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National Reading Group Month


WNBA/LA Executive Board
Rachelle Yousuf
Vice President:
Liz Donatelli
Corresponding Secretary:
Cynthia Levin
Recording Secretary:
Kaleigh Tuso
Suzanne Kleinbub
Immediate Past President:
Ruth Light

Committee and Representatives
Membership Chairs:

Suzanne Kleinbub and
Ruth Light

Graphic Designer:
Cheyenne Yousuf

Social Media Chair
Danielle Miller

Holly Shaffer
Judy Lopez Award Liaison:
Meg Flanders
Judy Lopez Memorial Foundation Representative:
Jeff Slottow

Newsletter Editors:
Editor: Ruth Light
Member News Editor:
Jovita Jenkins
The Bookwoman Coordinator:

WNBA/LA Web Mistress:
Terri Negron

Members at Large:
Rosalind Myatt
Joan Slottow
Jeff Slottow
Lindsay Lees
Ruth Garcia-Corrales

Open Positions:
• Chapter News Editor
• Hospitality
• Parliamentarian
• Publicity Chair


WNBA/LA chapter members holding Trick or Treat donation boxes for UNICEF.

New Year's Party update!

On January 15 our WNBA/LA chapter combined business with pleasure by having the regular executive board business meeting, and then hosting a new year's party open to all members and friends. During the business meeting we discussed our calendar of upcoming events, the first being the national Speaker Series that all WNBA chapters are participating in as we begin our year-long centennial celebration. Learn more about this celebration of our 100 years at

SAVE-THE-DATE---March 31st---for this Speaker Series, and look for the flyer soon in your inbox.

Other upcoming events include (but are not limited to!) the next edition of the very popular and amazing Literary Teas, Agent Pitching (like speed dating, but with literary agents!), The Writer's Voice (find your best writing and read it to an enthusiastic public!), and various other literary and charitable events and opportunities. Keep checking our website for updates and information.

And speaking of opportunities---we also discussed open board positions at our business meeting. We're looking for help with publicity----could that be "right up your alley"?? Your "cup of tea"?? Contact our chapter president, Rachelle, at [email protected] if you are that person!

After the business meeting we welcomed chapter members and friends of WNBA for a few hours of wonderful food, book giveaways, and interesting conversation. We introduced ourselves, enjoyed a toast and a glass of champagne, and then relaxed and enjoyed getting to know each other. Everyone went home with a new book, and new friends in our WNBA community.

Fifth Annual WNBA Writing Contest - 9/15/2016 thru 2/15/2017

Submissions are open to WNBA members and non- members---do not rest until you submit your best! Click here for submission guidelines and more information or click on image to download the flyer.

The Women's National Book Association is seeking your best work for our national writing contest. Winning entries will be published in a special issue of The Bookwoman, the national newsletter of the WNBA.

Open to all writers eighteen or older writing in English. International submissions are welcome if they are able to accept the winning prize in US dollars.

Now accepting submissions. The deadline is January 15, 2017.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Previously published work accepted. If your work is accepted or published elsewhere, please contact the Contest Chair, [email protected]

FICTION - 3,000 words maximum. No theme required.

NONFICTION - Includes memoir, personal essay, and commentary. 2,500 words maximum.

POETRY - 3–5 pages of poetry

Prizes: First place winners receive $250 cash prize. Second, third and honorable mentions will be published with the first place winners in the contest edition of The Bookwoman.

Entry Fee: WNBA Members: $15 per entry - Non-Members: $20 per entry

SUBMIT: You may submit more than one entry, but each entry requires a fee and a separate entry. Submit your work through our online submission site:

Winners will be announced on May 1, 2017.

Find more information here.


Fiction: Brenda Knight began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries Marianne Williamson, Huston Smith, and Paolo Coelho. Knight served as publisher of Cleis Press and was awarded IndieFab's Publisher of the Year in 2014. Knight is the author of Wild Women and Books, Be a Good in the World, and Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award. Managing Director of Mango Media, she also serves as President of the Womens' National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter.

Nonfiction (Creative Nonfiction or Memoir): Ellen Urbani is the author of the novel Landfall, a Women's National Book Association Great Group Reads selection set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Her work has been profiled in the Oscar-qualified short documentary film Paint Me a Future. A Southern expat now residing in Oregon, her pets will always be dawgs and her truest allegiance will always reside with the Crimson Tide.

Poetry: Linda Joy Myers is president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers. Her memoir Don't Call Me Mother—A Daughter's Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness was a finalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year Award, a finalist in the IndieExcellence Awards, and won the BAIPA Gold Medal award. Linda offers workshops internationally, and helps people capture their stories through coaching, editing, and online workshops.

National Reading Group Month panel Women’s Stories-Why We Write Them

Skylight Books, located in the shadow of Griffith Park and its iconic observatory-- and complete with its own tree growing out of the inside of the bookstore--was the delightful and welcoming location for our annual National Reading Group Month event on October 19. Rachelle Yousuf (chapter president) and Liz Donatelli (chapter vice president) lined up three exceptional authors for us, and the theme of the evening was Women’s Stories, and Why We Write Them.

Our wonderful authors were; Carmiel Banasky, (The Suicide of Claire Bishop), Sonia Patel, (Rani Patel in Full Effect), and Katherine Taylor, (Valley Fever), and Rachelle lost no time in asking interesting questions. She started off with a question about the relationship between a daughter and an immigrant mom. The answers were reflections about daughters finding themselves, about letting go of the narrative they have been told about themselves, and about women growing toward independence and healing. Rachelle also asked about the time frames and settings for each book, revealing interesting responses from the authors about art and sitting to be painted, the farming life, and rap poetry.

A few of the executive board members used the event as an opportunity to enjoy dinner together before listening to the panel, and then getting signed books and chatting with the authors.

2016 Great Group Reads Selections

Every year, the Great Group Reads Selection Committee—made up of WNBA members across the nation—put together a list of recommended books for reading groups and book clubs. This is done in celebration of National Reading Group Month, an initiative created by the WNBA to promote the joy of shared reading. Find out more about NRGM and the GGR list here. Check out this year's list below!

Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett
The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Charmed Particles by Chrissy Kolaya
The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
The Drone Eats with Me: A Gaza Diary by Atef Abu Saif
A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew J. Hefti
Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh
The Honeymoon by Dinitia Smith
The Measure of Darkness by Liam Durcan
Miss Jane by Brad Watson
A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold
Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison
This Side of Providence by Rachel M. Harper
300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson
The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra
What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir by Abigail Thomas