Fifty years ago, the Women’s National Book Association – San Francisco was founded by Effie Lee Morris, a groundbreaking librarian and educator. She recognized the power of literacy and education in overcoming racism, inequality, and poverty. To celebrate fifty fabulous years, the WNBA-SF hosted an event at the San Francisco public library in March 2018 with a panel of those who knew and worked with Effie.
Effie’s legacy lives on not only with the WNBA-SF, but with the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection. The collection is housed at the San Francisco Public Library and the annual Effie Lee Morris Children’s Literature Lecture Series.
Since founding a platform for women in the world of books, the WNBA-SF has advocated for women’s rights. Our community has included New York Times bestselling authors, writing coaches, award-winning editors, literary agents, National Book Critics, librarians, and more.
It is fitting that our last event of the year will showcase member authors at the Holiday Showcase at the Book Passage in Corte Madera. During the event, members will read from their books and join panel discussions on expansive and reaching topics.
A Review of 2018
In 2018, the WNBA-SF hosted many notable events, expanded partnerships, created new member opportunities, and organized plenty of fun.
We kicked off 2018 with a collaboration at the SF Writers Conference as an exhibitor. The following members served as presenters: Nina Amir, Linda Lee, Mary E. Knippel, Martha Conway, Kate Farrell, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, Mary Mackey, Barbara Santos, Helen Sedwick, Mary Volmer, and Marylee MacDonald.
In March, we hosted our marquee event, Pitch-O-Rama. The event focused on connecting writers with agents and acquisition editors. At this sold-out event, an impressive group of publishing professionals provided guidance and insight to 110 attendees. The post-pitch session provided attendees with useful bookselling tips and tools. The panel included Jim Azevedo, Eileen Duhné, Cathy Turney, and WNBA-SF member Brenda Knight.
A Busy October
October is a busy time for our chapter.
First, the WNBA-SF hosted the National Reading Group Month event at the Book Passage in San Francisco. This event, co-sponsored with Litquake, hosted writers whose works highlight the idea of pushing boundaries—stories of border crossings, love, courage, and the indomitable human spirit.
Our participation at Litquake included a booth at the first-ever Lit Crawl Book Fair, the world’s largest pop-up literary event. Over 10,000 people attend Lit Crawl each year. WNBA-SF board executives were on site to sell books authored by members.
Finally, we launched a partnership with the Mechanics’ Institute and organized two events. First, in August we hosted the Epic Reads Event, featuring member writers Mary Mackey and Mary Volmer. Both have authored highly successful historical novels—which are loved by many readers and reviewers. We hosted our second event with the Mechanics’ Institute in October with an Author’s Lunch, featuring members Eileen Duhne, Brenda Knight, and Sue Wilhite discussing when marketing a book makes sense.
Both of our Mechanics Institutes’ events were standing room only, and the Mechanics’ Institute Library stated they were “the most successful author lunches of the year.” As a result, we were invited to host more member-led events at their marvelous facility.
In January 2019, the WNBA-SF will kick off the New Year with our holiday mixer for members and friends. Then we will be gearing up for Pitch-O-Rama 2019, taking place March 23, 2019. Pitch-O-Rama 2019 will deliver on the four P’s that lead to publication—polish, pitch, promote, and participate—in a Q&A panel.
Gratitude for Members
Our thriving organization is grateful for another successful year. Members are the heart of our community, and the WNBA-SF is thankful for their participation.
We close the year with Effie’s favorite quote from The Little Prince and best wishes to all!
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
By Jennifer Griffith, WNBA-SF Board Member, Bookwoman Correspondent