Press Release Archive
Women’s National Book Association Celebrates
Its 90th Anniversary By Designating
October as National Reading Group Month
The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) is pleased to announce the launch of National Reading Group Month (NRGM) in October 2007 to mark the 90th anniversary of the Association’s founding.
“Part of WNBA’s mission is to promote reading and the value of books, so we are proud to organize the first-ever National Reading Group Month. Reading groups inspire, transform and educate. They foster community and instill an appreciation for the written word,” says Laurie Beckelman, president of the WNBA.
“The launch of National Reading Group Month is a perfect way to celebrate our 90th anniversary, one that will create a legacy that grows richer year by year, as more and more friends of the book step up with new and creative ways to support reading groups.”
The mission of National Reading Group Month is four-fold:
- To bring about public awareness of the joy of shared reading.
- To provide a time for existing groups to celebrate their accomplishments and make plans for the future.
- To encourage libraries, bookstores, and various organizations to host special events for reading groups.
- To provide opportunities for individuals to get involved in an existing reading group or start one of their own.
WNBA has chapters in Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. All the chapters will mark the month with special festivities but the celebration will be nationwide and open to all. Booklovers of all stripes — readers, publishers, librarians, authors, booksellers, and more — will join in.
The Advisory Board to NRGM includes: Martha Burns, National Reading Group Month, Co-creator; John Y. Cole, Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Director; Shireen Dodson, The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Author; Alice Dillon, National Reading Group Month, Co-creator; Carol Fitzgerald, The Book Report Network/ReadingGroupGuides.com, Co-founder and President; April L. Judge, New Jersey Library Association, Director, West Caldwell PL; Ann Kent, book group expo, Founder; Barbara Mead, Reading Group Choices, President; Nancy Pearl, “America’s Favorite Librarian” and Book Lust Series Author.
Further information is available at:
http://wnba-books.org. Check the web site for updates and more details on WNBA’s National Reading Group Month events to take place in October.
Sponsors / Endorsements:
Sponsored in part by Counterpoint/Soft Skull, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group Inc., The Random House Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster, Sutter Home Family Vineyards, and Susannah Greenberg Public Relations. Endorsed by book group expo, The Book Report Network, New Jersey Library Association and New Jersey State Library, New York Center for Independent Publishing, and Reading Group Choices.
The American Booksellers Association and Book Sense applaud the efforts of WNBA in the National Reading Group Month initiative.
National Reading Group Month / WNBA Events scheduled include:
- WNBA-NYC hosts the NRGM Signature Event on Monday, October 29 (6 to 9 p.m.), at the New York Center for Independent Publishing, 20 W. 44th Street, New York, NY. The evening includes a read-a-thon featuring authors Laura Dave, Wally Lamb, Matthew Sharpe, Beverly Swerling, and Adriana Trigiani, along with author interviews and book signings, refreshments and gift bags. Carol Fitzgerald, founder and president of The Book Report Network and ReadingGroupGuides. com is emcee. An informal reading group Q&A highlights Shireen Dodson, reading group facilitator and author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club, and Barbara Mead, president of Reading Group Choices.Visit www.wnba-nyc.org/register.html for further details and to purchase tickets. Email nrgm at wnba-nyc.org with other inquiries. Ten percent of ticket sales from the NRGM Signature Event will go to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
- WNBA-Boston on Sunday, October 28 (3 p.m.), at the Boston Back Bay Hilton, a wine and cheese reception, with author Jennifer Haigh. Tips for successful book groups and a chance to meet members of other groups also featured. Contact: Katherine Dibble, kdibble at att.net.
- WNBA-Detroit on Saturday, October 27 (1 p.m.), at Milford Public Library, Milford, MI, with chapter member Brenda Ervin of Brenda’s Barn Door Publishing (www.barndoorpublishing.com) speaks about books relating to family farms in conjunction with Michigan’s official “October Is Farm Market and Farm Family Month.” For details, go to: www.wnba-books.org/detroit/programs.
- WNBA-Los Angeles on Sunday, October 28 (2 to 5 p.m.), at Dutton’s Brentwood Bookstore, with author Hillary Carlip. Contact: Ruth Light, ruthabc at ca.rr.com.
- WNBA-Nashville on Thursday, November 1 (Time TBD), at regular monthly meeting location, with a panel of local WNBA authors. Specially invited guests include members of Nashville-area reading or book discussion groups. Contact: Andrea Lindsey, lindseya at rcs.k12.tn.us.
- WNBA-San Francisco on Wednesday, October 10 (7 p.m.), at BookShop West Portal with author Beth Lisick. Contact: Mary Knippel, copywriter at coastside.net.
- WNBA-D.C. promotes NRGM at its fall brunch and Thursday, October 25 program (Time TBD). Contact: Liddie Smith, liddiewnba at comcast.net.
And NRGM library partners,
- Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Manalapan, NJ on Tuesday, October 30 (7 p.m.), with authors Beth Gutcheon and Jamie Saul, and Reading Group Choices president, Barbara Mead. Contact: April Judge, judge at bccls.org.
WNBA Announces Winners of 2007 Pannell Award
For immediate release
Mary Grey James
The Women’s National Book Association is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Lucile Micheels Pannell Award given annually since 1983 to two retail bookstores that excel at inspiring the interest of young people in books and reading. The winner in the General Bookstore category is Books & Books of Coral Gables, Florida; the winner in the Children’s Bookstore category is Wonderland Books of Rockford, Illinois. The awards will be presented by Mary Grey James, WNBA Pannell Chair, at ABA’s Annual Celebration of Bookselling on the evening of May 31st at the ABA Marriott Hotel in Brooklyn.
Each winner will receive a check for $1000 and a framed piece of original art. This year’s art was contributed by Wendell Minor, an artist well known for his work in children’s literature, most recently Ghost Ship by Mary Higgins Clark, as well as his jacket art for books by Pat Conroy, David McCullough, and many others; and Belle Yang, the subject of an upcoming PBS program and an artist known for her use of color and sense of joy in her children’s books, such as Hannah Is My Name and this fall’s Come Home to Me.
For the first time, the WNBA Pannell Award is underwritten by a generous gift from Penguin Young Readers Group, a leading publisher of books for young people. In announcing Penguin’s support, Doug Whiteman, President, called the Pannell “a worthy cause” in its recognition of retail bookstores that creatively bring books and young people together.
A jury of five book industry professionals deliberated for four weeks, then selected the winners based on creativity, responsiveness to community needs, passion, and understanding of young readers. Wonderland Books was cited for having an overall commitment to community outreach as actual “good works” beyond typical store marketing or promotional motivation, such as their work with Head Start and their programs aimed at developmentally delayed children. Books & Books, a well-established store long active in the American Bookseller Association, was commended, in particular, for reaching out to the growing young adult market with its High School Photography Exhibit, a rock concert tie-in to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Twisted, and fencing/ballet/drumming/yoga workshops–all related to making books accessible to young people.
Other nominees impressed the jurors as all being good candidates for making a difference in their communities: All for Kids in Seattle for giving city-wide children a chance to meet authors and illustrators during its 60th birthday celebration; Little Shop of Stories, the recipient of Atlanta Magazine’s “Best of Atlanta Best Kids’ Outing” Award, for serving a multicultural community with a sense of fun and energy; Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, NM for having the enthusiastic backing of a small town without the benefit of author visits; Vroman’s of Pasadena, CA for its monthly family nights, annual bookmark design contest and Young Reader’s account in which a child has his/her own personal charge account; and Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, NY for its many testimonials from grateful customers.
This year’s Pannell Award Jury consisted of:
Jill Bailey, Penguin Group USA
Kate DeRosier, Candlewick Press
Peggy Kohlepp, Tulane University Bookstore
Anne Irish, Consultant
Dawn Zahorik, Scholastic
The Women’s National Book Association, founded in 1917, is a national organization of women and men who work with and value books. WNBA, an all-volunteer organization, exists to promote reading and to support the role of women in the book community. To learn more about the organization or the Pannell Award, visit www.wnba-books.org.
WNBA Pannell Award Partners with Penguin Young Readers Group
For immediate release
Mary Grey James
The Women’s National Book Association is pleased to announce a new partner in presenting the 2007 WNBA Pannell Award at this year’s BookExpo America on June 2nd. Penguin Young Readers Group has agreed to underwrite the award to recognize and publicly applaud the work of booksellers who stimulate, promote and encourage the interest of young people in books.
Named for Lucile Micheels Pannell, a model bookseller who was also a founding member of a WNBA chapter, the Pannell Award was established in 1981 by WNBA and is given to two bookstores—a children’s specialty bookstore and a general bookstore–annually at BEA. In addition to receiving recognition in the book industry, each Pannell recipient receives a $1,000 check and a framed piece of original art by a children’s book illustrator.
In explaining Penguin’s decision to underwrite the Pannell in 2007, Doug Whiteman, President of Penguin Young Readers Group, cited the award as being a “worthy cause” and expressed enthusiasm for its mission of promoting reading and the enjoyment of books for young people. Penguin Young Readers Group is a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. located at 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014. Long a leader in children’s book publishing, it represents some of the most recognized names in the book industry—Viking Children’s Books, Frederick Warne, Philomel Books, Dutton Children’s Books, Dial Books for Young Readers and G.P. Putnam’s Sons; as well as new innovative imprints for older readers, including Razorbill and Sleuth.
WNBA is a national organization of women and men who work to promote reading and to support the role of women in the book community. Founded in 1917, WNBA has eight chapters across the country. Its members include those who are employed in the book industry, as well as those who have an appreciation for books. In addition to the WNBA Pannell Award, the organization serves as a Reading Promotion Partner in the Library of Congress Center for the Book and also is a non-governmental organization affiliated with the United Nations, fostering reading in Third World nations.