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: Fall 2019

Featured: The Art of SCREAMING! | Cooking Up Western Stories | 2020 Biennial Competitions Submissions | 'Painting' with Light | 'Memories of the War'

  • Current Issue: Fall 2019

    Cover artist: Amy Patterson Dennis, “The Sentinel,” oil on canvas

Recent Issues
  • Summer 2019

    Featured: Cover photograph by Patricia Dennis | Vinnie Ream Medal competition guidelines | Outreach through sharing | A writer's process | Grants for mature women
  • Spring 2019

    Featured: Cover art by Usha Shukla | Western New York Branch celebrates centennial | Musician Gena Branscombe | Outreach through local libraries
  • Winter 2019

    Featured: Cover art by Mary Belle Cordell | Art day at the beach | Composer Stephie Rae Grenier | The “pieces of a life”
  • Fall 2018

    Featured: Cover art by Barbara Dunham | Composer Melissa Gordon Rhine | Secrets to growing branch membership | Behind the scenes with celebrity interviewer Louise Webb

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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[Please contact our office if the PayPal button does not function correctly. Phone: 202-785-1997,  email: contact@nlapw.org.]

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.

Editor-in-Chief

Rodika Tollefson, penwomanmag@nlapw.org

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

Poetry Editor

Karen McAferty Morris
poetryeditor@nlapw.org

(All poetry submissions, including print and online)

Art Editor

Lucy Arnold
arteditor@nlapw.org

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

Fiction/Nonfiction Editor

Sheryl Nelms
penwomanmag@nlapw.org

(All essays and short stories; please send news-related stories and features to editor-in-chief)

Music Editor

Kathy Pate
musiceditor@nlapw.org

(All music features and compositions)

Book Reviews and Contests Editor

Kelly Ann Compton
bookreviews@nlapw.org

(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 penwomanmag@nlapw.org.