The Women’s National Book Association was established in 1917, before women in America had the right to vote. The WNBA’s founding idea—that books have power and that those involved in their creation gain strength from joining forces—reaches across the decades to now serve members across the country, in local chapters and network members in locations beyond the chapter cities.
The organization has a range of programs including our affiliation with the United Nations Department of Public Information, the sponsorship of National Reading Group Month, and three distinguished national awards—the WNBA Award, the WNBA Pannell Award to Bookstores, and the Eastman grant. These national programs, plus lively events in chapter cities across the country, all contribute to the vibrant and expansive role that the WNBA has played in the world of books.
The Women’s National Book Association is a national organization of women and men who work with and value books. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, WNBA exists to connect, educate, advocate and lead in the literary community.
The purposes of WNBA are educational and charitable. WNBA came into being to inform book women about matters relevant to themselves and the book world so that these women could inform and help one another. That’s what we still do, through actions such as these:
- Bring together women and men who are active in the world of books
- Educate and inform the public about the need to create, produce, distribute, and use books
- Respond to requests for information about books and the allied arts and generate and support projects that help to disseminate such information
- Serve as a catalyst for all in the book community who wish to work together, and
- Promote recognition of women’s achievements in the book industry.
Local chapters are located in cities across the U.S. Find a chapter near you. For interested persons not near a chapter city, network membership is available. Check out our membership options.
The history of WNBA is a fascinating one, starting with its founding in 1917, decades of influence in New York City publishing and its expansion across the country. The records of the organization are housed at the Columbia University library. For more information, go to our History page.