The Pen Woman Magazine

The Pen Woman is a small, literary magazine that publishes art, writing, and music compositions by National League of American Pen Women, Inc., members, as well as features, calls for submissions to contests, book reviews, and NLAPW news. The quarterly publication is free to League members and available to the general public as an annual subscription. You may also order back copies of recent issues (while supplies last).

Members may submit their work and news for consideration to the editors (see below, or click here to jump down to the submission guidelines, editorial contacts, and advertising section.

Current Issue: Spring 2022

Featured: Keys to Success for Women Musicians | When Trusses Fly | Rules for Productive Virtual Meetings | The Intersection of Art and Healing

  • Current Issue: Spring 2022

    Cover artist: Jane B. Howard, “Sakura Comes to Japan”

Recent Issues
  • Winter 2022

    Featured: Cover Art by Robie Benve | 2022 Biennial Update | Reach for the Stars | Conquering the Coronavirus

  • Fall 2021

    Featured: Cover art by Nancy Nesvik | Remembering Frances Tunnell Carter | Writing to Music

  • Summer 2021

    Featured: Cover Art by Mai Yap | 2021 Vinnie Ream Medal Winners | Art Across the World | The Goat

  • Spring 2021

    Featured: Cover art by Nan Hass Feldman | Thriving as a Composer in COVID Age | Memoirs a Must | Photographing Your Art |

  • Winter 2021

    Featured: Publishing with Pen Women Press | Entrepreneurial Artist | Vinnie Ream Medal Call for Submissions | Bird Life in COVID Times

  • Fall 2020

    Featured: Cover art by Diana de Avila | Women’s Lib | Words from Nerds | Biennial Art Competition Winners

  • Summer 2020

    Featured: Cover art by Lisa Rose | Biennial Competition Winners | Dispatches from Quarantine | Fees for Arranging Music

  • Spring 2020

    Featured: Cover art by Phoenix Marks | Mature Women Grants Recipients | Vinnie Ream Medal Winners |
    Positive Thoughts for Global Peace

  • Winter 2020

    Featured: Cover art by Amy Patterson | The Art of SCREAMING! | “Memories of the War” Essay | Des Moines Branch Turns 80 | Cooking Up Western Stories

  • Fall 2019

    Featured: Cover art by Katherine Moreno | 50th Biennial Highlights | Music Membership Requirements Explained |
    NLAPW Elections

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.)

Order annual subscription, current edition (Spring 20222), or 2021-’22 back issues

Choose annual subscription or issue

Order back issues, 2019-2020

Choose a back issue

Submissions to the magazine are accepted from members only, including poetry, short stories, essays, nonfiction, music scores and compositions, book reviews, and member or branch news.

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 poetry 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.

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. Images 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 Spotlight 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.

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


Rodika Tollefson

(All branch and member news, general features, national communication)

Poetry Editor

Karen McAferty Morris

(All poetry submissions, including print and online)

Art Editor

Lucy Arnold

(All art and art features, including print and online)

Fiction/Nonfiction Editor

Sarah Collins Honenberger

(Please send news-related stories and featured member accomplishments to the editor-in-chief)

Music Editor

Marcia Dunscomb

(All music features and compositions)

Book Reviews and Contests Editor

Laura Jo Brunson

(Book reviews and content briefs only)

Need to reach a national audience of artists, writers and music composers? Ad space is available in The Pen Woman Magazine.

How to Advertise

Ad specs and cost:

(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.
  • 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 that 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.

For questions or to submit your ad, contact The Pen Woman editor Rodika Tollefson at