Some chapters of the Women’s National Book Association send out monthly newsletters, but that’s never been our style in New Orleans.
Instead, I want to send you a more personal message and invite you to join us as often as you can in this coming year of chapter activities. I want to invite you to become more involved too. So, this message is also about soliciting volunteers…especially for the cocktail party event in May.
Books? Cocktails? Parties? Some of the most interesting women in New Orleans? There is no excuse for holding back!
- We start with our Getting to Know You/Networking/Kick-Off eventfor this year at Pearl Wine Co. @ 6 pm this Saturday, (September 16). RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not done so already. Pearl has created a special Bluestocking cocktail in our honor. It will be fun. Potential new members welcome.
- We’re getting creative with the WNBA National Reading Group Month event in New Orleans this year: we’re highlighting poets outside of the national poetry month of April. This event will take place from 11:30 – 2:00, Saturday, October 7th at the Mid-City Branch of the New Orleans Public Library. In the past, we’ve not had good attendance at our NRGM events. Please show our poets some love. We have a fantastic line-up: chapter member Carolyn Hembree is moderating; members Stacey Balkun, Gina Ferrara, Andrea Panzeca, Melinda Palacio, plus Julie Kane (former Louisiana Poet Laureate), are the panelists. We’re going to adjourn to a nearby place for libations (Hey! poets get thirsty, just like everyone else) and further discussion. Public.
- The New Orleans chapter celebrates the WNBA Centennial at NOMA on Friday, November 10th. Bluestockings preferred, but not required. Check for details on the http://wnba-nola.org/ website. We’re going to discuss the benefits of your membership in the national organization at this meeting. Announced to public.
- A holiday party will take place on a weekend night in early December. Potluck, per tradition. We’ll send out email invitations closer to the event. Members only.
- We’ll have a pop-up get-together of some type for the Krewe of Joan of Arc Parade on Twelfth Night, January 6th. We’ll email details closer to the event. Members only.
- We have a skills program at the Louisiana Research Collection on the campus of Tulane University on January 23rd. Check for details on the http://wnba-nola.org/ website. Public.
- February 20th we learn about Literacy Advocacy. We’ll have details on the time and place posted on http://wnba-nola.org/ . Public.
- On March 20th, chapter Vice-President Nina Calvo has invited us to the Latin American Library event for the Renaissance Society meeting being held in New Orleans this year. Details will be emailed to members in the new year. We’ll also be getting together to attend events at the Tennessee Williams Festival. Members only.
- April 7th is Books with Bubbles – our own Susan Larson will lead a read-in at Effervescence champagne bar. Potential new members welcome.
- May 9th is the Annual meeting and our second story circle – featuring our members who have been writing on the New Orleans Tricentennial: Nancy Dixon, Freddi Evans, and Dawn Wilson. This will be at one of the library branches TBD (it’s too early to book a room now). Public.
- May 19th we’re Putting the Banned Back Together. This is a fundraising cocktail party celebrating women authors of banned/censored books. We’re planning to have celebrity readers of banned works and some silent auction items. We need volunteers for this: researchers to compile lists of women writers whose works have been banned; organizers of auction items; people to work on invitations, decorations, and party food – and “night of” helpers. This sounds like too much fun to use the verb “work,” so I’ll just say: email us if you want to help. Bring friends – lots and lots of friends. We have a modest fundraising goal for this event!
- By tradition, we’ll hold a pot luck get-together in June to celebrate our chapter’s founding. Details will be emailed closer to the event. Members only.
As we learn about other book and literary/literacy events, we will send out emails for other pop-up events. Send in suggestions for these. Last year’s Emily Dickinson movie pop-up was particularly successful. Also, our board meetings are open to all members. Come when you can. If you cannot make a board meeting, email or call any of our board members. We want to hear from you. You are New Orleans women, so I know you can’t be shy. If you were shy, you would have to move to someplace else.
We also have generous offers from members to organize workshops on meditation and writing and manuscript review. We’ll be sending out further details later this fall. We want to call for other volunteers on a project that will take our chapter some time to organize: A NOLA version of the New York City Chapter’s Pitch-a-Palooza. The idea would be to organize an event where authors pitch their works to agents. NYC already has a solid group of agents, including chapter members, who make this easier to organize. In New Orleans, agents are scarcer. I don’t want to call them unicorns, but ……… Some of the fundraising that we’re doing is to go towards the expense of putting this type of event together. To make this happen we need a committee to work on organizing this. Email us if you can help. All assistance on this is deeply appreciated! Last, we always appreciate people who volunteer to spread the word about WNBA events via social media. Yes, liking, sharing, and re-tweeting are ways to contribute to the success of WNBA-NOLA.
It is the culture of our city for people to participate. We don’t sit down for music. We dance. We wave handkerchiefs. We shake assorted body parts. We parade. We make costumes out of anything, everything — even loud, flowered tablecloths (I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and they survived to tell the story!). We throw parties, and, as someone once observed, we are the only place where people barbeque in the front yard. Our careless city knows only one sin: not sharing a good time. There is something for every member this year. I hope to see you at a lot of our WNBA-NOLA events.
Celebrating books with the best women I know, I am
Very truly yours,
Marie Breaux, WNBA-New Orleans Chapter President 2017-18