Feature Friday: WNBA-NYC Hosts Visiting Delegates from Kazakhstan

By Susannah Greenberg

The delegates from Kazakhstan in Books of Wonder. Photo Credit: Linda Epstein

At the invitation of the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Visitor’s program, the Women’s National Book Association of New York City held a Cultural Exchange Roundtable at the Books of Wonder independent children’s bookstore in New York, NY on June 12, 2012.  The international guests were a group of 4 visiting children’s book writers/illustrators  from Kazakhstan.

Speakers from the New York children’s book world at the meeting were:
  • Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library’s Youth Materials Collections Specialist, who blogs for A FUSE #8 PRODUCTION hosted on the School Library Journal site
  • Nancy Mercado, Editor at Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)
  • Lily Malcom, Associate Publisher and Executive Art Director, Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • Leanna Renee Hieber, Author of the YA novel Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul

National WNBA President Valerie Tomaselli, New York Chapter President Jane Kinney-Denning, WNBA-NYC VP of Communications Linda Epstein, and WNBA-NYC VP of Programming Roz Reisner opened with remarks describing the Women’s National Book Association to the delegates. The store manager of Books of Wonder, Scott Wong, spoke about the history and mission of the Books of Wonder bookstore where this event took place.

The delegates from Kazakhstan were:

  • Illustrator Ms. Evgeniya Kan
  • Author Ms. Helena Kozlova
  • Illustrator Ms. Dameli Sabitayeva
  • Author, musician, journalist, Zara Yessenaman

They were accompanied by two gifted and lively interpreters, Mr. Yves Franquien and Ms. Varvara Olson.

For more information on the U.S. Department of State Cultural Visitors Program, visit their website here.

Susannah Greenberg is the President of Susannah Greenberg Public Relations, a book publicity firm, as well as the Publicity Chair of the WNBA-NYC Chapter.  You can learn more about Susannah from her Member Monday interview here!


  1. It was a great event–just wished we had more time to get to know the Kazakh delegates. They were warm, dynamic, and impressive in their experience. I think the WNBA was very helpful in giving them exposure to our world of books.

  2. They had a terrific event for them in DC as well. Check out Marty Rhode’s blog: http://martyrhodesfigley.com