Book and Author Events

Since everything is virtual these days, WNBA National’s book club will discuss The Last Year of the War,  Susan Meissner’s latest work at 8 pm July 28, 2020. Two days later, on July 30 at 8 pm, the National chapter hosts Meissner for an author talk.  Members can participate on Zoom or through the WNBA National’s Facebook page. All times are CST.


April Program Canceled

As much as we hate to cancel our programs we felt that in order to keep all of our members safe and healthy we had no other choice but to cancel our monthly meeting for April. We appreciate our speaker, Margaret Renkl, and encourage everyone to pick up a copy of her book, Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss.  We are devastated that we will not be able to hear Margaret speak but health and safety come first. Please be sure to join us in May for our garden party – more details to come. 

March Program

Twelve Steps Toward A Healthy Literary Life with Author Amy Wright

6:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Dalt’s American Grill On White Bridge on March 5, 2020.

Often our exemplars for literary life are men—and mythic. Literary women, too, like Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Emily Dickinson, are often tragic figures or outsized geniuses. It took me over a decade to find contemporary models who were living sustainable creative lives and to enter into conversations with them. True artists find their idiosyncratic ways forward, but strong realistic examples like Dorothy Allison, Shane McCrae, Kimiko Hahn, David Huddle, and Janisse Ray modeled healthy techniques to emulate. In this talk, I share a twelve-step process that helped me define and develop a literary identity that includes author, poet, interviewer, scholar, activist, editor, publisher, professor, and coordinator of Creative Writing at Austin Peay State University.

Amy Wright is the author of two poetry books, one poetry collaboration, and six chapbooks, including the essay collection Think I’ll Go Eat A Worm. Her work appears in Georgia ReviewKenyon Review, Appalachian Heritage, Waveform: Anthology of Women Essayists, and Southern Poetry Anthology Volumes III and VI, and elsewhere archived at:  

We’ll meet at Dalt’s American Grill on White Bridge Road at 5:30 for socializing and dinner, and the program will start at 6:30 on Thursday, March 5th.

Readers Needed for Great Group Reads

All current WNBA members in good standing are welcome to join Great Group reads as a reader on the committee. Past Nashville members who have participated have stated that they have been able to read books they never would have come across otherwise. If you are interested in being a reader and can commit to reading 20-25 books submitted by publishers between March and July please email Kristen Knox at 

WNBA Nashville Presents: The Whole Process. How Does a Book Become a Book?

From the author to publicity and everything in between. 

Join us on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at the Hermitage Library for a panel discussion featuring:

Sarah E. Ladd, Bestselling Author
Becky Monds, Editorial Director, Fiction
Allison Carter, Publicity Manager, W Publishing
Laura Wheeler, Associate Editor, Fiction
Saturday, February 22, 2020
10:30 am- 12:00 pm
Hermitage Library
3700 James Kay Lane, Hermitage, TN 37076

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.

February Program

A Thrilling Ride with Author Rea Frey

6:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Dalt’s American Grill On White Bridge on February 6, 2020.

Rea Frey will describe the process that’s led to the publication of two stunning mysteries and share how you, too, can write and market the novel you’ve always wanted. 

Rea Frey is the bestselling author of Not Her Daughter and Because You’re Mine. Visit her website to learn more!

We’ll meet at Dalt’s American Grill on White Bridge Road at 5:30 for socializing and dinner, and the program will start at 6:30 on Thursday, February 6th.

Holiday Dinner December 12

Holiday Dinner with Caitlin Hamilton Summie: Stories from the Heart

Our annual Holiday Dinner for members and their guests is Thursday, December 13, at The Women’s Club of Nashville. The dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m. Our speaker, Caitlin Hamilton Summie’s, award-winning stories, compiled in the collection TO LAY TO REST OUR GHOSTS, have been compared to the writing of Elizabeth Strout, Ann Beattie, Kent Haruf, and Tobias Wolfe—all of which about knocked her over. In this author chat, she’ll talk about writing stories from the heart; what drives her as an author; and how it feels to be on the other side of the desk.

Caitlin Hamilton Summie earned an MFA with Distinction from Colorado State University, and her short stories have been published in Beloit Fiction Journal, Wisconsin Review, Puerto del Sol, Mud Season Review, Belmont Story ReviewHypertext MagazineSouth85 Journal, and Long Story, Short. Her first book, a short story collection called TO LAY TO REST OUR GHOSTS, was published in August 2017 by Fomite. It won the fourth annual Phillip H. McMath Book Award, won Silver in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award for Short Stories, and was included in 35 Over 35’s Annual List in 2017. It was a Pulpwood Queen Book Club Bonus Book for June 2018. Most recently her poetry was published in The Literary Nest. She spent many years in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Colorado before settling with her family in Knoxville, Tennessee. She co-owns the book marketing firm, Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, founded in 2003. Authors she has launched include Bren McClain, Emily St. John Mandel, William Gay, and more. Find her online at

The Women’s Club of Nashville is located at 3206 Hillsboro Road. The property may be entered from Golf Club Lane or from Hillsboro Pike. Parking is ample. Coffee, Tea, and Water will be provided. You may BYOB white wine (no red wine, please).

Advance registration is required. The cost is $45 per person, which includes gratuity and a $5 donation to help fund a scholarship for the Tennessee Young Writers Workshop. Payment can be made by PayPal or credit card online. Visit our EventBrite Page for reservations. Please email Lee Fairbend if you require a vegetarian  or gluten-free meal. 

November Program

The Fate of Food:  What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World, with journalist and Vanderbilt professor, Amanda Little.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Dalt’s American Grill On White Bridge on November 7, 2019.

Amanda Little, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an award-winning environmental journalist, spent five traveling through a dozen countries and as many U.S. states in search of answers to the question: What will we eat in a bigger, hotter, smarter world? Her journey took her from an apple orchard in Wisconsin and tiny Kenyan cornfields to massive Norwegian fish farms and computerized foodscapes in Shanghai. The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and the challenge is twofold: we must solve the existing problems of industrial agriculture while also preparing for the pressures ahead.

Amanda will share insights from her interviews and adventures with farmers, scientists, activists, and engineers. Her book tells a fascinating story of human innovation, exploring new and old approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale. Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world’s population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades?

We’ll meet at Dalt’s American Grill on White Bridge Road at 5:30 for socializing and dinner, and the program will start at 6:30 on Thursday, November 7th.

Volunteers Needed for SFoB Booth

Jack Belair working hard at the 2017 Booth

Come volunteer at the WNBA booth during the Southern Festival of Books! Our goals are:

  1. to share our love for WNBA with passersby and recruite new members
  2. to raise money for scholarships to the Young Writers’ Workshops hosted by Humanities Tennessee by selling assorted bookish merchandise.

Everyone is welcome to join us and a good time will be had by all!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

For more information and to sign up for a shift please visit: