From our President
Wow! We started the WNBA membership year in September with the Southern Festival of Books preview at Parnassus, and I am pleased to report that we have more than 60 members currently plus lots of interest from guests who have attended our meetings at Dalts. Jodi Hughes, our past president, worked hard to keep WNBA members engaged during the COVID pandemic with Zoom meetings and emails about virtual events which provided a springboard for growth and excitement to be meeting in person once again. She did an awesome job.
On Tuesday, March 2, we enjoyed hearing three members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) talk about their passion as children book writers and illustrators. We were excited to welcome 30 WNBA members and guests from SCBWI. In case you couldn’t join us at Dalts, our speakers were Susan Eaddy, Grammy nominated author and illustrator of picture books; Caroline Brooks Dubois, Nashville Blue Ribbon Teacher (2016) and author who writes free verse novels for middle graders; and Sharon Cameron, #1 New York Times bestselling author of young adult and crossover adult novels. Be sure to check out their books for an enjoyable read.
There are still exciting events yet to be enjoyed this year. The winner of the WNBA Award which is presented to a woman who has committed her career to promoting books will be awarded in March. Meredith McKinney, Book‘em board member and founder of the Black Book Project, and J.T. Ellison, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 novels, and the EMMY® award winning co-host of the literary TV show A WORD ON WORDS, were submitted as nominees from the Nashville chapter. The winner will be celebrated at the national board meeting in Boston during the month of June. Keep your fingers crossed that one of our nominees will be selected to be honored with the WNBA Award.
On April 6, Yasmine Ali will join us at Dalts to discuss her new book Walk Through Fire: The Train Disaster that Changed America. The train wreck happened in Waverly, TN (45 miles west from Nashville). The disaster prompted the immediate overhauling of the US railroad industry; resulted in the implementation of new standards for HAZMAT handling, containment, and training; and served as a new model for firefighter and first-responder training across the globe. The topic is extremely timely with the recent train crashes in Ohio. Angela Redden, owner of Reading Rocks, in Dickson, TN will be at the meeting with copies of Walk Through Fire for purchase. You should have received an evite for the April meeting. If you have not, please contact us.
As you make plans for May, save May 11 to join members for the Garden Party at Barbie Chadwick’s home. Those of us who have been members of WNBA for many, many years have enjoyed watching Barbie’s garden evolve into a treasure. Remember, the garden party is a special members only event. More details to follow in the coming weeks.
Look forward to seeing you in April.
All the best,
Join Us in April!
April 6, 5:30 pm at Dalts American Grill
WNBA member Dr. Yasmine Ali is an award-winning medical writer, researcher, professor, and Waverly native. Her newest work, Walk Through Fire, is the first book to examine the rarely acknowledged Waverly Train Disaster of 1978--the catastrophic accident that changed America forever and led to the formation of FEMA. Coinciding with the 45th anniversary of the event, Walk Through Fire is a tribute to the first responders, as well as an examination of the strengths and vulnerabilities in rural America. (https://yasminealimd.com/)
The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) is a professional literary organization dedicated to supporting women and marginalized voices in the literary world; fighting against censorship; creating community around books; educating about books and the book industry, promoting literacy, and providing professional development.
At the February meeting, the board was interested in hearing your thoughts about WNBA. We asked four questions:
In terms of membership goals, there was less interest in growing numbers than in fostering community and engagement within the membership. Although everyone agreed a certain critical mass is necessary for a healthy organization, there was more interest in developing relationships within the organizations. For example, one newer member said her favorite part of the monthly programming are the conversations with fellow members before the program starts.
Finally, the group generally considers WNBA's relationship with the broader Nashville community as an opportunity to connect book-minded people with area opportunities. Because there are a good number of literary organizations in the city, we didn't want to try and take on what other groups may already be doing well when we could facilitate networking them instead. For instance, rather than raise funds to donate to another organization, our group preferred to use our funds for things like grants or
scholarships. An example given of the latter was working with The Porch to offer a writing scholarship, similar to the program WNBA used to do for Young Writers before it became virtual. And when it came to volunteering, our group really liked the idea of sharing volunteer opportunities with members but didn't think it was something WNBA needed to take on and organize itself.
As members of your Board, we appreciate the feedback and welcome your ideas and suggestions about WNBA. If you have any further input, please send it to us via the Contact Page on this website or email any board member.
Coming to the Frist
This magical, family-friendly exhibition celebrates the creative and ecological achievements of the beloved English author and illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866–1943). In The Tale of Peter Rabbit, first published in London in 1901, and twenty-two other children’s books, Potter imagined an enchanting world of animals and gardens.
Through letters, photographs, sketches, watercolors, and more, this exhibition explores how Potter developed her stories and characters. It also reveals that Potter’s books were just one manifestation of her love of nature—she engaged in scientific studies, farming, and land conservation as well. Drawn to Nature shows all these facets of Potter’s remarkable life and legacy in vibrant detail.
Frist Art Museum Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature
Apr 7–Sep 17, 2023 | Upper-Level Galleries
We would like to feature great books you've read or literary field trips you've taken or anything bookish you would like to share with our membership. If you have read a book that you love and want to recommend, let us know. If you've been somewhere literary, we might want to go too!
So let us know about something fun and literary that you've seen or done. Just go to the Contact page and let me know so we can share it with everyone!
Nancy Dickinson, Webmaster
Don't forget to check out our Member News page regularly. Our members are doing great things and have great tips for you! If you have anything you would like to add, complete our contact form. Member news can be about anything that you want to share, your retirement, a promotion at work, your latest publication, your appearances, or a work in progress. News of current members only will be published. Our members are awesome!
WNBA Loves Books!
We write them, we publish them, we sell them, we teach children and adults to read and appreciate them, we loan them, we borrow them, we give them, we read them, we listen to them, and we share them with friends.
Your current Nashville board members are hard at work all year long, planning events and opportunities for our organization. If you have any ideas or concerns, let us know. Contact information and board members are listed here.
WNBA Meeting Provides Conversation, Connection, and Inspiration
by Angela Redden
Imagine a night filled with tasty food, enjoyable conversation, and quality connections and you will have a good idea of what was experienced by members of the Nashville WNBA Chapter who attended the March 2nd meeting at Dalt’s American Grill.
Conversations at each table were vibrant and lively as members greeted familiar faces and welcomed fresh faces of SCBWI members joining for the evening. As we enjoyed our meals, WNBA President Kathleen Dietz invited first time attendees and guests to introduce themselves and share with us their most recently published books. Soon, Tori Ross captured our attention as she introduced the evening’s panel of authors: Susan Eaddy, Caroline Brooks Dubois, and Sharon Cameron. Tori’s questions for the panel provided an entertaining and informative discussion that left everyone in the room wanting to read everything these talented authors have written and inspired them to do more to promote reading in our communities. After names were drawn and books given to excited winners, many members mingled and continued to make connections as another successful meeting of the WNBA came to a close.
Angela Redden is a WNBA member and the owner of Reading Rock Books in Dickson, TN
WNBA Award Nominees
Congratulations to the WNBA Nashville nominees for the WNBA Award, J.T. Ellison, author, and Meredith McKinney, founder of the Black Book Project! The winner will be announced in March.
The WNBA Award is presented by the members of the WNBA to a “living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.” The award has been presented continuously since 1940.
The WNBA Nashville Board has determined that we would like to place a focus on philanthropy in Nashville, especially in support of nonprofit organizations in our area that are centered around books and literacy. We have asked Lee Fairbend, long time WNBA member and co-founder of Book'em to be our philanthropy chair and we have created a Philanthropy page on this website. Please look at Lee's latest postings on this page and consider helping us make Nashville a better place to live.
Our most recent project was supporting Book'em at their Annual Read Me Day Celebration. If you missed that event, you can still volunteer with Book'em. For more information, email email@example.com or go to Volunteer - Book 'em (bookem-kids.org)
READ ME Day
by Tori Ross
It's always fulfilling to support the important work being done by other noteworthy Nashville non-profits with shared visions. Nancy Dickinson and I volunteered for Book'em Read Me Day at Shayne Elementary School on Friday, March 3rd. It was an honor to be among such a large, enthusiastic group of volunteer readers and the eager listeners in our assigned classrooms. I thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with many other volunteers - friends who all share the love of reading! Well done, Book'em!
The WNBA Nashville Chapter is a long-time supporter of the Young Writers Workshop sponsored by Humanities Tennessee. Each year, our chapter provide funds for scholarships for young writers to attend the seven-day workshop.
If you know an aspiring young writer who could benefit from some in-depth instruction from published writers, please have him/her apply at the link below. The cost is $300 and includes transportation to/from Nashville to the workshop, room/board, all class materials, t-shirt and class instruction. There are limited spots and applicants need to fill out a form and send a writing sample of no more than 2,500 words for consideration. The initial deadline is April 3rd, 2023.
Don’t let the $300 fee stop an aspiring writer from applying – there are scholarships available.
May 20, 2023
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution—one as an employee; the other, an inmate.
It’s 1927 and eighteen-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer—brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel.
Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age forty, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care.
Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all.
Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”
All book discussions are currently being held on Zoom.
Click here to see our Upcoming Book Discussions
Next Literary Society:
April 20 at 7:00pm
Join us for some conversation!
Would you like to have a chance to socialize with your fellow members of WNBA without leaving home or having to fight Nashville traffic? At 7:00 pm on the third Thursday of February, April, June, August, October, and December, you can do just that! That is when we have our Literary Society meetings where we share books that we've been reading. But we also talk about life and get to know each other a little bit better. Join us for some online fellowship! You should receive an email with the Zoom link early in the week, but if you don't, let us know through the contact form on this site and we will send it to you. Please contact us early in the week as this site is not constantly monitored.
Our next Literary Society meeting is April 20 at 7:00 p.m.
"I look forward to hearing everyone talk enthusiastically about the books they're reading, and what they most enjoyed. It's always a nice variety. My "books to read" list has grown every time we chat over Zoom." -- Tori Ross
Check out WNBA's national website to find out what is going on around the country in all of our chapters.
Women's National Book Association (WNBA) - WNBA-Books
All events, with the exception of the annual Christmas dinner and the Garden Party, are free and open to the public. For more information, or to request a Zoom code, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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