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Allison Cohen

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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!

Your executive board invites you to attend our board meeting on Sunday, January 15th, 2017, followed by a New Year's party to celebrate WNBA's Centennial year. We want to get to know our members, and we want to hear your ideas.

What do you hope to get out of your membership in WNBA/LA? How can we help and support you? How can you help and support your chapter? Come celebrate each other and our 100th anniversary with food, drinks, and good company!

12:00-12:30—open board meeting
12:30-2:00—socializing, networking, food, and drinks
3327 Moore St., Los Angeles, CA 90066

Street parking is available.

Learn more here:

Email [email protected] or call 310-397-4503 to let us know you'll be there!

Fifth Annual WNBA Writing Contest - 9/15/2016 thru 1/15/2017

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.

Our November 6th Literary Tea

Featured Authors:

Rachel M. Harper, This Side of Providence

Rachel M. Harper is a novelist and screenwriter. Her first novel, Brass Ankle Blues, was a Borders Original Voices Award finalist and selected as a Target Breakout Book. Her newest novel, This Side of Providence, will be published in April 2016; it was recently adapted into an original television pilot, City of Providence.
A graduate of Brown University and the University of Southern California, Harper is on the faculty at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing Program. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is currently at work on a new novel and several TV/film projects.
About This Side of Providence
Arcelia Perez fled Puerto Rico to escape a failed marriage and a history of abuse, but instead of finding her piece of the American dream, she ends up on the wrong side ofProvidence. With three young children, Arcelia follows a rocky path that ultimately leads to prison and an agonizing drug withdrawal. But her real challenge comeswhen she’s released and must figure out how to stay clean and reunite the family that has unraveled in her absence.

Through rotating narrators, we hear from the characters whose lives and futures are inextricably linked with Arcelia’s own uncertain fate: her charming, street-savvy son, Cristo, and brilliant daughter Luz; their idealistic teacher, Miss Valenti´n, who battles her own demons; and the enigmatic Snowman, her landlord and confidante.

This powerful story of hope and redemption reveals the un- acknowledged side of one of our oldest American cities, where even the bleakest of realities can’t destroy the bonds between parent and child. Rich in humanity, This Side of Providence is a novel of exceptional force and originality.


Elizabeth L. Silver, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

Elizabeth L Silver is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, published by Crown/Random House. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, the Amazon Best Debut of the Month, a Kirkus Best Book of the Summer, Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year, Oprah “Ten Books to Pick up Now,” and selection for the Target Emerging Author Series. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton has been optioned for film by ImageMovers Production Company (Robert Zemeckis) and has been or will be translated into Polish, French, Japanese, Russian, Thai, and Korean.

Elizabeth is currently working on a memoir called The Tincture of Time, forthcoming from Penguin Press in 2017, a new novel, and several screenplays.

About The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, having accepted her fate, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date.
Seemingly out of the blue, she is visited by Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing. Marlene tells Noa that she has changed her mind about the death penalty and Noa’s sentence, and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute the sentence to life in prison, in return for the one thing Noa is unwilling to trade: her story.

Marlene desperately wants Noa to reveal the events that led to her daughter’s death – events that Noa has never shared with a soul. With death looming, Marlene believes that Noa may finally give her the answers she needs, though Noa is far from convinced that Marlene deserves the salvation she alone can deliver. Inextricably linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human in this haunting tale of love, anguish, and deception.

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