Greenwich Pen Women, a branch of the National League of American Pen Women, is a non-profit organization of women artists, writers, and musicians. We offer mutual support and exchange of ideas to encourage and inspire excellence in original creative work.

Forgotten Path
by GPW Catherine Stahl


"Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne."

--Robert Burns


Note from our President:

Happy New Year 2019!

We had a busy end to 2018, with our Holiday Lunch at the Field Club on the 6th, where multi-talented art member Margaret Esme Simon received the Owl Award. How many of us knew that Margaret had a Masters in Architecture from Columbia as well as being such an accomplished artist? Thank you to Joanne Dearcopp for heading the Owl Committee.

We also heard from keynote speaker Leslie Yager, founder of Greenwich Free Press about the online hyper local news business. Be sure to check out the Holiday Lunch photo gallery and the write-up, below, about Margaret winning the Owl Award.


The Creative Women show at the Bendheim Gallery of Greenwich Arts Council, chaired by Barbara O’Shea and Margaret Esme Simon, was a great success. It kicked off with an opening reception organized and catered by the multi-talented Karen Heffner. Karen did a great interview with Tony Savino of WGCH, which helped highlight Pen Women and the art show. If you haven’t had a chance to listen, you can hear it here.

A fascinating multi-disciplinary talk on creativity on December 6th revealed some interesting commonalities in the creative process. These included the effect of music and exercise on writers' and artists' creativity, on improvisation in music to what is being played that is virtually a natural response; for authors, on books writing themselves and characters coming out of nowhere; for artists, on a similar spontaneity in painting or an assembling of objects that once staged takes on different meanings to different people. In all speakers, it seems that the initial impulse of creativity is a function of the subconscious and working out the details, changes, and revisions comes afterwards. The panelists were Jean Moore, Barbara Ehrentreu, Margaret Esme Simon, and Joyce DiCamillo with Karen Heffner acting as moderator.

Marialiisa Pettengill, Ilse Gordon, Karen Heffner and Heather Sandifer provided interesting insights into their works at an artists talk at the Bendheim on December 11th.

Coming up in 2019


Leigh is working on getting a publicist to come and speak with us, and we’re also trying to get a date for a visit from the Authors Guild to discuss important issues in publishing.

Letters plans to meet on Thursday, January 3 at 2 PM to 4 PM at The Second Congregational Church at 139 East Putnam Ave., entrance on Maple Avenue. In case of snow, the parking lot will be plowed. Thanks to Anita Kiere for reserving GPW a room for January 3, February 7, and March 7 from 2 PM to 4 PM for our Letters meetings.

Artists featured in Creative Women show must pick up their work either Friday, January 4, 4 - 7 PM or Saturday, January 5, 10 AM - noon.

January critique meeting of Art Group has not yet been set. Karen will send notification to those who have requested to be on the critique and pop up art events email list. If anyone wants to get notifications, please send your request to her personally.

Creativity Discussion Panels:
We don’t have dates set yet, but more panels examining different aspects of creativity are in the works for 2019. Proposed topics include:

  • How do you balance being creative with having a family and/or a career?
  • How is the creative process different if making a living at it versus as an avocation?
  • How can we overcome blocks and how do we find inspiration?
  • We’re never too old be creative
  • How do you encourage creativity in children?

These might not all be separate programs and some might be roundtable discussions rather than panels in order to encourage greater participation.

Greenwich Library also wants us to reschedule the "Code Girls" discussion that had to be cancelled due to snow. The topic: "What does it mean to be creative, both in the arts and in a broader sense?” This will probably take place in January.

Please be sure to check Member News to see what your fellow creative women have been up to, and read more about art member Annette Voreyer in this month’s member spotlight.

~ ~ Sarah and Leigh


The Owl Award by Joanne Dearcopp

The Owl Award is given to a member who has distinguished herself in three areas: by contributing to this organization and the community, and, most importantly, in her achievements with her creative work.

This year’s Owl award honors an artist member. Your nominating committee of Catherine Stahl, Heather Sandifer, and myself had a tough challenge because we had many worthy candidates to consider. Ultimately we unanimously selected one who has been tireless in her advancement of her art and Greenwich Pen Women for many years.

She is singularly dedicated to her craft; continues exploring and learning; has a seriousness of purpose that is noteworthy and inspiring.

During art critiques, she wholeheartedly engages other artists whether it is of her own work or that of others. Our recipient not only encourages other artists but goes out of her way to offer personal assistance outside ‘official’ PW functions.

As one of our most active participants in art exhibitions, she has exhibited and won awards in many juried shows. Always growing, she has studied with many recognized artists and at prestigious art institutions such as the Art Students’ League.

Although she works primarily in oil and pastels, she is willing to explore different mediums. Her subjects are broad and include figurative, still life and landscape themes. And she draws.

Over the years she has made and continues to make numerous contributions to GPW:

  • opening her home for meetings and critiques
  • actively involved in organizing our exhibitions
  • and in the past has served as a co-chair of the Artists Critique

Her participation in the community is equally impressive. She is a member of the Greenwich Art Society and VP of the Greenwich Arts Council. Also a member of the Art Society of Old Greenwich, the New Canaan Society for the Arts, the Rowayton Arts Center (where she has Exhibiting Member status).

Our awardee attended NY’s High School of Music and Art as an Art Major and received a BA in English at Cornell University. We are intrigued and would love to know what then inspired her to go on to receive a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University.

Her most recent contribution is conceptualizing the current art show at the Bendheim Gallery. It is an honor to present the 2018 Owl Award to Margaret Esme Simon!


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