Fall 2016 Newsletter

 Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter Newsletter

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Chapter President

Pitches: Hilarious, Horrible, Successful

Join us for a fun and fabulous afternoon, our kick-off mixer of the year!

September 24th Saturday, 2:30–4:30 pm, FREE
Rockridge Library, 5366 College Avenue, 
Oakland, CA 94618

Andy Ross, Literary Agent 

Pitches: Hilarious, Horrible, Successful. Andy Ross has heard them all and he knows what works and what doesn’t. Enjoy his informative and entertaining thoughts on how to pitch your work, Q&A to follow.

Prior to becoming a literary agent, Andy Ross was the owner of the legendary Cody’s Books in Berkeley for thirty years. He now represents authors who write books in a wide range of subjects including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, current affairs, contemporary culture, religion, children’s books and commercial and literary fiction.

He is eager to work with projects in most genres as long as the subject or its treatment is smart, original, and will appeal to a wide readership. Ross has recently published The Literary Agent’s Guide to Writing a Non-Fiction Book Proposal.

Event Highlights:

  • Meet the New SF Chapter Officers
  • Preview the WNBA Centennial Year—new swag
  • Network with Chapter Members—new and returning
  • Show and Tell Segment—share your events, business, books
  • Book Swap—bring as many gently used books as you want and take as many
  • Refreshments—delicious sweet and savory snacks
  • Bring a Guest

For more information and to RSVP, click here!


Dear Bay Area WNBA-SF Members

I don’t know about you, but “back to school” to me means new books, a nice bag to hold them and lots more reading joy. The autumn months also offer a moveable feast of literary readings and lectures, especially in our own San Francisco Bay Area, which boasts some of the finest bookstores in America and quite a few of the best writers in the world. As the days get shorter and the leaves begin to turn bright colors, it can also be a time for your own writing projects, finishing touches on fiction or finally beginning your personal memoir, story by story. 

For 99 years, members belonging to the venerable Women’s National Book Association have been celebrating and sustaining women in the world of words—by helping women enter the business of bookselling and publishing, assisting women’s books to see print, and supporting literary ladies with readings honoring their work. As we approach our Centennial, we will look back at the pioneering work done by chapters over the decades and look forward to 2017, our hundredth year, set to be the best one yet.

This fall is a fitting start to our 2017 WNBA Centennial Year with a splendid roster of events featuring our member authors and sponsorship of like-minded associations. Each and every one of these activities is a wonderful opportunity for you to network with Bay Area literati, discover a new author you love or make new friends. Save these dates and join the fun:

September 10th: San Francisco Writing for Change Conference, Saturday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Exhibitor & Sponsor

September 24th: Member Mixer, Saturday, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Rockridge Branch Library, 5366 College Avenue, Oakland, CA  94618, FREE event

October 8th: National Reading Group Month Author Panel, in collaboration with Litquake and Books Inc. Opera Plaza, Saturday, 2 – 4 pm, Refreshments, FREE event

In closing, I urge you to renew your membership and take advantage of our very special deal:

 Pitch-O-Rama Special Centennial Offer:

“Bring a Friend to Pitch at Pitch-O-Rama!”
From now until September 30, 2016, if you renew and recruit a brand new member, 
you’ll both qualify for half price to Pitch-O-Rama, March 25, 2017: 
(Code PITCH 17. )

I have seen some amazing things happen at Pitch-O-Rama: writers finding their dream agent, pitches and proposals getting polished to a shine and, best of all, book deals getting made. WNBA-SF’s annual Pitch-O-Rama is a highlight of the literary year and one of the many ways we uphold the mission: The WNBA: Connecting, educating, advocating and leading in the literary community since 1917!

In gratitude,brenda-knight-150-newsletter-image

Brenda Knight,
SF Chapter President

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Other News

National Reading Group Month – 2016

Ghosts, Bones, and Dust: Novels of Life and Death

Celebrate National Reading Group Month with panel moderator Laurie R. King, an Edgar-winning mystery novelist, and five bestselling authors who’ll discuss their books and the joy of shared reading. FREE book club materials. Refreshments catered by Max’s Opera Café!

October 8th, Saturday, 
2:00 – 4:00 pm
601 Van Ness Ave., SF 94107 Books Inc. Opera Plaza
FREE and Open to the Public
Co-sponsored by LITQUAKE!


Laurie R. King Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 25 novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories (from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, named one of the 20th century’s best crime novels by the IMBA, to 2016’s The Murder of Mary Russell). She has won an alphabet of prizes from Agatha to Wolfe and has been chosen as guest of honor at several crime conventions.


Cara Black Murder on the Quai (An Aimée Leduc Investigation) the prequel to the 15-book Aimée Leduc Investigation Series–dips back in time to reveal how Aimée first became a detective.

Jessica Chiarella  And Again: A Novel In the spirit of Never Let Me Go and The Age of Miracles, And Again is an exciting debut about identity, second chances, and the courage to start life afresh.

Patricia V. Davis Cooking for Ghosts: Book I in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the RMS Queen Mary. Rich in history and tales of supernatural occurrences, the ship hides her own dark secrets.

Mary Mackey The Village of Bones: Sabalah’s Tale In 4386 B.C., a young priestess named Sabalah conceives a magical child with a mysterious stranger named Arash. Sabalah names the child Marrah who is told will save her people.

Mary Volmer Reliance, Illinois This novel tells the story of a young woman faced with choices that will alter the course of her own future, and offers a brilliant window into American life during a period of tumultuous change, Illinois, 1874.

To read more about the books and event, click here!

Time is running out to renew with our special offer!

It’s an exciting time for the Women’s National Book Association. 2017 is our 100th anniversary. We want you to be part of it!

So, renew your membership during our once a year membership drive. If you encourage a friend, who has never been a member to join, you’ll both receive half off at our amazing signature event – Pitch-O-Rama, March 25, 2017! (PROMO 17)

There are so many benefits to being a member of WNBA-SF Chapter, especially during our centennial year when we are planning more interesting programs and events than ever before.  

Membership allows you to:

  • Connect and socialize with women book lovers in the Bay Area
  • Enjoy reduced rates at our events and access to ‘members only’ events
  • Network with writers, agents, book sellers, editors, and others
  • Promote your work and sell your book at our mixers
  • Have fun, make new friends, learn about books, publishing, and literacy, and be part of a great organization!

Take full advantage of a whole year of membership during this once a year PROMO 17 membership drive, good ONLY through September 30th.

Renew or join online: https://wnba-sfchapter.org. Active member, $56 and Senior, $36

Here’s just a snapshot of what’s planned for the coming year:

  • WNBA-SF Chapter National Reading Group / Litquake author panel at Books Inc. Opera Plaza and at Bookshop West Portal
  • Members only social and book swap 
  • Fun, Food and the Facts of writing a cookbook
  • Pitch-O-Rama, pitch your work to agents, attend ‘how to pitch’ coaching session
  • And more! Click here: https://wnba-sfchapter.org/membership/benefits-of-membership/

Please join today and help us celebrate 100 years!

WNBA: Connecting, Educating, Advocating and Leading in the Literary Community since 1917

Featured Member Interview

BOOKTALK! The Buzz in the World of Books

judy bebelaarInterview by Catharine Bramkamp

Judy Bebeelar is a fairly new member of WNBA-SF, an excellent poet, and a sponsor of events for teens, part of UC Berkeley’s Bay Area Writing Project. She also just received an honorable mention for her poem “Gliding” from the WNBA writing contest.

“The Bay Area Writing Project is the founding site of the National Writing Project, which now has more than 200 university-based sites across the nation, serving 1.4 million kindergarten through college age students in over 3,000 school districts.

“Jim Gray began the program at UC Berkeley with two basic tenets that inform all our writing projects: that teachers should share their best lessons, and that writing teachers must write themselves, as an ongoing practice involving response and revision.

“Each of the sites develops its own programs based on those ideas and provides professional development in a variety of forms: targeted workshops at the university and workshop series at school sites.

“Here in Berkeley, in addition to various workshops both during the year and over the summer, BAWP offers an open program for teachers as well as the more intensive invitational program. Writing camps for kids are offered over the summer as well. 

“Our Teachers as Writers program features an on-line magazine for BAWP teachers, Digital Paper. Marty Williams developed the Teachers as Writers reading series that she and I co-host in Berkeley, at Expressions Gallery,

Read Full Interview here:

Choosing The Right Agent Is Even More Important Than Choosing The Right Spouse

Patricia V. Davis on choosing the right agentWritten by Patricia V. Davis

There’s a saying we’re all familiar with in publishing: Having a bad agent is worse than no agent at all. I’m here to tell you that a truer maxim never existed.

Good literary agents do more than just get your manuscript placed with a publisher. They negotiate your publishing contract as well as additional rights—such as foreign rights, audio rights, film rights, and more—that can substantially add to an author’s income from his manuscript. Good agents will keep you in mind for other opportunities too, such as speaking engagements, or additional publishing opportunities. They’ll answer your questions, help with your promo and networking, offer writing advice and a sounding board. In short, for a mere fifteen percent of what you earn, your literary agent is your partner in the business of selling your work.

  1. Before signing with an interested agent, if you can, contact other authors the agent represents and ask them what their experience with the agent has been like.
  2. If a new agent who has very few clients asks to represent you, before turning this agent down for one who seems more experienced, learn as much as you can about the literary agency where he or she is employed. If the new agent is supported by a team of more experienced agents at an agency that has a good reputation, take that into consideration. You might be getting two for the price of one, and new agents can often be enthusiastic and attentive.  
    Read the Full Article here:


WNBA SF Chapter Board Contact Info renew

WNBA 2016-2017 BOARD

President: Brenda Knight
Vice President: Nina Lesowitz
Treasurer: Herma Lichtenstein
Secretary: Julaina Kleist-Corwin
Membership Chair: Terye Balogh
Past President: Kate Farrell
Member at Large: Catharine Bramkamp
Featured Member Interview Editor
Member at Large: Martha Conway
Member at Large: KJ Landis
Member at Large: Julia Emily Kent, 
Social Media Manager
Member at Large: Cathy Turney
Member at Large: Joan Gelfand,
Nat’l WNBA Chair, Chapter Development

Web Editor: Simona Carini
Newsletter Editor: Kate Farrell
Webmaster: Linda Lee

Mailing address: 
4061 E. Castro Valley Blvd.
Castro Valley, CA 94552-4840

The Women’s National Book Association has been a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) member of the United Nations since 1959. A NGO is defined as “any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group that is organized on a local, national or international level.”  

It’s that time of year to renew!

TeryeBaloghWelcome to our new Membership Chair,
Terye Balogh.

Whether you are joining for the first time or renewing, please use the same form. Membership in WNBA runs from June 1st  to May 31st.

Due to an increase in the amount SF Chapter pays to our national organization, we are raising our annual membership dues by $11, effective April 1, 2016. 

Active members’ dues: $56 with $16 going to the national organization.

Senior members’ dues: $36 with $16 going to the national organization.*
(*There is no age designated for senior rate–it is based on how you might self-identify.)

Please contact Terye Balogh with any questions.

Visit our website for more information and to renew. We will launch our National Directory soon and need your current information as an active member.