Prytania Street Sip and Share

WNBA-New Orleans members and their friends will gather on the Prytania Street porch of L’Union Francaise to reconnect. We’ll sip and share our experiences during the pandemic and Hurricane Ida, plus what we’ve been reading, writing, and other bright spots. Light snacks; wine and sparkling water provided.

Date: Friday, October 29, 2021

Location: The front porch of L’Union Francaise, 4522 Prytania Street
Time: 6:30–8 pm CT
Free and open to WNBA–New Orleans chapter members and their friends
RSVP deadline: Sunday, October 24
COVID protocols: Vaccine proof required; mask indoors (for restrooms)
Click here to RSVP. We hope to see you there!

Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival  Embraces Virtual Format for 2021

The Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival returns for its 35th annual celebration of contemporary literature, culture, theater, and the works of Tennessee Williams. The 2021 Festival will offer two consecutive weekends of virtual programming in March: a Writer’s Retreat followed by a weekend of traditional events presented online.
The Writer’s Retreat March 19-21 will include online writing workshops, author events, and a writing marathon. Delivering a keynote inspirational message to writers is Robert Jones, Jr., whose debut novel The Prophets is garnering praise and making top lists across the country. Acclaimed and award-winning authors also participating include C. Morgan Babst, Michael Bourne, Elizabeth Miki Brina, Ethan Brown, Pamela Colloff, Lily King, Leigh Camacho Rourks, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Sunni Patterson, Sharyn Rosenblum, and Katy Simpson Smith. Also included is an agent pitch bootcamp and a session by Kindle Direct Publishing with Goodreads.
The following weekend, March 24-28, includes our annual Festival traditions presented online. We are thrilled to welcome back favorite friends and new faces including Megan Abbott, Augustin J Correro, Randy Fertel, Alison Gaylin, Matthew Griffin, Eliza Griswold, Ladee Hubbard, Robert Jones, Jr., Peggy Scott Laborde, Susan Larson,Laura Lippman, Lauren Markham, John Cameron Mitchell, John Pope, Alice Quinn, Mo Rocca, Brian Sands, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Heather Ann Thompson, M.O. Walsh, Bryan Washington,and many more.
Special Events
The Festival will open Wednesday, March 24 with an online evening performance of A Vieux Carré Cabaret with Vinsantos, LadyBeast, and Franky. Other virtual events include the Tennessee Williams Tribute Reading focused on New Orleans as Muse with Alan Cumming, Brenda Currin, Rodney Hicks, Thomas Keith, Ann Magnuson, Amy Ryan, Mink Stole, Blair Underwood, and more. Books & Beignets focusing on The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams; an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley; Bryan Batt in conversation with Tennessee Williams’ scholar Dr. Kenneth Holditch; and a Williams Scholars Session.
Drummer & Smoke online music events sponsored by New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation will include Bon Bon Vivant, Arsène DeLay, and a jazz cocktail hour with Joel Dinerstein.From the Archives will feature Festival highlights from over 35 years, including an archived interview with Tennessee Williams by Eric Paulsen, an interview with Anne Rice, and a panel with John Waters. UNO Press will present poetry readings filmed on location from the book I Am New Orleans and a new memoir by Kalamu ya Salaam. Culinary events will include a live Jazz Brunch show with Poppy Tooker and Ti Martin and classic New Orleans cocktails with Tim McNally; plus a full-length film by Lisa Vreeland, Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation.
Virtual Theater offerings include an original production, The Felt Menagerie—A Williams-Inspired Puppet Comedy from The Tennessee Williams Theatre Co. of New Orleans; Teatro Sin Fronteras / Theater without Borders, showcasing the voices of Latin creatives in New Orleans curated by Jose Torres-Tama; Tennessee Williams one-act plays from The NOLA Project and from Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Other theater-related events include New Orleans, My Muse with Kathy Randels and Stephanie McKee moderated by Monique Verdin; a panel on the New Orleans Black theatre community with Tommye Myrick, Kalamu ya Salaam, Lauren Turner, Kaia Karen Livers, and Nick Slie.
The Festival is pleased to share partner content from The Historical New Orleans Collection, Garden District Book Shop, and the Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction (watch the presentation here: https://youtu.be/6zCBUdhFSg0
Saints + Sinners Literary Festival, an annual LGBTQ conference celebrating its 18th year, will occur online March 11-14, 2021. The virtual SASFest will include panels, workshops, readings, and special events. Visit sasfest.org for more details.
Tickets for the Virtual TWFestival will go on sale February 19, 2021.   www.tennesseewilliams.net

A Virtual Mardi Gras Party!

WNBA-NOLA members had a ball at our virtual Mardi Gras Party Saturday, February 6!

Before joining the Zoom group, we each chose our favorite king cake or pie and a beverage. Many of us were wearing the traditional purple, green and gold colors and costumes of Carnival.

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We shared our Mardi Gras memories and favorite books of 2020. Using an online spinning wheel we gave away some great prizes to participants:

  • a one-year paid subscription to Roxane Gay’s newsletter The Audacity,

  • a one-year paid subscription to Jami Attenberg’s newsletter Craft Talk,

  • a signed Jami Attenberg book, and

  • a gift certificate to Windowsill Pies!

Mardi Gras Party: Sat., Feb. 6 at 7 pm

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Please join us Saturday, February 6, 7–8 pm, for a virtual Mardi Gras party!

Grab your favorite king cake or pie and a beverage and join us for a social gathering! Costumes are encouraged, but not required.

We’ll share our favorite books of 2020, our reading and writing resolutions for 2021, and give away some great prizes:

  • a one-year paid subscription to Roxane Gay’s newsletter The Audacity,

  • a one-year paid subscription to Jami Attenberg’s newsletter Craft Talk,

  • a signed Jami Attenberg book, and

  • a gift certificate to Windowsill Pies!

Current members who attend are automatically entered to win. Nonmembers may attend without entering to win, or may enter for a donation of $20. Renew or donate here. (Questions about your membership? Contact Membership Chair Sara Woodard at wnbaofnola@gmail.com.)

Open to all to attend! RSVP here.

Our next Virtual Open Mic January 14

We still have some reading slots available for our next Virtual Open Mic, now taking place Thursday, January 14 at 7:30 pm CT.

Please sign-up here to perform. We’d especially love to hear from members who haven’t yet read for the series!

In case you missed our previous open mic events, or you just want to relive the magic, here they are:
Featuring: Anne Babson, Gina Ferrara, Nicole M. K. Eiden, Carolyn Hembree, and Katheryn Krotzer Laborde
Featuring: Pamela Ebel, Katheryn Krotzer Laborde, Andrea Panzeca, and Laura Mullen
Please note:
1. Although non-members may attend, you must be a WNBA–NOLA member to perform.
2. Space is limited. Readers will participate in the order in which they sign-up. If we are unable to offer you a spot this time, you will be automatically registered for the next reading.
3. If you read at the previous open mic, please wait until next time before signing up again. (This is subject to change. If we don’t get enough participants, we’ll open it to all members.)
Hope to see you there!

WNBA-NOLA Appoints New Board VP & Secretary

Pamela Ebel is WNBA-NOLA’s new Vice President.  She was born in Northern California and raised by southern women; part of the diaspora created by the Great Depression. She returned to her roots at 21, receiving an M.A. from LSU-Baton Rouge and a JD from Loyola New Orleans. Her careers have included lawyer, university professor, law school associate dean, owner and producer of CLE programs and now, fiction writer.  Her poetry has appeared in the Delta Poetry Review. A series of short stories appear in various publications. Three of her stories were published in the 2020 BOULD AWARDS anthology which launched on Amazon in November, with one of the stories taking Second Place. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime NOLA and current Director of Programming, member of SINC National and a member of the WNBA and has served for several years as a board member of WNBA NOLA. She travels between New Orleans, California, Alabama and the Mississippi Delta sharing tales from the crossroads of America. And, like the ancient Greeks and the Irish, as a southern writer she knows you can’t out run your blood.

Winifred “Wendy” Delery Hills is the newly selected Secretary. Wendy has been a voluminous reader since childhood.  For the past seven years she has led a book group in New Orleans of women who for various reasons prefer to hear about books instead of reading them, so Wendy has read the books and secured authors and reviewers to present to the group. Susan Larson has come to the group for years and has helped with suggestions for speakers which is how Wendy heard about WNBA.

Besides reading, her hobbies include needlepoint and genealogy.  She plans to compile books for the various lines of her and her husband’s families including more than just the family trees and DNA relatives.  She is also working on transcribing letters in her husband’s family dating from 1795 through the mid-1800s and annotate them with information about those people and events mentioned therein.

A native of New Orleans, Wendy graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart, received a B. A. from Newcomb College and a J. D. from Tulane Law School, and practiced law in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina forced her family to move to Fayetteville, Arkansas for 6 years.  Now, she and her husband John Fleury Hills reside in Mandeville.  Their son Robert lives in Nashville where he is pursuing an MBA at Vanderbilt.

Wendy has served as President of the Academy of the Sacred Heart Alumnae, Newcomb College Alumnae Association, Treasurer of the Stuart Hall Mother’s Club, a member of the PTSO board at Fayetteville High School, President of Louisiana Guardianship Services, Inc, and is an Extraordinary Minister of Communion at Mary Queen of Peace Church in Mandeville.  She has also served as Treasurer of the national and international alumnae of Sacred Heart schools.

CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH!