NLAPW National Level News

(See more news: News from Pen Women and Branch News.)


Letter from the National President Evelyn B. Wofford

Cleaning the Garden

Evelyn B Wofford

NLAPW 2018-2020 President Evelyn Wofford weeds the garden at Pen Arts. Photography by Candace Long

And thus begins a new administration — your newly installed president busy with the inglorious task of pulling weeds and clearing debris from the gardens at Pen Arts.

Spring arrived in Washington, D. C., somewhat late this year, with the result that plants long dormant sprang forth in frenzied fashion, gasping for the fresh air of warm, sunny days. The competition was fierce, and the irises and day lilies were no match for the crab grass, Virginia creeper, dock, and other assorted weeds.

By the time this new president arrived at Pen Arts to begin her residency, the cause looked lost, but human force of will has, at least at this point, prevailed. The irises have shown themselves in classic beauty above the fray, and the day lilies are thrusting their bud-covered stems unimpeded into the warm Washington air.

Pen Arts has begun to regain its stately appearance and to impose itself once again on the neighborhood.

All too frequently, our lives become cluttered and overrun with impediments, just as the gardens of Pen Arts were. They have to be decluttered, weeded, so that beauty and purpose are allowed to develop.

It is my hope that as this new administration begins, the National League of American Pen Women will recognize and cultivate the beneficial plants that constitute its mission and purpose.

Pen Women online

Reimagining PenWomen Online for Ongoing Professional Development

By Candace L. Long, NLAPW President (2014-2016)

New NLAPW President Evelyn Wofford asked me to propose a way to revive our webinar (i.e., online training) initiative called PenWomen Online.  Webinars were an important part of our outreach training from 2012 to 2016.

History of PenWomen Online

I became a member of the NLAPW Board of Directors in 2010. With a decadeslong background in broadcast production and a commitment to developing new revenue streams, I proposed PenWomen Online to the board and spent the first year surveying members’ needs and researching the logistics required to bring it to life.

Our first webinar, “How to Create an Online Presence,” was offered free and featured Lynne Spreen as the instructor. It took place Feb. 21, 2012, with a total of 20 participants. Once the board saw the potential of reaching members and nonmembers from all over the country for an hour of professional development, our excitement built. We began the trial-and-error process to arrive at a reasonable webinar fee to help offset WebEx expenses and, at the same time, develop a new revenue stream by offering training that appealed to all classifications.

Since 2012, we have offered 24 webinars to some 300 participants and generated close to $2,500.

Our most popular topic, “Writing for TV and Film,” featured a writer-producer panel of experts: Maureen Sappéy (whose book, “Letters to Vinnie,” is in development as a TV series), Marilyn Atlas (an award-winning producer and personal manager of actors and writers), and the late Claudia Ann Reame, (writer/producer of a miniseries based on the life of her ancestor, Vinnie Ream). This webinar “sold out” with 28 participants and netted the League $390 for that one 60-minute webinar training.

Going Forward

During 2018-2019, the League will repackage and offer the top-eight recorded webinars, one a month from September through May:

• “Writing for TV & Film”

• “Weaving Historical Research into Your Books”

• “Wired for Creativity”

• “10 Keys to Writing Your Memoir”

• “Spreadsheets 101”

• “Intellectual Property for Creatives”

• “Composers Forum”

• “Artists: To Jury or Not?”

• “Professional Development in 3 Easy Steps”

Step 1: We will promote each recorded webinar through Constant Contact.

Step 2: If you want to view it, click on the PayPal link and pay the $20 fee. 

Step 3: We send you a link to download the webinar to your computer to view whenever you like.

We hope PenWomen Online will be part of your own professional development. Or, smaller branches may wish to use these archived webinars in their monthly meetings.   

Let Us Produce Your Webinar

Many of you produce truly great work deserving of its own webinar story. If you are interested in how to package what you do for online training, please contact me for particulars.

New Membership Developments You May Not Know About

By Bev Goldie, 2016-’18 National Membership Development Chair

It was a pleasure being your national membership development chair for the last administration. As I hand over the reigns to the next chair, I’d like to share a few updates and resources that you may not know about.

Here are highlights from the last two years:

  • We welcomed almost 25 percent more new members in the past two years than the previous two.
  • The NLAPW Board extended an invitation to Melania Trump as an honorary active art member. (Her jewelry designs qualified her). We received a letter back from the White House declining our request last January.
  • All of the applications for each type of membership classification are online and include instruction sheets as well as frequently asked questions.
  • There are two videos at that can be used in recruitment and retaining members. The newest one, “Why Be a Pen Woman,” is an inspiring tool to show perspective members.
  • There is a webinar pay-per-view on to learn how to use Excel for members. Perhaps these skills could assist the branch treasurers.
  • There are new guidelines prepared to assist any member to start a new branch.
  • We welcome performers and instructors now with our allied professional classification.
  • We now have a plaque at Pen Arts to celebrate the winner of the branch with the highest percentage of growth for each calendar year. Pensacola, Florida, was the first recipient, with an unbelievable 73 percent growth! (Read more in Branch News.)
  • We’ll update the names of the new credentials officers on the applications in the next few months. We’ll send a Constant Contact email to roll out this information.
  • Did you know that if you assist the National Headquarters office with at least four hours per day of approved tasks, you can stay overnight for free at the Pen Arts Building? You would need to call in advance and make arrangements. The rest of the time, you can explore D.C.!

We depend on you to tell us if there are any new ideas to attract or retain new members. Please stay in touch with the new Membership Committee and keep up the good work!

Recent News

2018-2020 NLAPW Newly Elected Officers

(Click here for profiles):

Evelyn B. Wofford, Ed.D.
Candidate for President

Sheila M. Byrnes
Candidate for 1st Vice President

Lorna Jean Hagstrom
Candidate for 2nd Vice President

Bev Goldie
Candidate for 3rd Vice President

Robin Johnson Moscati
Candidate for 4th Vice President

Laura Walth
Candidate for 5th Vice President

Mary Patricia Canes
Candidate for Recording Secretary

Barbara Nunes
Candidate for Treasurer

Marge Dodge
Candidate for Ethics Chair