Spring 2013 Newsletter

                  San Francisco Chapter Newsletter                                                                                 March 2013

April 13, Pitch-O-Rama, Swiss Louis Restaurant

Swiss Louie

10th Annual Pitch-O-Rama: Meet Agents, Editors, and Publishers

Saturday April 13, 2013, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Swiss Louis Restaurant, Pier 39, San Francisco

Cost: $60 members*, $70 non-members, Continental Breakfast Included

A chance to pitch your book in an informal, relaxed atmosphere at a San Francisco landmark restaurant, a tradition since 1936, in waterfront dining rooms that provide a panoramic view of the Bay.

*Membership price: as a special offer is extended to current CWC members

Free Pre-Pitch Session 8:00- 8:40 am

Writers will be led through pre-pitch exercises designed to help the writer perfect the pitch, as well as the manuscript, by helping them to focus on the elements that make for a strong book proposal, especially one that will attract the attention of editors and agents.

Space is limited! Register now at www.wnba-sfchapter.org

Wait! There’s more…

Small Publishers Panel Luncheon, $35, 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Mingle and network. Must be registered to attend.

Panelists: Discuss Options in Publishing

Brooke Warner of She Writes Press and

Featured Author, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, debut novel just released, Fire & Water. Will be on sale and for book signing.

Brenda Knight of Cleis Press & Viva Editions and a featured author, TBA 

$35.00 Menu selections on our website form

Stay for lunch to rub elbows with the agents, acquisition editors, and publishers as we discuss Small Press publishing and meet their published authors!

Note:  Must be registered to attend


Kate Farrell

Kate Farrell, Vice-president

The seasons turn and it’s always a good time to read a book! Whether it’s a cold, rainy day and you’re bundled in a cozy chair or warm and sunny as you relax in a hammock, a book is always a pleasant companion. Some say the best.

Never was that brought home to me with more fervor than by Amanda McTigue, a WNBA member and moderator of our October National Reading Group Month event, Joie de Livre—Joy of the Book, a shameless pun on Joie de Vivre—Joy of Life.

Even though months have passed since our successful event in partnership with Litquake on their kick off weekend, October 6, 2012, the edited video just went live on YouTube.

Please enjoy the 8-minute take on the joys of reading as presented by Amanda McTigue and the three authors on the panel: C. W. Gortner, Anita Amirezzvani, and Amanda Coplin, novelists who bring the past to life through their skill in creating place, character, and vivid history.

Just click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUnFZ8OQrCs.

WNBA’s mission is to promote the community of the book—that includes writers and readers. Our October event’s focus is on readers, but our spring event is for writers! That is the upcoming Pitch-O-Rama, April 13th.

We hope to see you there! If not, please encourage a writer friend or colleague to take the leap and present their work to a literary professional. This year we’ve opened up the event to include editors and small press publishers as well as agents. Sign up quickly on line as this event has sold out in the past. Read more in this newsletter and on the website.

Our program year always ends with a tribute to our founder, Effie Lee Morris, and the annual lecture series named in her honor at the San Francisco Public Library, Civic Center—this year on Tuesday evening, April 30th.  Join us to celebrate Ms. Morris’ legacy and this year’s featured children’s author, Eve Bunting! 

Thank you for being part of our community of readers and literary professionals this year!

Sincerely yours,

Kate Farrell, Vice-president



Writers Pitch BookRules for Pitching

You’ll have a total of SIX MINUTES with each pitch-taker.

During your THREE-MINUTE PITCH you will be trying to convey the essence of your book and why you’re the best person to write it. When the first bell rings, stop talking and let the agent or editor speak for THREE MINUTES. When the second bell rings, move on to the next line.

Please remember to converse quietly while you are waiting in line. You may practice your pitch on your fellow attendees–quietly–while you wait.

Bring the first page of your novel to show or a one-page description of your nonfiction book. Bring business cards. But respect the literary professional if he or she chooses not to accept anything from you. If anyone wants to see something, you’ll be told what to send and how.

 Agents or editors may want to read the first page of a novel because they can tell immediately whether a writer can write and if they know how to start a novel. Have a short synopsis of your novel and the rest of the first chapter with you.

Narrative Non-Fiction: 
 be prepared to share the beginning of your work. It should have the impact of a novel. They need to know about the writing, platform, and professional experience that qualify you to write your book. 


We Will Promote Your News on Twitter (and Facebook)

By Frances Caballo, WNBA Social Media Manager

Are you on Twitter? Would you like us to help you promote your books, workshops and other events?

Did you just finish reading a wonderful novel or collection of poetry and would like to share the title with Tweeps who also love to read?

Then head over to Twitter.

We would love to welcome you as one of our favorite Tweeps and help you to spread your news and announcements.

To share your messages, you will first need to follow us (that way your tweets will populate in our newsfeed). We always follow back writers and passionate readers.

To get started, navigate to www.twitter.com/WNBASFChapter and click the follow button. We will take care of the rest.

If you aren’t on Twitter, note your news and announcements every Thursday in the comments section on our Facebook page.

Announce your newsWhenever you see this image on our Thursday Facebook Page, add comments under it: your announcement and event will appear in the news feed for all those who Like our page.




Effie Lee Morris

Effie Lee Morris, Our Founder

Effie Lee Morris Lecture 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 5:00 – 9:00 pm

Join us for this annual event in honor of our founder, Effie Lee Morris, one that WNBA-SF Chapter co-sponsors with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.


5:00 pm Reception and Book Signing: San Francisco Main Public Library, Lower Level Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room

6:00 pm Lecture: Koret Auditorium 

Featured Speaker: 

Eve Bunting
, Award Winning Children’s Author of over 250 Books!

Eve Bunting

Eve Bunting

Born in Ireland, Eve Bunting grew up in a tradition steeped in the art of storytelling and the magic of words. “There used to be Shanachies in the Ireland of long ago,” she says. “The Shanachie was the storyteller who went from house to house telling his tales of ghosts and fairies, of old Irish heroes and battles still to be won. Maybe I’m a bit of a Shanachie myself, telling my stories to anyone who’ll listen.”


In 1958, Eve Bunting moved to California with her husband and three children. Since the first book, a retelling of an old Irish folktale about the giant Finn McCool, Eve Bunting has carried on her homeland’s storytelling tradition in over two hundred books for children and young adults — books about everything from sharks and horses to football players.  

“One of my greatest joys is writing picture books. I have discovered the pleasures of telling a story of happiness or sorrow in a few simple words. 

Eve Bunting has received many awards, including the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in 1976 for One More Flight (Warne). In 1995 the Caldecott Medal was presented to David Diaz for his illustrations for her Smoky Night (Harcourt). 

 Smoky Night

WNBA- SF Chapter at SF Writers Conference: Highlights

Collected and Edited by Joan Gelfand

Every year for the past 10 years, the SF chapter of the WNBA has had the pleasure of hosting an information table at the SFWC. Over the years, the conference has brought us numerous new members and served as an impromptu information center for writers seeking information on such wide-ranging topics as the UN, writing workshops, or eBooks.

All of the staffers are volunteers. Like all good volunteer jobs, this commitment is gratifying in so many ways. Here are just a few comments from WNBA members who worked at the 2013 SFWC in various capacities:

–As the children and their families arrived for the free session with author R. L. Stine on Saturday morning, I was amazed at their sheer joy and anticipation. They were true fans of Stine, lovers of his horror books for kids (Goosebumps series), and delighted to be meeting him in person. Soon the Room of the Dons filled with kids, parents, grandparents, librarians, and teachers. When Stine began his presentation, I was as enthralled as the rest of the audience as he led us through an interactive storytelling session. I giggled like a 10-year-old at the silly ideas the kids added to the composite story of the “Haunted Car.” What I learned was that I am never too old to enjoy outrageous creativity. And Stine is one of the best at that. 

Kate Farrell, WNBA/SF Vice-President, SFWC Volunteer and Co-Coordinator of Stine event

–WNBA-SF Chapter Secretary / 22-Day Platform-Building Coach Teresa says: “WNBA members who played a role at the premiere San Francisco Writers Conference celebrated SFWC’s 10th anniversary with its co-founders Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen (WNBA-SF Chapter past-president and past-vice-president, respectively), organizational team and advisory board.  I, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, am so thankful that I gained a new focus to help my clients after co-presenting ‘Getting to First Base by Building Your Fanbase’ with Elisa Sasa Southard and ‘Be Your Own Editor’ with Mary E. Knippel. Other rewards included seeing many colleagues showcase their expertise, reconnecting with California Writers Club colleagues and out-of-state clients, being honored by author Margie Yee Webb (yes! another WNBA & CWC cheerleader) who took fabulous photos, meeting writers with brilliant projects, and, witnessing wonderful volunteers who made the conference magical for everyone. I feel the afterglow still. Thank you, Elizabeth & Michael !  Thank you, everyone!”

Teresa Le Yung Ryan, writing coach and author of Love Made of Heart

–I was on three panels at SFWC 2013. My favorite moment happened during my first panel “Why Now Is The Best Time To Be a Poet.” The panel was moderated by WNBA member Joan Gelfand, and my fellow panelists were Brian Felsen of Bookbaby and poet/professor Andy Jones of U.C. Davis. Often when poetry is discussed at writing conferences the emphasis is on how to get one’s poems published or how to get noticed as a poet, but this time our conversation took a different turn. Instead of discussing publishing, we discussed the pleasure of writing poetry: how absorbing that is, how much fun, how it takes you into a world of joy and creativity.  In the end we decided, “Poetry is the highest form of Leggo’s.”  It made me happy to remember that, if you love writing, creating a poem is one of the best games you can play.

Mary Mackey  – WNBA member and author of “The Widow’s War” and “Sugar Zone,” as well as 13 previous novels and 4 collections of poetry.

–The San Francisco Writers Conference (SFWC) celebrated the 10th anniversary this year and as a SFWC volunteer for the past several years, I always looked forward to connecting with the many writers, presenters and others in the community created by Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen of the Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency and who are also members of the Women’s National Book Association – San Francisco Chapter (WNBA-SF). I especially enjoy reconnecting with friends and colleagues from the WNBA-SF. Writing Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan, who I consider as my mentor, first introduced me to WNBA-SF by singing the praises of this national organization that promotes literacy and the love of books in the community. When I ran into some of my California Writers Club (CWC) colleagues at the conference, I similarly tell them about WNBA-SF and the benefits of belonging to a national organization in addition to a local organization like the CWC.

Margie Yee Webb, author of “Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musing”

–As the Co-Liaison for the SFWC Poetry Track, I had the honor of speaking on 3 panels (“Using Verse to Make the World A Better Place,” “Using Form to Make Your Poetry Powerful,” and “Name That Tune: Poetry and Music.”) I also had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop on Thursday and attending the open mic poetry on Saturday evening. I think one of my most gratifying moments was when I finished my interview with Author Solutions and Suzette Conway invited me to do a series of webinars for the company.

One of my most inspired moments was listening to my co-presenter Camille Dungy on “Using Verse to Make the World a Better Place.” Also, moderating “Why Now Is the Best Time to Be a Poet” with the brilliant Mary Mackey, Brian Felson and Brad Henderson was just downright fun and invigorating!

There is so much fabulous information shared at the conference, so much great networking and just plain camaraderie, cheerleading and sharing of experience. At this point, after being involved in the conference in one way or another (I started as a host at the WNBA table, then moved to volunteer, then presenter, and now to Co-Liaison of the Poetry Track!) I have a wonderful feeling of being part of the SFWC family. Thanks to Michael & Elizabeth for being inclusive, generous and creative!

Joan Gelfand, WNBA National Past President







Jane Glendinning

Jane Glendinning

Welcome to our new Membership Chair: Jane Glendinning!


Jane joined WNBA in 2008. She is the past secretary and immediate past speaker chair of CWC-Berkeley Branch. Jane is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the Writing for Change Conference and the On-site Volunteer Coordinator for the San Francisco Writers Conference.  Jane is currently working on a short story collection.


Left to right: Mary Knippel, Joan Gelfand, Kate Farrell, Lucille Lang Day

WNBA – SF Chapter members were volunteers who presented and served at the San Francisco Writers Conference. Here are just four of the twenty plus members who made SFWC work!


WNBA 2012-2013 BOARD
Co-President: Linda Lee, Linda Joy Myers

Vice President: Kate Farrell

Treasurer: Open

Secretary:Teresa LeYung Ryan

Membership Chair: Jane Glendinning

We are always interested in your ideas, how we can better create community and advocate for women’s voices and literacy. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us.


Thanks again for your participation! It’s been a dynamic year!