Saturday, November 7, 2020



Wednesday Dec 9 – Holiday Storytelling Fest!

6:00 – 7:00 pm PST

FREE Bring your own drinks and snacks

Join WNBA-SF Chapter in a virtual storytelling fest to celebrate the holidays as only book women can! We will share jolly, charming personal stories to make up for live holiday parties and family gatherings.

After a few presenters model their holiday stories, we’ll open it up to our virtual audience—that’s you! We want to encourage the sharing of stories during the holidays with friends and family, and provide basic techniques to enhance our skills.

We have invited contributors to Story Power who are also WNBA members as presenters in an informal, roundtable sharing of stories. Welcome to the table!

Kate Farrell Kate Farrell is our host and facilitator. Kate is a storyteller, author, librarian, founded the Word Weaving Storytelling Project and published numerous educational materials on storytelling. She has contributed to and edited award-winning anthologies of personal narrative. Farrell’s new book, a timely how-to guide on the art of storytelling for adults, Story Power: Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories, was released in June 2020. Farrell has presented workshops for adults on the art of storytelling at the San Francisco Public Library, Mechanics Institute, and the San Francisco Writers Conference. She is now offering virtual workshops for libraries and writing groups, as well as performing virtually as a storyteller.

Website:   Blog:

Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is a Pushcart Prize nominated author who has been described as a “Talented multidisciplinary writer whose works artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about life and the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative.” Based in Oakland, California, the diverse bay-side city often serves as the backdrop for her always touching and frequently hilarious works. Reviewers praised her first book, A Dollar Five-Stories from A Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey calling it “rich in vivid imagery”, and “incredible.” Her second book, All That and More’s Wedding, is a collection of fictional mystery/crime short stories. Running for the 2:10, a follow-on to A Dollar Five delved deeper into her coming of age in Oakland and the embedded issues of race and skin color. She is a contributor to award-winning author Kate Farrell’s book Story Power. Betrayal on the Bayou, published June 2020, is her first novel. Website:

Humaira Ghilzai is a writer, speaker and Afghanistan Cultural Consultant. Humaira opens the world to Afghan culture and cuisine through her wildly popular blog, Afghan Culture Unveiled. She shares the wonders of Afghanistan through stories of rich culture, delicious food and her family’s traditions. Humaira is a member of Women’s National Book Association, the MENA Theatre Mares Alliance Network, and a reader for the 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. She’s currently working on her first novel, Unraveling Lives, which is set in San Francisco and Afghanistan. Humaira’s writing has been published in Encore Magazine, Mataluna: A book of 152 Afghan Pashto Proverbs, and the Medium. Humaira is a contributor to Story Power, sharing her tips on writing and a family story. Website: FB: @afghancultureunviled

Mary MackeyMary Mackey is an award-winning novelist and poet with fourteen novels including The Village of Bones, which won a 2018 CIIS Women’s Spirituality Book Award from the Department of Diversity and Inclusion; The Year The Horses Came; and A Grand Passion, that was translated into 12 foreign languages and made the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle’s best seller lists. Mackey is the author of eight collections of poetry including Sugar Zone, which won the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, which won the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award for the Best Book Published by a Small Press. Mary became a writer by running high fevers, tramping through tropical jungles, dodging machine gun fire, being swarmed by army ants, making catastrophic decisions about men, and reading. Website: 

Other WNBA contributors to Story Power also invited to tell in the roundtable sharing, include: Bea Bowles, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, Joan Gelfand, Linda Joy Myers, Bev Scott.

Bring your favorite holiday drink and a 3-minute holiday story to share!

Where: Zoom –Zoom (link provided via email when you register)

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Join us on for a public online event on

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 5 PM PDT – 6 PM PDT


 Hosted by

 Authors, Large and Small Literary Publicity

Joan Gelfand and Sheryl J. Bize Boutte

Sheryl Bize-Boutte, author of Betrayal on the Bayou

Joan Gelfand, author of Extreme

Moderator: Cristina Deptula

In their new novels, authors Joan Gelfand, Extreme and Sheryl Bize-Boutte, Betrayal on the Bayou, have written women characters who soar above the norm, sometimes literally. You will hear about two women, from vastly different worlds and world views, separated by hundreds of years, sharing commonalities of strength, courage and tenacity to move their lives forward.

ASL interpretation courtesy of Rebekah King. 

Event starts at 5pm PST.

Pay What You Can, Hear Folks Read, Help Writers and Teachers and Creatives in Need ($10-$20 suggested, tickets available on Eventbrite, no one turned away)

Zoom link available through a page for ticket holders at

Winner of the Cervena Barva and Chaffin Fiction Awards, Joan Gelfand's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Rattle, Pank! The Meridien Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Joan has worked for California Poets in the Schools, Poetry Out Loud, Chiat/Day Advertising and other Bay Area companies. She currently coaches writers and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pushcart Prize nominee Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer whose autobiographical and fictional short story collections, along with her lyrical and stunning poetry, artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative. Her writing has been variously described as "rich in vivid imagery," "incredible," and "great contributions to literature." Her first novel, "Betrayal on the Bayou," was published in June 2020 and a poetry collection she has written with her daughter Dr. Angela M. Boutte, titled "No Poetry No Peace," was published in August 2020. She is also a popular literary reader, presenter, curator and emcee for local events.

This is one of a series of literary readings (and author talks and interviews) which you can attend Tuesday evenings and some Mondays (5pm PST/8pm EST) over Zoom, starting Sept 22 and running through Election Day on Tues Nov 3rd. These are pay what you can, no one turned away, benefit fundraisers for writers, artists and teachers around the world who are in need.

This event is co-sponsored by Authors, Large and Small Literary Publicity ( and Synchronized Chaos International Magazine (

So far beneficiaries will be author Leticia Escalera (so she can publish her memoir about learning and working with a learning disability), Ghanaian national author and poet Ike Boateng, Nigerian national and disabled author Chimezie Ihekuna, California artist Sofia Carmi, and Las Vegas/Oakland author and speaker Aqueila Lewis, Bangladeshi author and elementary school teacher Mahamuda Milli, disabled Black femme author Sarah Myles Spencer, and disabled/chronically ill author Leslie Berry. Event proceeds will be equally divided among them.

Saturday, October 3, 2020






Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte's first novel about Louisiana's fictional Tassin Valley and the bayou town of the same name begins in 1854, where the ruling Tassin family's own peculiar version of code noir is strictly enforced, and the rich harvests are from soil thought to be magical. On the surface, the unique Tassin culture seems to promote a fairness acceptable for the times. That is until a newly widowed young man from Paris arrives in town with his infant daughter, setting off a twenty-eight-year chain of events that reveal the brutal truths of inequality, colorism and betrayal. A fast paced, page turning read, the people and the valley and town of Tassin will keep you on the brink until the end.


Monday, September 28, 2020


Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte



 I was beyond curious about this movie for two reasons: 1) two of my favorite star ladies are in it, Janelle Monae and Gabourney Sidibe; and, 2) it has gotten absolutely horrible reviews.

So, of course, I paid the $20 to watch it.

I was surprised.  And not so surprised.

I was surprised by the powerful message buried within a terrible script overlaid by an equally terrible music score.  The movie had something to say about the times we are living in, the price, the pain and the glory of activism, and the ongoing fight to eliminate the lurking continuing threats to the everyday lives of Black people in this country.

I was not surprised by the fact that even with the powerhouse talent in the movie, the producers could not deliver the story through speech, action, background or meaning. Instead they relied on over the top violence, which we all know did happen, but this movie seemed saturated with it, removing all agency from the characters.  This is an example of how cultural appropriation results in shallowness and in this case, cinematic failure.

If one gets distracted by the junk of this production, the important and timely messages of the film could easily be lost in its murky presentation and obvious lack of understanding of the subject matter, which also contributes to its waste of the brilliance of Monae and Sidibe as well as other supporting cast members.  However, there is a message worth knowing in this movie.

I suggest that you not miss what it reveals.  

Just wait until it’s free.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

They Are Talking!



"When you wish the story would continue then you know its a really good book"

"This is a book to read, to re-read, to take into your heart, and to always remember..."

"Betrayal on the Bayou is a book for our time..."