This Is Us

Who Are We

We are the Atlanta chapter of a professional organization that promotes and supports women in the arts, including literature, music, and visual arts. We also connect, collaborate, and engage in artistic activities at our regular meetings, workshops, and special events.

Our Artists range from sculptors, painters, potters, craftswomen, graphic designers, faux finishers, exhibit designers, animators, pastel artists, photographers, digital artists, to jewelry designers.

Our Letters Members include authors, advertising sales promoters, compilers, dramatists, editors, genealogists, lecturers, librettists, lyric writers, periodical writers, photojournalists, poets, press writers, and script writers for communication media or motion pictures.

We also welcome those in allied professions, including women who are theater or television producers or directors, film dramatists (actresses, impersonators, comediennes), lecturers, publicists, and journalism and creative writing teachers.

Music and Dance fill your heart? We are professional women including but not limited to, composers, lyricists, musicologists, arrangers, choreographers, professional performers, and educators.

A Short History

In late 1930, a group of professional women with vision, diligence, and creative ability met and organized an Atlanta Pen Women Club with the announced intention of becoming a full-fledged branch.
Mrs. Erskine R. Jarnigan, who as “Polly Peachtree” was the Society Editor for The Georgian newspaper and became the group’s organizing president. However, before the club achieved Branch status, Mrs. Jarnigan moved from Atlanta and the fledgling organization did not start up until the next year.

After meeting NLAPW President Grace Thompson Seton in California in 1931, Atlanta musician Bonita Crowe renewed the group’s enthusiasm for Pen Women affiliation. With the members of the original club as a nucleus, newly-recruited members, and Bonita Crowe as Charter President, the Atlanta Branch was accepted as an official branch of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. on September 23, 1931.

The History of the Atlanta Branch is captured through Scrapbooks, “The Presidents Book”, and recorded Minutes, all of which are preserved in the archives of the Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Atlanta Serves National Organization

In the more than seven decades since its founding, the Atlanta Branch has sustained the spirit of its charter members. In addition to providing a forum for continued artistic and professional growth, the Branch is proud to have had an Atlanta Pen Woman, Virginia T. Avery – daughter of founding member and past president Lida Wilson Turner – serve The National League of American Pen Women as its President from 1982-84. More recently, the Branch sent Harriet Fay Woodcock to Washington to head the national music program. Most recently, past president Candace Long has been serving on the National Executive Board as Vice-President of Development.

Read more about our National History on Our Rich History.