Benefits of Membership

Membership has many unique benefits at both the national and local level. NLAPW membership provides the opportunity to network with other arts professionals, enter national juried exhibits and contests, and participate in professional enrichment programs.

Who Are Pen Women?

Chevy Chase performers
Pen Women Grace Reid, Nancy Stanly, and An-Ming Wang perform at an event hosted by the Chevy Chase Branch.

Pen Women are professional writers, journalists, painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians, choreographers, art teachers, theater and film directors — and many others from all creative fields. We have more than 1,600 members across the United States, both at large and in more than 80 branches.

Our members are passionate about engaging with other creative women, improving their craft, enriching their communities through arts programs and education, and supporting and inspiring future generations of creative women through school programs, scholarships, and mentorships.

Through our history of more than 120 years, we have inspired, encouraged, and supported more than 55,000 Pen Women, as well as contributing to the development of future professionals in all artistic disciplines while enriching our communities across the country.

Today, we remain the oldest women’s arts organization in the United States. Our goal is to evolve into a modern organization and spread our reach to new generations of women while continuing to build on our rich history and legacy.

Why Become a Pen Woman?

Creating is a lonely process. But no creative pursuit thrives in a vacuum.

  • Join a sisterhood of talented women who are dedicated to their craft and to sharing their passion for arts with others.
  • Become part of a community of kindred spirits who draw on each other’s inspirations, experiences, and encouragement.
  • Advance your creative endeavors through a prestigious organization with deep roots.

Membership Benefits

  • The opportunity to be featured or publish your work — art, poetry, music, essays — in the NLAPW blog and the quarterly membership magazine, The Pen Woman
  • National exposure for your news posted on the News from Pen Women and NLAPW Branch News webpages, as well as published in The Pen Woman
  • Low-cost publishing services through Pen Woman Press
  • Professional enrichment, leadership and networking opportunities through branches as well as League events such as the Biennial conference
  • Competitions open exclusively to members
  • Low-cost stay at Pen Arts Building and Arts Museum, NLAPW’s historic headquarters in the heart of Washington, D.C.


The National League of American Pen Women, Inc. welcomes professional women from all creative fields. Membership categories include active (art, letters, music, dance), allied professions, plus associate, student, and international affiliate. Memberships are available as part of a local branch or at large.