Fall 2017 Newsletter


Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter Newsletter

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Chapter President

Kick off Fall with a Literary Salon!

September 17, 2017, Sunday
3:00 to 5:00 pm
Home of Joan Gelfand, WNBA National Writing Contest Chair, in San Francisco–address provided after you RSVP.

Featured will be WNBA authors whose hot-off-the-press books are being lauded this year. Join us for a salon and free mixer. Refreshments provided. 

Kathleen Archambeau, salon An award-winning writer and LGBTQ activist since 1992, Kathleen Archambeau has just published a new book, Pride & Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes, filled with stories of queer heroes who overcame, persisted and lived life joyously out loud, completely on their own terms. With a foreword by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, the book highlights award-winning writers, choreographers, dancers, leaders, and everyday heroes, including Tony Kushner, Emma Donoghue, Bill T. Jones, Richard Blanco, MP Louisa Wall, Kate Kendell, London Fire Brigade firefighter Petra Barneveld, retired Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief, Stacy Taylor, and transgender choreographer Sean Dorsey — people who broke boundaries, broke some rules and paved the way for every generation to come.

Renate Stendhal by Louise Kollenbaum (member interview)  Renate Stendhal, author of the award-winning Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures, has published Kiss Me Again, Paris, a memoir of living in Paris in the late 70’s, when women were intellectually and sexually empowered. In the worlds of dance, theater, and cultural journalism, Renate crossed paths with some incredible characters, avant-garde artists like Meret Oppenheim and choreographer Pina Bausch, and writers like lesbian feminist Monique Witting. An excerpt of Kiss Me Again, Paris won 2nd place in the WNBA National Writing Contest in 2015. Published by IFSF Press in June, Stendhal’s book has garnered much positive press and it was featured this spring in the WNBA’s National newsletter The Bookwoman.

Time will be set aside for introductions. WNBA authors are welcome to bring books for sale and information about upcoming events to share! Please RSVP by FILLING OUT THE FORM, specify whether you are bringing guests. There is a 35 participant limit for this event.  

To read more and to RSVP, click HERE!

Dear Friends and Fellow Members of WNBA-SF Chapter, Brenda Knight

Can it be that fall is arriving? This time around, cooler weather will be very welcome as well as a cornucopia of thought-provoking and stimulating book events:

WNBA-SF will co-sponsor the San Francisco Writers Conference: Writers for Change on September 9th, 2017, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, First Unitarian Universalist Center of San Francisco, 1187 Franklin Street. Several of our amazing member authors and marketeers will be there offering advice and wisdom. I will also be speaking, taking pitches and learning as much as I can from the remarkable experts. Registration is still open.

And, speaking of rooms filled with experts, Pitch-O-Rama 2018 is booked for March 31st at the wonderful Women’s Building again!

Our WNBA Chapter is kicking off the literary season with a Salon at Past President Joan Gelfand’s home September 17th, featuring two award-winning member authors Renate Stendhal and Kathleen Archambeau. 

September also features our annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture at the SFPL Civic Center on the 26th featuring legendary Gary Soto on the importance of diversity and individuality in children’s and YA books.

Again, we’ll have one of the highlights of fall with our National Reading Group Month at Books Inc, Opera Plaza at 601 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco with the theme of “Geography and Fate, Redemption and Discovery” with moderator Anita Amirrezvani and authors Alice Anderson, Donia Bijan, Sylvia Brownrigg, Martha Conway, and Achy Obejas. As part of the inimitable Litquake, October 7th, we are proud to participate in one of the largest literary festivals in the U. S. 

This is our WNBA Centennial year and, as such, there are events spanning the nation including an October 28th gala at Pen & Brush in New York City and other noteworthy happenings and awards, which WNBA-SF Vice President Nina Lesowitz covers in-depth in an article on our website.

Another celebration of our Centennial on a local level is a showcase of our own talented members at Book Passage on November 5th at the Corte Madera location. With 15 and counting of WNBA-SF writers reading from their own works and toasting the 100 years of women in the world of words, this will certainly be a fall to remember.

WNBA-SF and our fellow chapters have pulled out all the stops to this Centennial year. Celebrating and honoring women’s voices is just as important now as it was 100 years ago. We must speak out loud and clear.

In light of this, I urge you to please renew your membership so we can continue our mission of advocacy. And I hope to see you at these fantastic events!

With gratitude,

Brenda Knight, President

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Other News

21st Annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture

Gary Soto, Effie Lee Morris LectureTuesday, September 26, 2017
5:00 pm: Reception, Children’s Center Creative Center

6:00 – 8:00 pm: Lecture, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level
Join author, Gary Soto, Special Guest Lecturer who will speak on his body of work,
 “Too Much of a Good Thing: The Many Genres of Gary Soto

The famed author will take a wide-ranging look at his multifaceted career as a writer of novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and essays for children, teens, and adults. Celebrate and honor the legacy of Gary Soto–learn firsthand of his journey as a Chicano writer!

To read more and register for this FREE event, click HERE!

At the reception and after the lecture, a selection of Soto’s books will be available for purchase and signing.

The Fresno native often writes from his Mexican-American heritage, and his characters reflect California’s – and the country’s – diversity. Mr. Soto is well-known for his books Taking Sides, The Pool Party, and Baseball in April and Other Stories, for tweens, The Afterlife, Buried Onions, andLiving Up the Street, for teens; and Too Many Tamales, a picture book, and the Chato picture book series for younger readers. His forthcoming books include Meatballs for the People: Proverbs to Chew On (for adults) and a poetic homage to Shakespeare, The Spark and Fire of It. 

To read more click HERE!

San Francisco Writing for Change Conference

The Event That Shows You
How Your Ideas Can Change The World

Saturday, September 9th, 2017
Registration begins at 8:30 am  
8:30 am – 5:30 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Center of San Francisco
1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), San Francisco, CA

The keynoter will be best-selling author, Stephen Dinan, whose books include Sacred America, Sacred World and Radical Spirit. Stephen is a social entrepreneur, visionary political strategist and  is the founder and CEO of The Shift Network. 

At the 8th San Francisco Writing for Change Conference you will discover how what you write can change the world…and how to get your writing published. The theme of the conference is “Writing to Make a Difference,” with topics ranging from business, spirituality, politics, technology, social issues, the environment, culture, the law, and much more.

The Writing for Change Conference is devoted to bringing together agents, editors, authors, and publishing professionals in order to enable writers to learn from the experts about writing, publishing, marketing, and technology. You’ll come away knowing how to get your work published successfully, online and off.

Featured Member Interview

BOOKTALK! The Buzz in the World of Books

Featured Member Interview Renate Stendhal

Interview by Nina Lesowitz

Renate Stendhal by Louise Kollenbaum (member interview) Member Renate Stendhal’s newest book, Kiss Me Again, Paris, a visual-textual memoir, came to her out of her fondness for Gertrude Stein and her fascinating life arc from Germany to Paris and now the Bay Area. Aspiring memoirists can learn a lot from Renate’s process and her expert advice for writers.

“As a school girl in Germany, I already longed to be a writer. My Muse was Gertrude Stein, photographed by Man Ray with a Caesar haircut and makeup. I had no idea how to read and understand Stein until I left my stifling country and oppressive family behind and took up life in Paris, as she had at the turn of the century. I was twenty-two, and Paris was my dream of a chosen exile—the bohemian place of culture and sexual freedom that turns artists into Artists. Being an outsider rebel like Stein, a maverick, was in my blood.

“Having studied literature in Hamburg, I did ballet and underground theater in Paris then became a cultural journalist and translator. I introduced Audre Lorde, Susan Griffin, and Adrienne Rich to German readers and I translated a novel by Gertrude Stein. When I composed my photo-biography Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures (Algonquin, 1994), I had figured out that she could be read both visually and textually, and that both readings informed and enriched each other.”

The title of Stendal’s book came from this line in an obscure text by Stein: “Kiss me, I said. Kiss me again. She did.”

Stendal decided to go with a smaller publisher to control the artistic details: “I had always been a hobby photographer and photo collector, and after almost twenty years in Paris, a whole crate of vintage pictures had come with me to California. I could not imagine my memoir, my love declaration to Paris and Parisian women, without a wealth of images. I quite deliberately chose a small, local, literary publisher because I wanted to be intimately involved in the creation of a visually exciting book. For the Bookwoman feature, “The Full Story,” I wrote about the experience of going small and indie with IFSF Publishing, and how different it was compared to my previous experience with the Big Five.

To read more click HERE!

Happy 100th Birthday, Women’s National Book Association!

Written by Nina Lesowitz

WNBA centennial posterAs you know, 2017 is the 100th birthday of our organization and we want to share all the festivities with you!

The centennial programs and events happening throughout the year highlight the WNBA’s contributions to the book world. Click on the links to find out more about what is happening throughout the country.  Note that you can purchase Centennial Celebration totes, t-shirts and the poster designed by WNBA-NYC member Kerstin Vogdes Deihn here. You will also be able to purchase our Centennial book in October.

WNBA Centennial Celebration Events and Awards:

  • Bookwomen Speak: A year-long, chapter-by-chapter lecture series by women who have championed the value of books in our society. Our San Francisco chapter kicked off this series with national treasure Maxine Hong Kingston in conversation with Vanessa Hua.
  • WNBA Second Century Prize: A grant to promote literacy and foster life-long reading. The Second Century Prize has been awarded to the Little Free Librarya nonprofit organization that promotes reading for all ages, but especially children, by building free book exchanges. 
  • Celebrating Women’s Voices: Two book lists—one in fiction/memoir/ poetry and one in nonfiction—that the WNBA community considers to be the most influential books penned by women. A related initiative is Books to Celebrate Women’s History Month, a book-a-day list, selected from the above, that was sent to Members of Congress, the administration, and President Trump in March. 
  • WNBA Award: The WNBA Award, established in 1940, is presented every second year to a “living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”

The WNBA is honored to announce two winners of the 2017 Centennial WNBA Award: Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress, and Louise Erdrich, author, bookstore owner, voice for indigenous communities. Centennial awards and prize will be presented at the gala in New York.

 To read more click HERE!

Join the WNBA: We Have Your Back!

Joining WNBA-SF Chapter really does make you more attractive and interesting! NOW is the time to join (or renew if you are already a member) so that you can take advantage of these great benefits. Click HERE to read member benefits.

Renew now!

We are currently into our 2017-18 membership period.  
Please be sure to join or renew by October 1st.
Questions? Contact
Membership Co-Chair: Terye Balogh

WNBA SF Chapter Board Contact Info


WNBA-SF 2016-2018 BOARD

President: Brenda Knight
Vice President: Nina Lesowitz, Member Interview Editor
Treasurer: Herma Lichtenstein
Secretary: Sharon McElhone
Membership Co-Chair: Terye Balogh
Membership Co-Chair: Jan Schmuckler
Past President: Kate Farrell
Member at Large: Sue Wilhite
Member at Large: Joan Gelfand,
Nat’l WNBA Chair, Chapter Development
Social Media Manager: Elise Marie Collins, Brenda Knight
Web Editor: Simona Carini
Newsletter Editor: Kate Farrell
Bookwoman Correspondent: Martha Conway
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.”  

Two Brand New Websites! 

The Women’s National Book Association, established in 1917, before women in America had the right to vote.

Check out our Centennial website for more information about our history and the celebrations we have planned throughout the year.

The WNBA’s founding idea—that books have power and that those involved in their creation gain strength from joining forces—reaches across the decades to now serve members in 11 chapters across the country and network members in between.  
Read More…



You must be an ACTIVE MEMBER to be listed in the new directory and soon have login access to your personal profile.