Since its organization in 1954, the Boston Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association has worked to bring together women and men from all different segments of the book world – publishing professionals, writers, librarians, and anyone who loves books – by providing a range of events that aim to educate, entertain, and inspire. WNBA Boston also seeks to promote equality in the world of arts and letters by raising awareness of the professional challenges still extant for women in the publishing industry.
In 1917 a group of fifteen women booksellers, excluded from membership in the all-male Bookseller’s League, met in Sherwood’s Book Store, at 19 John Street in Manhattan to form the Women’s National Book Association. ( WNBA)
Membership was open to women in all facets of the book world – publishers, booksellers, librarians, authors, illustrators, agents, production people. The only criteria was that part of their income came from books. Today, nearly a century later with a dozen chapters across the country from Boston to San Francisco, the WNBA continues to champion the role of women in the publishing industry.
During these years, WNBA has hosted seminars on bookselling techniques, surveyed the status of women in publishing, sponsored author luncheons, participated in book fairs, led in-service courses for teachers on children’s books, entertained visiting foreign book women, participated in the United Nations as a non-governmental organization member, and published four books.
Believing that books have power, WNBA has made it possible for people engaged in various literary activities to broaden their participation in the book world and network as individuals with common aspirations, goals and challenges.