Biennial Bulletin: The Value of Membership in NLAPW, Inc.

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. As exciting as that was to be offered a position on the National Board, I had to be honest: I’ve been a Reference Librarian for over 25 years and know nothing about cataloging books. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit that, but I told her it’s like a doctor who specializes in a specific medical field–that wasn’t my expertise.


After giving my President’s Report for our branch at the biennial meeting and mentioning that there is hope for this organization, another life changing moment happened: Virginia asked if I would be the Outreach Chair for National. 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.


The Outreach mission of NLAPW, Inc. is to provide support and promote community-based arts and creative educational programs through our national headquarters, state associations, and branches throughout the United States.



The purpose of outreach is to advance the creative arts and increase an awareness of the need for all citizens to have access to the enjoyment of the arts and to creative endeavors. 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. This will be the first time the biennial has been held in the Midwest.


The photographs above show some of the women I met at the 48th Biennial in DC. There were many more that are not pictured here.


Please keep and eye out for more information about our upcoming 48th Biennial in Des Moines, Iowa, in upcoming issues of The Pen Woman and on our web site!



  1. Laura Walth says:

    Thank you all for the inspiring comments. I agree that Kathleen is doing a great job with this blog. It would be great to see all of you at the Biennial next year. Meeting the members was one of the best parts of attending the biennial in DC.

  2. Shelly Thieman says:

    I have never met someone more committed to an organization than Laura Walth.
    Her enthusiasm to succeed is contagious and she plays a key role in expanding
    the Des Moines Branch. Thanks, Laura, for your vision for and dedication to this
    important and fine organization!

  3. Mary J. Meagher says:

    Thank you, Kathleen, for listening to your heart and accepting this call to be part of the National Leadership. You have already put your stamp on it by starting the Creative Inspiration Blog. Love, Mary Joan Meagher. MN Branch.

  4. Carol Welsh says:

    Well, I think I will put the biennial convention on my calendar. I wasn’t planning on it but since it’s in Des Moines instead of Colorado, it’s not such a long fight from Florida. I’m up to my ears in planning our Florida State Conference the second week of November in Daytona Beach RIGHT ON THE BEACH! You’re all invited.

  5. Dear Laura,
    Thank you for your inspiriting and heartfelt blog post. I sensed you have a real heart for the Outreach Chair vision and mission of the NLAPW–and I hope it become contagious, nation-wide. I’m so glad this new responsibility is adding life to your local branch. We all need that! 🙂 All the best with the biennial next year. I am looking forward to coming–my very first time, to participate too!

  6. Charlene Holloway says:

    As a 2007 NLAPW-D.C. branch member, I am excited to announce that I am eager to attend the next Biennial celebration in Iowa. I have been contacted by the KY Women Foundation that gives out grants for my copyrighted, “Whitlock’s Compositions” to be back into print. I am happy to have a woman-publisher/schoolteacher who is ready to work with me regarding prices for my copyrighted story to go back into print which encompasses visits by my own immediately and distant family members who have taken the challenge to enter colleges/universities back in the 1800’s that I successfully wrote about back in 2004 with sketches of even my March 18, 1818 Louisa County, VA-born Great-great Grandfather, an 1842 U of L medical school graduate as well as my own late mother, the very first African American to enter Indiana University’s prestigious Jacob School of Music in 1935 and graduate in 1939 as a gift musician/schoolteacher who lived to sit and sign her own life’s journey and visited Iowa with both of my two 1992 U of L graduate daughters. With my invitation to attend the Nov. 11, 2017 KY Book Fair in our state’s capital, Frankfort, KY, and have my copyrighted story on display for Pulitzer-prize winning journalists to review my story and hopefully it become a New York Times ‘best-seller’, I am honored to be a member of our NLAPW and currently shown in the spring NLAPW magazine. I truly love being a member of the NLAPW.

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