Women's Media Group (WMG) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala at the New-York Historical Society on the Upper West Side on March 25. More than 200 members of the professional association attended the event, which featured a cocktail mixer, silent auction, keynote interview, and award ceremony. The evening also saw WMG copresidents Jodi Brockington and Jennifer A. Perry announce the launch of the WMG Forever Project, an archive and oral history of the organization.

WMG was founded in the autumn of 1974, with organizers deciding to hold its 50th anniversary gala in March due to its being Women's History Month. (Perry also noted that the gala date marked Gloria Steinem's 90th birthday.) Roughly 80% of its members work in book publishing.

WMG president emeritus Kathy Sandler, senior manager of content applications and digital workflow development at Penguin Random House, was the interlocutor of the evening's keynote interview with author Gretchen Rubin. During the interview, Rubin, best known for her 2009 book The Happiness Project, surmised that she was one of the first authors to use blogging to establish an audience before publishing her first book and stressed that a "direct connection to your audience is precious," noting that newsletters and podcasts are more effective ways to build this connection than such mediated platforms as Instagram or Twitter.

Among the evening's award honorees were the Brooklyn Public Library's Books Unbanned initiative, editor and literary agent Marie Dutton Brown, Bloomsbury senior editor Amber Oliver, literary nonprofit We Need Diverse Books, Abrams president and CEO Mary McAveney, TalentFairy founder and CEO Chandra Turner, and Meet the Writers founder and executive director Michele Weisman.

Author and Brooklyn Public Library board chair Nina Lorez Collins accepted the Champion of Media Award on behalf of the BPL and its Books Unbanned initiative, which gives library cards to teens and young adults across the U.S. to provide access to digital copies of widely banned books. Collins previously worked as a scout, agent, and author, and finally took over managing the estate of her mother, the late author Kathleen Collins, before being named board chair at the Brooklyn Public in 2021.

"We couldn't sit idly by while books rejected by a few were removed from library shelves for all," she said of Books Unbanned, which launched in April 2022. She added that more than 7,000 teens had applied for cards and five libraries have joined the program since its launch.

Publishing legend Marie Dutton Brown reflected on her illustrious career while accepting the Media Trailblazer Award. Over the course of nearly six decades, Brown was a senior editor at Doubleday, sales manager at Endicott Booksellers, editor-in-chief of Elan magazine, and finally the founder of her own literary agency, Marie Brown and Associates, making her one of the book world's first Black agents.

"The significance of the opportunity that Doubleday offered me nearly 60 years ago"—as a "general publishing trainee," i.e. an intern—"continues to be fundamental to my work today," Brown said.

Bloomsbury senior editor Amber Oliver was presented the Media Superstar Award by her sister, Naomi Spratley, a contracts assistant at Macmillan, who said she decided to pursue a career in publishing thanks to Amber's example. "Ultimately, my dream of being an editor who has helped authors leave a mark on the world has come true," Oliver said, before thanking several colleagues and mentors, including Callie Garnett of Bloomsbury and Tracy Sherrod of Little, Brown.

We Need Diverse Books president and CEO Ellen Oh accepted the Diversity Advocate Award on behalf of the organization, which advocates for more diversity in children's literature. She noted that while she was "deeply honored" to accept the award, she was also "painfully aware" of the fact that the current wave of book banning is in large part a "direct response to our work." She added, "Awards like this make us aware that we are not alone in this fight."