We welcome your comments!

Dear Pen Women blog readers,


We’ve noticed we haven’t see your lovely comments to poems and art in a few weeks. We missed you!


It turned out, there was a problem with one of our website components and you weren’t able to leave comments. The problem has been fixed and we invite you to come back and try again.


We also encourage you to go back to the posts that moved you over the past month or two, and leave comments there as well. We know our artists and poems love knowing that their work is appreciated.


Thanks for being loyal followers!


Featured Art: Dancing Girl in Africa


“Dancing Girl in Africa,” 16×20 watercolor by Pam E. Webb
Cape Canaveral Branch, Florida

Artist’s statement

This watercolor was created from a photograph that Pam Farley, a member of our branch, took on her trip to Africa. She was in Uganda with the organization Solar Light for Africa installing solar light and power to orphan homes, schools, hospitals, and clinics. She was kind enough to loan the photo to me when I was inspired to paint the young orphan girl in her beautiful, intricate costume.


Diving Into Tech Soup

Words from Nerds logoBy Wilma Davidson and Diana de Avila, Sarasota Branch

“Social good needs great technology. At TechSoup, we provide the connections, expertise, and resources to unlock the power of tech for social good.”

NLAPW is all about doing social good — and Tech Soup can offer branches what they need to befriend technology. The fall 2020 issue of The Pen Woman shares the benefits of Tech Soup with you and we urge you to read it.

As Tech Soup says,  “We do much more than offer discounts on the tools that you need. Read about all our great initiatives and how we get these resources — and more — into the hands of people working for good all over the world.”

How can your branch get started with Tech Soup?

Visit the website:


Register here:


Please use your Branch’s EIN, and contact the National office for a copy of the IRS “Letter of Determination.”

Registering is easy and will take a few days to take effect.  Someone from Tech Soup will reach out to you requesting the upload of the “Federal Determination Letter” …

Once your branch is verified, you can start here:


To dive deeper, here are helpful links:

Tech Soup How-Tos


Tech Soup Community Blog


Tech Soup Courses


Tech Soups is free to join.  There are often small “admin fee” payments required (but not all donated products require this.). The admin fee is a one-time fee.   Some products are free (ex. Google Non-Profit with G-Suite) and others have deep discounts (ex. WIX, Adobe products.).   Read the description.  The admin fees (we’ve never paid more than $50) are non-refundable.

There are both software and hardware products available.    

Tech Soup also has its own Tech Help services in case these are needed. 

Take a look at the Product Catalog


Dive in!



Pen Women Press Is Recruiting for Talent Pool

— From Lucy Arnold, Publications Chair

Pen Women Press (PWP) is the publishing imprint of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. PWP differs from a vanity press in that we carefully select which books to publish, and from traditional publishers in that authors retain all net profit and royalties from book sales after paying an upfront publishing fee.

At Pen Women Press, we want to nurture talented, promising writers. Talent, however, might not equal professional experience. We believe the growth and development of authors is facilitated by providing excellent services and guidance, all with the goal of producing the best possible writers and the highest-quality books. PWP may be a business, but it also supports the values of the League to “encourage, recognize, and promote the production of creative work of professional standard in art, letters, and music.”

Pen Women Press publishes works by NLAPW members in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and memoir, but no technical writing.

PWP plans to reopen after a two-year hiatus. But before PWP can accept submissions, we must form a talent pool of expert Pen Women to fill all the necessary roles in producing our books. These positions will be paid on a per/project basis. A book coordinator will match an author with the most appropriate editors, designers, etc. for each project.

  • Please consider applying if you have any of the following skills:
  • Editing, all levels
  • Book interior (formatting, layout, design)
  • Cover design
  • Illustration
  • Book project management
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Book coaching
  • Voice-over for audiobooks
  • Ghostwriting

To be considered for the talent pool, please download the application (MS Word) and follow the instructions.


Mission Statement

The mission of Pen Women Press is to shepherd writers poised to influence the world in a positive way, to create books at the highest standards of excellence, and to support the core values of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc.

History of Pen Women Press

The League of American Pen Women (renamed the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. in 1926) entered the publishing business in January 1916 with the inaugural issue of the LAPW Bulletin. This 15-page leaflet held notes of interest about the League and the achievements of its members, including the celebration of LAPW Day at the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco on Nov. 18, 1915.

In 1920, the League published the first The Pen Woman magazine. The Pen Woman has been published at least quarterly ever since to bring poetry, professional development, fiction, artwork, and music profiles to NLAPW members and subscribers.

At the October 2007 National Executive Board meeting, Jean Holmes, then third vice president, announced that the NLAPW had been accepted as an official organization of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. An editorial committee was formed to solicit, collect, and evaluate submissions for the publication of literary, artistic, and musical works about the Lincoln legacy, titled Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln: A Commemorative Collage. To publish the anthology, the January 2008 National Executive Board meeting established Pen Women Press.

The NLAPW has donated copies of the book to every school in the District of Columbia and to many school libraries, public libraries, and educational foundations across the country. The NLAPW continues to publish the work of its talented members.

Featured poem and musical composition: Daunting is the Woman

Greenwich Branch member Ida Angland has created this original poem and musical composition, titled “Daunting is the Woman,” to honor the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the unveiling of the first statue of real women in Central Park by the group Monumental Women today, August 26.

Originally invited to perform the piece at the unveiling of the monument, due to COVID-19, Angland will now present it virtually by Gateway Classical Music Society. A Zoom sing-along will be offered to the Greenwich Pen Women as well.

Inspired by a lecture given to the Greenwich Pen Women in December 2019 by Coline Jenkins — the great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a Greenwich resident, and Monumental Women vice president — Angland was deeply moved by the “absurd reality” that there were no monuments to real women in Central Park, only fictional ones like Mother Goose. “Women’s Rights Pioneers,” by sculptor Meredith Bergmann, features Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth.

Angland wrote, “I thought about the powerful feelings that reality stirred in me, and I decided to use the poem’s message as the lyrics to a marching hymn, which I have dedicated to the movement.”


Daunting is the Woman - music and lyrics by Ida Angland-page-001


Daunting is the Woman

By Ida Angland
Greenwich Branch


Daunting is the woman

Whose statue stands divine

A monument to eternity

Her bearing proud sublime

Standing tall and beautiful

Belies her suff’ring and tears

For living seen tho invisible

In time to marching years

Truth revealed her compromised

Dismissed, forgotten and small

But now the trends are turning

As gallant she stands tall

A change is now approaching

Remembered times unfold

In monuments to woman

Preserve her story told

Rising far revealing

So high above the stone

Her light forever glist’ning

Immortal strides are sewnPo

Daunting is the woman

Her worth at last be known

Her light forever glist’ning

So high above the stone


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, penwomanmag@nlapw.org. Summer issue deadline is June 3. Happy “zooming”!

Artwork Wanted for the 50th Biennial Art Show

Calling all artists! We need artwork for our 50th National Biennial Art Show.
We will have a wonderful gallery space in our Pen Arts Gallery for this exhibit. It’s all coming together and I’m very excited about it. We need to fill that space with artwork. 
The submission period started on Oct. 1 and to date, only two members have entered work for the Biennial Show.
Check the art competitions page for the submission requirements. If you are having problems resizing or sending attachments with your email, ask someone you know to help you, or let me know and I will guide you through it. Once you know how to do it, it will be easier the next time. 
—National Art Chair Mary Lou Griffin

Letters Competition Deadline Extended to December 20 — Entries Wanted!

Letters Competition Deadline Extended to December 20 — Entries Wanted!

NLAPW Letters members: As our 2020 Biennial deadline approaches for letters entries, we notice an imbalance in a few categories. If you want a higher percentage opportunity to win, you might consider entering one of the following categories in which we do not have many entries: Category C: writing on wildlife or sports; Category E: sonnet; Category I: sestina; Category L: memoir excerpt; Category P: journalism. Consider sending something out today and good luck. 

—Nancy Dafoe, NLAPW Letters Chair

P.S. See instructions in the fall edition of the Pen Woman, or follow the links to your entry category here for instructions.

The Future is WITA and NLAPW

In August, community members from diverse backgrounds gathered at Pen Arts, NLAPW’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, for “The Future is WITA: A Pen Arts Benefit Interest Meeting.” This call-to-action campaign seeks to encourage artists and advocates to become an integral part of the NLAPW’s evolution into a modern arts organization, spreading its reach to new generations of women who will continue to build on the NLAPW’s rich history and legacy.

Participants at the Pen Arts’ WITA strategy meeting

Noteworthy women and advocates attended the interest meeting, including Amy Bormet (host, WPFW 89.3; and founder, Women in Jazz Festival), Janea West (creator, GROWN the Web Series), Yacine Tilala Fall (GWU Corcoran Alumni and performing artist), Barbara Bennett (director, Q Street Fine Arts Gallery), Michael Blackwell (director of events, Golden Triangle), Elle Koon (author), and Liliana Dossola (NLAPW Pen Woman and poet).

The first strategy meeting was a success because:
  1. People showed up! Thank you to all who attended the meeting.
  2. 79% of attendees completed a survey to share their input about a possible fundraising event in the future. Creating a culture of feedback stimulates growth.
  3. There was unity in diversity. The group in attendance was cross-generational, cross-cultural, and cross-professional (as evidenced by the photo).
  4. Community engagement took place. Everyone shared something about themselves, asked challenging questions, and interacted with new people.
  5. The League increased its visibility. All attendees are now more familiar with the historic National League of American Pen Women, Inc. and the Pen Arts Building.
The interest meeting was intended to engage the community in planning a future fundraising event to support the future of women in the arts (WITA). Yet, based on our discussions and the feedback shared during this meeting, it became clear that the ultimate goal of NLAPW’s programming is to ensure that persons advocating for women in the arts know that they have an enriching space to gather, be seen, and be heard.
The headquarters of the NLAPW, the Pen Arts Building, is that space. The goal will lengthen the history of this longstanding organization for years to come. 
Survey responses revealed that free workshops and community events are in high demand. The League is in the process of planning a series of smaller workshops and public events to increase community engagement leading up to a larger Pen Arts benefit and fundraiser — a strategy talked about at length during last week’s interest meeting.
The Future is WITA: A Pen Arts Benefit will likely be held in 2020. We will hold a second strategy meeting in fall 2019 at Pen Arts.

Check out the highlights from the 49th Biennial in Des Moines

Did you miss this year’s Biennial in Des Moines? Pensacola, Florida, Pen Woman Anne Baehr captured the best moments in a video. See what you missed!