The WNBA-New Orleans is a chapter of the Women’s National Book Association which was founded in 1917 (before women had the right to vote) when women were excluded from national publishing gatherings.  With local chapters around the country, WNBA is an organization of women and men who work with and value books.  WNBA exists to promote reading and to support the role of women in the community of the book.  National WNBA web site:


On July 16, Board members and chapter members enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch and a busy afternoon of planning programs and events for the year ahead starting this fall!   Held at the home of President Marie Breaux, the Retreat set the stage for a lively discussion of all things literary and how we can promote reading and support women writers.  There was great food and drink….and there was champagne when all the work was done!  As Marie told attendees, “We have great plans for the coming year.  Even better, you all make the WNBA-NOLA so much fun!”  Member Pam Ebel said, “Thank you for hosting a wonderful and creative day. Your home is a wonderful, eclectic venue that makes creativity flow. I look forward to working with everyone in the future.”

And if you weren’t at the board retreat, we ask that you take a few minutes to read a post at the site’s blog page. It should be of interest to all members as we get ready to plan our upcoming year.


The June Social/Networking Potluck Dinner was packed with members, friends and food. They kept coming in waves — and in the case of the food that was a good thing as everything had to be tasted. Incoming president Marie Breaux thanked soon-to-be-Past President Sheila Cork and her husband John, presenting them with WNBA-N.O. travel mugs. Member Susan Larson was given the same as thanks for hosting at her lovely, book-filled home.


Louise Penny and Trudy Nan Boyce are the recipients of the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, named to honor the memory of Diana Pinckley, longtime crime fiction columnist for The New Orleans Times-Picayune. The prizes will be presented September 8, 2017 at The Academy of the Sacred Heart/Nims Fine Arts Center, 4301 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. This ticketed event is open to the public.  The Prizes were launched in 2012 by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans to honor Diana Pinckley, who was a founding member, as well as a civic activist who gave her time and energy to local and national causes.  Note: see Blog page for more info.

An Evening with some Sassy Bookwomen of New Orleans!

Despite a pesky rainstorm on May 30th, members enjoyed a fabulous evening to discuss the Sassy Bookwomen of New Orleans, our inaugural Book Circle held at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.  The program was facilitated by Freddi Williams Evans. Freddi was recently awarded the title of Humanities Hero by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.  Note: see Blog page for more info.


An Afternoon with Emily Dickinson

On May 21 several Chapter members viewed A Quiet Passion at the Broad Street Theater and then stayed (in the theater’s roomy bar) for a round-table discussion about the movie and the life of Emily Dickinson facilitated by Chapter Member Constance Adler.


Women’s National Book Association Launches Centennial Year with Celebrating Women’s Voices and Book-A-Day Women’s History Month Program for the New Administration

As part of the celebration marking its 100th anniversary, the Women’s National Book Association will send a book a day throughout March to President Trump that the organization believes sheds light on many of the critical issues faced by the country. The books have been taken from a list of the top 100 books in both fiction and nonfiction compiled by the WNBA to reflect, in its estimation, the most influential books written by women.

Noting the absence of other types of non-fiction works, our Chapter Vice-President (and acting President) Marie Breaux contacted National; their response was that she had a wonderful idea.  A second list of non-fiction works was started with our Chapter leading the charge!

The entire list is available at the WNBA Centennial site as a webpage or PDF.

Highlights of our January 28th meeting

WNBA-New Orleans members enjoyed a special January meeting at the home of member Nina Calvo, Doris Stone Director, Latin American Library, Tulane University.  Nina presented and led the discussion of the work of 17th century Mexican writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (New Spain, 1648-1692).  She was the major figure of Spanish American literature of the colonial period (1492-1821) and a towering figure of the Spanish language of any age.

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Here is a message from Nina before the meeting:

Dear WNBA-NOLA friends,
I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone at my house on Saturday, January 28 to discuss the work of 17th century Mexican writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (New Spain, 1648-1692).  She is the major figure of Spanish American literature of the colonial period (1492-1821) and a towering figure of the Spanish language of any age.  Did I mention she also happened to be a woman?  
My hope is that everyone walks away with a general sense of who Sor Juana was, what her writing was like, and why she may still be relevant today. I hope you enjoy the readings!     Nina

RSVP to to receive readings along with Nina’s address, which is in uptown New Orleans.  Refreshments will be provided, as well as the usual convivial discussion and camaraderie.  See you there!

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WNBA’s Fifth Annual Writing Contest:   Be a part of history: The Women’s National Book Association is accepting submissions for its Annual Writing Contest, 9/15/2016 through 2/15/2017. After nearly 100 years celebrating published authors, extraordinary book women and honoring independent bookstores, the WNBA is celebrating emerging writers.  For more information, go to

Celebrating the Holidays at our December 9th party!

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Highlights of our Nov. 28 meeting:  

Celebrating Women’s Voices: 100 Books to Read and Talk About.”  We started our planning for the 100th anniversary of the National Women’s Book Association in 2017!   We worked on compiling our chapter’s list of the 100 best books of fiction, poetry, and memoir written by US women, one title per author.  Additionally, our chapter is specifically spearheading a nonfiction list.  See Blog page for more information.

We also had great fun coming up with an idea for a special Centennial Cocktail!  Stay tuned for an update on that!




Highlights of our Oct. 30 meeting:   We had a great time at our Halloween-themed meeting!  Guest speaker and author Bonnie Noonan presented entertaining and informative information on Women in Science Fiction Films. We all agreed that this should be an October meeting must next year!


Chapter Vice President Marie Breaux introduced Bonnie Noonan, author of several books about women and science fiction films.


Bonnie Noonan explains what’s happening in this science fiction film.


Meeting host Peter Martinat, Hortensia Calvo and hostess Marie Breaux enjoy some Bloody Mary’s.


Susan Larson and Constance Adler at the event.


Dawn Wilson and “Wonder Woman” Melinda Palacio enjoyed the fun.





 ** Second line trumpeter image in banner above is used with the permission of Louisiana artist Lorraine Gendron.  More information on Lorraine’s work can be found at