Hundreds of tiara-wearing women from Pulpwood Queens Book Club chapters will descend on Nacogdoches Thursday for the three-day Girlfriends Weekend. Pulpwood Queens chapters number more than 650 nationwide and have spread to 15 countries, according to founder Kathy Murphy of Hawkins, Texas. In 2000, the longtime hairdresser formed a book club with six strangers, with this motto: Where tiaras are mandatory and reading good books is the rule.
“We don’t take ourselves very seriously. We want to have fun reading books. Books to us are the highest form of entertainment,” Murphy said.
More than 40 authors read by the Pulpwood Queens will participate in Girlfriends Weekend, including New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford. Nacogdoches Main Street Manager Sarah O’Brien says downtown will turn pink for the 15th annual convention.
“We’ve got 80 hot pink prom dresses in shop windows. One of our stores has actually created a take-home bookmark project that the Pulpwood Queens can come in the store and actually make the bookmark and take it home with them,” O’Brien said, adding that Nacogdoches tourism and city leaders worked hard to land the convention.
Murphy, owner of Beauty and the Book Hair Salon, plans this convention throughout the year. She says over the years the Pulpwood Queens have become like family to her.
“Women are the best friends you could ever have because they’ve got your back. I’ve had some heart issues this year. They haul me to the doctor and to the hospital. These Pulpwood Queens are much more than the book club members, they’re my tribe,” Murphy said.
A block party that’s open to the public is set for Friday at 6 p.m. in downtown Nacogdoches. The convention takes place at Mast Hall. Author Jamie Ford will speak Wednesday at 7 p.m. at artspace in Shreveport before co-hosting Girlfriends Weekend. This year’s theme is “Around the World with Books.”