Winter 2015 Newsletter

Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter Newsletter

                                                                                               Winter Edition 2015

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Chapter President
Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Digital Storytelling:
New Opportunities for Women Writers

Saturday, January 10, 2015
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Meeting & Mixer for Members
Oakland Main Library,
Meeting Room
125 14th Street, Oakland, CA  94612
Coffee, Bagels, and Pastries

Laura Fraser will discuss how the shifting media landscape from print to digital doesn’t have to be negative for women writers and readers, but is full of new opportunities for telling your story. She will describe many new venues for storytellers and readers, online and in print, and talk about how to break in and survive as a writer in new media. Laura will also talk about how to write a compelling story, whether in a blog, online, or in print, so that you can gain the widest possible audience.

ShebooksLogoLaura Fraser is the Co-founder and Editorial Director of, a new digital storytelling platform for women. She is also the NYT-bestselling author of the memoirs An Italian Affair and All Over the Map, as well as the journalistic expose, Losing It. An award-winning journalist, she has written hundreds of articles for such publications as the New York Times, O the Oprah Magazine, Sunset, Gourmet, Vogue, More, Health, and many others, including online venues Medium and Her work has been anthologized in over thirty books, including Best Women’s Travel Writing and Best Food Writing.


Giveaway Raffle of a Shebooks Equal Writes T-shirt! 
Mix and mingle–bring business cards, bookmarks, books for networking.


The Meeting Room is on the ground floor (the library’s main floor is the second). Handicapped access from the main entrance on 14th St. (ramp plus elevator) or the ground floor entrance on the building’s east side (enter through the Children’s Room, then scoot down the corridor to the Meeting Room). Parking is on street (meters & paper slips) or a nearby parking garage.  Public transport: #26 bus or Lake Merritt BART station (3-4 blocks away).


Women's National Book Association San Francisco Chapter

Dear WNBA-SF Chapter Members,

Does a brand new publishing company intrigue you with books written by and for women? Would you like to read high-quality short e-books you can’t find anywhere else? Even more, would you like to be an author of one of those books, distributed on a digital platform based here in the SF Bay Area?

Come to our January 10th meeting at the Oakland Main Library at 10:30 am, and meet Laura Fraser, co-founder of She’ll give us the scoop about how she and her co-founder friend, Peggy Northrup, decided to do something about the disparity and bias against women writers, even while women comprise 70% of the e-readership. publishes established authors and emerging writers.

On January 10th, there’ll be a raffle for an Equal Writes T-shirt and a new Shebooks print anthology for sale! FREE treats from Noah’s Bagels. Sign up online HERE and let us know you’re coming.

Please note that Shebooks is a new publisher and not the same as She Writes Press, a wonderful hybrid opportunity for women authors. Brooke Warner, co-founder of She Writes Press, is a WNBA-SF Chapter member, and supportive of the feminist press.


I admit…I delete almost every survey request I get. So I understand. We are all reluctant to fill out surveys! But let me tell you why this one is very important.

WNBA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission is to support and encourage literacy and women in the world of the book. Lofty goals. So our national board reaches out for support from many areas, and one of them is sponsorship. In doing so, our national board will be asked to give evidence, to convince people, and to produce demographics to visibly show…what we do, who does it, how much we do, and how we do it.

Kate Farrell

Kate Farrell

The survey takes less than five minutes to complete. It will help the WNBA receive future grants, and your response would be appreciated. Thank you for your support.

See you in the new year!

Kate Farrell, SF Chapter President

Featured Member Interview

Dorothy Hearst
Interview written by Catharine Bramkamp

Dorothy Hearst

Dorothy Hearst

This December, Dorothy Hearst will release her third book in the wolf fantasy trilogy, SPIRIT OF THE WOLVES, published by Simon & Schuster. One thing that caught our attention was that the first book in The Wolf Chronicles trilogy, Promise of the Wolves, had a long history. The book began as a short story that never quite worked and was never published. Dorothy put it aside for years, but then the characters came roaring (barking?) back. 

She describes the inspiration for her series as the wolves just barging in, demanding to be heard. “I wondered why me? Why did they come to me of all the people in the world, when I’d never written anything before? Once I’d accepted the challenge, it felt like a huge responsibility. I had to learn my craft, and I couldn’t give up because the wolves were counting on me. Like many writers, I often feel that I’m an imperfect tool for sharing the messages the universe is trying to send through me. But I’m happy with Kaala’s story. I’m happy I got to tell it and that I turned it into something I’m proud of.”

spirit-of the wolves by Dorothy-HearstThe books necessitated a great deal of research, almost after the fact. The story was there; it was up to her to find out about wolves. “I thought I was supposed to write highbrow literary fiction and was really surprised when talking wolves was what came out. I probably would have written books sooner if I hadn’t been trying to figure out what I should be writing.”

But the research had to be done. Even if it meant interviewing experts and asking total strangers a lot of questions.

To read more, click HERE.

Literacy Partnerships


Boxes and Boxes of Books

Holiday Book Drive for Children
ages 0 – 5,
a success!

Boxes and boxes of classic children’s books: nursery rhymes, finger plays, folk and fairy tales, enduring stories, picture books, board books, early readers, all for early childhood, ages 0-5. were donated this year. Books are in support of an early literacy program at the Living Room sponsored by Women’s National Book Association—San Francisco Chapter.

We are most grateful to our local indie bookstore, Copperfield’s Books, Montgomery Village, 775 Village Ct, Santa Rosa, CA, whose staff and manager watched over and encouraged the Book Drive.

Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter, sponsors a Holiday Book Drive to benefit the Living Room, Santa Rosa, a daytime drop-in center that provides a safe haven to ease the adversity of homelessness for women. Now we are pleased to announce that the SF Chapter has increased its visits to the Living Room from biweekly to weekly: every Monday at 10:o0 am. We are also collaborating with community partners to purchase children’s books at low cost and to request book donations.

Without the efforts and donations of WNBA SF Chapter, there would be no literacy program at the Living Room or focus on children’s books and reading.

To support this developing program, SF Chapter will donate 10% of its net income to purchasing books for the Living Room at deeply discounted prices. But we need your support to make this a real success!

Book Drive: At all our SF Chapter events throughout the year, we will accept classic children’s picture books and board books in English and Spanish. 

Holiday Highlights:
Hobnobbing on the Hill

Written by Carla Danziger

Carla Danzinger, Joyce Roschinger, Peter Roschinger, Ana Manwaring

Carla Danzinger, Joyce Roschinger, Peter Roschinger, Ana Manwaring

Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen hosted the annual WNBA holiday party at their cozy home on Nob Hill on Tuesday, December 9th, a special perk for members. New members and old, newly-published and veteran authors, poets, songwriters/musicians-turned-fiction writers, editors, librarians and booklovers enjoyed the warm hospitality, delicious potluck refreshments, and WNBA camaraderie. Each guest brought a charming children’s book to donate to the Living Room, our chapter’s literacy partner.

President Kate Farrell welcomed all, thanked our hosts, and facilitated the round robin in which members shared interesting projects in progress and some authors announced newly launched books: Fiction: Dorothy HearstSpirit of WolvesMartha ConwayThieving Forest; Poetry: Jeanne Powell,Two Seasons; Non-Fiction: KJ LandisSuperior Self―Reaching Superior Health.Kate Farrell told us she recently was on the editorial team of Cry of the NightbirdWriters Against Domestic Violence, whose sales will benefit the YWCA of Sonoma County.

Kate announced that WNBA will celebrate its 100th anniversary of supporting women’s voices in publishing and the world of books in 2017. Wishing everyone a happy new year, Michael and Elizabeth reminded everyone of the upcoming San Francisco Writers Conference, Feb. 12-16, 2015.

ONLY two weeks left to enter the WNBA contest!

WNBA Third Annual Writing Contest

 A fundraiser for our national initiatives.

2014_Writing_Contest_01_WebBegins: 8/14/2014, Ends: 1/15/2015

Flyer Click here for download.

We are seeking your best work for our national writing contest. Winning entries will be published in a special issue of The Bookwoman–the national newsletter of the WNBA. First place winners receive $250 cash prize. Second, third and honorable mentions will be published with the first place winners in the contest edition of The Bookwoman. Open to all writers 18 or older writing in English. Read previous winners on our website.

2014 Entry Fee: WNBA Members$15 per entry 
Non-Members$20 per entry

Creative Nonfiction: Includes memoir, personal essay and commentary. 2,500 words maximum.

Poetry: 3 – 5 pages of poetry.

Fiction: Includes short fiction, novel excerpts and flash fiction. 2,500 – 3,000 maximum.

All submissions and payments are through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, please inform the contest judge if work is accepted elsewhere. Previously published work accepted. If work is accepted elsewhere please contact the Contest  To read more, click HERE.

BOOKTALK! The Buzz in the World of Books

WeNeedNewNamesWhen you hear a new voice like the one that soars out of We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, you want to throw your head back and laugh with delight much like the Zimbabwe children in this novel do when they cannot repress their wonder. Bulawayo captures the ten-year-old protagonist, Darling, and her band of friends as they roam their town like small thugs, seemingly unattached to their adults and their circumstances. It is the adults who suffer for the bulldozing of their shacks in the wake of political upheaval, the ravaging effects of AIDS, the loss of their men to jobs in South Africa.

But when the schools shut down, the children play, making games from their dire circumstances. A woman kills herself and the children happen upon her hanging from a tree. The children–named Bastard, Godknows, Sbho, Chipo, Stina, and Darling–reveal the full slate of human reactions. Like a Greek Chorus, they weigh each circumstance and judge it. Seeing the woman, they are afraid and want to run; they evoke the punishment of God as one of them, Bastard, throws a rock at the hanging woman. They leave, only to return to steal her shoes because they can sell them to buy a loaf of bread to relieve their hunger. And then they all move on, in dizzy laughter.

NoVioletBulawayo -photoby Mark Pringle

They play the “country game” which reflects the status of their country as negligible in the scope of the bigger world; that is why no one wants to “be” it, they all want to “be” America. They steal guavas from the rich people who live in the nearby town of Budapest, trolling the streets looking for guavas and then squatting in pain to release them when they eat too much.

The genius of this book is how the trials of Zimbabwe and its people are revealed through the blithe and unconscious cast of children. But its vibrancy is in the language.

When Darling’s father returns from South Africa with AIDS to die at home, she is slow to understand, feeling shame and not wanting to let her friends know. But they discover the truth and push their way into her house to view him in his sick bed, and in their spontaneous song, they shift her understanding from shame to grief and finally, a kind of joy. 

To read more, click HERE.

Vicki DeArmon, Marketing & Events Director, Copperfield’s Books, Seven stores in San Francisco’s North Bay

UN DPI/NGO Women’s National Book Association
 at the United Nations

Yezidi Peacock Angel

Yesidi Peacock Angel

Help Save the Yezidis!

Written by Rabbi Pamela Frydman

You know you are a Yezidi if your family is always watching the news, your weekend alarm clock is Mom vacuuming, and your dad tells war stories in which he is the hero. So what’s a Yezidi? Yezidis are a beloved Middle Eastern monotheistic people on the verge of extinction at the hands of ISIS extremists who are also targeting Christians.[1] In August 2014, President Obama authorized air strikes and emergency missions after ISIS forces chased over 10,000 Yezidis up Mount Sinjar in Northen Iraq.[2]

Women with two small children had to decide which child to carry up the mountain because their tormenters wouldn’t let them slow down enough to carry both. Over 5000 Yezidi men have been murdered. 7000 women and girls have been sold as sex slaves. In an October 2014 video, the cameraman says, “Today is the slave market,” each fighter will receive “his share.” One fighter wants a girl with blue eyes. Another wants a fifteen-year-old with green eyes. One wants to trade a female slave for a pistol.[3]

10,000 Yezidis on Mount Sinjar are enduring freezing winter weather without shelter or proper clothing. Children are ill or injured. Over 1,000 children have already died. The International Association for Human Values is airlifting food, water, medicine and hygiene products. IAHV airlifted over 400 from the mountain to Syrian refugee camps.

Please give generously at

To raise consciousness about Yezidis in your community, please write me at

United Nations affiliation: The Women’s National Book Association has been a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) member of the United Nations since 1959. An NGO is defined as “any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group that is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizens’ concerns to governments, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level.”

[1] Yezidis:; Christians and Yezidis subject to sex slavery

[2] Washington Post:; New York Times:; the Guardian:; al Arabiyah:

[3] UK Independent:–the-shocking-video-9836589.html; United Nations press release:


Cafe de la Presse

Cafe de la Presse: Kate Farrell, Michael Larsen, Elizabeth Pomada

San Francisco Writers ConferenceFeb. 12-16, 2015

Volunteer at the WNBA-SF Chapter Exhibit table! Attend sessions while you work. WNBA-SF Chapter members are active at SFWC. Pictured here is our Chapter President at a recent planning session with the founders of SFWC and early members of WNBA-SF, Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada.
The San Francisco Writers Conference is a Celebration of Craft, Commerce and Community for all writers. You will learn from 100 bestselling authors, literary agents, editors and publishers from major publishing houses. With more than 24 respected literary agents looking for new clients at the SFWC, you may find the perfect agent for you and your book. You will connect with leaders in self-publishing and traditional publishing. There will be experts on book promotion, platform building, social media, and author websites. CLICK HERE to see the amazing 2015 SFWC Presenters List. We invite you to download the latest FLYER! 

 Volunteering WNBA-SF Chapter

WNBA — SF Chapter PROGRAM 2014-15

Sign up HERE to secure your volunteer spot. Become a part of these events that support and celebrate: “Women in the World of Words”

  • January 10th: Meeting/Mixer, Saturday, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Oakland Main Library
  • February 12-15: San Francisco Writers Conference sponsor/exhibitor, Mark Hopkins Hotel–Sign up online to volunteer at the WNBA exhibit table.
  • March 28th: Pitch-O-Rama: Meet the Agents & Editors, Saturday, 8:00 am – 12:30 pm, Women’s Bldg., SF 
  • April: Northern California Book Awards, sponsor, TBD
  • May 2nd: Meeting/Mixer, Speaker, Bettina Aptheker, author, feminist, Saturday, 2 – 4 pm
  • May/June: Effie Lee Morris Lecture, Sponsor, TBD 
WNBA SF Chapter Board Contact Info Join-Now_btr6my6_0

WNBA 2014-2015 BOARD

President: Kate Farrell

Vice Presidents: Open

Treasurer: Sherry Nadworny

Secretary: Julaina Kleist-Corwin

Membership Chair: Jane Glendinning

Blog Managing Editor: Open

Featured Member Interview Editor: Catharine Bramkamp

Social Media Manager: Frances Caballo

Past President & Webmaster: Linda Lee

Annual Membership 2014-2015

Welcome new members! Thank you to members who renewed.

Your membership dues pay for our FREE public events, for MEMBERS’ ONLY Mixers, for our Literacy Initiatives, SFWC and SFPL sponsorships.

The WNBA National Directory is now being upgraded and will soon launch! We hope to see your name and expertise listed there.

Consider donating to WNBA National to support its awards program and its upcoming 100th Anniversary in 2017, through this
PayPal link or by mailing a check to the address below:

Women’s National Book Association

PO Box 237, FDR Station

New York, NY 10150