National League of American
Pen Women,
District of Columbia Branch

Serving the Washington, DC Area


The National League of American Pen Women, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, promotes development of the creative talents of professional women in the arts.

Membership in The League is comprised of Active, Associate, International Affiliate, and honorary members engaged in creative work in one or more of the three comprehensive membership classifications: Letters, Art, and Music.

The League offers its members association with other creative professional women:  workshops, discussion groups and lectures related to the creative process.  There are writing and poetry contests, art exhibitions, (both juried and judged), and music competitions conducted at local branch, state and national levels of the organization.

The league consists of more than 200 local branches throughout the United States and in panama (the former Canal Zone), as well as State Associations.

Membership Requirements

Upon invitation by a current member to join The league, the candidate completes an application for membership which is then signed by a sponsor and an endorser, both Active members in good standing.  The application, with accompanying credentials qualifying the candidate for membership in letters, Art , or Music, is presented, along with the required fees, to the Branch membership Committee.  After acceptance of the applicant at a branch meeting, the Committee forwards the application packet to the designated National Membership Chair by category for consideration.

Active membership

To be eligible for Active Membership in The League, a woman must be a citizen of the United States, and must meet the qualifications in one or more of the three categories, Letters, Art and/or Music.  To qualify in more than one classification, she must submit a separate application form with proper credential's for each classification.  Only one application fee is required.

Eligibility and Qualifications

The following are summaries of eligibility and qualification requirements. The application form contains detailed information that should be read and followed.  The National Membership Committee is flexible to developing new categories

LETTERS -- Professional women eligible for LETTERS membership include authors, co-authors, advertising sales promoters, compilers dramatists, editors, genealogists, lecturers, librettists, lyric writers, periodical writers, photo journalists poets, press writers, script writers for communication media or motion pictures, research workers, and musicologists.  All credentials shall be submitted with accompanying proof of payment within the last five years.

ART -- Professional women eligible for the ART membership include architects, cartoonists, craftswomen, choreographers, designers, graphic artists, illustrators, painters, photographers and sculptors. All credentials will be submitted with proof of payment for works or services within the last five years.  In addition, the painter, sculptor, craftsman or graphic artist must show proof of work accepted for at least three select juried exhibitions within the last five years.

MUSIC -- Professional women eligible for the MUSIC membership may present professionally published original compositions of original creative arrangements, original unpublished compositions or creative arrangements that have been performed in a public forum.  All credentials shall be submitted with proof of payment for works, or proof of performance in a public setting or via a communications medium within the last five years.

The Pen Arts Building

The official League headquarters is the Pen Arts Building, built in 1887 and part of the Dupont Historical District in Washington DC.  Its most famous occupant was Robert Todd Lincoln, eldest son of President Abraham Lincoln.  This 20 room mansion was purchased by the League in 1951 and was entered on the National Register of Historical Sites in 1978.

The Pen Woman Magazine

The Pen Woman, the official publication of The League, is published six times a year.  it features branch news, individual achievements, book reviews. a poetry column and opportunities for competitions.

 Advantages of Membership

The League promotes and conducts literary, educational, and charitable activities in the fields of Letters, Art, and Music.  It encourages the production of creative work in these areas and provides its members with literary, educational and inspirational material through The Pen Woman.  It also maintains a mature woman's scholarship fund to aid and encourage professional development.  In addition, it honors the accomplishments of its members through competitions and biennial awards.  Particularly noteworthy are opportunities for members of all ages and degrees of experience to gain enriching perspectives from the multi-faceted activities and achievements of their colleagues.  Of constant benefit is the interaction of The League members with one another in a spirit of mutual support, camaraderie, and personal and collective advancement.    

Biennial Convention

A biennial convention, for the purpose of the transaction of business and the election of National Officers, is held in the Spring of each even-numbered year.  These alternate between Washington, DC, and other cities. Workshops, seminars, competitions motivational speakers, sight-seeing and entertainment activities are featured.

Branch Meetings

Local branch meetings are held at various times and places acceptable to members, or as stipulated by branch by-laws. Members are urged to be active participants in branch meetings and activities to derive the utmost benefits of membership.

Associate Membership and International Affiliate Membership

Associate membership requires the same professional eligibility and qualifications as Active membership, except that payment for work has not been received.  International Affiliate membership may be acquired by a woman meeting all of the requirements for Active or Associate membership, with the exception that she is not a citizen of the United States.

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Last modified:   Friday June 15, 2007

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