Pen Woman Magazine

The Pen Woman magazine, published quarterly, is a small literary magazine that publishes art, writing and music compositions by National League of American Pen Women members, as well as features, calls for submissions to contests, book reviews and NLAPW news.

The editors accept submissions from members for The Pen Woman magazine. (See below)


Cover Pen-Woman-fall-2020






Current: The Fall 2020 issue of The Pen Woman



Cover artist: Diana de Avila, “Gravitational Pull,” fractal art



The Pen Woman magazine is free to members of the National League of American Pen Women.
Fall 2020 Submission Deadline: Aug. 14

Buy an annual subscription, or order copies of the current and past issues via PayPal.
(If listed online inventory for a past edition is low, please call the national headquarters at 202-785-1997 to place an order over the phone, to ensure copies are still available.)     

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Featured in The Pen Woman, Summer 2020:

Pen-Woman-summer-2020 cover



  • Artist Lisa Rose
  • Biennial Competition Winners
  • Dispatches from Quarantine
  • Fees for Arranging Music




Featured in The Pen Woman, Spring 2020:

Spring 2020 cover






Featured in The Pen Woman, Fall 2019:



  • Artist Katherine Moreno
  • 50th Biennial Highlights
  • Music Membership Requirements Explained
  • NLAPW Elections





Featured in The Pen Woman, Winter 2020:





  • Featured artist Amy Patterson
  • The Art of SCREAMING!
  • “Memories of the War” Essay
  • Des Moines Branch Turns 80
  • Cooking Up Western Stories



Featured in The Pen Woman, Summer 2019:



  • Biennial arts, letters, and music competition guidelines
  • “Memories of the War,” nonfiction by Marlene Klotz
  • In the Studio with Darlene Yeager Torre 
  • Artist Miriam Cassell





Featured in The Pen Woman, Spring 2019:



  • Artist Usha Shukla
  • Western New York Branch celebrates centennial
  • Musician Gena Branscombe
  • Outreach through local libraries





Featured in The Pen Woman, Winter 2019:

Winter 2019 Pen Woman cover


  • Artist Mary Belle Cordell
  • Art day at the beach
  • Composer Stephie Rae Grenier
  • The “pieces of a life”





Featured in The Pen Woman, Fall 2018:

fall Pen Woman cover



  • Secrets to growing branch membership
  • Artist Barbara Dunham
  • Composer Melissa Gordon Rhine
  • From outreach to reaching out
  • Behind the scenes with celebrity interviewer Louise Webb





Ad space is available in the Pen Woman Magazine

Need to reach a national audience of artists, writers and music composers?

How to Advertise

Contact Rodika Tollefson at

(Dimensions are width x height.)
1/8 page (3.6″ x 2″) b&w: $25, color: $50
1/4 page (3.6″ x 4.5″ or 7.5″ x 2″) b&w: 45, color: $90
1/2 page (7.5″ x 4.5″ or 3.6″ x 9.75″) b&w: $90, color $180
Full page (7.5″ x 9.75) b&w: 175, color $350

  • Rates are per issue and subject to change.
  • Location determined by the editor.
  • Price based on camera-ready, print quality artwork and text. An additional fee may be added for copy, design and other services.
  • Ads may be rejected or modified to comply with league standards.
  • Advertiser unconditionally guarantees all text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork are owned by the client, or that the client has permission to reprint.
  • Editor determines placement.
  • Camera-ready ads must be 300 dpi, CMYK, and submitted either as TIFF, PDF or JPG.
  • For ads to be designed by the magazine, please submit artwork as high-resolution JPGs or TIFFs, and the copy as Word or plain text.
  • Please do not email files larger than 4mb. Use a file-sharing service such as Dropbox, MailBigFile or WeTransfer.


Rodika Tollefson,

Poetry Editor

Karen McAferty Morris

Art Editor

Lucy Arnold

Fiction/Nonfiction Editor

Sheryl Nelms

Music Editor 

Kathy Pate

Book Reviews Editor

Kelly Ann Compton


How to Submit

Submissions to the magazine are accepted from members only including poetry, short stories, essays, non-fiction, music scores and compositions, book reviews, organization and branch news.

Submission Guidelines for Poetry

1. All submissions should be single spaced.
2. Any form or style is acceptable.
3. Submissions for the print magazine may not exceed 36 printed lines. Lines between stanzas do not count.
4. Use the title of the poem being submitted as the name of the file attachment. Include the poet’s name and branch below the poem on the attachment.
5. Please indicate whether you wish the poems to be considered for the blog, the magazine or both.

Submissions should be sent by e-mail as a Word document (.doc or .docx) or directly in the body of the email. Include your name and branch or M-A-L on the same page as your submission. Photographs should be 4″ along one side at 300dpi.

Both new material and previously published works (if the writer/artist has maintained the publication rights) are eligible for The Pen Woman.

Submission Guidelines for The Pen Woman Magazine

The Pen Woman, published quarterly, is the official magazine of the National League of American Pen Women. Its function is three-fold:
1. Provide updates from the League, including branch news, awards, contests, chaplain’s corner and the president’s message.
2. Serve as a special interest magazine, with articles on the creative process, member profiles and historical perspectives on our organization.
3. Showcase examples of members’ work, including poetry, short stories, essays, music and art.

General Guidelines

These guidelines apply to all submissions. Guidelines pertaining specifically to Arts, Letters and Music are listed separately.
1. Submissions must be the work of Pen Women members.
2. Unless prior agreement has been made, all submissions must be sent electronically to the appropriate department editor on or before the deadline date.
3. Submitting your work gives the League permission to edit it, publish it on a one-time rights basis, use it on the NLAPW website and include it in marketing and promotional materials.
4. It is your responsibility to determine and secure permission for The Pen Woman’s right to publish.
5. Include your name, branch and the title of your work above the piece. If you are a member-at-large, include that information in lieu of your branch identification.
6. Due to limited space, acceptance for consideration does not guarantee publication.
7. Written text should be proofed for spelling, usage and accuracy.
8. Submit articles as a Word document (.doc or .docx) or in the body of your email.
9. Write your last name and branch in the subject line.
10. Art files should be attached as a .jpg, .pdf, .psd or .tiff file and should not be embedded into the Word document.
11. Image should be high resolution or need to be large enough that they can be converted to 300 dpi (minimum of 1,800 pixels at the widest side is ideal; in some cases, however, larger files may be requested by the editors; small images will be considered on case-by-case basis).
12. Files larger than 4mb should be sent through a file-sharing program like Dropbox, MailBigFile, WeTransfer, etc.
13. Do not use space bars or punctuation when naming your files. Use dashes (-) or underscores ( _ ) instead. Include your last name and name of the piece in the file name. If you are submitting a photo of people, the file name should have your branch name and the names of the people in the photo from left to right. Please include a suggested caption, or names of the people in photograph. Please specify if photo credit is desired, and include the photographer’s name.
14. Color images are preferred, unless the art itself is grayscale.
15. If you cannot submit your files electronically, please contact the editor in charge of the department.
16. Fiction and nonfiction submissions should be shorter than 1,000 words.
17. Handwritten manuscripts cannot be accepted. Computer-generated music notation programs only.
18. Pen Women in the News submissions should be concise (limited to one paragraph) and include the member’s branch (or MAL).
19. When submitting branch news, please include whether a byline is desired; bylines should include the person’s title within the branch, if applicable.
20. Please inquire with the editor-in-chief when submitting announcements for upcoming events, to make sure the event date fits within the magazine’s distribution timeline.