Written by Brenda Knight
Dear Fellow WNBA-SF Chapter members,
We are all part of a legacy. Our chapter was founded by the incredible Effie Lee Morris and many wonderful women of words have continued to build upon that foundation. I could not be more thrilled to step up and receive the baton being passed by the marvelous Kate Farrell, from whom I am learning so much. Her leadership is an example I learn from every day.
When I was in the second grade, I wrote a little essay about Betsy Ross sewing the American flag and my teacher, Mrs. Gammon, submitted it to a contest. When I won, Mrs. Gammon told me “I can’t wait to see what else you’ll write; I believe you will become the author of books.” That nugget of encouragement has sustained me for years as a writer. To me, this is the essence of why the WNBA is so important: women supporting other women’s writing in every possible way.
I well remember attending my first WNBA–SF Pitch-O-Rama as an acquiring editor several years back. The room was buzzing with excitement and alive with ideas. It seemed almost too good to be true: being surrounded by people who have dedicated their lives to writing and upholding the importance of literacy in our culture. I must have spoken with at least 50 writers and there were some fantastic book concepts and pitches. The day went by in a flash. When I left, I was very inspired and doubly glad to be part of the writing community of the Bay Area. At the last Pitch-O-Rama, I remained in contact with several writers, one of whom I worked with as an advisor. She was just awarded a contract with a major New York Publishing House for publication in 2017.
I am passionate about my work and thrive on work that is meaningful and beneficial. I see the advocacy of the WNBA-San Francisco Chapter as an essential part of the fabric of Northern California. It matters a lot. I relish the opportunity to work with all of you and take this Chapter to the next level. Let’s make our next Pitch-O-Rama the biggest one ever, as well as keynote literary events highlighting the power of women’s voices.
I welcome your ideas and suggestions about programming and good works, especially about how we can give back to young people and schoolchildren facing challenges. The WNBA has roots that go back 100 years. Together, we can make sure we are still helping women writers a hundred years into the future.
Brenda Knight is a twenty-year publishing veteran, starting at HarperCollins, and has worked with many bestselling authors. She wrote American Book Award-winning Women of the Beat Generation, Rituals for Life and Wild Women and Books. Knight volunteers for the American Cancer Society as a counselor for the newly diagnosed and leads writing workshops, “Putting Your Passion on Paper.” Founding editor of Viva Editions, a division of Cleis Press, Knight lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
To meet Brenda Knight and celebrate the 20th Anniversary the Effie Lee Morris Lecture, join us Tuesday, May 31st, at the San Francisco Main Library, Civic Center! To let Brenda Knight know your ideas about programming, please comment below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.