The Vinnie Ream Awards Banquet at the NLAPW Biennial Conference was so inspiring and I felt incredibly honored to receive one of the four 1st place Awards. The four award categories are Letters, Arts, Music and Multi-Discipline. I won in the multi-discipline category for writing and illustrating my children’s picture book Lonely Lola Ladybug. The book’s cover will now proudly display the NLAPW 2016 Vinnie Ream Award gold sticker! Yea!
The National League of American Pen Women’s three day Conference was a wonderful experience for everyone who attended! There was a wide variety of speakers, awards and multiple events starting with a quality art show and ending with musical and ballet performances. My presentation of “How a Children’s Picture Book Gets Made” was only one of many informative talks.
The banquet speaker was well known journalist Cokie Roberts. She was impressive but I was most impressed by the amazingly talented Pen Women I met during the conference! For those of you not familiar with the NLAPW, it is a very old (119 years) and prestigious organization (Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Mitchel, and Vinnie Ream were members) dedicated to the recognition and advancement of professional women in the fields of arts, letters and music. There are 82 branches of American Pen Women throughout the United States and my branch is the Chesapeake Bay Branch of Virginia.
Vinnie Ream, (1847-1914) for whom the award is named, was a member of the League in all three categories; Letters, Arts and Music. She is mentioned in Cokie Roberts’s new book, Capital Dames, about the women in Washington DC during the civil war. Besides being an accomplished musician of the harp Vinnie was a gifted sculptor. At age 18, she received the first congressional commission to a female artist to sculpt the statue of President Lincoln that stands today in the Rotunda of our nations Capital.
Wow! More people should know about Vinnie Ream and the NLAPW. Check out the website http://www.nlapw.org/ . You may want to look for a branch near you.
More to come in May- May 12th brings me to Cedar Elementary School in Hanover, MA for a school visit with the first graders. Then I’m on to Quebec City and I’m not quite sure what I will be doing there other than eating French food!