Marsha Toy Engstrom (AKA: The Book Club Cheerleader) received the 2014 Doug Marlette Award last month from Kathy L. Murphy, founder of the Pulpwood Queens (PWQ)—the largest ‘meeting and discussing’ book club in world, with more than 550 chapters internationally. According to Murphy, “The award is given to a person for the Lifetime Achievement of Promoting Literacy, and Marsha fits that to a T….Doug Marlette was my good friend…and a Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist who was killed in a car accident in 2007. We wanted to honor him, with the blessing of his wife, in a way that he and his books would not be forgotten.”
What is Engstrom’s reaction to this honor? “This is just another example of Kathy Murphy paying it forward!” said Engstrom. “She’s always promoting literature through something or someone: a book, indie bookstore, author, journalist…or even a Book Club Cheerleader.”
A career coach with over 20 years in the HR and staffing business, Engstrom uses her background in coaching and team dynamics to help put the ‘group’ back in book groups. She also writes about all-things-book-club on her blog, Book Club Cheerleader, spoke as a Panelist at Book Expo America (BEA), and was recently quoted in Woman’s Day as a book club expert. And of course, she’s a member of the San Francisco chapter of Women’s National Book Association (WNBA, SF)—where we all promote literacy every day!
At the same ‘Girlfriend Weekend’—the PWQ’s annual book club convention, held in East Texas—Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds was honored to learn that in addition to her debut novel’s other critical acclaim, it has been selected by the Pulpwood Queens as a book club selection for February! Tracy’s previous work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Vestal Review, and Glimmer Train Stories, and she is also a member of WNBA, SF.
I’m sure that fact must have something to do with these two recent achievements! Okay, perhaps Kathy Murphy helped…
Editor’s note: Marsha Toy Engstrom and Tracy Guzeman contribute to WNBA in many ways. Engstrom has served on the Great Group Reads reviewing committee more than once and participated in a panel on Women’s Fiction at Pitch-O-Rama 2014. Tracy was a panelist during National Reading Group Month 2013, both in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and was the panel moderator for NRGM-SF in 2014. SF Chapter is honored to have them both as members!