2018 Biennial News


Notice: The nominating committee will be accepting candidate applications for NLAPW national offices from September 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017. Download the application form: Candidate Application.

What’s Happening in Des Moines, Iowa 

2018 49th NLAPW, Inc. Biennial, April 18-22, 2018

By Laura Walth, 2018 Biennial Chair

Imagine a city with innovative arts and culture that focuses on using arts as a catalyst to create unprecedented community engagement. By linking the three components of artists, audiences, and environment, it fosters and grows a diverse and vibrant arts and culture scene. This is happening in Des Moines, Iowa!

In 2018, the 49th Biennial will be hosted in Des Moines. The theme is “We Are What We Create.” Des Moines has certainly proved to be that catalyst in the 26 years since my husband and I moved to Iowa from New York.

Celebrate 121 years of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. and 79 years of the Des Moines Branch. Visit the Des Moines Art Center, Governor’s Mansion, and Meredith Publishing. Join us at Hoyt Sherman for our music Awards Program and tour this historic building.

Come see for yourself what this midwest city has accomplished. Stay at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown at a reduced rate.

Enter the national competitions! Submit an application to conduct a workshop or panel presentation with the theme “We Are What We Create.” Download the forms: Name and contact cover sheet and Proposal details without presenters name.

You can contact me at biennialchair@nlapw.org for more information.



A message from Laura Walth, 49th Biennial Chair and Des Moines Branch NLAPW President:

Attending the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. 48th Biennial in Washington, DC, changed my mind and my life. I was so close to dropping out of this organization that I asked the Des Moines Branch if they would cover my registration fee, so I could see for myself why I want to remain a member of NLAPW, Inc.

It was the workshops and connecting with the other members at the luncheons that made me excited to be a member of this organization of creative women. The concerts were also very inspiring.

What changed my life was when Virginia Franklin Campbell asked if I would consider being the National Librarian, and when I declined that position she offered me a position as the Outreach Chair for National, which I wanted to accept.  As excited as I was, I knew my husband would not like the idea of me spending money to attend board meetings. As some of you know, that was one of my concerns as well. That’s when I discovered Where there’s a will, there’s a way! really works. He saw my desire and supported my decision to be involved at the National level.

This experience is so exciting that I am willing to learn from the past, focus on the future, and use the present to accomplish our mission. I’m having so much fun with this, it’s hard to stop thinking about all the possibilities. As a result, our Des Moines branch is gaining new members.

This will be the first time the biennial has been held in the Midwest. It’s my hope that more members discover the value of their membership and have the will to find a way to attend the National League of American Pen Women’s 49th Biennial in Des Moines, Iowa, from April 19th through April 22nd, 2018.

A Dozen Reasons to Attend the 49th Biennial Conference in Des Moines, Iowa 

by Laura Walth, National Outreach Chair, and 49th Biennial Chair

1.    Network with creative professional Pen Women in art, letters, and music

2.    Hear General Adams-Enders lead a panel discussion, Swimming Upstream
3.    Attend the Biennial Music program at the historic Hoyt Sherman Building

4.    Attend the Arts reception at the Des Moines Social Club (open to the public)

5.    Attend reading of Letters Biennial Winners

6.   Attend an Acro-balance Performance

7.    Meet the National Board Members and attend Installation of
the new officers for 2018-1019

8.    Attend the 2016-2018 Memorial Tribute

Sights to see in Des Moines:

9.    Pappajohn Sculpture Park
10.   Meredith Corporation

11.   The Des Moines Art Center

12.   Des Moines Public Library, designed by London architect David Chipperfield.


Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau

welcomes the NLAPW, Inc. 2018 Biennial Convention

Paulette Lester, Director of Convention Services at the GDMCVB, sent this welcome message to Laura Walth, 2018 Biennial Chair:

“The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) is delighted to be the host city for the 2018 49th Biennial Conference.

“Your attendees may find the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau website very beneficial while planning their visit to Greater Des Moines. On our website – www.catchdesmoines.com – they will be able to find things to do, download maps, coupons and research restaurants and places to visit while they are in our community. They may also access our website from their smart phone while in our community. We want your attendees to catch the spirit of Des Moines.”

Paulette Lester
Director of Convention Services
Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau