LA Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy to address Annual Meeting

We are thrilled that Louisiana Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy will be the featured speaker at our Annual Meeting May 24.  The event will be held at L”Union Francaise, 4522 Prytania Street in New Orleans.  The award-winning author, folklorist, educator and scholar has been known and beloved for her work about Black Creole culture. Saloy has documented Creole culture in sidewalk songs, jump-rope rhymes and clap-hand games to discuss the importance of play. Her first book, “Red Beans & Ricely Yours,” won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award. Her collection of poems, “Second Line Home,” captures day-to-day New Orleans speech, family dynamics and gives insight into the unique culture that the world loves.




On March 9 at 7:30 pm, we will be meeting with the co-hosts of the podcast There She Goes – Lavinia Spalding and Kelly Chappie, who are travel writers themselves, have anthologized women travel writers in print, and who now host an acclaimed podcast where adventurous and swashbuckling women travel writers from every continent but Antarctica share stories that make the listener feel braver.

Come hear them discuss their plans for the second season of the podcast and listen to travel narratives from some of their featured writers.  We will talk about the kinds of work they look for as editors and podcasters, advice for emerging travel writers, and why it is important for us to hear brave globe-trekking stories from women authors.

If you would like to attend, please click on this link on March 9.


On Thursday, March 24, at 2 pm on the third floor of Sims Library (1211 SGA Drive in Hammond) on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University, The New Orleans Chapter of the WNBA is teaming up with the English department for an academic discussion of the importance of women’s writing with our members and members of the university faculty. We are talking about women writers who may have been underestimated or misunderstood and other concerns deeply connected to the mission statement of this organization.  Attendance is free, and light refreshments will be served.


The list of events is up at the Tennessee Williams Festival website —

And our member Constance Adler is presenting, member Sara Woodard is one of the key organizers of the event, and our doyenne Susan Larson remains a grand influencer in all things T-Dub-Fest. Tickets are on sale now.  See you at the Carousel Bar!


Virtual Pitch & Query with Literary Agents

Event Title: Virtual Pitch & Query with Literary Agents
Date: Tuesday, February 22
Time (with time zone): 6–7:30 p.m. CST
Cost: This event is FREE to WNBA members, $15 to non-members
In-person/virtual: Virtual
Registration or event link
Event co-hosts: Boston and New Orleans

What makes a query catch an agent’s interest? What common mistakes drive agents to reject? Hear from Carrie Howland, founder of Howland Literary, Amaryah Orenstein, founder of GO Literary, and Sarah Youngerof Nancy Yost Literary Agency as they listen to your queries LIVE and provide feedback to help you snag the agent of your dreams! The first 30 to register may submit pitches & queries for review, 450 words max for both, which will be read in order of submission. We’ll get through as many as we can. Register early to assure yours will be at the top of the list!

Check this out:

2020-2021 Report from Outgoing Chapter President Andrea Panzeca

In May 2019, when I became chapter president, none of us could have imagined the turn our lives would take within the year. Until then we toured Antenna’s Paper Machine printshop, celebrated the 2019 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, celebrated book launches of Jami Attenberg and Margaret Wilkerson-Sexton, hosted a panel on WNBA’s Great Group Reads, had a king cake party, toured Amistad Research Center, and watched and discussed Little Women with Anne Boyd Rioux. A similar screening/discussion of Emma with Miki Pfeffer was scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was our first, but not our last, COVID-impacted event.

We pivoted to virtual programming, including a series of open mic nights, an interview with Susan Larson and local author Elizabeth Miki Brina, and a Mardi Gras party with prizes revealed via spinning-wheel-of-names! Not everyone could join us in the virtual realm, and we look forward to safely increasing in-person events as community case counts and public guidance allows. I hope we will continue to offer virtual or hybrid options as well when possible.

Though my time as president did not, could not, turn out as I initially imagined, I am nonetheless grateful for it. I have made and sustained so many friendships through this organization. While I will remain a member and immediate past president, I also look forward to spending more time with my writing, art, and teaching. I encourage those who may be considering becoming more involved in the chapter to do so! I am thankful to so many of you, most especially Sara Woodard, Karen Kersting, and Susan Larson.

Thank you all,

Andrea Panzeca

WNBA-NOLA Welcomes New President!

Anne Babson has been selected President of WNBA-NOLA!

Anne is an author and a scholar who has long celebrated the works of women writers. In New York City, prior to her move South, Anne was the Vice President of Literature for a women’s art collective, Women’s Studio Center, where she won a prize for her foundation of an immigrant women’s writers’ forum and of a feminist literary journal, Vernacular.

Her first poetry collection, The White Trash Pantheon (Vox Press, 2015), won a prize. She is also the author the poetry collections Polite Occasions (Unsolicited Press, 2018) Messiah (Saint Julian Press, 2019), and on press this winter, a collection about the pandemic and the rise of American authoritarianism, The Bunker Book (Unsolicited Press, projected 2022). Her play about gun culture in the South, Reenactment, was published in 2019. The opera for which she wrote the libretto for composer Su Lian-Tan, Lotus Lives, has been performed in New York City, Boston, Montreal, and is set to be released to video next year. Her individual poems have been published in literary journals on five continents and have been anthologized on two continents, most recently in Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse.

Anne’s scholarly work focuses on authors writing in French and English. She studied as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College, and she did her graduate studies at The City University of New York and at the University of Mississippi. She teaches writing and literature at Southeastern Louisiana University and French language and literature at L’Union Francaise.

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!