Branch News

(See more news: NLAPW National Level News and Pen Women in the News.)

NLAPW President Virginia Campbell encouraged by
the Columbus, Georgia Pen Women

Columbus Georgia Branch of the National League of American Pen Women

Columbus Branch Pen Women, September 6, 2016 luncheon.

Comments about Virginia’s presentation:

“You gave some valuable information about Pen Women and ways to help our organization.  Sometimes, I think we just get in a rut and need some enthusiasm to get motivated again.  You did that!”  – Diane Cox Osbourne

“Yesterday was outstanding!  Thanks to you and Verne…what a team!”  – Geri Davis

Columbus Georgia Branch of the NLAPW

Columbus Pen Women luncheon, members and guests.

More Columbus Branch photos on the NLAPW National Level News page.


Central Ohio Branch Kicks Off the Year With a “Diva”

Submitted by Bev Goldie

Peggy Kriha Dye, Artistic Director, Opera Columbus, Ohio

Peggy Kriha Dye, Artistic Director, Opera Columbus, Ohio

The Central Ohio Branch kicked off their year with a presentation from Artistic Director of Opera Columbus, Peggy Kriha Dye.  Ms. Dye, an opera diva herself, has revitalized the local opera scene by introducing collaborative efforts between Columbus’ Ballet Met and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.  This talk was open to the public as an evening event and was promoted among the various art organizations in town.  It allowed our members to publicize NLAPW, invite prospective members and be inspired by a woman leader in the arts.  Ms. Dye’s collaboration with various forms of art made her a natural fit as a speaker for us.

We followed up the evening with information about NLAPW and invitations to a coffee two weeks later to share more about it.  Our local and National brochures, agenda of programs for the next six months and guest registry will be on hand. (Guests were encouraged to sign the guest book for follow-up by our Membership Chair.)

We funded an honorarium for our speaker from two donations from members who felt it worthy of their patronage.  Our regular budget is healthy, but we wanted to make sure we provided adequate compensation for such an important speaker.

Having an evening “celebrity” speaker for our first meeting was a very successful formula for attracting new members and promoting NLAPW last year when we first tried it with NLAPW Past President Candace Long as our speaker.  We hope it continues to engage and enrich our own members as well.

Earlier Events

Portland, Oregon Branch Awards Music Scholarship

Members and guests at the Portland August luncheon. Back row: Anne, Doreen, Annette, Roberta, Laura. Front row: Barbara, Linda, and Jane.

Members and guests at the Portland August luncheon.
Back row: Anne, Doreen, Annette, Roberta, Laura. Front row: Barbara, Linda, and Jane.

Portland_MirandaOregon City High School student Miranda Parrish, who plays the trombone, was the recipient of our $200 music scholarship this year. After Joanne contacted the school and made the arrangements, the school printed the certificate, which Miranda received along with the check at the June ceremony. Ms. Parrish played trombone in the marching band, honors band, and jazz band. She is a vivacious, friendly young woman who plans to attend Southern Oregon University and major in Veterinarian Science and minor in Performing Arts. She was pleased and honored to receive the scholarship. Congratulations, Miranda!

Muncie, Indiana Branch gets second wind

After nearly losing the branch in May 2015, with only eight members and no other officers, President Barb Kehoe and Treasurer Cathy Shouse called a meeting on June 24 to decide whether to disband.

Barb Keno's Strawberry Spinach Salad

Barb Keno’s Strawberry Spinach Salad

Barb and Cathy pressed forward with a rousing agenda for the meeting. Barb catered the luncheon herself and they brought in special guest speaker, career newspaper journalist and novelist Donna Cronk, whose work in the smaller town of New Castle has won state awards for newspaper features and columns.

Inspiration must have infused the room, touching the attendees – two other members and some guests. A first-time visitor stepped up to join. It was “a glimmer of hope” that inspired Barb and Cathy, and they recommitted as officers for another year.

We commend this dedicated team for their dauntless spirit, and for bringing their story to us so that we might encourage them in their efforts.

Sarasota Branch Awards Scholarships

The Scholarship Awards Program, an outreach project of long standing with the Sarasota Branch, Florida, to award money to high school senior students in Sarasota and Manatee counties, took place recently at the Laurel Oaks Country Club in Sarasota.

Sarasota Branch_Art Award winners

Art Awards Chair Audre Marans (left) and the art award winners.

Monies were awarded to students for first-, second-, and third-place prizes. One donor was the Altman Foundation, in honor of a beloved art member who passed away a few years ago.



Sarasota Branch Music Award winners

Music Chair Ellen Di Piazza and music award winners.

Sarasota Branch_Price Writing Award winner

Sylvia Price with Angela Clavey George, who received the Dr. Sylvia A. Price Writing Award.

High school students from more than 20 public high schools in the area competed for awards in letters, art, and music. Branch members were judges and each judged candidates’ work in their respective fields.



The art of all winners was displayed, compositions were read, and music was performed at the luncheon for the enjoyment of the guests.

At the luncheon, the branch announced another outreach project, the Pen Women Mentoring Project, and encouraged students who won awards to choose a volunteer mentor to work with during their college years at no cost to them. Mentors will be available to encourage emerging artists to continue their creative efforts as creative individuals as well as in becoming professionals in their chosen art fields.

Many of those winning awards were women who might be interested in becoming members of the NLAPW in student categories as well as adults as they continue forward on  their creative journeys.

Boca Raton Branch Installs New Officers, Chairs

Our closing luncheon featured installation of new officers and chairs, plus a beautiful fashion show presented by local clothing store, Patchington.

Boca Raton Branch officers

Board officers, left to right: Barbara Bixon, Treasurer; Prue Carrico, Recording Secretary; Sheila Firestone, President; Etta Schaeffer, Vice President, Fundraising; and Marlene Klotz, Vice President, Programs.









Other new board members:

Alexandra Goodwin, Corresponding Secretary, Letters Co-Chair
Carol White, Publicity, Letters Co-Chair
Barbara Capeletti, Art Chair
Vera Ripp-Hirschhorn, Poetry Chair
Dayle Herstik, Membership Chair
Louise Mirkin, Yearbook Committee
Betty Elster, Historian
Elaine Bossik, Webmaster
Dr. Barbara Lunde, Chaplain

A special Poetry Scholarship was created by our Branch from the sale of Marlene Klotz’s poetry book, “Love. Life. Laughter.” This anthology includes poems from members who attended Marlene’s poetry workshops.  Contact the Boca Raton Branch for more information.


Wellesley Branch Members Stage Dramatic Play

Wellesley Branch members_play

Standing from left to right: Sage Stossel, CW Duncan, Priscilla Cogan, Nancy Poydar, Steve Engler, and Sharon Engler (seated).

Members of Wellesley Branch, Massachusetts, did a dramatic reading of Priscilla Cogan’s second play, “Nothing But the Truth,” in April. They were assisted by two spouses.

The production was complete with props, including a stuffed gorilla that was a stand-in for a corpse. Much fun was had by both talented readers and audience!




June 2016

Des Moines, Iowa Branch

Laura Walth with Congressman David Young 3rd District Iowa

Laura Walth with Congressman David Young 3rd District Iowa

Laura Walth, NLAPW National Outreach Chair, met with Congressman David Young from the Third District of Iowa when she was in Washington DC for her first Board of Directors meeting. She introduced the concept of promoting the arts in schools by sharing with him the guide, “Creating Students who Soar Higher Through the Poetry in the Schools Project,” created by the Pikes Peak Branch in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Congressman was also open to visiting the Des Moines Branch of NLAPW when he is in Des Moines for the weekend. Laura believes it is important to close the gap between political parties when it comes to supporting the arts in education. We as Pen Women can help promote the arts by reaching out to our congressman to let them know we are here to help regardless of their political affiliation.

Also from the Des Moines, Iowa Branch:

Elaine Erickson accepting 2016 National Music award from Laura Walth

Elaine Erickson accepting 2016 National Music award from Laura Walth

Elaine Erickson won first place in the 2016 48th Biennial Music Competition. Elaine received the NLAPW National award at the Des Moines Iowa Branch meeting May 14th at the Des Moines Social Club.

The title of Elaine Erickson’s music composition for flute and piano is December Celebration. It was performed at the Iowa Composers Forum Music Festival at the University of Northern Iowa, March 2015, and at the Westkirk Presbyterian Church in January 2016. The theme running through her piece is a Christmas song called, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”. There are dissonant atonal passages in this piece that resolve into that tune like darkness moving to light.

2016 Biennial Music Competition winners

1st place  :  Elaine Erickson, Des Moines Branch for “December Celebration”

2nd place:  Eugenie Rocherolle, Member At Large

3rd place:  Dr. Alice Moerk, Sarasota, Florida Branch

Minnesota Branch

Member Marjorie Alexander shares her news (Minnesota Branch Newsletter, May 2016):

"The Web" - Marjorie Alexander

“The Web” – Marjorie Alexander

My piece, “The Web” was chosen for the current National Pen Women exhibit in Washington, DC. I believe it is on exhibit at the Democratic Club in Washington. Also, I just heard that my entry into the NLAPW art exhibit has been accepted. I am awaiting instructions of sending the piece into Washington. The second piece is in a juried exhibit held in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. It is a book illustrating the poem Birches, a poem by Robert Frost. The title of the exhibit is “Words.”

2016 Election results announced at NLAPW Biennial May 2016:

Virginia Franklin Campbell

First Vice-President
Lorna Jean Hagstrom

Second Vice-President
Sheila M. Byrnes

Third Vice-President
Maureen Stack Sappéy

Fourth Vice-Presdent
Ronni Miller

Fifth Vice-President
Jane Maclean

Recording Secretary
Mary Pat Canes

Evelyn B. Wofford



Other Branch Events:

Pensacola Branch members awarded medals

Autry Dye and Mara Viksnins were honored with certificate awards and bronze medals( Arts Category) from the Arts- Sciences- Lettres Society- (Societe Academique d’Encouragement et d’Education- Fondee en 1915-Paris, France.

Presenter Christine Salome (right) with medal winner Autry Dye

Presenter Christine Salome (right) with medal winner Autry Dye

Presenter Christine Salome (right) with medal winner Mara Viksnins

Presenter Christine Salome (right) with medal winner Mara Viksnins

We submitted applications including our resumes, artists statements and photos of our work. Jane Nowlin and Jackie Campbell also received bronze medals but were out of town for the presentation. We were invited to Paris for the awards ceremony but we were unable to attend. Thank you Christine Salome for helping to make this happen. Christine is the American ambassador for the Society,

Mara Viksnins
Pres. NLAPW- Pensacola, Fl. Branch

Delaware Scholastic Writing Awards

Region coordinators JoAnn Balingit, Betsy Greer (Diamond State Branch, DE) and Dianne Bauer (Holly Branch, DE.

Region coordinators JoAnn Balingit, Betsy Greer (Diamond State Branch, DE) and Dianne Bauer (Holly Branch, DE)

The Diamond State Branch is seeing continued success with their
sponsorship of the Delaware Writing Region of the Scholastic Awards.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards honors them with part one of a two-part profile
featuring the affiliate as this month’s Regional Spotlight at

JoAnn Balingit
Diamond State Branch, DE