One of the more unique events attracting visitors to St. Louis this summer – from throughout the nation as well as from foreign countries – is the St. Louis Pen Show.
Its second iteration is scheduled June 21-23 at the Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel. A special session for traders only will be held Thursday, June 20.
The show has expanded from one ballroom last year to two this year, as well as occupying adjacent hallways, said Anne Morgan, who with her husband, Dave, directed the 2018 event and is heading this year’s encore.
“Our initial show was an astounding success,“ Morgan said. “We had some 1,400 people attending last year and are expecting a bigger turnout this year.”
An indication of the popularity of last year’s show is that 95 vendors occupying a total of 150 tables are signed up for this year’s event.
The Pen Show is a 501[c] organization whose goal is to promote and foster an understanding and appreciation for the use, care and collection of writing instruments and to further cursive writing and calligraphy.
Vendors from all parts of the nation and overseas will include pen manufacturers and sellers, including those dealing with hand-made models, ink and paper suppliers, cursive writing experts, vintage pen dealers and specialists in other aspects of the business.
“People have told us they hadn’t heard of a pen show and haven’t ever been to one,” Morgan said. “Our response is that this event is an ideal way to find out what’s involved in a fascinating subject.”
That’s especially true in this area where pen shows are limited to one in Chicago and a small one in Arkansas. “Most U.S. shows are held on either the east or west coast,” Morgan explained.
One popular event is the pen auction scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 21, with previews and bid card assignment sessions set for 2-5 p.m. and 7-8:15 p.m. that day.
Kids can earn a free fountain pen by participating in a weekend-long scavenger hunt sponsored by Pen Collectors of America.
David Oscarson, a Wildwood resident known around the world for his artistic pen designs, is one of the show’s executive sponsors. [See related story on page 61.] West Newsmagazine is its media partner.
In keeping with the show’s goal, 15 educational classes will be held, ranging in topic from cursive writing logic and novelty writing to calligraphy and different types of journaling.
“Cursive writing, except for how to sign your name, isn’t taught in a lot of schools these days, so we think we are filling a need for those who don’t want cursive to become a lost art,” Morgan said.
Tickets and additional information are available at stlpenshow.com