Summer 2017 Newsletter


Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter Newsletter

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Chapter President

Swap 'til you drop graphic

WNBA-SF Mixer:
Why Shop When You Can Swap?

Thursday, May 25th 
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The mixer will take place at a private home in Alameda (a quick Lyft ride from BART or a direct bus ride from San Francisco, ample parking).
Address provided after you RSVP.
Bring $7.00 to go toward ordering pizza (and if you really want, a finger food to share).

Swap one-size-fits-all accessories for new-to-you hats, scarves, belts, purses, gloves, sunglasses, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings at the next WNBA-SF mixer.

Start setting aside all those items that you don’t wear anymore. It just might become someone’s favorite new accessory! 

To read more and to RSVP, click HERE!

sample accessories for swap event

Dear WNBA-SF Chapter Friends, Brenda Knight

While it is hard to believe summer is just around the corner, I sincerely hope you are making good vacation plans and packing a big book bag filled with yummy reads for your relaxation time. While you have your calendar out, please save these very important dates for WNBA-SF happenings beginning with May’s double-header: our first-ever booth at the Oakland Book Festival on the 21st at the beautiful downtown City Hall followed by our mixer on the 25th of the following week.

We appreciate that the OBF is dedicating this year’s festivities to reading, celebrating and debating real issues with the theme of “Equality & Inequality: The world’s eight richest men are as wealthy as half the world’s population. A staggering, almost incomprehensible statistic, which expresses only the scale of economic inequality.  

How do people—writers, artists, mothers, day laborers, teachers, intellectuals—create a life under the inescapable and often debilitating fact of inequality?” We are excited to add our members’ voices to this chorus and also offer our chapter authors the chance to sign and sell books at our booth and mingle with fellow scribes on a beautiful spring day.

Is there anything better than sharing a glass of wine with a gaggle of gals? We think not and here is your next chance! May 25th is our upcoming members’ mixer in Alameda where you can “swap ‘til you drop” into a comfy chair with a cocktail and catch up on the latest news of our chapter as well as attending members, of which we have quite a few new women to welcome into our WNBA-SF family.

Other notable events to keep in mind are the Northern California Book Awards at the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library June 27, and the Effie Lee Memorial Lecture on September 25, also at the SF Main Library. Both of these are marvelous celebrations of our literary community and excellent opportunities to network. We also have our date for our National Reading Group Month event in conjunction with Litquake which is October 2nd at Books Inc. Opera Plaza. We are nearly at the half-way point in our centennial; so far, it has been a banner year for our chapter, thanks to all of you.

Keep the pages turning!

Brenda Knight,

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Other News

Oakland Book Festival logoWNBA-SF at the Oakland Book Festival

Sunday, May 21, 2017
10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Oakland Book Festival
Oakland City Hall,
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 

The annual Oakland Book Festival is once again upon us! Celebrate this exciting all day event in beautiful City Hall and the outdoor square surrounding the area to meet and interact with authors, artists, poets, rappers, musicians, and creatives of all types. Mix and mingle at this explosive and FREE event.

Sit in on debates and discourses, join arts and crafts tables, listen to master storytellers, or write your own story with coaches at your side.

We are hosting a book signing and sale at the WNBA-SF booth! Pick up a mug, journal, or book bag while you are there. Our featured, dynamic member authors are some of the most honored in the state: KJ Landis, Jan Schmuckler, Ethel Rohan.

To read more click HERE!

No City Is Complete Without Its Poets

joan gelfand in the gardenWritten by Joan Gelfand

With a rich history of literary innovation, exploration and celebration, San Francisco is the ‘go to’ place in the US for poetry. When Lawrence Ferlinghetti opened City Lights Books in 1953, he also started a publishing house that disrupted traditional poetry publishing. City Lights brought Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” to the public and when the book was banned for profanity, Ferlinghetti went to court to advocate. He won. Game on!

As literary agent Carol Criss describes: “The Beat Generation walked into an unexplored cultural vacuum. Their instincts toward honesty and experimentation, toward impulse and libido were greedily embraced by the society, and they burned a broader consciousness into the collective mind. Clarity, political insight, sexual freedom and questioning authority opened the stage for social turmoil in the 1960’s: Feminism, social justice, and, to this very day, the permission for new poetic forms: rap, hip hop, spoken word, and identity poetry.

Since the revolution of the Beats the poetry scene has only expanded. City Lights, still a nexus of literary activity, hosts readings throughout the month. Berkeley, Oakland and San Jose are also centers of poetry around the Bay.

To read more click HERE!


Featured Member Interview

BOOKTALK! The Buzz in the World of Books

Sue Wilhite
Interview by Nina Lesowitz

Sue Wilhite, Featured Member InterviewSue Wilhite has spent the last decade coaching businesswomen: authors, coaches, other creatives, or those in the helping professions. Her unique program, the Profit Attraction Formula, is the result of discovering that many of her clients have money issues, especially around deserving to make money.

“Many women in creative and service professions have a subconscious belief that it’s not okay to want to make a profit because they should be satisfied with just helping people. I’m here to tell them that they can do both – they have permission to make a profit! My coaching program explores the roots of these limiting beliefs and provides practical tools as well as firm coaching support.

“The coaching program comes from my business experience mixed with a deep understanding of how the subconscious influences everything we do. Some upheavals in my pre-teen years, including the death of my beloved father, left me with unrecognized PTSD symptoms that took years to diagnose. I spent twenty years in the tech industry as a programmer and database designer but was not satisfied. Hypnotherapy and other techniques brought clarity, focus, and purpose to my life. Technology is a great tool to make life easier, but the greatest tool we have is our own mind.”

Sue has published two books, Simple Success in 2003 and 21 Templates that Run Your World in 2007.

Simple Success is a series of affirmations, while 21 Templates explores personality archetypes and how they affect work and relationships. My love of books led me to buy and manage a New Age bookstore in San Jose and then work as Event Manager at another bookstore. I found that authors and other artists would frequently undervalue themselves and their work. They had difficulty marketing themselves.

“Through my experience as an author and bookstore owner, I had become familiar with many aspects of publishing from many sides and found myself helping other authors learn about the publishing industry. So I decided to establish my own hybrid publishing company and author publicity program to help beginning authors.

To read more click HERE!

Pitch-O-Rama 2017 agentsPitch-O-Rama 2017: Highlights
Written by Brenda Knight

California Governor Jerry Brown declared “the drought is over” this year and that is true in more ways than one. Pitch-O-Rama 2017 was awash with great book ideas and overflowing with keenly interested editors and agents, leaning in and listening intently to each other. With over 100 people in attendance, the legendary Women’s Building in San Francisco’s popular Mission District was filled with lively energy and buzzing, thanks to the one-on-one high quality meetings writers look forward to each year with book publishing professionals. One of the highlights was an aspiring teen writer, Anwesha, from San Jose who came with her mother and walked out with connections to a possible three-book deal and a gig as a middle-grade reader for a literary agency. This young author-to-be said it was “one of the best days of her life.”

The San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association has held this annual event for many years and it has become an important part of the Bay Area’s literary community with many key players in attendance, including co-founder of the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, Michael Larsen, Brooke Warner, founder and publisher of She Writes Press, legendary bookseller cum agentAndy Ross, the editorial team from Parallax Press, Joan Gelfandrepresenting Publishizer, Lee Douglass, founder of Carnation Books, Mango consultant Brenda Knight and Georgia Hughes ofNew World LibraryJennifer Chen Tran, who came down from Sacramento on behalf of Fuse Literary along with super agent Carlie Webber; and Jennifer March Soloway of the Andrea Brown Agency and Lisa Abellera representing the Kimberley Cameron Associates.

One theme from all the feedback received about Pitch-O-Rama 2017 was that the pre-pitch coaches, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, Mary Knippel and Amanda McTigue, were “extraordinary,” “taught me so much about how to improve my pitches,” “invaluable,” and “helped me be successful the rest of the day” — and this is just a small sampling of the praise! 

 To read more click HERE!



WNBA SF Chapter Board Contact Info Join-Now_btr6my6_0

WNBA-SF 2016-2018 BOARD

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



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