A Pen Woman in the Right Place

The National League of American Pen Women was the subject of an interview with President Virginia Franklin Campbell, featured in the latest issue of The Write Place at the Write Time, an online literary journal.

The spirit and legacy of the League came through Virginia’s answers to questions by Nicole M. Bouchard, Editor-in-Chief of the journal and NLAPW member-at-large. Nicole leads with praise for the NLAPW, based on her own vibrant experience as a Pen Woman.

See the whole feature: The Write Place at the Write Time, Q&A with Virginia Franklin Campbell.

“We experience the arts differently than a colleague who isn’t a Pen Woman,” Virginia adds. “Our triple identities in the arts – as artists, musicians and writers – makes the NLAPW unique. The artist comes to understand the writer at a different level, and the musician appreciates the artist. Because we are so intertwined in our disciplines, we have an increased enjoyment of the arts as a whole. Our experience and understanding of the arts is like no other, and we are able to enjoy each other’s art more profoundly.”

Verne and Virginia Campbell with the new member of the family, Dandi.

 

Call for Coloring Book Art Submissions: “Celebrating 120 Years of Pen Women”

 

Dear Pen Women,

 

NLAPW is going to publish a coloring book titled “Celebrating 120 Years of Pen Women.” This will be a coloring book for adults familiar with or interested in the Pen Women. We will need up to 32 illustrations, and all should be relevant to Pen Women in some way. Please submit your ideas and drawings!

 

Here are a few sample ideas:

  • Artist in her studio
  • Theater stage with costumed actors
  • Composer at her piano
  • Famous Pen Women shown in period dress from past to present
  • Collection of instruments
  • Collection of writing implements used from the inception of NLAPW to present
  • Collection of artists’ materials
  • Pen Arts building
  • Vinnie Ream with her sculpture of Lincoln
  • Outline of state regions with branches labeled. Decorate with iconic images of the areas.

 … or any other illustration that fits our theme.

 

Guidelines for submission:

  • Include a cover letter with a short description of how your illustration fits the theme. You may also choose a title for your piece. Be sure to include your contact information and Pen Women branch
  • Black and white line drawings with very little shading are best
  • Page size is 8.5” wide x 11” high (vertical)
  • Please send .PDF files (.JPG files are not as good, but will be accepted). You may also send your original art or a good copy, but it will not be returned
  • You may submit more than one entry
  • Email entries to lucy@lucyarnold.com or mail to Lucy Arnold, 15 Fairway Drive, Novato, CA 94949

 

Deadline for submissions is October 12, 2017.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I’ll be working closely with Kathleen Vermaelen, NLAPW Publications Chair.

 

With best wishes,

Lucy Arnold

President, Golden Gate/Marin Branch NLAPW

 

[Editor’s Note: We will do our best to answer any questions posted in the comments section below (which closes in two weeks), but for a guaranteed answer to your question please email Lucy!]

NLAPW’s Social Media: Come & Connect with Us!

Looking for other Pen Women online? The National League of American Pen Women has expanded and consolidated its social media platform. Click on the links below to access the following sites:

 

Facebook:

Like National League of American Pen Women (Official Page)

Join NLAPW Members Only (Private Group)

Join Friends of National League of American Pen Women (Public Group, includes nonmembers)

Twitter:

Follow @NLAPW

LinkedIn:

Join the group!  National League of American Pen Women

Google+:

Add us to your circles!  National League of American Pen Women, Inc.

YouTube:

Please subscribe!  National League of American Pen Women (Official Channel)

Pinterest:

View our boards at NLAPW 

 

We also seek a few good Pen Women to assist with the management of these platforms. If you’re platform-savvy and would like to add “social media management” to your résumé of marketable skills, please contact the Publications Chair to express interest. We’d be happy to welcome you to the Publications Committee.

 

We’re looking forward to connecting with you!

Call for Guest Bloggers

Calling all creatives! We invite our fellow Pen Women to submit guest posts for two new series: Creative Inspirational Wisdom and A Creative Business. Accepted pieces will first appear on our NLAPW blog and later in upcoming anthologies from Pen Woman Press.

 

Creative Inspirational Wisdom posts will focus on all aspects of the creative process: brainstorming, drafting, revising and “publishing.” From where do you draw inspiration? What is your creative work space like? How do you tackle writer’s block or revise your work to make it even better? What are your “best practices” for creating? What helpful tips can you share with fellow creatives? Tell us what you’ve learned on your creative journey!

 

A Creative Business, on the other hand, will share observations and advice about making your passion your livelihood. What do you wish someone had told you before you started out as a creative professional? Where did you learn how to run your business? How do you make the perfect pitch to magazines, galleries, etc.? What business practices lead to success? How do you market yourself and your work? What practical advice can you offer about taxes, licensing, insurance, and so forth? Share your expertise with us!

 

Posts should be 150 – 500 words on average, although longer pieces will be considered. You must be the original author of your submission. Original posts are preferred; reposts from your creative blog will be considered with the original link and permission to reprint clearly stated in your submission email.

 

Please send a cover letter and your submission (as a .DOCX, .PDF, or copied/pasted into the body of the email below the text of your cover letter) to penwomenpress@nlapw.org. We look forward to reading you!

 

2016 Biennial Installation of Officers

Installation_BI4A0732

The new Board of Directors. Photo by Judy Bingman

The new national board members, left to right, Jane Maclean, fifth vice president; Sheila Byrnes, second vice president; Ronnie Miller, fourth vice president; Virginia Franklin Campbell, president; Lorna Jean Hagstrom, first vice president; Maureen Sappéy, third vice president; Evelyn Wofford, treasurer.

The NLAPW business meeting took place Friday morning. The U.S. Army Military District of Washington Armed Forces Color Guard presented and retired the colors at the beginning of the event.

Color Guard formation_BI4A0358

Color Guard at attention_BI4A0354

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A conversation with two collaborators

Why be a Pen Woman? This conversation with two Iowa Pen Women who wrote Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink together, says it all!
mary & me cover

The length of the friendship never brought astonishment. After all, the majority of Baby Boomers could likely claim a long-standing friendship in their lives. No, it was always the letters: the-pen-on-paper, inside-a-stamped-envelope, mailed-in-a-mailbox letter that was awe-inspiring. “You’ve been writing a letter every week for almost thirty years?” The question always evokes disbelief, particularly since the dawn of the Internet and email…
…This book explores a friendship that began in June 1986 and will most likely not end until “death do us part.” The fact that one of the women in this relationship had never really had other female friends outside of her sisters, while the other woman had too many to count, is all part of the story.”


—-Excerpted from the introduction of Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink, co-written by Iowa City Branch Pen Women Mary Potter Kenyon (Letters 2014) and Mary Jedlicka Humston (Letters 2007). Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Familius Publishing. (http://www.familius.com/mary-me)

The following article “A Q & A Conversation with Two Collaborators” details how these two Pen Women coauthored a book and what they learned in the process.

Q: What was the most difficult thing about collaborating with another Pen Woman?
A: Mary Potter Kenyon: I admit to being a control freak, and so there was that to overcome when working with someone else on a project. While Mary and I had been friends for years and were used to critiquing each other’s writing, I had the most experience working with a publisher. There were occasions when I felt a little bossy, nixing her ideas. When we decided to work with each of our strengths, it was easier. I’d sold three other books through book proposals and had been teaching community college classes in proposal writing, so it made sense for me to write that. Mary was the better editor, so I relinquished a lot of that to her.
A: Mary Jedlicka Humston: Distance. Living 90 miles apart required extensive planning for face-to-face visits. Busy schedules as well as snow, ice, and blizzards occasionally hindered our work sessions. When the weather cooperated, we accomplished amazing results. Frequent emails and phone calls became crucial.

Q: What was the thing that surprised you the most?
A: Mary Potter Kenyon: Because I shared the work with a coauthor, and other women’s essays were also included in the book, I was surprised how little of the manuscript was solely up to me. I’d just completed three non-fiction books in the previous three years, with two taking more than a year to finish. With Mary writing half of each chapter, and essays filling in pages between each topic, we were able to complete the book in a few months.
I was also surprised to discover many similarities between Mary and me that hadn’t been fully revealed through all those years of letter-writing.

A: Mary Jedlicka Humston: Two things. I knew that communication would be crucial, but I didn’t realize its true importance. Communication created an environment of openness which allowed us to be creative and provided a great working relationship.
Bellevue event
The other thing? Writing Mary & Me deepened our already strong friendship. I thought I knew a lot about Mary, but I learned even more about her in our collaboration.

Q: What are the differences in the way the two of you work? Do you have different styles?
A: Mary Potter Kenyon: Mary revises much more than I do. I relied on her to be the one to repeatedly go over everything with a fine-toothed comb, but there were times when it was a little frustrating for me when a single word or phrase would bother Mary to no end. I don’t rely on other beta-readers as much as Mary does, perhaps to my own detriment, but it works for me when I have to meet a deadline. Now that I’m a newspaper reporter I believe it is a saving grace. No one sees anything I write until it ends up on the editor’s desk. For our coauthoring project, however, it was Mary’s endless revising that caught several serious errors.

A: Mary Jedlicka Humston: Mary wrote chapters in order. I did not. I am an editing fiend and have a hard time letting a piece go. She helped me know when “enough was enough.”

When we arrived at the speaking stage of our book journey, we realized we had totally different styles. Mary has an outline and can speak from it with ease and comfort. I like to have everything written out, so I don’t forget key points. I practice voraciously so my delivery appears natural and not stilted.

Our bios:
Mary Potter Kenyon graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and lives in Manchester, Iowa. She is a reporter for the Manchester Press newspaper and author of five books, including the award-winning “Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace.” She is widely published in magazines, anthologies, and newspapers and teaches writing courses for community colleges. She is a popular speaker on the topics of grief and writing. E-mail: marypotterkenyon@gmail.com

Mary Jedlicka Humston, a former high school teacher, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in English education. Her poetry and essays have been widely published, both nationally and locally. She has presented programs on cancer, dealing with chronic illness, prayer, writing and the Little Free Library movement. She resides in Iowa City, Iowa. E-mail: maryjedhum@gmail.com

Poem of the Week–I am a Bubble

I am a Bubble

Sometimes easily burst, other times, not.
I can linger around and just float into space, without direction
Or I can land heavily and drop onto someone for anchorage.

I can be colorful—tinges and hues of reds, pinks, blues;
Transparent, translucent, opaque.
I don’t mind being transparent for I like to be sociable.

One very special bubble-strong and firm showed me the ‘light’ to persevere and to ‘hang’ in there.
I felt love and confident to move on.

I’m flying and enjoy floating with other bubbles.
I re-explored ‘new’ horizons that were really explored previously.
Passing the time on old territory helped me see that I had total control of the situation, rather than being controlled by it.

I’m a happy bubble and have been all day.

Vera Ripp Hirschhorn
Boca Raton Branch, FL

Members–still time to enter the biennial competitions for music, deadline for entries is February 29, 2016! Click here for more info.

Flash Fiction–Fateful Crossing

Fateful Crossing

I stuffed everything I could into my small knapsack. This Mediterranean journey would determine my destiny. I left everything; my country, family, friends. But this wasn’t what I’d expected.

Men with guns grabbed my knapsack. “What? That’s my stuff! Why can I not take it?”

“Just documents—and you! On the boat—if you want to go.” I paid them fifteen hundred.

Old boat—too many people. The storm’s fury turned that twenty-four hour crossing into two nightmarish weeks. Five hundred died. My destiny? My Hope? It’s almost gone. I survived, but Hell continues.

by Linda K. Bridges
Pikes Peak Branch, CO

 

Flash Fiction–In Justice

In Justice

Sally runs to playground. Sally swings on swing. A group of schoolyard bullies beats up Sally and steals her lunch money. Sally organizes a team of avenger-nerds, chases down thieves, retrieves lunch money, and is elected class president. Chastened bully ring-leader grows up to write redemptive novel that wins Pulitzer for its realistic portrayal of criminal reform. Sally writes flash fiction, laughing out loud.

Question: Did you assume the bully was a boy?

Treanor Baring
Bayou City Branch, TX

Editor’s Note: I’m hoping to be able to publish a chapbook of Flash Fiction October through Pen Women Press. This will be a small, limited project, a small way of getting our members’ work in print. In the meantime, I’m posting the accepted flash fiction submissions in the order that I received them. The Poem of the Week feature will return in November, so poets, please keep those submissions coming.

Here’s a draft of the cover of the chapbook–I’m working on getting a cost estimate for 100 copies. flash!coverIf we can get donations, we can distribute free of cost! The photo on the cover, which I took in St. Pancras train station in London, represents for me what makes flash fiction so appealing. It’s a quick spiral to personal moments and insight about people. Keep writing, Pen Women!–Treanor Baring, Poetry Editor, Website Content Editor, NLAPW

Flash Fiction–Savannah’s Solution

Savannah’s Solution

Both moon and stars are dependable touchstones, glittering night sky jewels, delivering the sweet startle of childhood awe for Savannah, nascent astronomer, precocious three year old. One night, after the new moon, Savannah and her grandmother begin their ritual sky watch. As the sliver lunar crescent eases above the horizon, thin as a curved potato chip standing on its side, Savannah, surprised by the moon’s shape gasps, “Grandma, the moon is broken! What happened to the other part?” Then, before grandma can explain moon phases, Savannah pats her hand whispering, “Don’t worry Grandma, my daddy can fix it!”

Lynn M. Hansen
Modesto Branch, CA