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ContentsVol 79  Number 3
Spring 2016
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PresidentPresident's Letter
Hello WNBA!
Last month Kristen Knox (Charlotte President) and I attended the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in Denver to talk up NRGM to booksellers and publishers. We sent a few potential members your way and I hope you've heard from them! We weren't able to attend any of the speakers' sessions at WI, but we heard a lot about Amy Cuddy's talk on power poses. I was sorely disappointed to have missed it. The most famous of her power poses is the Wonder Woman pose, and I was such a huge fan as a kid that when I was five and I dressed as Wonder Woman for Halloween, I refused to give my real name to anyone that day, insistent that my name really was "Wonder Woman!" So you can imagine my delight when Kristen was able to snag copies of Dr. Cuddy's new book,  Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. And last week I began reading it.
Wow. I think everyone should read this book, women in particular. She addresses many issues that hold us back in our careers, such as low self-esteem, lack of confidence, Imposter Syndrome, and just a general powerlessness. And it's wild that something so simple as the way we stand can give us much of our power back. Sure, standing like Wonder Woman in a meeting could make you look a little off-kilter, but you need to take up more space. Unless you're wearing a skirt, simply crossing your leg ankle-to-knee while leaning back (and not crossing your arms) is powerful. You can even just imagine yourself in a power pose and still reap the benefits. Are you nervous before a presentation? A difficult conversation with your boss (or with someone you manage)? An interview? A speech? Give power posing a try. (And yes, she has other suggestions from focusing on positive experiences to breathing methods and yoga.) Women often give up our power, whether it's letting peers talk over us in a meeting or being intimidated in a negotiation. We need to take power back.
Speaking of taking power, more of the WNBA ought to step up into leadership positions. Have you been asked by your local officers to be on your board or even to be an officer yourself? Have you said no? How often do you get asked to take on a position of power in your life? How many opportunities to bolster your résumé, your leadership experience, and your network do you get? Can you really afford to say no? Yes, it can be a challenge, but rarely in life is it the easy things that pay off.
And in this vein, we are also changing the presence of the WNBA. We are working on a new logo! It might even be ready by the time you are reading this, but Emily Pearce (Charlotte), Jill Tardiff (NYC), Cheyenne Yousuf (LA), and Valerie Tomaselli (NYC) have been working hard on this for over a year. When it's rolled out, you should see our rebranding everywhere, including on Zazzle, where you'll be able to buy all sorts of things, from tote bags to mugs to mousepads, with the new logo! We love it and we hope you all do too, as it signifies our new century and how the organization will be moving into the future.


Carin Siegfried (Charlotte)

WNBA National President 

AnnouncementsAnnouncements and Upcoming Event Alerts
SecondCenturyPrizeWNBA's Second Century Prize 
Nominations Extended through March 15 
Your Vote Counts! 

The Second Century Prize is an exciting way to get involved in our upcoming centenary celebrations in 2017. Every member may vote for a national literacy group that actively demonstrates the positive effects and joys of reading.
  • A national nonprofit literacy organization focusing on women and children which actively demonstrates the positive effects and joys derived from reading
  • A domestic, not international, organization
  • An organization that is accredited and fully vetted to be compatible with the mission of WNBA
  • An organization in existence for a minimum of five years at the time of the presentation
  • An organization in which the monetary amount of the prize would make a difference to its mission
The nomination form should be sent to Mary Grey James at:
CentennialReport on the WNBA Centennial Preparations
By Valerie Tomaselli (NYC) Valerie Tomaselli  
Centennial Committee Chair
We are gathering steam for 2017. Fellow NYC members Jane Denning, Rosalind Reisner, and I--with help from Susan Katz and Andrea Baron--have been making plans, connections, and great strides. Here are some highlights.
  • Jane made a great connection to the New-York Historical Society, whose new Center for the Study of Women's History is opening, fortuitously, in 2017. We are hoping to take a guided tour of their women's history exhibits during the centennial celebrations in October 2017.
  • Another great coincidence of history: New York State is celebrating its women's suffrage centennial in 2017. Rosalind established contact with the NY Women's Suffrage Centennial and we are now official partners with it, hoping to spread the word about the WNBA further into the women's history community.
  • We are preparing to re-energize our Sustaining Membership program, already an important part of the support systems for National Reading Group Month and the WNBA Pannell Award. We will be inviting an expanded roster of publishers, as well as other companies, to join forces with us in celebrating the community of the book.
How You Can Help 

Do you know of any women's or book-related groups or initiatives with anniversaries close to ours or histories/missions that overlap in important ways?

Let us know: the list of WNBA Second Century Partners is growing and we'd like to add them to the list. We just met with Pen and Brush, for example, a women's arts and literary organization that formed in 1894, and we will be launching a partnership now that will extend into 2017 and beyond. You can email and we'll get the message.

How the Year is Shaping Up

Bookwomen Speak: The WNBA Leadership and Innovation Series
(working title). A year-long, chapter-by-chapter lecture/in-conversation series by visionary women who have championed the value of books in our society. Chair: Susan Walker.

WNBA Second Century Prize, Supporting the Power of Reading Past, Present, and Future
A grant to a literacy organization that promotes literacy and fosters life-long reading. Co-chairs: Mary Grey James and Susan Larson. Nominations will close on March 15. (See above.)

The WNBA Turns 100! A celebration in NYC in October 2017
Including a cocktail reception, keynote address, panel of women leaders in the book world, and ceremony for our 2017 WNBA Award winner. Save the weekend of October 26-29 for the celebrations and national board meeting.

Roz Reisner at archives
Rosalind Reisner researching WNBA's archive at Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library in NYC (Feb 2016)
The WNBA 100: Critical Reading for the Community of the Book (working title). A list of 100 books by women that the WNBA community considers to be the most influential books penned by women. A preliminary list is being compiled, chapters will be asked to augment the list, and a jury from our group and the Women Writing Women's Lives organization (tentative) will select the final 100.Book

Women in the Book World: 100 Years of Leadership and the WNBA
The book will open with a narrative history by women's history expert Doris Weatherford. Other highlights are "Bookselling Then and Now" featuring WNBA co-founder Madge Jennison's 1926 article with contemporary booksellers' responses; and "From the Archives," written by Nancy Rubin Stuart (Boston) with initial research compiled by Rosalind Reisner, which will explore some of the more surprising or evocative details in our rich records. Chair/Editor: Rosalind Reisner.

(See our new column, From the Archives, beginning this month.)
GGR Logo
In this issue . . .
Current Sponsors

Premier Level

Sourcebooks--An Independent Vision

Silver Level
Bronze Level 
Oneworld Publications

 If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact WNBA National President Carin Siegfried.
Friends of National Reading Group Month 
WNBA's Executive Officers
Carin Siegfried (Charlotte)
VP/President Elect
Jane Kinney-Denning (NYC)

Shannon Janeczek (Detroit)

Gloria Toler (Nashville) 

Past President
Valerie Tomaselli (NYC)  

  Complete list of the national board available on the WNBA website.
ArchiveFrom the Archives
As you can see from Valerie's Centennial report, there is a book in the works to celebrate our 100 year history; in the meantime, we thought you'd like to see a couple of gems we uncovered.

Watch out for more from our archives in the next The Bookwoman, including our very first issue from 1936!
Recipients of the Constance B. Skinner Award
(Known now as the
WNBA Award)

Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1951) 
(l to r) Clifton Fadiman; WNBA president, Martha Huddleston; Dorothy Canfield Fisher; Amy Loveman, (WNBA Award winner, 1946).

Eleanor Roosevelt (1961) 
Eleanor Roosevelt at WNBA Award Ceremony 
(l to r) James L. Freeman, United Features Syndicate; WNBA president, Lillian Gurney; Eleanor Roosevelt; Helen Ferris; Cas Canfield; Herbert R. Mayes.    

Back to top  
BehindtheCurtainBehind the Curtain. . .
Book Cover Designer Robin Locke Monda (NYC)

Robin Locke Monda is an award-winning print/digital designer living in Staten Island, New York. She is a writer, editor, proofreader, and photographer with a BA in Fine Art from Brooklyn College.

For many years Locke Monda worked as a freelancer in ad agencies, then as a book cover designer for Penguin USA, Random House, Houghton Mifflin, and other major publishing houses. (Check out her online portfolio here.) 
In 2010 she received her MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College. Her focus switched to book covers/interiors for independent authors, as well as design work and websites for small businesses, educational institutions, cultural organizations, and nonprofits. Locke Monda is also a quality control listener for HarperCollins (HarperAudio).

Everyone thinks I . . .                    
                                      illustrate (as in paint) book covers. I'm not an illustrator or a painter in the traditional sense. I usually work with stock photos or stock illustrations, though sometimes I do create original elements for a cover design. For one book cover project, I wanted to have a splash of black ink as part of the design. So I created some splotches on paper and scanned in the one I liked the best. For another project, I actually did use one of my own photos. It was great fun to see it in print!

Cover by Robin Locke Monda
Actually . . .
                      book cover design has more to do with conceptualizing, in visual form, the essence of a book--and then accumulating and arranging the elements (stock photos, illustrations, typography, paper/finishes) to convey that essence on the cover. I've become quite the image researcher and rights acquirer over the years. Conceptualizing is the biggest part of book cover design. What visual can represent the essence of the book? If you find that, you've got it!

I love . . .
                 almost every job I get to work on, because I learn something new. If I'm designing a book cover about a history of wallpaper hanging, I learn a lot on that subject from reading the manuscript and researching the images to support the cover design. If I'm working on a website for a children's museum, I learn a lot about that museum. There is always something new to learn.

I hate . . .
                 I really don't hate anything about my work as a print and web designer. Designing is my life. I love the organization and collaboration involved, the interaction with my clients, the new topics and fields I am introduced to, and the satisfaction of doing a project well...what's not to love?
Breaking into Print/Web Design . . .      
                                                              Get your BA, BFA, or complete a certificate program from a well-recognized college or institution. That's not to say you can't break into the field without a degree. If you've grown up coding (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) or gaming, know how to create website prototypes, and work fluently in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop, you'll get work! Be prepared to learn new skills throughout your career: there is always something new to learn. And if you are entering the field later in life, look for a client niche where your maturity and life experience will be appreciated. For instance, if you formerly worked as a nurse, you may want to look for clients who specialize in medical equipment or services.

Behind the Curtain was researched and compiled by assistant editor Nicole Ayers (Charlotte). If you would like your profession highlighted or if you have comments
on this column, you may get in touch with her at  

WoolsonConstance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist
Photo by Jennifer Zdon
Anne Boyd Rioux (NOLA) on her determination to bring Victorian author Constance Fenimore Woolson out of the shadow of her friend and writing contemporary, Henry James.

Constance Fenimore Woolson Portrait of a Lady Novelist By Anne Boyd Rioux
(W. W. Norton 9780393245097, Hardcover 416pp. Feb 29, 2016) 
You could say I started writing Constance Fenimore Woolson's biography in graduate school in the 1990s. It was then that I first discovered her writing and developed an insatiable desire to know more about her.

Uncovering the woman behind the writing hasn't been easy. Woolson was an intensely private person who asked correspondents to burn her letters, including her close friend Henry James. She left no diaries or records of her innermost thoughts. And the letters that do survive fit between two covers (whereas James's letters number over 10,000).

Although another scholar told me she had tried and failed to write Woolson's biography because there simply wasn't enough material, I decided not to be deterred. The alternative was silence and to allow her story to continue be constructed by James's biographers. Leon Edel, author of the five-volume opus on "The Master," had condemned Woolson as "a journey-woman of letters" who did not deserve James's praise. Later biographers have been kinder but have perpetuated the idea that she must have been in love with James and that her probable suicide must be attributed to his inability to return her affection. Although Woolson did not want to be known in her own day, I decided that she would have wanted her story told finally from her own perspective.

It wasn't easy finding an agent and convincing an editor to publish the biography of a little-known writer. Frankly, it was her relationship to James and the fact that he was partially inspired by Woolson in his creation of Isabel Archer in The Portrait of a Lady that helped to put Woolson on the map. But once she was there, I was determined to put her at the center of the frame.

The resulting story portrays a woman who had many interests (besides James) and extraordinarily high ambitions as a writer for a woman of her era. That she gained James's respect shouldn't be a surprise. She had as much to teach him as he had to teach her. If she was worn down at times by the weight of
prejudice against women writers, she also persevered in the face of it, enough so to be considered by her contemporaries as a worthy successor to George Eliot. That she has been erased so completely from the literary map is indicative of how entangled issues of gender and literary merit remain.

Anne Boyd Rioux is a professor at the University of New Orleans and the recipient of two National  Endowment for the Humanities awards. She is the author of Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist and editor of Miss Grief and Other Stories, both published by W. W. Norton.

Her current project is Reading Little Women, which will celebrate and reevaluate the classic novel for its 150th anniversary in 2018. Check out Anne's blog,
The Bluestocking Journal, celebrating other little-known women writers of the nineteenth century. 
UNUN Corner
The Women's National Book Association is a NGO associated with the
United Nations Department of Public Information
Jill Tardiff Compiled and Edited by Jill A. Tardiff (NYC)
WNBA NGO Main Representative at the United Nations (UN) 
Department of Public Information (DPI)

It is with great pleasure I am able to share this notice with you, members of the Women's National Book Association.

To our UN DPI/NGO representatives--Marilyn Berkman (NYC), Kate Lyons (Charlotte), Dena Mekawi (NYC), and Caitlin Morrow (NYC)--thank you very much for your attention and diligence.

Your participation and leadership are integral for our continuance at the UN through the Department of Public Information (DPI), especially the work of our youth reps. And thank you San Francisco and NYC chapters for putting into place projects, events, and activities supportive of our efforts; enriching the community of the book; and providing documentation used for accreditation. And a special thank you is in order to Rachel Steinberg, Civil Society Partnerships, US Fund for UNICEF.

Notice from Department of Public Information (29.01.16)

Subject: Your 2015 Annual Review Submission Has Been Approved

Dear DPI/NGO Colleague,

Thank you for completing your 2015 Annual Review. We are pleased to announce that your organization's submission was successful.
(Omission, Paragraph)
As always, thank you for your interest in the work and mission of the United Nations. We look forward to a continuous collaboration with your organization.


United Nations Headquarters in New York


Spring 2016 Briefings Calendar

Downloadable PDF of the Spring 2016 Calendar

Sustainable Development Goals--17 Goals to Transform the World Investing in the Future We Want. Transforming Our World by 2030.
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Bookwoman Staff
Editor: Rhona Whitty (NYC) 
Assistant Editor: Nicole Ayers (Charlotte)
Copy Editor: Gloria Toler (Nashville)
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