Summer 2018 Newsletter


Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter Newsletter

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Chapter President

Epic Reads:
Secrets to Crafting Historical Fiction

Mechanics Institute Library 2nd-floor (epic reads)

Author Lunch, 
Mechanics Institute Library
August 17th, 2018, 
12:00 Noon
57 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94104 
4th Floor, Chess Room

Free to Public, refreshments available

The Women’s National Book Association San Francisco Chapter is thrilled to present member writers who have authored highly successful historical (and prehistorical!) novels that readers and reviewers rave about. Learn what role research plays and how to make your scenes, settings, and characters realistic and compulsively readable. 

Epic Reads will be moderated by WNBA-SF President Brenda Knight. There will be Q&A followed by book signings; bring your notebooks and plenty of questions!

Mary MackeyMary Mackey, New York Times Bestselling author of The Village of Bones, will discuss how she brings the Goddess-worshiping cultures of Prehistoric Europe to life by drawing on extensive archaeological research, the surviving art of the epoch, and her own imagination. Mackey’s novels take us on an epic journey to the past that has vital importance for the present. Her New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels, including The Earthsong Series—four novels which describe how the peaceful Goddess-worshiping people of Prehistoric Europe fought off patriarchal nomad invaders (The Village of Bones, The Year The Horses Came, The Horses at the Gate, and The Fires of Spring). Mary’s novels have been praised by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Pat Conroy, Thomas Moore, Marija Gimbutas, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marge Piercy, and Theodore Roszak for their historical accuracy, inventiveness, literary grace, vividness, and storytelling magic.

Mary Volmer - credit Kory HaydenNovelist Mary Volmer will discuss research strategies that will help you unearth, organize, and effectively utilize historical information in any creative project. Learn the difference between static and living details, how to avoid superfluous detail, and how to use objects as windows into a character’s heart and mind.

After earning a master’s degree at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where she was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College (CA). She has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook and was the Spring 2015 Distinguished Visiting Writer in Residence at Saint Mary’s College (CA) where she now teaches. 

To read more click HERE!

Brenda Knight

Dear WNBA-SF Members,

Can you believe it’s August already? This year is flying by but the silver lining is that we are coming right up on some of our most exciting events of the year.

I want to begin with an opportunity for all you member authors: we are having our 2nd Annual WNBA-SF Showcase at The Book Passage in Corte Madera this December 16th starting at 4 pm. As you doubtless know, The Book Passage was named one of the 5 best bookstores in America and they will stock and sell your book for you to discuss, sell and sign! WNBA-SF will provide refreshments including sparkling beverages for additional seasonal cheer. We are very pleased to have this event closer to the holidays when books sales will be even brisker than the weather. To participate, please contact me directly at and put WNBA-SF Book Passage Showcase in the email subject line. We hope to see you and your books there!

Coming right up is our very first WNBA-SF Author Lunch at the Mechanics Institute Library in the beautiful beaux arts building in downtown San Francisco, Epic Reads: Secrets to Crafting Historical Fiction at noon on August 17th. Featuring the dynamic duo of Mary Mackey and Mary Volmer, two masters of historical fiction will share their tips and approach to the craft. Mary Mackey promises to “make those ancient bones come alive.” Not to be missed.

This year’s 22nd Effie Lee Memorial Lecture on September 6th at the SF Main Library will also be epic with award-winning author and artist Shane Evans. Let’s toast our chapter’s 50th Birthday at the reception beforehand upstairs in the Children’s Center.

We would also love to see you at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference For Change on September 8th where we will have a booth and members will be presenting.

We also have our date for our National Reading Group Month event in conjunction with Litquake which is Saturday, October 13th at The Book Passage Ferry Plaza.

We are at the half-way point in our 50 years as a chapter; so far, it has been a banner year for our chapter, thanks to all of you. All of these events are marvelous celebrations of our literary community and excellent opportunities to network, get inspired by stellar writers and meet your fellow chapter members.

We would also love to hear YOUR news and welcome you to consider penning a blog post for our weekly newsfeed and website. We also have openings for board members and if you are interested, please contact me at the aforementioned email. We love nothing better than learning from the wise women who comprise the WNBA-SF.

In closing, I’ll remind you our membership renewal period has started and we very much appreciate your continued support and contributions to our community.

Many thanks and keep the pages turning,

Brenda Knight, President

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Other News

22nd Annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture featuring Shane Evans

September 6th, 2018, Thursday

100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
5:00 pm: Reception, Children’s Center, 2nd Floor
WNBA Members and Guests are invited to the pre-event Reception.

6:00 pm: Lecture, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level

Join the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the Main Library’s Children’s Center as author/illustrator Shane W. Evans, author of the Coretta Scott King Award-winning Underground, speaks on The Art of Dream….

A book-signing will follow the lecture.

Shane Evans is perhaps best-known as the author and illustrator of the Coretta Scott King Award-winning picture book underground, a sensorily rich evocation of how it feels to be a slave on the way to freedom. Among his dozens of other titles are collaborations with his lifelong friend, actor and singer Taye Diggs; the pair have together created Chocolate MeMixed Me! and other warmhearted picture stories. Shane Evans is the recipient of an NAACP Image Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor award, and two Jane Adams Honor awards, one for Lillian’s Right to Vote (written by Jonah Winter) and the other for We March.

To read more click HERE!


2018 San Francisco Writing for Change Conference

September 8th, 2018, Saturday
Check-in begins at 8:00 am

8:30 am – 5:30 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Center of San Francisco
1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), San Francisco, CA

Please join the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter at the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference where we will have a booth and also be participating in panels on getting published, marketing and writing the perfect proposal and much more!

The keynoter at the 2018 San Francisco Writing for Change will be best-selling/award winning author Daniel Ellsberg.

He is an activist on the dangers of the nuclear era and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing. He is the author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Dr. Ellsberg will be interviewed by David Landau.

At the 10th San Francisco Writing for Change Conference you will discover how what you write can change the world…and how to get your writing published. The theme of the conference is “Writing to Make a Difference,” with topics ranging from business, spirituality, politics, technology, social issues, the environment, culture, the law, and much more.

Featured Member Interview

BOOKTALK! The Buzz in the World of Books

Featured Member Interview – Susan Allison

Interview by Nina Lesowitz

In this interview, Dr. Susan Allison shares her wisdom about “writing what you know” and her publishing experiences with large publishers (Random House), smaller presses, and, self-publishing.

“What has worked for me in writing Conscious Divorce and the books that followed, is to write about what I am deeply experiencing, and what I feel compelled to share with others. I’ve written about how to end a relationship amicably, create a new life as a single woman, heal physically or emotionally, find one’s soul mate, cope with a partner’s passing, and connect with loved ones in spirit realms. Every book has its seed in my own life-journey.”

“In 2001 when I published Conscious Divorce, Ending a Marriage with Integrity, I was going through a divorce and couldn’t find anything helpful, so I wrote my own book.”

We asked how this book came to be published by a division of Random House.

“I found a great agent, Anne Edelstein, in New York, and within two weeks of sending it out, it was picked up by Harmony Books/Three Rivers Press.”

“What I found, and have experienced since, is finding an agent and publisher is about connections. I called a friend’s sister in New York who had been an editor at Bantam and she gave me the names of five agents.”

To read more click HERE!

Featured Member Interview – M. Glenda Rosen (Marcia Rosen)

Interview by Nina Lesowitz

Marcia Rosen

During her career as a consultant, motivational speaker, radio host, founder of CreativeBook Concepts, and business writer, Marcia Rosen has always advocated for women’s success and empowerment.

“My marketing agency, M. Rosen Consulting specialized in working with professional women, and I was at one point on the Boards of nine women’s organizations in New York City. I received an award for my work from the NYC Comptroller at the time and was later named ‘Women of the Year’ by East End Women’s group on Long Island, NY.”

She slowed down her agency business to get serious about her fiction writing about four years ago, although “I do still help some others develop their books and create marketing concepts for them.”

Author of My Memoir Workbook, and The Woman’s Business Therapist, she explains why she decided to focus on crime fiction including her “The Senior Sleuths” mystery series and “Dying To Be Beautiful” mystery series.

“I decided to write fiction years ago as my favorite books are mysteries and I love the PBS mysteries. Also, our history and experiences can define us, inspire our actions and as writers impact our words and stories.  Mine most definitely has – my father was a gangster.” 

“I grew up in an unusual, and sometimes outrageous, environment.  It wouldn’t take a genius, a psychiatrist or a palm reader to figure out the genesis of my fascination with crime and criminals. In my series, ‘The Senior Sleuths,’ Zero the Bookie is a version of my dad, and several other characters are based on his associates.”

I asked for Marcia’s advice on the specifics of writing for this genre.

“Your first sentence, moreover your first paragraph, should grab your reader… maybe even by the throat, like a good murder!

“Writing a mystery book or series is akin to putting together a puzzle with a thousand pieces. Where should you begin? Do you start the puzzle with the corner and edge pieces, providing details on the main characters including the heroes and criminals? Or do you start in the middle, revealing upfront the murder and complexity of the story plot?

To read more click HERE!

Pushing Boundaries – Stories of Border Crossings, Love, Courage and the Indomitable Human Spirit

Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter Presents:

National Reading Group Month 
The Joy of Shared Reading
Book Passage, Ferry Building,
October 13th, 2018, Saturday

Co-sponsored by:

litquake logo 2017




Kristina McMorrisSold on a Monday: A Novel (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2018), is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her novels have garnered twenty national literary awards, and include Letters from HomeBridge of Scarlet LeavesThe Pieces We Keep, and The Edge of Lost, in addition to novellas in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon. 

Debbie Clarke Moderow is the author of Fast Into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail (Boreal Books, 2018). The memoir recounts her experience running Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and explores her deepening and inextricable bond with her team of Alaskan huskies. 

Lauren Markham is a writer based in Berkeley, California. Her writing focuses on issues related to youth, migration, the environment and  She is the author of The Far Away Brothers (Crown, 2017), which was shortlisted for an LA Times Book Prize and longlisted for the Pen America Literary Award. 

Brianna Wolfson’s debut novel is Rosie Colored Glasses (MIRA, 2018). She shares her narrative non-fiction in the San Francisco writing circuit, having performed at The Moth and been featured on Medium. Thinks and writes about family stuff. Does the crossword in pencil. Plays the lottery on Fridays.

Mary Monroe, One House Over: A Novel (Dafina, 2018) is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of over 20 novels, with over one million books in print. The daughter of Alabama sharecroppers, she taught herself how to write before going on to become the first and only member of her family to finish high school. She lives in Oakland, California.

 To read more click HERE!

Joan Gelfand, Past President of SF Chapter and WNBA Nat’l shares the benefits of WNBA Membership: “…Since that time, I’ve had five more books published, four of which were directly related to my leadership role in WNBA…  The point here is not about happy endings; it’s about why community matters in your writing life.” Read Gelfand’s post HERE!

It’s that time again! Time to renew your membership in WNBA, NOW until October 15, 2018. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of SF Chapter!

WNBA SF Chapter Board Contact Info


WNBA-SF 2016-2018 BOARD

President: Brenda Knight
Vice President: Elise Marie Collins
Treasurer: Herma Lichtenstein
Secretary: Kathleen Archambeau
Membership Co-Chair: Sue Wilhite
Membership Co-Chair: Jan Schmuckler
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: Martha Conway
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.  
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