Auction for the Scholarship Fund

Hi Everybody,

I’ve been given another small box of pens to put up for auction.  All the money raised will go towards the scholarship fund.  Thank you so much for your donations and continued support of the scholarships.  You’re helping give these students a foot in the door and a helping hand that they will remember for rest of their lives.

You can check out all the auctions here.

Auctions end June 30 at 11pm central US time.  At least I think they will.  Depends on if I figured out the settings properly.  🙂

Scholarships are out!

Hi Everybody!

We raised way over $6,000 this year!  From June 2016 to May 2017 we raised $6,853!!  Thank you all so much!  For the month of May alone we raised about $592.

Thanks to everybody who volunteered to read essays, we appreciate your time so much.  I can’t wait for next year.

This year we gave out 2 scholarships for $2,000 each, and 4 for $500 each.  We have students from all over the country going to college at Lake Superior State U, Cal Poly SLO, two to University of Central Arkansas, one to University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and I’m still waiting to hear back from one of the recipients.  Congrats to you all!

Now that means the pen give away.  Every month as a way of saying thank you to everybody who’s contributed to the scholarship fund through purchases or donations, I give away a custom pen up to $235.  The winner this month, from all 61 contributors, is #34, Shane L, who bought 3 notebooks at the Chicago pen show!  Congrats Shane!  I’ll send you an email in a minute.

If you want a chance to win a pen and to help some kids out with their college expenses, all you have to do is buy some of our cool merchandise, with every penny going to the fund, or just donate.  If you want a chance at winning a pen without contributing to the fund, and helping the kids out, then you can enter for free by sending me a note.  Read the directions on how to enter here.


The 2017 Chicago Pen Show – and a new pen

Hi everybody, I had a great time at the pen show and wanted to share some photos.  First thing, I got to see the Diamond Building from Adventures in Babysitting, which made me remember that movie, and since have watched it with my kids.  What a great movie.

We sold 38 notebooks and received a few donations for the scholarship fund.  Thanks everybody!  We’re way above the $6,000 that we’ve raised the last couple of years.  We’re about to make announcements for who gets scholarships this year, too.

The show was amazing – sold a bunch of pens and met lots of great people.  Will definitely be back next year.

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Here’s a quick run through of the show, starting in the front room at the entrance.  There’s quite a bit more than is shown on this short video…

I bought a 1920s Wahl desk set from one of the vendors.  He left before Sunday so I missed it at the show, and I definitely was kicking myself over that one.  I went around and found a really nice little beater pen with a great nib on it for cheap, and a cool Parker base from the inimitable Stephen Mandell, to sort of make up for it.  But I was able to get in touch with the guy who had the Wahl pen and he mailed it to me.  The base isn’t a Wahl piece, but it’s still pretty cool.  And the pen is fantastic.

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Anywho- driving in and out of Chicago is nuts, but I’m glad we made it in.  I’m also really glad we don’t live there.  🙂

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The drive saw flooding and roadblocks – but thankfully easy coming and going.  Lots of fun to see the country on the road.  We had to take some crazy way off the beaten path roads to get home.  A levy had breached and most of the highways were 3 feet under water.  Lunch on the way home?  ‘El Indio Mexican Restaurant‘.  It was easily the best food we had all weekend.


And I can’t forget to mention my new pen!  I’m calling this one the Quapaw, after the beautiful Quapaw Bathhouse downtown, on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs.  The Quapaw is a faceted, 8 sided pen, that tapers down towards the ends.  This one takes more time than the other sculpted pens, and the price reflects that, with this one starting at $475.  You can see more photos here.

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Making things easier to order…

Hi Everybody,

I’m putting something on my site I should have done years ago.

From now on when I post a new pen to one of the galleries, at the very bottom of the page, under the photos, there will be a short form making it easy to order a pen like that one.  Just fill in your name and email, with your nib preference and any changes (like diameter or length) and click submit.

Here’s an example.



Scholarship announcements

Another month of fundraising is under our belts and we’re doing the best we’ve done so far.  After regular postcard and notebook sales and the scholarship pen auction we raised $254 for the month, putting us at $6148 for the year!  Thanks so much everybody!  We couldn’t do this without your continued support.

To say thank you for all your donations, every month I give away a $225 credit towards any custom pen you want.  To pick a recipient I pick a number using , and from 22 entries this month that number is William F.  Congrats William!  I’ll send you an email so you can start thinking about what you want.

If you want to help support high school students going to college and possibly win a custom pen then all you have to do is purchase some postcards, a notebook, simply donate, or send a note for a free entry.  Rules are here-

We’re getting closer to having scholarship prizes ready for this year’s group of scholarship applicants.  We received 24 applications this year and had to narrow that down to 11.  Completed applications and essays that meet the minimum requirement are necessary if you want to be considered.  I hated disqualifying so many applications, but I’m excited to find out who will be receiving money this year.

If you have any questions please send me a note –


Chicago Show is coming up!

Hi Everybody,

I’ll be at the Chicago show this weekend!  Woo hoo!  I’m still working on finishing a batch of pens to take with me.

Today I went to Vanness to make a quick video talking about everything that’s gone on, going on, and will be happening.  I also got to see the new Retro 51 Bioworkz Vanness collaboration rollerball.  It’s so sweet!

Check out the video here (once it’s live):

Check out the photos here.

Email me with any questions:

Or contact Lisa Vanness:


Scholarship Applications have all been submitted!

Hi Everybody!  Things are getting exciting around here now that all the scholarship applications have been submitted.  I’m still waiting on paperwork to come in the mail, but all the essays are in.

If any of you want to help with reading/scoring the essays we would really appreciate the extra help.  Just send me an email to and tell me a bit about yourself.

I want to have all the essays scored in the next 4 weeks so these kids know if they’re getting money or not before the year is up.


Newton Pens Scholarships!! Raffles and Applications.

Hi Everybody!  It’s April 2nd and I forgot to announce the pen winner for March.  We got 75 entries for the month, and number 6 won it!  Congrats to Scott H!  I’ll send you an email and we can work out what you want to do with your $225 credit towards any Newton pen.

So far we’ve raised $5,893 for the year!  Thank you all so much!  We sold 31 notebooks at the Arkansas Show, too.

It’s a new month and we’re taking names and numbers, so if you want to contribute to the scholarship fund and help some high school seniors out with their college expenses, you can purchase notebooks or postcards here- Notebook and Postcard sales.  All of the rules and information for donors is there.

Are you a high school senior who needs a few bucks to help with your expenses?  Please apply for one of our scholarships!  We’ve only received a few applications so far and we’re set to give away at least $6,000 again this year.

Here’s a photo of one of the raffle pens – this is how I say thanks to you all for participating in the scholarship fund raising.  This one is going to be a Prospector. 

If you have any questions about how the scholarships work, how to apply, or how to donate, or anything at all, please ask –


February fund raising results – scholarships, essays – and almost to $6,000

Hi Everybody!  It’s the end of the month time again this month!  That means it’s my duty to tell you about our progress raising money for scholarships to help high school kids who are going into college.

First thing – the winner of $225 credit towards a custom pen with a free nib grind and free shipping is —— Corey F!  Congrats to you!  Thanks so much for participating in the scholarship fund raisers for so long!  We appreciate you so much.

And thanks so much to everybody who has contributed to the scholarship fund, either through purchases or donations.  It means so much to us and will make a huge difference in the lives of each student who will receive a scholarship.

If you want a chance to win credit towards a pen all you have to do is buy some post cards, notebooks, make a donation (and you get a number for every $10 donated), or just send a note in the mail to enter for free!
PO BOX  6084
Hot Springs, AR. 71902

Last week I went back out to Mountain Pine HS to talk with the 2 senior English classes about my scholarship and how the kids can apply.  It was pretty great being back out there and seeing so many of my kids again, and saying hi to a bunch of the teachers, too.  🙂 The end of first period had a tornado drill so I got to see even more kids than I expected in the boys’ locker room (where we went to hunker down).  I have high expectations for these kids and hope some of them will be picked to receive a scholarship.

The auctions raised $199 (not all of which has been collected yet).  Thanks to everybody who participated in the auctions.  I really appreciate it.  I’m talking with a couple people about auctioning off donated pens, so if you have anything you want to donate to auction off, let me know and we can try to work it in in the next month or two.

We raised $305 this month (not counting the remainder of the auction money), which puts our grand total for scholarships to $5,093!!  We’re almost to $6,000!!

If you have any suggestions that can put us to six thousand or even more, please let me know.  Post card and notebook sales have slowed down quite a bit these last few months.  If you’ve bought these items in the past and you post about them on some of the facebook groups that would really help point a lot of eyes in our direction.  Remember, every penny raised goes towards the scholarships.  And you get a chance to win a custom pen just for participating!  It doesn’t get much better.  🙂

Speaking of which it won’t be much longer until I have essays to judge.  If you want to help us read and score essays to determine scholarship recipients that would be incredibly helpful.  🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions about anything at all-

Shawn & Elizabeth