Winter 2016 Newsletter


Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter Newsletter

upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Chapter President


Alameda Elks LodgeWOMEN IGNITED!
In the WORLD of the BOOK

A special event with WNBA Experts, Authors, and Poetry
Sunday,  April 3, 2016

1:30 – 3:30 pm
Alameda Elks Lodge, Rathskeller, 
“The Liveliest Lodge in Elkdom”
2255 Santa Clara Ave,
Alameda, CA 94501

$35 – WNBA Members
$45 – Non-members
Includes snacks, desserts, and refreshing drinks. Free parking.

For Members ONLY: Author Showcase
WNBA Members can rent space at a genre table, $30 for half table.
Limited to 20 members, first come, first served. Must be registered to participate.

ignitetalks-color-e1376678172259WOMEN IGNITED!
Spark an idea – but make it quick! Hear five WNBA publishing experts give an “Ignite,” a shorter 5-minute version of the TED talk. Each expert has a cutting edge in her field; click on the presenter’s name to find out more.

Learn more from an expert of your choice at one-on-one sessions after the talks:

Catharine Bramkamp – Social Media for Authors
Mary Knippel – Women’s Voice
Linda Lee – Websites for Writers
Linda Joy Myers – The Power of Writing Your True Story

How could it get any better? AUTHOR SHOWCASE!
WNBA-SF Members will display and sell their books at genre tables that border the large and spacious room. Meet and greet authors of memoir, fiction, historical, mystery, teen and children’s books, as well as non-fiction. Author prizes!

But there’s more…POETRY READINGS from member poets will begin and end the program to celebrate the poetry month of April, featuring Julia Park Tracey, Alameda Poet Laureate.


To read more and register, click here.

Women's National Book Association San Francisco Chapter

Dear WNBA-SF Member,

Greetings during our rainy, winter weather!

Are you ready for an extra spark? An idea that will ignite your creativity and inform your work?

Sign up for the April 3, 2016, WOMEN IGNITED! In the WORLD of the BOOK: A special event with WNBA Experts, Authors, and Poetry. If you register now, bring a friend FREE! We’d love to see you there, along with your book in the Author Showcase.

And to celebrate April as Poetry Month, come hear Julia Park Tracey, Alameda Poet Laureate, share her talent with us. 

It was my great pleasure to represent WNBA-SF Chapter at the San Francisco Writers Conference in February. We co-sponsored two “free and open to the public” wonderful events: the Afghan Women’s Writers evening session and the children’s special event with Annie Barrows and her popular Ivy + Bean books. 

In January, we were pleased to see so many members at our Roundtable Luncheon to Meet the WNBA Expert. Based on its success and value to members, we are encouraged to offer a similar event in the East Bay. Looking forward to meeting you and a friend in Alameda on April 3rd!

All the best,
Kate Farrell, President
and the WNBA-SF Board 

Kate Cathy Helen Sedwick

Kate Farrell, Cathy Turney, Helen Sedwick


upcoming events and news wnba-sf chapter Other News


The San Francisco Writers Conference Report
Written by Simona Carini

SF Writers' Conference logoThe 2016 edition of the San Francisco Writers’ Conference (SFWC) was, as usual, a delightful whirlwind of panels, presentations, free events, open enrollment sessions, meetings and speed-dates. From Wednesday, February 10 to Monday, February 15, the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco was humming with activities. 

It was my third year volunteering at the conference, my first year participating as WNBA member and ambassador. I love the conference’s relative small size, which facilitates access to the presenters and encourages participants’ interaction. And the variety of panels, presentations and workshops is such that I always learn a lot. At the end of the conference I feel deeply energized. 

I am far from being the only one enthusiastic about the conference. Here are some thoughts from members of the WNBA-SF Chapter Board who were there:

Annie Barrows and Kate Farrell at the SF Writers' Conference 2016 Kate Farrell: This year I was busier than ever: volunteer, exhibitor for WNBA, presenter, panelist, moderator for two special events, and introducer for the Saturday luncheon keynote speaker, Annie Barrows. It was a thrill to introduce Annie Barrows twice, once in the morning for the children’s event and at lunch for the adults. Here’s the children’s audience enthralled with Annie:AnnieBarrows-audienceSFWC

Read more…


Smashing Success at the WNBA, Meet the Experts Event!

Banner WNBAWritten by KJ Landis

The WNBA, San Francisco Chapter, has a plethora of savvy, wise women who are experts in every area of the publishing, editing, marketing, writing, legal, and coaching world. These members shared their expertise with no holds barred this past week at the India Clay Oven on Clement Street in San Francisco. To appreciate the high caliber of each expert, read the Meet WNBA Experts: Roundtable Luncheon announcement.

Meet the Experts RoundtableWith registration limited to forty, an eager group of women took over the private back room: we ate, laughed, learned, and opened our hearts and minds to the possibilities that we may push our projects of passion forward in the writing arena. There was no room to be shy with the Q & A; every thirty minutes we moved on to the next round table to meet another expert who would encourage and assist us with our dreams.

Melissa Riley Everyone has a story to tell, and we women statistically have been published less often than men. The roundtable discussions allowed us to see if our stories, both fiction and non-fiction, would serve the world better through traditional publishing or through self-publishing. We were guided to know the laws around protecting our content. We learned if we needed an agent or we could go directly to a publisher. The librarian in the group told us how many writers are published authors in the Bay Area (a lot), and how to approach getting our books into the public library system. Being an author hopefully leads to speaking engagements; a communications expert took away our fears of public speaking with her valuable tips.

Read more…

Featured Member Interview

BOOKTALK! The Buzz in the World of Books
Brenda Knight 

Interview by Catharine Bramkamp

interview with Brenda KnightWhat do you do when your publisher is sold? Brenda Knight has some answers based on very recent experience.

“For legal reasons, I can’t go too deep into START media due to confidentiality agreements, but here is my advice for any author who is happily working with a publisher and the company is sold:

“Many times a publisher is acquired by a larger company because they are unique and distinctive in the field. Cleis Press worked hard for 34 years to become ‘best in class’ and the leader in their genres, even being named ‘Publisher of the Year 2014’ during my tenure. This made ‘the little publisher that could’ attractive to a bigger company. What made Cleis different was what made Cleis great and that legacy carries on.

“An author needs to be concerned when they hear that book categories and imprints are being discontinued, rights are being returned and book contracts being broken. This doesn’t happen all that often, but keep a sharp eye out for press releases about the sale and read between the lines. I advise authors to band together and approach the new owners/new regime and develop a relationship. Ask the tough questions. Find out who your new contact is and stay in good contact. Publishing is in constant flux so the players do change.

“My biggest piece of advice is to read the fine print in your contract. If, for example, the new owners start missing contractual deadlines, that is a big red flag. Don’t be a ‘squeaky wheel’, pay attention and make sure each side, yourself included, remains ‘in compliance’ with your book contract. If more than one deadline is missed and you are not hearing proactively from your new contacts, you may want to check with the Author’s Guild to see what your wisest next move is. You can only take your books away if the terms of the original contract have been violated.

“Make sure you do not have a ‘Right of First Refusal’ meaning the publisher with whom you have the contract gets to see your next project and has to say NO before you can shop it anywhere else. Agents come in very handy with change of ownership as they are your champion throughout. Publishers come and go but a top notch agent stays the course with you and will fine your book a good home.

“I have seen scenarios wherein authors were thrilled with new ownership which may well involves bigger marketing budgets and advances, so you never know!” 

Relationships Matter
“Get to know other people who are writing in your genre. Find a writing group with other published authors in the same genre. Other similar authors will support one another and talk about each other’s work. 

Read more…

Stop Trying to Make Time to Write

Catharine BramkampWritten by Catharine Bramkamp

We say: make time. We can’t make time. I try in my Future Girls books to make time, to travel back and forth in order to change the past to influence the future. It’s fun in fiction, not as easy in real life. In a conversation with Beth Barany, she asked how do I make time for my writing. I thought about that for a second, rolling through all the make time ideas and scheduling, until I had the epiphany that I don’t make time at all: I protect it.

We live in a time packed with delicious distractions and irresistible time vampires, who either sneak around at night and suck the life out of us, or glitter seductively and lure us away from our day work and into a new field of dreams. The Pinterest research for the book’s board becomes the Pinterest research for ten must see buildings in Barcelona. The Facebook Page for the book becomes an exercise in hunting down an ex-boyfriend.

It’s so easy to get derailed that recriminations are pointless, and guilt is just exhausting. The solution is to string together some garlic, make a circle and declare: this is when I write – nothing else.

One of the obvious solutions is to create accountability. You will show up at the cafe because your writing partner is showing up. She is showing up because you are. Perfect. Schedule writing groups, a whole bunch of people will help encourage you to show up. But how can we protect our time when we are alone, or as alone as we can be?

Large Clock: Protect & Defend Take Care of Your Time Block out writing time on your calendar. Be firm with yourself and even more firm with all your imaginary flying monkeys who seem to be obsessed with perfectly executed laundry and clean base boards. Put the phone in another room, if it’s important, the caller will leave a message, ditto the text. 

Don’t allow that time to be squeezed by other considerations – don’t schedule lunch with a friend because, well, it’s just free time. Don’t let a family member hijack the time because you “aren’t doing anything anyway.”

Practice allowing yourself that time – maybe an hour for that day. Now you have this time to work. For a whole, uninterrupted hour. And you got nothing.

 Read more…



WNBA SF Chapter Board Contact Info Join-Now_btr6my6_0

WNBA 2015-2016 BOARD

President: Kate Farrell
Vice President: Vicki DeArmon
Vice President: Sherry Nadworny, Chair, National Reading Group Month 2015
Treasurer: Herma Lichtenstein
Secretary: Julaina Kleist-Corwin
Membership Chair: 
Past President: Linda Lee
Member at Large: Mary Knippel, Chair, Nat’l Board Meeting
Member at Large: Catharine BramkampFeatured Member Interview Editor
Member at Large: Martha Conway
Member at Large: KJ Landis, Chair, Meet the WNBA Expert
Member at Large: Julia Park Tracey, Social Media Manager
Member at Large: Cathy Turney
Member at Large: Joan Gelfand, Nat’l WNBA Chair, Chapter Development

Web Editor: Simona Carini
Webmaster: Linda Lee, askmepc-webdesign


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.”  

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

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 1015