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.
 
WITA

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!

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