Pen Women Press

Pen Women Press (PWP) is the publishing imprint of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc.  PWP publishes works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and memoir by NLAPW members.

Our authors receive expert guidance and support services from professional Pen Women in all aspects of the process, from writing and editing to promotion of the final product.

PWP is not a vanity press, as we carefully select books for publication. Neither is it a traditional publisher since the author pays for publication. However, authors retain all net profits and royalties from the sale of their books. As a curated press, we seek to publish books of the highest quality.

Visit our virtual bookstore to buy Pen Woman Press publications.

About Pen Women Press

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.

Visit our Bookstore to purchase books offered by Pen Women Press.


Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Members who wish to publish with Pen Women Press should complete and submit an Author Questionnaire. If your project is potentially a good match for PWP, we will request a $35 submission fee to review your table of contents (if you have one) and the first three chapters or twenty pages of your manuscript. If it’s a poetry book, please select five poems. The Review Committee may request the full manuscript before reaching a decision.

Costs and Choices

Each book is unique, and so is each group of services best suited to an author’s needs.  A basic publishing package includes an extraordinary number of services at a very reasonable cost.  Pricing will vary by book length, levels of editing needed, etc., but may start as low as $2500.  There are also a great many optional services available, such as in-depth manuscript critique and book coaching.

Basic Publishing Services

  • Customized service and personalized guidance from a book coordinator
  • Initial manuscript assessment
  • Developmental editing, line editing/copyediting and proofreading
  • Interior design, layout, and formatting
  • Creation of front and back matter
  • Cover design and illustration
  • Metadata research
  • Registration coordination (ISBN, barcode, LCCN, copyright)
  • Conversion of manuscript to ebook formats
  • Ebook edition with distribution
  • Print on demand edition with distribution
  • Listing in the Pen Women Press online bookstore with link to author or their sales platform
  • Announcement of book release in The Pen Woman, on the NLAPW website, and on NLAPW social media platforms
  • Electronic media kit and camera-ready art files

Optional Services Requiring Additional Fees

  • Books over 85,000 words
  • Additional levels of editing
  • Indexing
  • Books with interior color
  • Interior illustrations
  • Print edition, minimum order of 100, shipped to author
  • Audiobook
  • Printed promotional materials (e.g., bookmarks and postcards)
  • In-depth manuscript critique
  • Book coaching
  • Consulting


Pen Women Press Talent Pool

Pen Women Press has a talent pool of expert Pen Women to fill  the necessary roles in producing our books. These positions are paid on a per-project basis. A book coordinator matches an author with the most appropriate editors, designers, etc. for each project.

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.

Publication Process

Initial Assessment 

Pen Women Press editors read your manuscript and determine if it is ready for publication, and what types of editing may still be needed.

Developmental Editing

Most manuscripts will require developmental editing. The editor will carefully read the entire manuscript, making suggestions for the author to amend problems or clarify issues in structure, setting, characters, dialogue, and style. This is the stage of the process for the author’s rewrites, additions, and deletions of material.

Line Editing/Copyediting

The editor will carefully go over the manuscript line-by-line to help make your writing consistent, smooth, and compelling. Omissions, duplications, and errors in grammar and mechanics will be corrected. This level of editing follows developmental editing.

Author’s Proof and Proofreading

Before printing, the edited text of the manuscript is sent via email, and the author has an opportunity to make any clarifications or final, small changes. Final proofreading, which the author must approve before printing, is done after formatting and all changes are incorporated. A hardcopy proof can be available for an extra fee.

Cover Design and Artwork

Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, a Pen Women Press art editor will work with the author to determine front and back cover art. If internal illustrations are needed, the book coordinator will help find the right illustrator.

Beyond Words

Once your book is ready to publish, Pen Women Press will help with marketing and promotion by providing an online press kit and camera-ready art files; listing your book in the NLAPW online bookstore with a link to your sales platform; placing announcements in The Pen Woman, on the NLAPW blog, and on NLAPW social media sites.