WNBA-NOLA Member News

WNBA-NOLA Member Reading Event April 27 at L’Union Francaise in New Orleans:





























WNBA-NOLA member Rebecca Hale announces upcoming book signings for her book: TIPS FROM A TALENT AGENT: PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR ACTORS.

SUNDAY, JUNE 13 – OCTAVIA BOOKS – 513 Octavia St., New Orleans, LA 70115 – 2:00 – 4:00 P.M.
SATURDAY, JUNE 19 – BLUE CYPRESS BOOKSTORE – 8126 Oak St., New Orleans, LA 70118 – 2:00 – 3:30 P.M.
SATURDAY, JUNE 26 – UNITY CHURCH – 3939 Veterans Blvd. (behind Parran’s), Metairie, LA 70002 – Noon to 2:00 P.M.

She also will be giving a virtual talk from the Jefferson Parish Public Library on Monday, June 21 at 6:00 p.m.

WNBA–NOLA member Nordette Adams interviews Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly!
Miki Pfeffer on
“A New Orleans Author in Mark Twain’s Court”
July 23, 2020, 4:30 pm (CST)
At The Mark Twain House & Museum, Grace King, a Southern writer who was the Clemens family’s guest, helps set the table for tourist visitors. In a letter, she describes an 1887 meal: “Olives, salted almonds, and bonbons in curious dishes were on the table and decanters of quaint shape and color held the wine.” And on she goes, through the dessert.
King, author of short stories, novels, and volumes of New Orleans history, had more to say about Samuel and Livy Clemens and their family, and the Hartford Yankee scene. The city’s citizens “have the contented expression of face and speech of souls assured of salvation in the next life and prosperity in this,” she wrote home to her family. Served a lesser meal by a neighbor, she describes the “little floury balls in it, highly seasoned with salt and pepper…How these people live on so little is a mystery to me.” She broadens her observations to the world, the controversies of the day, her life as an independent woman.
The vivid correspondence of this opinionated author has now been brought out of the archives by Miki Pfeffer, independent scholar of Thibodaux, Louisiana, who has been painstakingly transcribing King’s letters since 2004. The result is A Connecticut Author in Mark Twain’s Court: Letters from Grace King’s New England Sojourns (LSU Press).
On Thursday, July 23, at 4:30 p.m. (CST) Pfeffer will share Grace’s wit, snark, and charm in the sixth of the Mark Twain House’s virtual “Trouble at Home” series.  She will be interviewed by Twain house historian Steve Courtney.
Dr. Miki Pfeffer says she agrees with the adage that “historians are people who like to read other people’s mail.” A New Orleans Author in Mark Twain’s Court grew out of research for her previous award-winning book, Southern Ladies and Suffragists, on the literary side of the 1884 New Orleans World’s Fair. Dr. Pfeffer has been a Quarry Farm Fellow at Elmira College’s Center for Mark Twain Studies. Like King, she is a native of New Orleans, but she now lives serenely on Bayou Lafourche.
“Trouble at Home” is free. To register, visit https://www.crowdcast.io/e/trouble-at-home-4
The Trouble at Home series is made possible by a 2020 grant awarded by Connecticut Humanities. Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives.

Congratulations to Board Member Pam Ebel, a finalist in the Tennessee Williams Festival’s Very Short Fiction contest!



Chapter Member Antoinette de Alteriis, PR and Marketing Director of Pelican Publishing, is the host of the new Pelican Publishing podcast, The Pelican Pod.Episode one features a Cajun Night Before Christmas® and children’s book author Kat Pigott. New episodes will release every two weeks. Listen on Pelican’s YouTube channel,https://youtu.be/xUUd52eqFEUor Soundcloud channel,https://soundcloud.com/pelicanpublishing/the-pelican-pod-episode-1-kat-pigott.


Chapter Member Dr. Miki Pfeffer‘s new book is A New Orleans Author in Mark Twain’s Court: Letters from Grace King’s New England Sojourns. Miki was interviewed by Chapter Member Susan Larson on WWNO’s  The Reading Life and appeared on the November 22 edition of WYES’s Steppin’ Out.

Chapter Member Tiana Nobile was featured as the Writer of the Week on Maudlin House and her poem “Operation Babylift” has been published by Kweli Journal.
Chapter Member Anne Babson‘s latest book is Messiah. Her play about gun culture in the South, entitled Reenactment, was published in Review Americana.

Chapter Member Nicole Eiden is an award-winning poet and award-winning pie-maker. Listen to her speak about her ventures here: http://www.itsneworleans.com/shows/out-to-lunch/who-doesnt-like-pie


Chapter Member Liz Williams‘ new book is Unique Eats and Eateries of New Orleans. Liz is a founder and former president and CEO of the National Food and Beverage Foundation, which includes the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, the Museum of the American Cocktail, and the Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library. She co-authored with Stephanie Jane Carter, The Encyclopedia of Law and Food. In 2013, AltaMira published New Orleans: A Food Biography, which was selected as the One Book, One New Orleans book for 2018. In 2016, her book, co-authored with Chris McMillian, Lift Your Spirits, was published by LSU Press.
Chapter Member Linda Prout is a winner of the first-ever Todd H. Bol Awards for Outstanding Achievement.

From Little Free Library:

Linda Prout, a retired teacher, was one of the earliest Little Free Library ambassadors, using Little Free Libraries to build book access and a sense of community in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Since then, Linda has championed more than 200 book-sharing boxes, and she has partnered with everyone from schools to Boy Scouts to the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library, which has donated thousands of books to local Little Libraries. “Ripples from Little Free Libraries continue to spread throughout New Orleans,” she says.


Chapter Treasurer Karen Kersting was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2019 Santa Barbara Writers Conference.


Chapter Member Kathy Crighton‘s novel is The New Normal.



Chapter Member Samantha Downing‘s debut novel My Lovely Wife was recently featured in Publishers Weekly. It was chosen as the LibraryReads #1 pick for March 2019.



Chapter Member Patty Friedmann‘s latest works are the novel An Organized Panic (the manuscript took second place in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition) and the short-story collection Where Do They All Come From?, which includes the best of her stories, some prizewinners and some new. She was recently awarded the Faulkner Society ALIHOT (A Legend in His/Her Own Time) Medal, presented by Robert Olen Butler.






Chapter Member Katherine Nelson-Born is the author of the chapbook When Mockingbirds Sing (Finishing Line Press). Katherine also works as a consultant for K&K Manuscript editing. Her forthcoming debut novel is titled Burning Down the House.

Chapter Member Shaina Monet’s poems, titled “In Hamburg with The Negro Avenged,” “On Menzel’s Atelierwand,” and “In Madrid with Picasso’s Guernica,” which won the 2018 Iowa Review Award in poetry, will appear this month in the winter issue of The Iowa Review.



Chapter Member Anne Boyd Rioux‘s Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters is one of The Daily Mail‘s Top Books of 2018. Library Journal also listed Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy as one of its Best Books for 2018. It was previously chosen as one of the best summer books of 2018 by Newsday. Anne’s book was published by Norton to coincide with the 150th birthday of Little Women, and has been reviewed widely, including at Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Anne is also the editor of the new Penguin Deluxe Anniversary edition of Little Women. 








Chapter Member Sheila Cork was on this year’s committee for the MLA (Mississippi Library Association) Mississippi Authors Award, 2018, and announces that Jesmyn Ward won the fiction award for Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Chapter Member and award-winning poet Laura Mullen has translated from the French Hero by Veronique Pittolo, published by Back Square Editions, available December 2018.

Chapter Member, and one of the founding members, Freddi Williams Evans, award-winning author, independent scholar, arts educator and community activist, has a new venture, KNOW Card Games. The latter combines her expertise in history, culture and education. A Humanities Hero by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH), Freddi is the author of Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans and an international authority on the topic. She has also authored three historically based children’s books.
Chapter Member Melinda Palacio (shown below at Octavia Books for the New Orleans book launch of her latest poetry collection Bird Forgiveness) was interviewed by Chapter Member Steve Beisner for the Figure of Speech show on WRBH’s Radio for the Blind: hear the interview on Soundcloud. Chapter Member Susan Larson also interviewed Melinda on NPR’s WWNO.



Chapter Member Constance Adler led a session on Guided Meditation and the Creative Process at East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. Constance is the author of the memoir My Bayou, New Orleans Through the Eyes of a Lover.  Her stories have appeared in numerous publications that include Oxford American, Utne Reader, Spy Magazine, Bayou, and Blackbird. Her profile of Mardi Gras float designer Henri Schindler in Gambit Weekly was honored by the Louisiana Press Association with a first place award in feature writing.


Congratulations to Chapter Member Eve Brouwer! Her poem “First Ladies, m. 1963—d. 1976” won first place in WNBA’s Sixth Annual Writing Contest. (Click on the first link to read her poem in full.)


Chapter Member and award-winning poet Carolyn Hembree has three poems in The Winter Anthology . Her A Cutter’s Sestina (Prom ’95) — read it here at Contrary — was nominated for the Best of the Net anthology.








Congratulations to Chapter Member Chris Smith! His story “Aloha, Ollie Bell” is a runner-up to the contest winner of this year’s Saints and Sinners Short Fiction Contest. It’s included in the anthology Saints and Sinners 2018: New Fiction from the Festival.


Board Members Susan Larson and Dawn Ruth Wilson have written chapters in  New Orleans: The First 300 Years. Susan’s chapter is “Literary Heritage” and Dawn’s is “Education”. Dawn writes a monthly education column for New Orleans magazine. The book is published by Pelican Publishing.
Chapter Member Missy Aleman Couhig‘s bookstore The Conundrum in St. Francisville is one of the nominees for a 2018 Pannell Award in the General Bookstore category. The Conundrum was named one of the 10 best bookstores in Louisiana last year. Missy chairs three book festivals: The Walker Percy Weekend, The Writers and Readers Symposium, and The West Feliciana Children’s Book Festival .
Chapter Member Laura Lane McNeal‘s first published novel Dollbaby, a 2015  Pat Conroy Award Finalist, was recently optioned for film by Alison Eastwood (Clint’s daughter) and Gulfstream Productions. Announcement from the Hollywood Reporter coming soon!
Chapter Member Dr. Nancy Dixon of Dillard University (and Humanities Hero) is the executive editor of New Orleans’ tricentennial book: New Orleans and the World published by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.
Read two poems by Chapter member Alexandra Reisner in the latest issue of Knicknackery.
Chapter Member Andrea Panzeca is the author of poetry chapbooks Rusted Bells and Daisy Baskets and Weird… Joe Pesci.

Listen to Andrea on Susan Larson‘s The Reading Life.


Chapter Member Kathy Schrenk‘s middle-grade novel is A Dog Steals Home.

Co-founding Chapter Member Chris Wiltz‘s The Last Madam is on the Wall Street Journal‘s best seller list.
Chapter Member Gina Ferrara is the focus of the feature The Whole Story in the latest WNBA Bookwoman newsletter. Chapter members Susan Larson and Melinda Palacio talk about and review Gina’s work in the feature. You can also listen to Susan interview Gina here.
Chapter Member Vicky McHenry is an inaugural board member of the New Orleans chapter of Sisters in Crime.
READ Posters from our May 2016 meeting:
Many thanks to Meghan Kelly, Country Day Lower School librarian, and Mary (Meb) Norton, Country Day School Director of Libraries, for hosting our meeting and for creating a fun poster-making activity! Each member was asked to bring and pose with a copy of her favorite book.  Pictured below are Membership Chair Sara Woodard with My Reading Life by Pat Conroy, and Chapter Member (and Little Free Library Ambassador) Linda Prout with The Little Free Library Book by Margret Aldrich.  
Member Anne Boyd Riouxs biography,  Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist, was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune.
Chapter Members’ Holiday Book Traditions:

from Member Miki Pfeffer: Last year’s Christmas card was fun to create. My book tree is topped with my own Southern Ladies and Suffragists;  Julia Ward Howe and Women’s Rights at the 1884 New Orleans World’s Fair.



from Membership Chair Sara Woodard: Every year, I take out these faded holiday books, hand-written and illustrated by my two sons many years ago, and place them under the tree. (Yeah, they really love that!) I also add some local books, like the Cajun Night Before Christmas!


from Secretary Teresa Tumminello Brader: My Dickens Village started small and has grown (too!) big, but it remains centered around the story of A Christmas Carol (other Dickens’ novels are also represented). Though its details may change from year to year, I strive to keep the display as historically and literarily accurate as possible.


from Treasurer Karen Kersting: We observe the Advent tradition in my house with the Autumn/Winter volume of Phyllis Tickle’s “Divine Hours”. This book includes an entire section specifically arranged for the 4 weeks before Christmas. The selections of songs, prayers and quotes provides an opportunity for some reflective quiet in the midst of all the other preparations and celebrations. In the photo is an image of our Advent wreath & the book. It has become an oddly humorous family tradition that I can NEVER seem to find 3 purple candles of either the same size nor all in the exact same shade of purple. One year, I had no choice but to buy 4 white candles and embellish them with the correct-colored ribbon!

Co-founding Chapter member and Past-President Susan Larson‘s essay about the A Christmas Carol Read-Aloud tradition of the Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans is available near the end of the archived December 20th broadcast of The Reading Life.
Chapter Member Marigny Dupuy is a co-founder and co-leader of the New Orleans Chapter of the Dickens Fellowship.
Our Members Recommend

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones

Hollywood South: Glamour, Gumbo, and Greed by Linda Thurman

Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Fairendale series by R.L. Toalson

The Goldfinch by by Donna Tartt

The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante


Constance Adler, head of the Bayou Writing Workshop, taught two 2016 WNBA writing contest prize-winners: Nicole Eiden and Rita Juster.

Anne Boyd Rioux’s Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review.

Susan Larson has co-written New Orleans’ Literary Landmark: Hotel Monteleone, detailing its role in several famous authors’ lives and works.

Laura Mullen’s widely reviewed and praised eighth book, Complicated Grief, is a hybrid collection of poetry, prose, memoir and essay.


WNBA-NOLA Social Media:

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