A Tribute to Carolyn Wilson

Carolyn WilsonCarolyn Wilson, a long-time WNBA member who served tirelessly at both the local and national levels, passed away in mid-October after a short illness. Her service to the WNBA Nashville Chapter is legendary among the book community. There would be no such chapter without Carolyn.

One member put it quite well:

“Indeed, for more than a generation, Carolyn Wilson was WNBA — she was each new member’s first friend. For myself, I deeply appreciate Carolyn’s leadership and have always recognized that it was Carolyn and her generation that paved the way for so many of us. She was the vanguard and yet so much more — Carolyn Wilson was a dear friend and mentor who has made the world a better place because she was here, and her legacy lives on in the countless lives she touched.”

Carolyn was the heart and soul of the Nashville Chapter. Many of our members joined because of her. She had several ways of recruiting us into the chapter, from getting us to go to a program we might be interested in to asking us to volunteer for a specific job.

As a leader of the WNBA, Carolyn was a driving force on the Humanities Tennessee organizational committee that started the Southern Festival of Books and was an active volunteer for almost 30 years. She coordinated teams of WNBA volunteers to help host, drive authors to and from the airport, man the signing area, and much more. To this day, the WNBA is a presence at the Southern Festival of Books because of Carolyn.

Carolyn presents the WNBA Award to Barbara Bush

On behalf of the WNBA, Carolyn also single handedly organized and presented the 6 week Summer Reading Series in partnership with Lipscomb University, where she was Head Librarian. Each year had a different theme, and each week a discussion would be held about a book that fit into that summer’s theme. Classes were taught by local teachers, university professors, and librarians. A community of readers was created just by this series. Carolyn was a wonderful mentor to so many of us, quietly guiding and encouraging us in our personal and professional lives.

Here’s what another member said:

“She wisely (and gently) counseled the WNBA board. Never once did I see Carolyn lose her patience with board presidents who had little or no experience. Carolyn loved generously, and she will be missed.”

Carolyn was such a role model for all of us that the Carolyn Wilson Volunteer Award was created to honor a member who exemplified her commitment to serving WNBA in a volunteer role. Carolyn was given an honorary membership from the Nashville chapter because of her long and faithful service. She continued to serve on the local board right up until her untimely death.

Carolyn has left a large legacy for the Nashville Chapter — the true legacy is each WNBA member who is a member because of her. She will be missed.

Annual Garden Party in May

Our annual Garden Party/Meeting is Thursday, May 3, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. This is a time for members and their guests to connect with one another and celebrate another great year with WNBA. The party is hosted by Barbie Chadwick and the rest of the Nashville board, who provide drinks and appetizers. Watch for an email with more details coming soon.

March 17 – Book Discussion Group

Please join us on Saturday, March 17, at 10:15 am at the Richland Branch Library, to discuss The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens.  Trish McGarty will lead our discussion. The book discussions are free and open to the public.

Ami McConnell Writes Book with Actress Candace Cameron Bure

We are very excited to announce that one of our very own members, Ami McConnell Abston, has a new book coming out with Candace Cameron Bure! Read more about it in The Tennesseanpublished March 8, 2018.

Author Bren McClain at April 5 Meeting

On April 5, author and WNBA Nashville member Bren McClain will talk about her book, One Good Mama Bone, a WNBA Great Group Reads pick for National Reading Group Month 2017. You can hear all about it at our next meeting, Thursday, April 5, 6 p.m. (5 for greeting and eating) at Jonathan’s Grille in Green Hills. Meetings are free and open to the public. 

In the meantime, here’s a little bite to whet your appetite!  Set in the early 1950s in rural South Carolina, One Good Mama Bone is the story of an unlikely friendship between two mothers, a human named Sarah Creamer and a bovine named Mama Red, who teaches Sarah what it means to be a mother. All of this is set against the backdrop of the 4-H tradition of feeding out a steer for the Grand Champion title.  


Susannah Felts at March 1 Meeting

Join us Thursday, March 1, as we welcome Susannah Felts, Co-founder of The Porch Writers’ Collective, as our guest speaker. Susannah is a fiction writer, freelance writer, teacher, editor, and native Nashvillian. We meet at Jonathan’s in Green Hills, with our program, which is free and open to the public, beginning at 6 p.m. Arrive early to mingle with attendees, starting at 5:00, maybe order a bite to eat. Bring a friend!

In 2009, after many years away from her hometown, she returned to put down roots with her family in East Nashville. Previously, Susannah taught creative writing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and in several other youth and community settings. Her first novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, was published in 2008 by Featherproof Books. Susannah was the recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction for 2013. She has been awarded the Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Oxford American, Literary Hub, Longreads, StorySouth, The Sun, Quarterly West, Hobart, Five ChaptersWigleaf, and Quick Fiction, among others. She earned her bachelor of arts degree with highest honors in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds a master in fine arts in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Susannah is also a contributing writer for Chapter 16, Humanities Tennessee’s site devoted to literary culture. Check out The Porch here: http://www.porchtn.org.

Mystery Panel – Saturday, February 24

Who does not love a mystery?  This genre boasts legions of fans.  To satisfy this love of traditional and cozy mysteries, the Women’s National Book Association offers a panel of our writers who have recently published books.  This panel will take place in the Green Hills Library Meeting Room on February 24, From 10:30-12 noon.  What a great way to spend a Saturday morning! 

The Death of a Rhinestone Cowboy  is written by a Nashville lawyer specializing in intellectual property law. Jenna Brown, (pseudonym for Lee Wilson) is also a lawyer who works on Music Row and encounters thrilling escapades in vistas familiar to Nashvillians.  You will meet songwriters,  musicians,  crooked cops, and conspiracies and murder. Jenna is currently at work on the next Jenna Brown mystery. When she is not writing mysteries, she writes legal books and creative non-fiction. 

Dana Chamblee Carpenter teaches creative writing and American literature at Lipscomb University. Her previous book in the Bohemian Trilogy  is Bohemian Gospel which was awarded the Killer Nashville 2014 Claymore Award. The Devil’s Bible introduces a mysterious Bible once considered the eighth wonder of the world. We meet Mouse as she desperately fights the battle between good and evil while sheltering the truth of this enigmatic book.

Phyllis Gobbell has written creative non-fiction and fiction, for which she was awarded Tennessee’s Individual Artist Literary Award.  When she is not working on the Jordan Mayfair Mystery Series she teaches at Nashville State Community College. Her first travel mystery Pursuit in Provence, introduced us to Jordan, whose intriguing tale of treachery took place in the beautiful French Provence. Secrets and Shamrocks evokes the many shades of the Irish green countryside that is marred by murder. The spring will bring another Jordan Mayfair journey in Italy.

Peggy O’Neal Peden’s debut mystery won the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. Peggy also has taught at the high school and university levels, owned a travel agency, and wrote award-winning advertising copy.  Your Killin’ Heart brings to life country music stars and scenes with colorful Nashville figures in an intricate plot woven through Nashville’s famous music business. The charm of our beloved city flows throughout the book and the good guy wins in this  amusing and warm debut.

February Meeting – Jolina Petersheim

Please join us on Thursday, February 1, when Jolina Petersheim will share her story with us. We meet at Jonathan’s in Green Hills, with our program, which is free and open to the public, beginning at 6 p.m. Arrive early to mingle with attendees, starting at 5:00, maybe order a bite to eat. Bring a friend!

Jolina Petersheim’s most recent book is The Divide. She is the critically acclaimed author of The AllianceThe Midwife, and The Outcast, which Library Journal called “outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational” in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. That book also became an Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, Christian Booksellers Association, and Amazon bestseller and was featured in Huffington Post’s Fall Picks, USA TodayPublishers Weekly, and the Tennessean. CBA Retailers + Resources called her second book, The Midwife, “an excellent read [that] will be hard to put down,” and Booklist selected The Alliance as one of its Top 10 Inspirational Fiction Titles for 2016. Jolina’s nonfiction writing has been featured in Reader’s DigestWriter’s Digest, and Today’s Christian Woman.

She and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but they now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their three young daughters.

WNBA-Nashville Board Member Amy Lyles Wilson first met Jolina while she was working on her first novel. Even then, Amy Lyles knew Jolina would “make it” as a writer. Her dedication to the craft is inspiring. Plus, she’s a delightful human being! Please join us as we hear Jolina’s story.

January 20 Book Discussion

On Saturday, January 20, from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. we will be discussing Trials of the Earth by Mary Mann Hamilton.

We partner with the Nashville Public Library and hold our meetings at the Richland Park Library on Charlotte Avenue. During the last few minutes of each meeting, everyone will have a chance to share information about any interesting books that they have read during the past few months.

No January Meeting

There will be no monthly meeting in January. The first meeting in 2018 will be on Thursday, February 1 at 6 pm at Jonathan’s Grille in Green Hills. We hope to see you there!

(Note: Please be advised that WNBA programs adhere to the inclement weather policy of the Davidson County Public School System)