Who We Are

A Distinct Identity



Nourish your creative life as an active, associate or student member. Find out about member benefits, how to become a Pen Woman.  Our branch is the Santa Clara County Branch and membership chair is Susan Zerweck.

Want to know more?

Explore National's website  to learn our history, events, contest news, art and poetry.

Read about our mission statement, and visit pages on our history, historic headquarters, and outreach program.Look under Competitions  for grants.

Find out how (and why) to donate to our cause of women in the arts.

Visit our Publications section to find out about our quarterly literary magazine, The Pen Woman, and our Pen Women Press bookstore

Susan Zerweck, Is Membership Chair  for  Santa Clara County Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.  Contact her to join our group!



Celebrity Luncheon



Courtney Gibbons, Art Winner $1,000

Judge: Judith Tolley  Resource Teacher Milpitas Unified School District, 2X BIS Oil painter, previously with Disney animation

"I am impressed by the talent and determination of these applicants, as well as their academic achievements. This selection took a lot of time and consideration. With that said, I am excited about Courtney Gibbons’ achievements. Not only is she a good student, and a good communicator, I was especially impressed with her use of art to explain lessons in math. She used a comic book format with simple, yet effective, illustrations to describe the feud between Newton and Liebniz in their research into the field of calculus. I see parallels between art, math, and science, as they explain the results of observations in life, and I found her use of the comic book medium to illustrate this in the field of math to be informative and a valid teaching tool. In addition to the comic book, she is exploring photography and digital art. In these three mediums, she shows a balanced sense of design and an interesting use of color. I look forward to seeing her work develop as she advances in her fields of interest. Well done, Courtney!"​

Danielle Chaisson, Music  Winner $1,000

 Judge:Sharon Brook, Professor of Music at SJSU/Emeritus.

 "Danielle is clearly a multi-talented musician: both an instrumentalist (principal oboist and English horn player in wind ensemble) and budding composer. Her compositions exhibit imaginative use of instrumentation and registrations, infectious rhythmic motives, and intricate interlacing of voices and harmonies. Her creativity has spilled over into the written language; she founded her high school’s Creative Writing Club and served as its President. But her heart has settled on music composition which she will pursue at one of the CSU campuses. She sums it up best: ‘I find such joy in every note, limitless possibilities in a blank staff.’ ”

Issabella Romo, Music Winner $500

Judge, Sharon Brook, Professor of Music at SJSU/Emeritus, who donated the $500 for this award.

 “Issabella is multi-talented, steeped in music (as flutist) and community leadership. Musically, she was a member of the San Jose Youth Symphony, winner of several local flute competitions and soloist with The South Valley Symphony. Her playing – particularly in the Pergolesi Flute Concert – exhibits advanced technique, robust sound, good intonation and articulations, steady rhythm, appropriate style and solid memory.Extra-musically, she has assumed a leadership role in Rotary International (in which she raised $40,000 for orphaned and abandoned youth in Venezuela) and worked as an intern for the National Hispanic and Latino Voters Initiative. Her ultimate goal is to become a public defender to help, in her words, the “most vulnerable” in her community. She plans to major in public policy and minor in flute performance.”


Meliné Norquist, Letters  Winner—$1,000

Judge Kelly Harrison, Instructor, Stanford University.

 “Meliné’s application stood out from the rest, first for the sheer amount of writing she submitted and then upon reading it, for the quality. I loved this line for combining the concrete and the abstract: “The shoes smelled of rubbing alcohol and too much money.” She has written collaboratively in National Writing Novel Month (NaNoWriMo), producing tens of thousands of words of prose. She submitted a story, a flash fiction piece, poetry, and a novel excerpt, all of which demonstrated creativity and command of the story. I’m sure she will publish her novel someday.”

Congratulations ladies and best wishes on your continued success!


I'm a We are a non profit organization- any donation is appreciated #23-7214204

Welcome to the home of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. (NLAPW), an organization of professional women artists, composers, and writers, founded in 1897, dedicated to our mission as a 501(c)3 organization to serve our communities through the arts.


The mission of the National League of American Pen Women is to support and promote creative excellence and professional standards among women in the arts.

THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY BRANCH  meets once a month starting in October through May.   We hold a Celebrity Lunch in which professional women in the Arts are selected to be  honored as achievers.  This luncheon is also our means of raising funds for the yearly scholarships that we offer to young women graduating from High School, Undergraduates or ladies returning to school to pursue their career.

Branch President:  Luanna Leisure

Vice President:      Patricia Dennis

Secretary:               Marcia Sivek

Treasurer:               ShaRon Haugen

Membership:         Susan Zerweck

Outreach Chair:     Dorothy Atkins

Celebrity Chair:     Cyra Cowan

Scholarship Chair: Luanna Leisure

Publicity/Web:       Patricia Dennis


 Treasurer: ShaRon Haugen 4156 Snowbank Court
San Jose, CA 95135-1046

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