Dear WNBA-SF Members,
We hope to see you at least twice this holiday season, on Zoom of course! To that end, we are issuing not one but two invitations. First, our wonderful Past President Kate Farrell is hosting a holiday story telling fest on December 9th which will be memorable and meaningful; you can rsvp here.
Second, we just set our holiday mixer and would dearly hope to see you at our virtual party. We are going to use our new-found Zoom skills to have games, breakout rooms where you can have a good conversion, catch up with an old pal or make a new friend. Read all about it and rsvp here.
We are still in our membership renewal mode we’d love to have as many renewals in December as possible so we can continue our good works and contribution to the community. As you’ll see in the holiday mixer invite, we are donating to underserved families, children who need books folks who lost everything in the fires, and food banks to feed those affected by the pandemic.
Our chapter also has opportunities on the board where you can really have an impact in the literary community with event programming, Zoom events and much more. If you would love to get more involved on any level, please let us know! You can contact President Elise Marie Collins at the email below.
And, don’t forget to enter our Effie Lee Morris Writing Contest which has wonderful cash prizes and an accolade to add to your trophy cabinet. Our agent and editor colleagues are always reminding us that awards can help you get published. Find information on the contest, the prizes and a link for submitting your fiction, poetry and nonfiction HERE.
Thanks for your support over the years and hope to share some cheer at our holiday mixer! If you have questions or suggestions, please let us know.
Many thanks and keep the pages turning,
Elise Marie Collins, President
Brenda Knight, Immediate Past President
A gentle reminder to renew.
2021 Effie Lee Morris Literary Writing Contest!
We honor and celebrate women authors and diverse writers and hope to include YOU with our 2021 Effie Lee Morris WNBA-SF Literary Contest, running through March 31st, 2021.
For full information, rules, and to submit your work starting October 1, 2020, please go here:
The Women’s National Book Association San Francisco Chapter is pleased and proud to continue the Effie Lee Morris WNBA Literary Awards in honor of our founder. Ms. Morris was a pioneering Black librarian and the founder of this chapter of the Women’s National Book Association in 1968. She became the first female chairperson of the Library of Congress and was the president of the National Braille Association for two terms. She was dedicated to literacy for children as well as children in underserved communities, and those who learn differently.
And now, meet the distinguished judges!
Sharifah Hardie is a business consultant, talk show host and influencer. Sharifah was a Long Beach City Council Candidate in the 2020 March 3rd Primary Election and is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Expert. With over twenty five years of business experience, Sharifah Hardie has positioned herself to become one of the top executives in entertainment, business, politics and a person on the rise. Sharifah is the author of Signs You Might Be An Entrepreneur – How to Discover the Entrepreneur in You
Lyzette Wanzer’s work appears in over twenty-five literary journals. She is a contributor to The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (Wyatt-MacKenzie), The Naked Truth, Essay Daily, and San Francisco University High School Journal. A three-time San Francisco Arts Commission and Center for Cultural Innovation grant recipient, Lyzette serves as Judge for the Soul-making Keats Literary Competition Intercultural Essay category. She is currently helming an anthology entitled Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narrative.
Sumbul Ali-Karamali, a former corporate attorney with an additional degree in Islamic law, is an award-winning writer and speaker. She grew up in California, answering questions about her religion, which is why her books engagingly introduce readers to Muslim beliefs and practices and include The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and that Veil Thing and her just-released Demystifying Shariah: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It’s Not Taking Over Our Country.
Pushcart Prize nominee Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer. Her autobiographical and fictional short story collections, along with her lyrical and stunning poetry have been described as “rich in vivid imagery,” “incredible,” and “great contributions to literature.” Her first novel, Betrayal on the Bayou, was published in June 2020. She is also a popular literary reader, presenter, storyteller, curator and emcee for local events.
Fourth-generation native San Franciscan, Kathleen Archambeau, is an award-winning writer and LGBTQ activist. She is author of four nonfiction works, Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels (2006), “Seized,” an essay in The Other Woman (2007), edited by Victoria Zackheim, Pride & Joy (2017), and We Make It Better (2019), with gay dad, Eric Rosswood. Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black wrote the Foreword to Pride & Joy and endorsed We Make It Better. Archambeau’s work has been favorably reviewed in global and national literary publications and she has been a featured speaker at national and global Pride literary events. Her book was included as part of the Oakland Museum of California store’s Queer California Exhibit and she is a founding member of the James Hormel LGBT wing of the SF Public Library.
Michael Larsen co-founded Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in 1972. Over four decades, the agency sold hundreds of books to more than 100 publishers and imprints. The agency has stopped accepting new writers, but Mike loves helping all writers. He gives talks about writing and publishing, and does author coaching. He wrote How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent, and co-authored Guerrilla Marketing for Writers. Mike is co-director of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference.
Rose Castillo Guilbault is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir Farmworker’s Daughter: Growing Up Mexican In America. Her essays have been published in dozens of textbooks and anthologies. She also wrote the book The Latina’s Guide to Success In the Workplace. Rose was the first Hispanic columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle; her column “Hispanic USA” was honored by a number of journalistic and community organizations. A longtime television journalist, she was awarded an EMMY for her work. Ms. Castillo Guilbault was featured in the award-winning book Latinas and Their Muses. Her community activities include Chair of the Commonwealth Club of California’s board of directors and serving as a judge on the Book Awards Committee for several years.
Featured Member Interview –
Editor “Grows” Food and Authors
by Nita Sweeney
Mental health is close to my heart…
Nita Sweeney (NS): I must dive right in and ask what drew you to work with psychology and wellness professionals and what keeps you leaning toward people in that field?
Featured Member Interview – Geri Spieler
Interview by Nita Sweeney
Self-Proclaimed “Political Junkie” Reveals Her Writing Secrets
The members of the Women’s National Book Association of San Francisco come from a variety of backgrounds and careers. I’m grateful for the opportunity to ask questions of smart, successful authors like Geri Spieler. Every interview provides splendid takeaways. I hope you enjoy the ones I heard in our conversation.
Nita Sweeney (NS): What draws you to the type of writing you do?
Geri Spieler (GS): I’m strictly nonfiction. Fiction is much too difficult for me. I’m sure it has to do with being a newspaper reporter and total political junkie. My book, Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford, was written in the creative nonfiction genre. It was very difficult for me to write it the way I wanted–like a novel but, entirely nonfiction. I took writing courses to understand things like “scene.” I hired a number of editors along the way.
NS: Your publication credentials are impressive. Please tell us how you got started and what helped you land those projects.
GS: Thanks. My interest in writing started with an awareness of news and politics. My grandmother was a Holocaust survivor in that she realized early on things were going downhill for the Jews in Poland. She left before it got really bad and tried to convince her siblings to come with her to the states. They thought she was over reacting and hence were killed by the Nazis. She taught me early on to pay attention to the government because things can get very bad and you need to be alert. My mother was a political junkie and she taught me the same lessons.
10 Goals for Writers for 2020
By Debra Eckerling, author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals (January 2020)
It’s an opportunity to jump into new writing projects … and perhaps revisit some old ones. Whether your long-term goal is to sell a manuscript, get an agent, or break into a new publication, start by setting some short-term writing goals.
I’ve made it easy, and listed some goals to get you started. Keep the ones that resonate, tweak the ones that don’t quite hit the spot, and add new ones that will help you reach your long-term goals.
Here are 10 goals to set you up for writing success in 2020.
The Power of the “To Write” List: List-Making as a Writing Prompt Tool
You’ve heard of the “To Do” list, but what about the “To Write” list? It can be a powerful tool in your writing kit.
• The Back of the Writing Journal
I learned about “To Write” lists from best-selling author Natalie Goldberg, of Writing Down the Bones fame. As I sat in the classroom at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico, I watched her pick up her writing journal, flip to the back, and show us a list of scrawled topics she’d penned on the final page. She carried a notebook everywhere and jotted ideas on the back page as they occurred to her. “If I’m stuck, I look at these,” she said.
While I’d read about these lists in Natalie’s books, to see the real thing left quite an impression.
I began to do as she did and still carry a notebook at all times. When I’m at a loss for a writing topic, I flip to the back, pick one, and go!
• List-Making Exercises
But what really stuck with me were the list-making exercises Natalie led.
In her strong Brooklyn accent, Nat might say, “Tell me every lunch you’ve ever eaten. Ten minutes. Go!” Off we would jump, deep into the pages of our writing journals, pens flying as we wrote about chicken cordon bleu, pasta primavera, and French fries with ketchup.
To the fiction writers, she suggested writing these lists from the point of view of a character. “Tell me everything Hester Prynne ever ate.”
The topics Natalie offered varied, but here are a few of my favorites:
WNBA-SF 2020-2022 BOARD
President: Elise Marie Collins
4061 E. Castro Valley Blvd.
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-the National Organization
The Women’s National Book Association, established in 1917, before women in America had the right to vote.
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.
Check out: NEW NATIONAL DIRECTORY!
You must be an ACTIVE MEMBER to be listed in the new directory and have login access to your personal profile and all other members.