There will be hundreds of best-selling and local authors at BookFest, with over fifty author panels, book signings,writing and publishing workshops, award-winning journalist and artist presentations, and programs for all ages. In addition, several large publishers, literacy groups, writers associations and Seattle newspaper groups will have booths at BookFest. And, of course, there will be food and wine.
If you live anywhere near Seattle, try to make it to BookFest (10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day). Click here for the program. Karlene and I will not only be there to check out all the good stuff, but we're going to be among those who represent the Seattle Chapter of a great organization called the Women's National Book Association (WNBA--no relation to basketball--this WNBA was formed in 1917!). WNBA Seattle will have a table at BookFest, so if you can come to the event, stop by and say hello! Even though Heather won't be able to make it, she's a member of WNBA, too, and I'm taking a copy of her book to show off.
So, a little more about the WNBA, in case you'd like to join a chapter near you. Founded in New York City before women had the right to vote, the purpose of the national organization is to promote reading and support the role of women (and men) in the community of the book. Libraries have always been at the core of the WNBA, and over time, the organization's embrace expanded to include everything from literacy initiatives to reading groups and hands-on support for the creation, development and promotion of books . Each chapter develops its own mission statement, as well as honoring the national purpose. In Seattle, ours is: Connecting book lovers with professionals in the book industry, and promoting women's careers in book publishing.
There are opportunities for writers who are WNBA members to be involved with educational efforts regarding these goals, meet authors and others involved in various aspects of the book industry, and also get support for their own efforts to publicize their books (more about that below).
There are now ten WNBA chapters across the U.S., including Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., in addition to New York. You can be a member whether you live in one of those cities or not. (The national website, below, explains how.)
The WNBA maintains a presence at the United Nations as an NGO (non-governmental organization); is the sponsor of National Reading Group Month across the country (each chapter holds an event with author panels and other literary discussions to "celebrate the joy of shared reading"); and each chapter participates in Great Group Reads—a program through which major publishers select books they want to promote and send copies to the chapters each summer, then the members who read them report their evaluations, and the national WNBA committee announces its selections for that year.
National WNBA also publishes a magazine called The Bookwoman, where these and other activities are reported, and news from each chapter is presented. If you, as a member, have done something publicly notable with your writing, like winning a contest for aspiring authors, or publishing a book etc., your chapter can submit an article about that to be published in the magazine. Bookwoman goes to libraries and bookstores across the country, as well as to each member. And finally, the national WNBA website is a goldmine of information and opportunity. Chapters can submit up to three book cover photos to be included on a featured books page of the website, where the photos will rotate (one of these could be your published book). And, there are opportunities for members to have their book-related blogs listed on the national website, too.
Here's the link for the national website: www.wnba-books.org Check it out.
And if you're interested in the Seattle Chapter, go to firstname.lastname@example.org for information about upcoming events and how to join. Karlene is the Seattle Chapter Membership Chair and will help you out!
How exciting to think about getting to meet some of you in person through a fun, productive book organization. That would be wonderful!