled upstairs for a presentation of recipes and tips to make traditionally caloric feasts a little healthier, just in time for the holidays.


On December 5, the WNBA-Charlotte was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend a free, pre-screening of the movie Saving Mr. Banks. Those in attendance raved about the film!  

Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson in a scene from the movie
Saving Mr. Banks 


In January, chapter president Kristen Knox kindly hosted our members-only books swap and children's book donation drive. Approximately 25 WNBA-Charlotte members browsed mysteries, chic lit, nonfiction, romance and the odd short story collection, finding new reads to suit their tastes. Children's books were collected to benefit The 40 Book Project, a local organization whose aim is to provide a library of at least 40 books to students who live in homes impacted by poverty.


In February, we're co-hosting an educational meeting on social media with the Charlotte Writer's Club. We anticipate very high attendance if last year's shared event serves as our yard stick. Stay tuned for our next report.

Member News

Sandy Hill, a former editor at The Charlotte Observer, has a new mystery novel out, Deadline for Death, set at a fictional Charlotte newspaper.


Melissa Moraja's newest children's chapter book went on sale November 15, 2013! It's the fourth in the Wunderkind Family series and called Tale of the Messed Up Talent Show. More information at:


Report by Jessica Daitch
LA2Los Angeles

The LA Writers' Conference


On March 1, the LA Chapter presented their annual, and newly-named, all-day conference about writing. The former name was Book Savvy, and our new name is LA Writers' Conference. We had fifteen award-winning speakers who covered topics such as writing style, common mistakes to avoid, intersecting genres, editing, and how to hook your writer from the very first page. This year the conference focused on tips, support and education for both aspiring and seasoned writers who are looking for that elusive goal...publication.


Member News


Lisa-Catherine Cohen co-taught an IWOSC Saturday morning seminar, Dec. 7, 2013, with Annie Korzen, author and actress. Seminar topics included reading from one's book compellingly, and speaking well on panels, on book tours, and in interviews.


Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae Kim Gottlieb-Walker's book, Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae, was available at her solo gallery show from January 11 to February 18 at KM Fine Arts in Los Angeles.


Conny Caruso Hutchinson's first book, Foothold In The Mountain, is now available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, AuthorHouse, and 25,000 other outlets. Margaret Karlin, also a WNBA member, describes Conny's tale as "Reading like a dime novel, but with a million dollar message."


Jovita Jenkins will be the keynote speaker at the Society of Women Engineers Regional Conference in San Diego on March 1. A leadership coach, and the author of Get Out Of Your Own Way, Jovita is a popular speaker at Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) events.


Ruth Klein is once again leading a writer's group on Tuesdays from 7PM-9:30PM in Santa Monica. Participants are inspired to start writing again, finish their book, update their website, or just have a transformational experience through writing. Tel: 310.741.1583.


Alva Sachs, spoke at the Inland Empire Reading Council Author Celebration in Riverside on Friday, February 7. Alva discussed her writing process, her own award-winning children's books, and literacy for children. Visit Alva at to learn more about her.


Barbara Schiffman Barbara Schiffman exhibited and sold her books at LA's Conscious Life Expo. Her books include The Akashic Muse: Collaborating with Your Soul & the Akashic Records for Writing & Other Creative Endeavors, and Ready~Set~Next!: Moving Forward by Embracing Your Past & Empowering Your Future.  


  Report by Ruth Light 


Book'em, Young Professional Leadership Award
& The Tennessee Young Writers' Conference


The Nashville chapter is gearing up to participate in the city-wide "Read Me Week" at local schools. The project is an outreach of Book'em, a local nonprofit, children's literacy organization focusing on two core areas: providing volunteer readers to local preschools and elementary schools and providing books to economically disadvantaged children in our county. Chapter members will donate books and read to the children, and we'll all be sure to wear a shirt, cap, or pin with a message on it so students can "read the reader!"


We are all looking forward to the annual Young Professional Leadership Award luncheon on March 12 and the ATHENA Award ceremony on March 27. The awards honor outstanding women for their leadership abilities, career successes, and service to the community, attributes that describe both of our nominees: ATHENA Award nominee Serenity Gerbman and Young Professional Leadership Award nominee Emily Masters.


Becca Stevens 
December's Holiday Dinner was a great success. We earned money for our favorite cause: our annual scholarship fund for the Tennessee Young Writers' Conference, and we were treated to a wonderful dinner and an inspirational program. Local author Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene, a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction, and life on the streets, talked about her latest book,
Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth Telling. Several Magdalene graduates attended our dinner as well, and they did a booming business selling the natural bath and body products handmade at Thistle Farms, the social enterprise run by the women of Magdalene.  


The Sign of the Weeping Virgin Our Book Discussion Group, a joint endeavor with the Nashville Public Library, is one of our most successful outreach programs. We're offering an interesting and diverse lineup of books this year: The Aviator's Wife, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, The Orphan Master's Son, and The Boys in the Boat. As a special treat, author (and Nashville chapter member!) Alana White attended the discussion of her book, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, and walked us through the research and plot twists that went in to the making of her best seller.


Program Chair Beth Frerking continues to come up with popular and relevant programs for our chapter meetings. Our February meeting featured the executive director of Humanities Tennessee, an organization WNBA works closely with on several projects. March will bring a discussion on self-publishing that is sure to be well attended, and it will be standing room only at April's Spring Picks, when everyone shows up to hear about the latest new titles. May, as always, will find us enjoying our annual garden party.


Member News 


Janis Ian's latest audio book project, The Singer and the Song: An Autobiography of the Spirit, is the autobiography of Miriam Therese Winter, Medical Mission Sister, Catholic feminist theologian, songwriter, and recording artist. The audio contains 28 songs and excerpts from songs by Winter, all but two performed by Janis.


J.T. Ellison's latest book is When Shadows Fall. Dr. Samantha Owens receives a letter from a dead man imploring her to solve his murder. The plot thickens when her autopsy reveals DNA from a murder years earlier. Ellison's third novel in this series received a starred review in Booklist.

Report by Susan Lentz 

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NYC2New York City 

Book Drive for Kids Research Center,
LinkedIn 101 & Query Roulette

The chapter finished up a busy year with a holiday party in early December--good food and good company made a lovely evening. Lots of folks brought children's
Linda Rosen & Sylvia Oshypko
books to contribute to Kids' Research Center, (KRC) our literacy project for the fall. (Marlene Veloso, Exec. Dir. of KRC has written more about the book drive below.) At the party, we also gave away books to every member who attended. 


In January, chapter member Melissa Rosati taught the hands-on workshop: "LinkedIn 101: How to Put LinkedIn to Work For You." Among other things, Melissa covered profiles; etiquette; choosing professional contacts; and status do's and don'ts for promoting skills, experience, and interests. We are lucky to be able to use the Pace University Computer Lab to make this program available to our members. You can see Pauline Hsia's rave review of Melissa's workshop on our blog.


The second snowstorm of the winter didn't stop several chapter members from having a great time at our January neighborhood lunch, at Saigon Market. We rotate these lunches in various parts of the city for the convenience of all. Janet Mazefsky is our expert restaurant-finder. Read more here.


February and March will be busy months for chapter programming, with Query Roulette on Feb. 27th, our perennially popular event in which writers can get feedback from agents about their query letters in a speed-dating format. On March 11, in partnership with the Book Industry Guild/NY, we're presenting a program on self-publishing, with representatives from several companies that support self-publishing and a successful self-published author. The moderator is Bridget Marmion, chapter member, former head of marketing for FS&G, Random, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, now president of


On March 27th, we'll partner with the NYU Creative Writing Program to host a discussion between author and agent, and author and editor. Another neighborhood lunch in March will bring members together to share good times over a good meal.


Member News


Tqwana Brown is now working as a book representative for Writer's Bloq, Inc. Her first publicity project, The Legend of the Archangel: Fire & Ice, written by L.L.Hunter, was released December 2013.


Cheryl J. Fish's short story "Hovering" was read by actress Michaela Morton at the "Cash and Credit" theme night at the Liars' League reading series at KGB Bar. Find the story and audio link here.


Maddy Lederman's debut novel, Edna in the Desert, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Joan Regen-Ramirez's book Jamie is Autistic: Learning in a Special Way is now available for download on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It will be soon available in hardcover.


Melissa Rosati went to Geneva, Switzerland from January 31 to February 2nd for the Geneva Writers Conference. She participated in two panels speaking on alternative publishing business models and social media. Find her Guest Blog about the event .


Linda Rosen's short story, "Through the Peephole" appears in the fall edition (Vol.1 Edition 3) of The Dying Goose.


Rachel Slaiman has several new articles to add to her growing list for Latin Trends Magazine. These articles can be found on her LinkedIn page. She also continues to work with Elance and LearningMate Solutions.


Harriet Shenkman's chapterbook of poetry entitled The Possibility of Teetering has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press.


Report by Rosalind Reisner
& Liberty Schauf



Seattle7Writers Author Event  

at University Book Store


On January 30, WNBA-Seattle sponsored an author event at University Book Store (University District) with an added element. In addition to the guest authors reading from their latest works, they shared their experience in founding and running a great nonprofit organization called Seattle7Writers to benefit literacy, independent bookstores, and libraries. (See above for Linda Gray's interview with Sarina Sheth on the future of independent bookstores.)  


Seattle7Writers is a cooperative of well-published Pacific Northwest authors--now more than 60 of them. It was the brainchild of our January 30 event authors, Jennie Shortridge (Love Water Memory/Simon and Schuster, and four other novels), and Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain /Harper Collins, and two other novels and two plays). The nonprofit organization was established as a way for authors to reach out to their community and provide both financial and in-kind support for literacy through fundraisers. Among the fundraisers: an annual brunch for book groups where attendees interact with the authors, and an annual one-day writing intensive where participants write on-the-spot in a number of sessions all day and get readings, feedback, and support from the authors. 


In the several years since Garth and Jennie founded it, Seattle7Writers has donated over $50,000 to literacy efforts in schools and at venerable community writing institutions like Richard Hugo House. (See the January 13 issue of Publishers Weekly for a writeup of their participation in this year's ABA Winter Institute to show their support for independent bookstores and libraries.)


The conversation was wonderful, and the readings were terrific. Jennie read from her much-lauded novel Love Water Memory, which has just been re-released in trade paperback, and Garth, whose last novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain (a huge hit that came out in 2008), gave us all a thrill by reading the opening of his brand new novel, Timberland, which comes out in October.


Q&A was lively. We closed down the bookstore, lingering after official closing time for book signings and more chatting. Plus, we gained three new members on the spot! Welcome, Judy, Cate, and Laurie!


Member News


CN Bring's first two military suspense novels are The Pact and The Lie. The third in the series, The Truth, is out this spring. CN supports the military and their families, including the Army's Family Readiness Group, and Wounded Warrior Project.


Laurie Hardie's Did Not See That Coming: Hope for the Single Parent,

shares hope and healing for single parents. Even if you think your life is over, it isn't! "Where you are" means where you are NOW, and it can change.


Judy Hoff's Healing the Hole in Your Heart speaks to any woman who ever felt hopeless, alone or desperate. Readers will reaffirm that with hope and faith in God, all things are possible. Prepare to be inspired!


Louise Marley's Hall of Secrets, (under pen name Cate Campbell) continues the saga of the Benedicts in the 1920s, when a young cousin arrives from San Francisco, bringing with her all the problems of the Jazz Age.


Cate Mighell's Silent Sky, is the first in the mystery series featuring a smart, sexy Seattle defense attorney who uses her legal, sleuthing, and aviation skills to defend clients. A light read with a heart. Look out James Bond! 
Report by Linda Gray

KRC WNBA-NYC's Book Drive for the Kids Research Center  

By Marlene Velosa (NYC)


This fall, the WNBA-NYC chapter partnered with Kids Research Center (KRC), 

a non-profit focused on children's literacy, to collect new and gently-used books for children. The book drive ran from September to December, spanned seven events, and included a fundraiser in conjunction with Barnes & Noble and author Ann Patchett, recipient of the 2012-2013 WNBA Award.


Jane Kinney-Denning, president of WNBA-NYC, and Marlene Veloso, Executive Director of KRC, kicked off the book drive with speeches at the chapter's annual networking party. NYC's Polly Franchini and Tresa Chambers helped promote the book drive with an extensive marketing and promotions campaign. And WNBA members responded!


Many members gave and also collected donations that they dropped off at chapter events. Some members mailed boxes of books directly to KRC. Others drove in donations from the outer boroughs and New Jersey. As more and more books came in, the chapter raised the goal of the book drive from 250 books to 500. In December, the chapter surpassed that goal, collecting 560 books in total and raising $550 in funds.


The books and money collected will go towards building a brand-new reading room for children living in low-income housing. To date, KRC has built 5 colorful reading rooms for children. They've collected over 10,000 books and held countless literacy workshops for families and children.


To learn more about KRC, please visit:  


Thank-you to Jane Kinney-Denning, Polly Franchini, Tresa Chambers, and all the members of the WNBA-NYC chapter! You made this a truly successful book drive!


Marlene is the Executive Director of Kids Research Center and has two children's books coming out in 2015 with Free Spirit Publishing. She can be reached at:
JosephineJosephine Riss Fang
By Amy S. Kwei (Boston)
Amy S. Kwei

If you had attended the famous WNBA Annual Holiday Tea in the historic Fairmount Hotel of Boston throughout the last 10 years or more, you would see Josephine surrounded by friends--many of them past presidents of the Boston WNBA. Josephine may be the oldest continuous WNBA member. She has served on the Executive Board and as president from 1990 to 1993.


On a neighboring table, you would find Josephine's daughter, Anna Fang, and her "Mother & Daughter" reading group busy enjoying the treats of the occasion. Over the years, we've watched the children grow from giggling little girls to their teens, now preparing for college!


Josephine Riss Fang 

Josephine was born in Saalfelden near Salzburg, Austria, in 1922. After enduring the hardships of WWII, she received her PH.D. in English from the University of Graz with a thesis on the the American author Sinclair Lewis. In 1950 she came to America under a Post-Graduate Fellowship from The Institute of International Education and studied and worked at the Catholic University, where she met Paul Fang, a Chinese-American physicist, and married him on March 31, 1951. She received her M.S. in Library and Information Science from Catholic University. Josephine and Paul raised 10 children and were very supportive of each other's careers. Josephine's first teaching position was at Catholic University and Maryland University.


After Paul, who worked for NASA, was transferred to the Boston area, Josephine worked for one year in the Boston College libraries and finally, in 1969, started to teach at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. While there, she introduced courses in International Librarianship, Preservation Management, and Publishing. She was very active in professional organizations worldwide and headed a number of international projects, which led to numerous publications, such as articles in professional journals and reference books, e.g. The World Guide to Library, Archival and Information Science Associations (1973, rev.1990), Education and Training for Preservation and Conservation (1991), World Guide to Library, Archive and Information Science Education (1985), etc. After teaching at Simmons College for over 20 years, she retired as a Professor Emerita of Library Science. Her children have established a scholarship in this area under her name.


After 60 years of marriage, Josephine lost her husband to Parkinson's disease. Now she is surrounded by her 10 children, their spouses, 18 grandchildren and old friends. They celebrated Josephine's 90th birthday on March 31, 2012 with a high tea at the Colonial Inn in Concord, Mass.                           


When I first met Josephine during the WNBA Annual Holiday Tea almost 10 years ago, I thought she might be around 70 years old. It must have been her warm and lively spirit that had made her seem younger. She impressed me as open and vibrant. She was surrounded by friends, young and old, chatting and smiling through lively conversations. She seemed to extend a friendly hand to people of all different ages, races and professions. After my YA book Intrigue in the House of Wong was published in 2008, her granddaughter Raina Crawford reviewed it, and Josephine advised me to get in touch with the Chinese American Library Association, (CALA) which I somehow failed to follow through.


After my adult book, A Concubine for the Family was published, she gave me a link to the CALA website and wrote a generous review. I was always aware of her incisive, discriminating mind and am now convinced of her warm, giving nature.  


During her 90th birthday celebration, Josephine mentioned having "a great family and a rewarding career." Indeed, her large family seems to have a harmonious and supportive relationship. They are welcoming and make one feel warm and included.  

Josephine Riss Fang and Chinese Librarians
Mr. Tian Miao, Josephine Riss Fang, & Professor Cheng Huanwen


When China first opened up, Josephine and her husband followed President Nixon and visited the country, which at that time had no functioning library association. After her return, she gave presentations of the trip all over the country. Her lectures also took her to many corners of the world, such as China (multiple times), the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Kenya, Australia, the Philippines, Russia, and others. She was guest professor at universities in Germany and China and was awarded the title of Honorary Professor by various Chinese universities, such as Wuhan, Xian, Inner Mongolia, and Yunnan.


Last December, two librarians from the China Memory Project came to interview Josephine at Simmons College. Mr. Tian Miao of the National Library of China, Beijing, heads the project, and Professor Cheng Huanwen, professor and University Librarian at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.


All in all, Josephine summed up her life with her characteristic positive attitude: "Teaching, research and involvement in professional organizations were most rewarding, especially the contact with our very intelligent and motivated students." 


Perhaps some of her students are now members of WNBA and will have many stories to share about this remarkable woman. Kindly contact WNBA if you were one of these students.


A Concubine for the Family
Amy is a Shanghai-born Chinese-American. Her novel,
A Concubine for the Family,
received critical acclaim. Kirkus review wrote: "An engaging family saga by a talented storyteller." Lisa See also endorsed the book: " I really enjoyed the story."



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OtherTypistGreat Group Reads Review
By Lorine Kritzer Pergament
Lorine Kritzer Pergament 


The Other Typist
By Suzanne Rindell
(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, Hardcover, 9780399161469, 368pp.)
Great Group Reads 2013 Book


The year is 1924. Rose Baker, an orphan who was raised by nuns, works in a police station as a typist. Taking the statements of crooks, bootleggers and murderers has inured her to being shocked, or even impressed, by most genres of abhorrent behavior. Her tidy life is circumscribed by the mores and culture of the boarding house at which she shares a room with another respectable, albeit more adventurous, working girl and by the principles instilled by the nuns.


Rose's job at the station is predictable but lackluster. So when an unlikely candidate is hired as a new typist, Rose's interest is piqued. Odalie has all the appearances of a well-bred young lady, not one who would be required to work for a living. As Rose puts it, "Tradition holds that a lady may have pursuits, but never a job, and I, preferring a life with a roof over my head and regular meals to one without such things, am obliged to maintain the latter."


Odalie is at once intriguing and intimidating to Rose. She has the demeanor of someone who is "in," someone whose friendship would raise the status of a mere bachelorette typist; yet there is a frightening aspect to her that initially puts Rose on her guard. But Odalie's charm soon infuses the police station, and in no time she has the other staff as well as the commanding officers entranced. So when she chooses Rose as her confidante, Rose is too flattered to be wary.


As the plot unfolds, two things become clear: Odalie is much more complicated than she pretends; and Rose is an unreliable narrator. (The latter is made clear by Rose's early admission that she is telling her story from some kind of institution.) The more Rose is drawn in to Odalie's life, the more she finds herself abandoning the very principles which have guided her life thus far.


The book is compelling for a variety of reasons. As circumstances become more complicated for Rose and we learn sometimes conflicting bits and pieces about Odalie's past, the reader is lured into seeing where the plot goes. Furthermore, the style of the writing as well as the descriptions of clothing and surroundings evokes an aura of the twenties. "Odalie clipped earrings to the fatty lobes of our ears--pendulous diamonds, as it was  'our duty to out-sparkle the snow,' she declared in her seductive, charming way--and these icy baubles swung jauntily just above our coat collars, grazing the fuzzy edge of the upturned fur."


The ending is a surprise and leaves the reader wondering exactly what is going on. I have my own theories, but other readers have broached several alternatives. So as not to spoil anything, I will leave it at that. In terms of plot, writing, tone, and pure enjoyment, I highly recommend this book.  


Lorine Kritzer Pergament is the book review editor for Signature, a publication of WNBA-DC, and has been a member of the WNBA's Great Group Reads panel since its inception. Lorine has had several short stories published and was a winner in the 2008 F. Scott Fitzgerald short story contest.  Check out Lorine's website:
UN2UN Corner
The Women's National Book Association is a NGO associated with the
United Nations Department of Public Information

Compiled and Edited by Jill A. Tardiff (NYC)
Jill Tardiff
Jill A. Tardiff
WNBA NGO Main Representative at the United Nations (UN) 
Department of Public Information (DPI) 


Jenna Vaccaro

CTAUN Conference 
By Jenna Vaccaro 


"Promoting Peace Through Education"


"It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies."  ~ UN Secretary, General Ban Ki-moon, 12 June 2013


January 31, 2014 marked the 15th annual CTAUN Conference, sponsored by the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (


WNBA's youth representatives at the United Nations Department of Public Information, Jenna Vaccaro and Dena Mekawi, attended the conference along with WNBA's NGO main representative Jill Tardiff. The full day of programming centered on peace education: strategies to develop a world with less conflict and strife. The room was filled with almost 500 attendees: teachers, NGO representatives, and concerned citizens. Speakers were a mix of UN representatives and NGO leaders, as well as teachers promoting their methods of peace education. The room was engaged and excited to participate in the discussion.


Determined to Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War 
Determined to Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War

The day jump-started with a video entitled Determined to Save Succeeding Generations From the Scourge of War, produced by Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), highlighting the key situations and systemic factors that have contributed to the conflict-ridden world. It advocated for a reallocation of the world's military funds, and that they be diverted instead towards societal programs and sustainable development. In the panel entitled "Threats to Peace," H.E Janine Felson, Ambassador of Belize, gave an interesting presentation on the connections between climate change and peace, reminding us of how conflicts often stem from a lack of resources, or a disruption in economic stability; Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director, a.i. for External Affairs at UNICEF, spoke about early childhood development as a key to peace-building; Dr. George A. Lopez, of the United States Institute of Peace, was spotlighted, and shared his insights on the need for peace education, motivating the many teachers in the audience to take back the UN mission to their classrooms.


The main, practical point of many of the day's speakers related back to the world's military spending. According to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) publication Disarmament: A Basic Guide, world military expenditures are at an all time high, over $1.6T. The United States accounts for nearly 40% of this sum, the biggest spenders in the world. Many believe that it is necessary to maintain such a large fleet of weaponry in order to maintain stability--that, without physical protection in the form of weaponry, chaos and war would ensue. This fear has grown uncontrollably and leads to unproductive ends which may be causing more damage than it purports to stop. In a world where so many people lack access to water, education, and justice, the biggest protection against war would be an investment in the stability of developing nations and diplomatic ties. The UN could be financed for 700 years with one year's worth of the world's military expenditures. 3% of that same yearly budget could reduce world hunger by half. 1.3% of the world military budget could be used to cut the proportion of people without access to drinking water in half. In total, the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could be met with 1/5 of the total world military budget.


As the conference closed with Peter Yarrow--of Peter, Paul, & Mary--singing folk songs that call upon us all to protect each other and the earth, everyone left with a smile. Teachers have the future in their hands, and it is everyone's duty to help raise a new generation that works towards peace.


CTAUN Conference -- Afternoon Session

 By Dena Mekawi


After the midday break for lunch, the topic of "Practical Strategies for Infusing Peace Education Into the Classroom--Interactive Session" with Tony Jenkins, Vice President for Academic Affairs, National Peace Academy.


The afternoon discussion included "Solutions for Peace": Moderator--Dr. Lorna Edmundson, President Emerita, Wilson College; Charlotte Mourlot, Teacher, United Nations International School (UNIS); Minerva Diaz, Peace Jam; Dr. George A. Lopez, Vice President, Academy for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, US Institute of Peace.    


To start, peace was defined as "The wholeness created by the right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part." (The Earth Charter, 2000). An interesting fact learned was that the internationally recognized symbol for peace, ☮, was designed for the British organization, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It's a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters "N" and "D". Superimposed, these two letters form the shape of the peace symbol.  


Some of the goals were to develop ideas, and to share your knowledge in a creative dialogue with the youth. Peace education prepares and nurtures learners with the knowledge, skills, capacities, and attitudes necessary to confront and end violence. The different dimensions of peace education were discussed. First is personal: management of internal conflict. Next is social: management of interpersonal conflicts/differences (empathy and understanding). Political: cooperative/democratic decision-making, which includes critical thinking, building a world together. Another one is institutional: establishing norms of equity and justice. Lastly, ecological: respect for and awareness of the interdependence of all life. With all of these factors being included in the education system. Charlotte Mourlot, teacher at the UNIS, spoke about the different activities held for kids there. They are taught from a young age how to be better citizens, and express their culture no matter where they come from.


Then we had the Closing Keynote given by Cora Weiss, President, Hague Appeal for Peace, who encouraged us to teach kids from an early age because that is when they start developing their understanding. She also stressed the power of listening and the importance of having better training in order to have better teachers; and how it's vital for us to inform kids from an early age. Lastly, there was a presentation by Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul & Mary, and founder/president of Operation Respect.  


Yarrow has long been an activist for social and political causes. As their fame grew, Peter, Paul & Mary mixed music with political and social activism. The event ended with him singing Pete Seeger's famous anti-war folk song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", and afterwards he told stories about Seeger. He had everyone in the conference singing along with him; it was truly a memorable moment at the United Nations.


Noteworthy Publications

Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children by Faith J. H. McDonnell, Grace Akallo and Dan Haseltine (Chosen Books, 978-0800794217)

Hammarskj÷ld: A Life by Roger Lipsey (Univ. of Mich. Press, 978-0472118908)

UN Chronicle--The Magazine of the United Nations, 

(Available on the iTunes Store, iPhone/iPad Apps)

Uniting Against Terror: Cooperative Nonmilitary Responses to the Global Terrorist Threat, edited by David Cortright and George A. Lopez (The MIT Press, 978-0262532952)

Zen Under Fire: How I Found Peace in the Midst of War by Marianne Elliot (Sourcebooks, 978-1402281112)


Other Websites/Blogs (UN/Civil Society)


Give My Peace, 

The Global Citizens' Initiative (TGCI)--Building a Sustainable Values-based World Community, 

United Africans for Women & Children Rights (UAWCR), 

United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), 




We at the Women's National Book Association value our ongoing relationship with the US Fund for UNICEF. UNICEF and The Fund do a tremendous amount of work, "making the world better for kids." Take a look at their 2013 in Review: UNICEF's Year in Pictures.   

Syrian Refugee Crisis 

Update on the Syrian Refugee Crisis,
Get the facts here: New U.N. Report on Syria: 10,000 Children Killed,

Philippines Typhoon Haiyan

Update on Philippines Typhoon Haiyan, On the three-month anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, UNICEF reports real progress for children despite challenges. Read more:   

UN Women

The fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014. The theme: Implementing the MDGs for Women and Girls (Challenges and Achievements). More at:


Education Is a Child's Right


Support UNICEF's Education Program 


Look for our report in the next issue of The Bookwoman.




Port Harcourt, Nigeria named "World Book Capital 2014" and  


UN Calendar of Observances

27 January, International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust   

20 February, World Day of Social Justice  

8 March, International Women's Day and 

20 March, International Day of Happiness  

21 March, World Poetry Day  

23 April, World Book and Copyright Day 

26 April, World Intellectual Property Day 

3 May, World Press Freedom Day  

29 May, International Day of UN Peacekeepers; UN Peacekeeping 


For a complete listing, download UN Calendar of Observances app on iTunes.    


The Women's National Book Association is a NGO associated with the United Nations
Department of
Public Information 
Jill A. Tardiff, NGO Representative at the United Nations Department of Public Information (NYC)
Marilyn Berkman, Alternate (NYC)
Nancy Stewart, Alternate (Nashville)
Jenna Vaccaro, Youth Rep (NYC)
Dena Mekawi, Youth Rep (NYC)  
Editors2From the Editors
Words that take the weight of many years before they reach full potential.
Solomon Northup
 in an engraving from
 the 1853 edition of
12 Years a Slave

Like the seeds of many species of plants and trees that lie dormant for hundreds of years until a friendly environment makes germination possible, some books seem to require the weight of many years before being able to rise finally from obscurity and into the light of day.

It took an Oscar-winning film-adaptation to bring 12 Years a Slave, the memoir of Solomon Northup, into wider public consciousness. The book, an account of a free-born man who was sold into slavery, enjoyed a brief success when first printed in 1853, but swiftly fell into obscurity until it was rediscovered in 1968.

It makes one wonder if the real impact of the e-book revolution won't be felt for another 50 or 100 years, when a self-published book by a Syrian refugee, or that of a young girl forced into marriage in Afghanistan, or a bonded laborer in India, is similarly rediscovered and society in the future will look back at us now and wonder why it took so long to come into the light.

To find out more about modern-day slavery, please go to the Anti-Slavery International site,

Gloria Toler (Nashville) & Rhona Whitty (NYC)

Bookwoman Coeditors


Annette Marie Haley (Detroit) 

Bookwoman Copy Editor  


Contact the editors at: 


CopyrightImportant Copyright Information for Contributors
We only accept articles written by the author or copyright holder. The Bookwoman, website, and other publications of the Women's National Book Association adhere to all local, national and international copyright laws. By submitting an article to us you are granting permission for its use on our website in our resource library (articles), in our member resources area and/or in our magazine and newsletters. Contributing authors retain all copyrights to their individual works.