Our November meeting was well attended, but the below is for those of you who couldn’t make the meeting or would like a record of our Chapter President Marie Breaux’s remarks on the National Meeting/Centennial Celebration held in NYC in October and on the important ways your WNBA membership can work for you.
The WNBA has been an all-volunteer organization for 100 years: no paid staff. It started with a group of female booksellers who marched in the October 1917 suffragette parade: they couldn’t belong or participate in the all-male publishing-industry group, so they started their own organization. Pearl Buck recommended they become an NGO affiliate of the United Nations (as part of the Department of Public Information) and that affiliation (since 1959) holds to this day.
National Benefits for Members
As a New Orleans chapter member, you are a member of WNBA (National) as well and have several benefits you can take advantage of. The newest one is that C&R Press out of North Carolina is interested in a WNBA imprint: the two owners will be visiting the chapters in the hope of publishing books by members. C&R is the publisher of the Centennial publication, Women in the Literacy Landscape. (More on that in the Centennial section below.) Other important benefits for authors can be found at National’s website: http://www.wnba-books.org/benefits/ .
Awards given or administered by WNBA include the WNBA Award http://www.wnba-books.org/wnba-award/, WNBA Parnell Award for Bookstores http://www.wnba-books.org/pannell-award/ and WNBA Eastman Grant http://www.wnba-books.org/wnba-eastman-grant/. And there is the WNBA Writing Contest: $250 cash prize for each category (poetry, fiction, nonfiction/memoir and YA fiction) and publication in The Bookwoman. http://www.wnba-books.org/contest/ Volunteer opportunity: Early contest-entry readers wanted. Check the bottom of the website contest page for contact name.
WNBA activities include: 1) National Reading Group Month (NRGM) and Great Group Reads (GGR). Volunteer opportunity: First readers needed for GGR selections. http://www.wnba-books.org/national-reading-group-month/ (Contacts at bottom of the page.) On a related note, our NRGM event has been rescheduled to January 13. See our calendar and home page for details http://wnba-nola.org/?page_id=15 . 2) Literacy partnerships, such as the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Library of Congress Reading Promotion Partners, Read Across America Day (initiative of NEA) and chapter initiatives.
National Directory of WNBA members http://www.wnba-books.org/Directory/index.php : As a member, your name is already in the directory, but you need to set up your profile and add to your listing. To get access, click on the Directory Login and then on ‘Retrieve Your Password”. Fill in your email address and a password will be emailed to you. Once you have your password, you can log in and set up your profile. You can add information if you wish (photos, website, professional categories, etc.) to get your name out there. Your information will be public, but you can change it to private if you prefer.
Besides the aforementioned Centennial publication, Women in the Literary Landscape, other Centennial activities https://www.wnba-centennial.org/centennial-programs included Celebrating Women’s Voices: 200 Books to Read and Talk About; WNBA Book-a-Day, Second Century Prize and Bookwomen Speaks programs. Our Chapter founder Susan Larson explained more about Women in the Literary Landscape: WNBA did an assessment at its 50-year mark, and that assessment and the archives (minutes, etc.) were used as the resources for the book. On its cover is Madge Jenison, a NYC bookseller and WNBA co-founder. The book covers WNBA history from its beginning to the present, highlighting influential women in all book areas. Each Chapter gets a chapter. It will be out in March of 2018.
Our Chapter President Marie Breaux ended her remarks by saying she came away from the National Meeting/Centennial Celebrations with the feeling that the WNBA is a gift, a legacy—and we are its stewards.
Next national meeting will be in Charlotte in June.
Teresa Tumminello Brader