Do you know your WNBA membership benefits?

Interview with Joan Gelfand

Written by Catharine Bramkamp

JoanGelfand-photo Joan Gelfand is WBNA Development Chair as well as a member of the National Book Critics Circle. A blogger for the Huffington Post, she is also the author of three poetry collections and an award-winning chapbook of short fiction. Her poetry movie, “The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics,” will be released this fall. In addition, Joan coaches writers.

Joan is obviously engaged in many aspects of the writing community: blogger, poet, movie producer, and writing coach. Over her many years as member of WNBA, she has served as president of the SF Chapter and on the national board. She is currently chair of the annual writing competition and chapter development.

Since the annual membership period — the time to join or renew — begins June 1st, Joan would like to share some of the benefits of membership in WNBA, based on her personal experience.

Did you know what WNBA can do for you – as a writer, editor, or publishing professional?

– Find colleagues and friends

I had been hard at work on a novel for a couple of years but I didn’t know any other writers. I met a friend, another writer, who told me about WNBA. I was so happy to find colleagues and friends.

– Take advantage of the author or business Promotional Package

For $30/year a published author or publishing professional member can have two book covers or logos on the WNBA/National home page and link to their business blog and website.

Better Twitter reach

If you use @WNBA_National your tweets will often be favorited or re-tweeted.

– Publish in Bookwoman

As WNBA member, you are eligible to submit an article for consideration in the Bookwoman – the national newsletter that goes to all 11 chapters and every member. And you can list your recent news in Member News.

Contact the SF Chapter Bookwoman Correspondent, Martha Conway:

– Meet publishing professionals face to face

I found my first publisher in WNBA. I had self-published my first poetry collection, “Seeking Center.” Then two members who have both gone on to significant fame – Linda Joy Myers and Christopher Gortner – started a press. They invited me to re-publish my poetry collection with their press. That first book really got my career off the ground.

The best way to start meeting people is to dive in. Link your blog or website to the SF chapter, and fill out a member profile to appear on our Meet Our Members page. Attend as many in person meetings and events as possible to get to know people. Then there’s a good chance that you will make some really great connections.

– Resume builder

Having WNBA on your resume is a plus, as it has helped many women move their careers forward. I was invited to be a Huffington Post blogger because of WNBA.

– Go Big

My favorite benefit of WNBA is the way that members help one another. If you need a publicist, or help setting up a reading in another city or even in SF (where Bookshop West Portal is our sponsoring bookstore), someone is there to help.

For me, one of the salient features of WNBA has been its national network. Since the years I was president of WNBA/SF, I have served on the national board. At the national board meetings, you meet chapter presidents from all over the country and that is really fantastic. One president runs an NPR show on books, one runs a writer’s conference. So there are increased ways to network if you get the chance to serve nationally.

This coming year, June 2016, the national board will meet in San Francisco. WNBA/SF plans an event to include all chapter members as a start to the WNBA 100th Anniversary celebrations in 2017.

Are You Taking Full Advantage?

Did you know all of the above?  There are so many ways to participate in WNBA/SF. We welcome you to try. Come to our in-person mixers and events this coming year.

You can join or renew now by going to this page. There is no application requirement to join. Become a member or renew your membership to enjoy the benefits for the whole year.

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