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Denver Woman's Press Club

As a vibrant group of professional women writers, we strive to "be our future, honor our past." Our founders made dramatic breakthroughs for women's rights & writers in Colorado. We invite you to share our story and preserve our warm, welcoming house, a Denver Historic Landmark built in 1910.

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Member Enrichment

Class

Mutual, Membership Benefit 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Female Adults

Description

• Monthly programs are presented on a wide range of topics, designed to offer insight and inspiration to writers. Programs usually include a meal, offering members and guests a chance to socialize while enjoying the presentation. In 2017 and 2018, attendance has been averaging 20-30 at each program.

• Member gatherings and interactions nurture the friendships and professional contacts that DWPC members cite as one of the most important reasons for staying. In a recent survey of club members, 71 percent said they joined the club in order to meet other professional women writers. When asked why they stay in the club, 65 percent cited friendships and relationships with other club members as the primary reason.

• Looking forward and expanding upon this valuable data, the club is now assessing the nature, needs and notions of DWPC through the "Back To Our Future" campaign to improve the club's offerings and appeal to members and potential members.

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Evidence of Program's Success

A recent survey indicated that 40% of members had attended 6 or more programs during the year and 60% attended 5 or fewer. More than 75% of members volunteered to help with various programs.

Outreach

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Females
Homeless
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

The Denver Woman's Press Club supports the local and regional writing community and enriches the city's cultural and historic resources.

• Programs open to the public include special events at the clubhouse. From September 2018 through May 2019, there were approximately 15 events showcasing authors' new work and providing the audience with both inspiration and practical tools for advancing their writing.

• For many years, DWPC has hosted the Unknown Writers' Contest. It's open to both men and women who are Colorado residents, age 18 or older. Entrants must never have been professionally published. Categories include short-form fiction, nonfiction essays and poetry.

DWPC promotes the contest to unpublished writers throughout the community, including those at The Gathering Place, a day shelter for homeless women and children. In recent years DWPC has partnered with the Gathering Place to help clients and nurture the creative process there. It's now home to a thriving writers' group which published its own book, One Day, One Night at a Time: Women Write of Poverty, Homelessness, and Hope, in June 2013.

Regardless of background and circumstances, the Unknown Writers' Contest is a delight and an inspiration to all. The entries are judged by members, who review each piece and offer comments and suggestions to help each writer improve.

• The innovative Salon Series, presented periodically on Sunday afternoons, is an informal, interactive session hosted by professional writers on a topic of interest. Recent topics included writing by, for, and about minorities; writing strong female characters; writing about sex; historical fiction and women in the press. These events are presented free with donations suggested. Now in its third year, the Salon Series routinely draws 12-24 attendees.

• DWPC regularly hosts seminars, workshops and networking events to help writers develop diverse skills and abilities. These are typically half-day interactive sessions on topics such as marketing one's work and improving a particular writing style. These workshops are geared toward developing writers and are open to the public. Some are collaborations with other professional writers' organizations. Fees go toward general operating expenses at DWPC.

• The DWPC also hosts an annual poetry event at the clubhouse in spring of each year, to provide support for poetry and poets of all ages and experience.

• The annual holiday jewelry sale is an important fundraising event with proceeds supporting DWPC's long-standing scholarship program. It's also a cherished holiday tradition that draws hundreds of community members into the clubhouse. Attendance at the three-day event typically ranges from 800-900 people.

• In recent years, DWPC has collaborated or partnered with cultural and charitable organizations including the Gathering Place, Doors Open Denver, Facing History and Ourselves, Alliance Francaise, History Colorado, and the Damon Runyon Award. These agencies share DWPC's goal of supporting not only the writing community, but also the cultural and historic resources that strengthen the community as a whole.

• Outreach needs a place to reach out from, and that is our historic clubhouse. To insure its valuable role in the community and to members, the club recognizes the need to commit substantial time and resources to maintain our unique and wonderful home.


Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Public programs routinely sell out and outreach events attract more than a thousand visitors throughout the year. The Unknown Writers Contest offers professional support free of charge each year to a diverse group of 50-60 individuals interested in writing, some of whom face economic and social challenges.

Scholarships

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Female Young Adults (20 - 25 years)
Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)

Description

Each year, the Denver Woman's Press Club awards three scholarships to outstanding young women writers at Colorado colleges and high schools. These scholarships were each established by DWPC members in order to support and nurture the profession. Award amounts vary each year, based on the proceeds from the annual DWPC holiday jewelry sale, all proceeds of which go to the scholarship program. Additional contributions to the scholarship program are accepted throughout the year.

Monies are divided equally among the three award recipients, and in recent years, individual awards have varied between $1,500 and $2,500. Here are the specifics on each award:

Frances Belford Wayne Merit Award

Named for Frances Belford Wayne, this monetary award recognizes the outstanding journalistic abilities of a University of Colorado School of Journalism student. Frances Belford Wayne, a Central City native, distinguished herself during a 40-year career with The Denver Post and won national recognition as an investigative reporter and feature writer. She was the first honorary member named by the Denver Woman's Press Club. The scholarship was initiated in 1940 by DWPC President Gladys Van Vranken Parce, and has been donated from DWPC general funds for more than half a century.

Ruth Murray Underhill Award

The Ruth Murray Underhill Award was established in 1985 to honor the memory of one of the DWPC's most distinguished members. Dr. Underhill was a lifelong advocate of the English language, an anthropologist and an authority on North American Indians. She was a journalist and author in the fields of science, fiction and poetry.

Scholastic Art & Writing Award

The Scholastic Art & Writing Award, established in 1923, is the largest and most prestigious awards program for talented high school students in the nation. The Awards & Philanthropy Committee of the Denver Woman's Press Club selects the winner each year from among Colorado students who earn top honors in the program. Winners from the Colorado region proceed to New York for national judging. .

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Evidence of Program's Success

Year after year, DWPC makes a difference in the lives of young Colorado women writing students at the beginning their careers. They receive not just financial awards in the $1,500-$2,500 range, but also affirmation and support. Stephanie Lynne Couey, who recently received the DWPC Ruth Murray Underhill Scholarship Award while an MFA student of creative writing at the University of Colorado Boulder, said "I hope to continue to contribute to fields of writing both academic and aesthetic, and am sincerely grateful for the recognition of this award."

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.