September 16 Chapter Meeting Kicks Off Our New Season

Did you miss this meeting!  Current and new members had a great time at the Pearl Wine Co. !  We celebrated our national organization’s 100th birthday (!) and enjoyed a special literary-themed drink called the Bluestocking!  Check the photos to see who wore blue stockings!  Many thanks to Pearl Wine Co. and St. James Cheese Co. for the refreshments.  Be sure to check our calendar for more exciting events coming up in 2017 and 2018.


Pinckley Prizes to Louise Penny and Trudy Nan Boyce  

Several hundred avid fans of Louise Penny and Trudy Nan Boyce were on hand to see the authors receive the 2017 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction  September 8 at The Academy of the Sacred Heart/Nims Fine Arts Center, 4301 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans.   The Prizes were launched in 2012 by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans to honor Diana Pinckley, who was a founding member, as well as a civic activist who gave her time and energy to local and national causes.  Note: see Blog page for more info.

WNBA-NOLA at Culture Collision!

We had a table at Culture Collision August 30 and shared info on our upcoming events and meetings with several hundred attendees!  Check out info below and on our calendar to see what’s coming up for the rest of 2017 and 2018!



September 16: Season Kick-off Meeting/ Celebration of National’s Centennial

Kick off our new season and celebrate National’s 100 year anniversary with fellow members and potential new members at Pearl Wine Company at the American Can Company, 3700 Orleans Ave., on Saturday, September 16, from 6 PM to 8 PM.

We will congregate in the bistro/bar area, and we hope that you will bring an interested friend. We have 35 tickets to give away to members on a first-come, first-serve basis, which will give you a sample of a special drink the bartender will concoct especially for us on the theme of ‘bluestocking’ (a term from the 18th century describing a woman of an intellectual or literary bent). Enjoy refreshments from St. James Cheese Company. Blue stockings are optional!  And here’s a novel idea for our chapter meetings going forward: ‘bring a book, take a book’.

Hope to see you there!

Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 13, to

Pinckley Prizes Pop-Up Book Discussion

Members enjoyed a great Pinckley Prizes Pop-Up Book Discussion on August 26 at the home of Nina Calvo. We discussed these works of the 2017 prizewinners: A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny and Out of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce.  The Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction will be awarded on September 8, 6 PM, at The Academy of the Sacred Heart/Nims Fine Arts Center, 4301 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. This will be a ticketed event: see Octavia Books for more info.

In Memoriam: Dianne de las Casas

The Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans mourns the passing of Dianne de las Casas, one of our earliest members, August 21, 2017. Dianne was a prolific author of children’s picture books, known for such works as Cinderellaphant, The Little ‘Read’ Hen, There’s a Dragon in the Library, The Cajun Cornbread Boy, The House that Santa Built, and most recently, Captain Deadeye and the Bully Shark. She was a talented storyteller, gifted with the ability to make her audience join in the fun of her performances. And she was tireless in her efforts to promote children’s books with her work as the founder of Picture Book Month in November. She was not just a New Orleans treasure – she traveled the world. And she always brought that New Orleans spirit with her in her colorful and flamboyant style!

During the chapter’s first year, she gave a fabulous workshop on social media at the Tulane University Bookstore, and we had the pleasure of treats created by her daughter, Kid Chef Eliana Marisol. Our hearts go out to Eliana Marisol, Soleil Lisette, and John Couret.


Second annual board retreat a big success thanks to members’ involvement

Our second annual board retreat was held a week ago and, once again, a big thank-you goes out to Marie Breaux, our intrepid president, and her husband for hosting us in their home and—even more important to New Orleanians—feeding us! Thank you also to Vice-President Nina Calvo for bringing a humongous apple pie, Treasurer Karen Kersting for honey from her bees, Social Media Chair Serena Jones for juice and to new Chapter member Pam Ebel (also a new National Bookwoman editor) for champagne with which we toasted our efforts at the end of the day.

Though goals and plans inevitably change as the Chapter year (September through June) unfolds, usually due to circumstances beyond the control of an all-volunteer organization, we’ve found it necessary to dream big and then focus on reality. Without the dream, we’ll never know what great things we might be capable of. With this thought in mind, we were especially gratified to have several new members, as well as long-time member Melinda Palacio, join the board at the retreat. Any volunteer organization is only as good as its active members; and attendance and involvement at the retreat is pointing us forward, toward a very good year.

The focus of the retreat was programming, including fundraising, which is an essential component of our being able to support the “community of the book”, one of our stated goals. During the retreat, it was suggested we have more publishing industry-driven programming and that a ‘pitch’ event giving writers the opportunity to meet with literary agents would be highly welcome. Similar events have been hosted by other chapters, but unlike in NYC, New Orleans doesn’t have a pool of agents to draw from, so an event like this one will take long-term planning. Please let us know if you can help. Among other suggestions, new members in attendance proposed a project whereby volunteers donate their time and expertise to evaluate and consult on manuscripts via an online submission service. We’re also hoping to have events to learn about the work of our many accomplished writers.

The retreat has become an important step toward fulfilling our mission, but it was also fun to discuss, listen and brainstorm together. Even if you were not able to attend in person, we are always open to ideas. Fundraising continues to be an evolving challenge and we’d love to hear from you regarding it. Please email us at if you can help out your Chapter and your fellow members in any way. With the kind of participation that started at the retreat, we are confident we will continue to have fun throughout our year as we support each other in our individual and collective endeavors.

— Teresa Tumminello Brader, Secretary


On July 16, Board members and chapter members enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch and a busy afternoon of planning programs and events for the year ahead starting this fall!   Held at the home of President Marie Breaux, the Retreat set the stage for a lively discussion of all things literary and how we can promote reading and support women writers.  There was great food and drink….and there was champagne when all the work was done!  As Marie told attendees, “We have great plans for the coming year.  Even better, you all make the WNBA-NOLA so much fun!”  Member Pam Ebel said, “Thank you for hosting a wonderful and creative day. Your home is a wonderful, eclectic venue that makes creativity flow. I look forward to working with everyone in the future.”

And if you weren’t at the board retreat, we ask that you take a few minutes to read a post at the site’s blog page. It should be of interest to all members as we get ready to plan our upcoming year.