How’s Your Branch Adapting in the Social Distancing Age?


The inability to host meetings due to lockdowns across the country has made it tough for Pen Women to keep in touch. Branches are missing their inspirational get-togethers — but many are getting creative and moving their meetings and other events online instead.


Branch Zoom meeting
Diablo-Alameda Pen Women during their first Zoom meeting recently. Photo by Ruey Syrop


One of these branches is Diablo-Alameda in California. On April 23, Pen Women Usha Shukla and Julie Cohn led the branch’s first Zoom meeting.

“It was wonderful to finally get to meet so many of you and to put beautiful faces to the names I’ve been reading in all the emails this past year,” returning member Susan Wight wrote to the branch after the meeting. “I’m so glad to be back in the warm embrace of Pen Women again. I look forward to future Zoom get togethers with all of you!”

Indeed, branch President Winnie Thompson says more Zoom meetings are planned. Members are getting the hang of “zooming,” as they call it, and they’re looking forward to more. The branch is also planning online art shows.

Congrats to Diablo-Alameda Branch for adapting successfully in the age of social distancing. Pen Women are a creative bunch — let’s be creative about ways we can stay connected.
How’s your branch doing?
Are you hosting meetings via Zoom or another online platform? Share your experience or comments from members about the meetings or other virtual events for potential inclusion in the summer issue of The Pen Woman.
Email a paragraph or two (and a photo if you can) to The Pen Woman editor, Summer issue deadline is June 3. Happy “zooming”!

One comment

  1. Carol White says:

    I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Boca Raton Branch Pen & Palette. In addition to our President’s letter, member news and general announcements, I added a column asking members to send me me their thoughts on how they are coping with the current pandemic…in the form of a short essay or a poem. Our first submission for our April/May edition was from Letters member Barbara Bixon.

    “To my Pen Women Sisters:
    Many of us have lived through difficult times and the loss of loved ones due to wars and illness. Today we are faced with the Corona Virus, an invisible enemy that threatens our lives and our economy. Since we’re asked to stay at home we are unable to physically help others. I found this very frustrating and after some thought I found a small way that I could help other shut-ins in my community. Every morning I place of stack of my 15 published novels at the end of my driveway with a sign that says: “Help yourself and add a book if you can.” It gives me great joy to see walkers and bike riders stop, pick a book, and then smile and wave to me as I sit in my garage. Stay well and see all of you soon.”

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