Holiday 2018 Newsletter

Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter Newsletter

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter

WNBA-SF Holiday Showcase

Sunday, December 16
Book Passage, Corte Madera

Free to Public
Light refreshments and wine tasting, books available for sale and book signing.
Please join us for a celebration of 50 years of women in the world of books with member authors of the San Francisco Chapter of the WNBA.

In this 50th year Showcase, authors from the WNBA-SF will read from their books and join in a panel discussion of how women’s voices and those of diversity are more important than ever before. Q&A to follow.

To read more, and for the updated list of authors, click HERE!

WNBA-SF Member Mixer
Sunday, January 13
East Bay 
(location given after RSVP)

Celebrate the New Year! Join WNBA-SF members and friends for a WNBA-SF New Year’s Inspiration Celebration.

This year our annual holiday celebration will be held in a private home in the East Bay and will feature rotating readings from our members, along with the usual food, drink, lively company and this year we’ll have a DJ to entertain us.

Bring a book for the Holiday book exchange, or for our wonderful children’s Holiday Donations, bring your WNBA-SF Chapter Ideas, and share your intentions for 2019.

Invite your book club, your BFF, or come solo. Join us for a night of libations, women and books!

To RSVP, and for more information, click HERE!

Pitch-O-Rama 2019
POR 2018Saturday, March 23
Women’s Building Auditorium, SF

$65 WNBA members,  $75 Non-members, Men Welcome!
Limited to the first 60 ticketed attendees. 
Includes a continental breakfast and pre-pitch coaching.

Every year, Pitch-O-Rama delivers the 4 Ps that lead to publication:

To Register, and for more information, click HERE!

Brenda Knight

Dear WNBA-SF Members,

The holidays are almost here and we hope to see you at least twice during the season. We also encourage you to vote for a remarkable woman for the WNBA Awards and here is the information you need to cast your vote: Don’t miss the opportunity to nominate one of your heroes for the WNBA Award! The deadline for submissions is next Sunday, November 25

Look over the list of previous winners. Does your nominee fit in this stellar company?Your nominee may not be an author. Perhaps she’s a publisher, a blogger, a bookseller (like 2012 winner Ann Patchett, founder of Parnassus Books in Nashville), a literacy champion, an illustrator, a poet.

Download the Nomination Form, and either in consultation with other members of your chapter, or on your own (or both!), nominate an outstanding bookwoman. You are welcome to nominate more than one, but each on a separate form please.

Instructions on what to include, and when and how to submit your nomination, are on the form.

Questions? Contact NC Weil, WNBA Award Chair, at

We had a marvelous National Reading Group Month event at Book Passage By the Bay; it was truly a day to remember and Cheryl, the manager of that store loved working with our chapter and we are talking about future member showcases for Women’s History Month featuring you!

Speaking of showcases, we are very excited about the December 16th Showcase at Book Passage Corte Madera, featuring so many members.  We’ll have sparkling cider, champagne and holidays treats. Please join us in toasting the holidays and the enormous talent of our member authors!

Our Chapter Vice President, Elise Marie Collins  is hosting our WNBA-SF New Year’s Inspiration Celebration to kickoff the New Year in style on  January 13th.  We encourage you to join the fun and bring a friend!

We are also set for Pitch-O-Rama 2019 where we will have more agents, editors and publishers than ever before. We will also have our first-ever WNBA-SF Member Author Bookstore and every paid attendee can have their books sold there with opportunities for signings during breaks.

This latter part of the year has been hard and heartbreaking with the fires and the unhealthy air, but we look forward to brighter days.  This is also a reminder to us all of the importance of being in community. We are very grateful to have your as part of ours.

Happiest of holidays to you and yours!

Brenda Knight, President


Featured Member Interview

BOOKTALK! The Buzz in the World of Books
Featured Member Interview – Elise Collins

Interview by Susan Allison

In this interview, Elise Collins shares her excitement  about how you can be a “Super Ager” no matter what your age.

As a successful writer, Elise speaks of her history, explaining that she was encouraged by her family to be an intellectual, and was expected to read and write well. It was in her mid twenties that she began writing articles for newspapers and had a column called “Body and Soul” in the ​Psychic Reader​. She adds, “It was here where I explored the connection between the body and the spirit, and how that relationship in many forms is the foundation of health.” 

When asked if her passion for healthy living began in childhood, Elise responds, “Looking back, I was always attuned to a healthy lifestyle. My mom was into healthy foods; I read Wayne Dyer in high school and worked in a health food restaurant while in college. I grew up around my grandma and saw her live a very active life until the age of 95 when she passed away. My parents are 88 and 89 and they are both very active. I learned from all the older adults in my family that aging can be fun and exciting.”

Elise says that the term “super ager” was a buzzword that resonated with her and she wanted to know how she could become one. Combining her knowledge and training in healing, yoga and Ayurveda, she decided to “put together something that helps people to age well and feel good about it.” This curiosity and desire spurred her to write  Super Ager, You Can Look Younger, Have More Energy, A Better Memory, and Live a Long and Healthy Life, released this summer. 

To read more click HERE!

Featured Member Interview – Gina L. Mulligan

Interview by Susan Allison

When asked how and when she became a writer, Gina shares her history: “I began writing poetry as a child and thought I wanted to be a copywriter. So, I got my degree in Marketing and moved to New York City. My first job was as a flunky in an advertising agency. It was a great job, but I realized I didn’t like copywriting. The form was too short. That’s when I discovered a passion for fiction. I went back to school to study fiction and non-fiction writing. I worked as a freelance journalist while honing my novel writing skills. I’ve never found it difficult to shift between the two styles.”

Gina explains how she began writing historical fiction, a genre that still inspires her: “The historical element to my writing was inspired by a trip to The Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. It’s a beautiful Victorian hotel built in 1888. I wrote a story about it, and the story got longer. I realized how much I loved research and got immersed in the era. That was fifteen years ago, and I’m now working on my third historical novel.”

Gina has advice for other women writers, especially about publishing their work:

“As a new writer, it’s hard to understand how publishing can be anything but wonderful. Unlike the creative process, having a book published is all business. For me, the exciting part was getting my first big N.Y. literary agent. That’s a phone call I’ll never forget. It was such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. For me, the most challenging piece came once my novel was finally released. It’s thrilling and terrifying to know strangers are reading your work, and because writers today have to help with marketing and promotion, it’s a lot of work. My suggestion to new writers is to find out what your publisher is willing to do for you. Will they pay for contest entry fees? Do they have salespeople to help with your book, or do they focus only on the known best-sellers? I also tell new writers not to submit anything to agents until it’s truly your best work. Once the book is published, it’s out there forever. Take the time to write something amazing!”

To read more click HERE!

Structure: The Secret Weapon to Help You Achieve Your Goals

By Nita Sweeney

I’d been running for five and a half hours through the rural countryside surrounding Xenia, Ohio. My tired legs were intermittently cramping and the bottoms of my feet ached. I’d run out of catchy songs to sing to myself and all the mantras I’d been chanting sounded stale. The trees lining the rails to trails which had looked beautiful earlier that morning closed in. I thought I might suffocate. I was right on schedule, twenty-three miles into my third full marathon. “I really want this to be over,” I thought. “But I still have to get back to the car.” My next thought made me laugh, “This is just like writing!” Throwing in the towel would be a relief – for a while. In this marathon, I could easily stop at the next water station and ask the EMTs to haul me back to town. With writing, I could start fresh on a new, more interesting, more marketable writing project. That’s what I’ve done with every other book I’ve begun…

So, I remembered what I know how to do: continue. Just now. Just here. This moment. Feel your feet (even if they hurt). Do one thing and then the next. Right foot. Left foot. Just keep going.

But how does someone who continues to have depressive episodes so crippling they make it difficult to get out of bed some days achieve her goals?


In running, I found a training plan and followed it. I joined a group. I took a running class. I signed up for a race. I logged miles using online tools. I told everyone I knew. And, I ran.

With writing, the following similar structures work for me…

To read more click HERE!


Writing is Lonely. Join a Group…

By Marlena Fiol

Jennifer Harris recently reminded us in Warrior Writers that “Writers Need Community.” Writing is a lonely act and being part of a community reminds us that we’re not alone, she said. Beyond that, she reminded us that writing communities provide opportunities to learn and grow, work together and find new readers. No one can argue with that.

She concludes with “There are many writing communities out there, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one.” Indeed, they are not hard to find. I’m fortunate to be a member of numerous online writing groups on Facebook and Medium. I have also been part of smaller writing groups that I was responsible for establishing and maintaining. I’ll refer to the former as a network and the latter as a community. Both provide opportunities to “learn and grow, work together and find new readers.” But they differ in ways that matter.

Community-Building versus Networking

Definition of Network:

  1. An arrangement of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines.
  2. A group or system of interconnected people or things.

Definition of Community:

  1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

To put it succinctly, one promotes an arrangement for intersecting. The other promotes a feeling of fellowship. Both have their place, but confusing them is likely to lead to frustration and disappointment.

To read more click HERE!


WNBA-SF 2018-2020 BOARD

President: Brenda Knight
Vice President: Elise Marie Collins
Treasurer: A Leslie Noble
Secretary: Kathleen Archambeau
Membership Co-Chair: Sue Wilhite
Membership Co-Chair: Jan Schmuckler
Board Development: Sheryl Bize-Boutte
Past President: Kate Farrell
Member at Large: Marcia Rosen, Marketing
Member at Large: Mary Volmer, Events Co-chair
Member at Large: Joan Gelfand

Social Media Manager: Elise Marie Collins
Web Editor: Sue Wilhite, in transition
Newsletter Editor: Gauri Manglik, in transition
Featured Member Interview Editor: Dr Susan Allison
Bookwoman Correspondent: Jennifer Griffith
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.”  

WNBA 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…



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