Published by the American Writers Museum         Volume 7, Number 3          May 25, 2016

"American literature has a specific and particular need for enshrinement or commemoration. For though we share a common language, American writers come from more places, more kinds of experience, more varied backgrounds, and more immigrant populations than any other country. Necessarily and inevitably, American literature is alive with social history. I love France,-- but to enter the Academie Francaise is to enter into the permanence of the French language. To enter the American Writers Museum is to remind ourselves how each generation has changed the American language. It is a thing reinvented generationally more than it is a thing passed on traditionally."

-Adam Gopnik, Staff Writer, The New Yorker
  AWM Receives $1 Million Gift

The American Writers Museum is thrilled to announce that an anonymous donation of $1 million was pledged earlier this month. This means the Museum needs only $3.8 million to reach our $10 million goal.

In response to this tremendous act of generosity, President and Founder Malcolm O'Hagan and his wife Virginia have issued a challenge to raise another $500,000, which they will match dollar for dollar, for a total of an additional $1 million. The President's challenge has already sparked another $250,000 in gifts, which are reflected in the chart to the right. Thank you to all those who have already responded!

You can make a tax deductible donation which will be matched up to $500,000  here.

Penguin Random House Backs AWM and Hosts Cocktail Reception at Book Expo America
JP Leventhal of Blackdog & Leventhal Publishers, AWM co-chair Roberta Rubin, AWM President & CEO Malcolm O'Hagan, AWM Executive Director Nike Whitcomb

The American Writers Museum (AWM), is pleased to announce that Penguin Random House has committed financial support to the American Writers Museum, recogniz ing the importance of celebrating American writers.  Penguin Random House also hosted a cocktail reception for the AWM at Book Expo America on May 11 at McCormick Place. Many authors and representatives from publishing houses across the country expressed their enthusiasm for the Museum's plans.

Joe Coulson of Great Books Foundation, AWM Board Member Leigh Conant, AWM President & CEO Malcolm O'Hagan
Claire Von Schilling of Penguin Random House, Author Rebecca Makkai, AWM President & CEO Malcolm O'Hagan

AWM Hosts Dinner Event

American Writers Museum's Board member Ally Bulley and his wife Suzette hosted a dinner event at the Racquet Club o f Chicago on May 10, 2016 to in troduce the museum to a wid er audience.

AWM Board Member Ally Bulley, Fred and Jackie Wacker
Barbara Kizziah, Paulita Pike, and Sallie Bulley

Co-Chair Roberta Rubin Hosts Lunch Event
AWM Vice-Chair Ronne Hartfield, Dominique Raccah of Source Books, AWM co-chair Roberta Rubin

Roberta Rubin hosted a luncheon for friends of the American Writer's Museum on May 13, 2016 at the Standard Club in Chicago. President Malcolm O'Hagan gave remarks, along with co-chair and host Roberta Rubin, Executive Director Nike Whitcomb, and Dan Weinberg of Chicago's Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. 

American Writers Museum Hosts Adam Gopnik in New York City

Author and painter Fran ç oise Gilot, art historian Phyllis Hattis
The American Writers Museum hosted an introductory event at a private home in New York City on April 20. Adam Gopnik, Staff Writer at The New Yorker, was introduced to guests and spoke on the dynamic nature of the American Writers Museum. Gopnik observed that "writing- and in particular, American writing-- is a history of autonomous agents, people who remade the language by being engaged with new experience. We can't tell literary history without immediately breaking it down into the lives and ambitions of particular authors." AWM strives to represent this diversity and celebrate its many influences on American identity, while honoring the individual lives of prominent writers.

Claudia Roth Pierpont of T he New Yorker, Max Rudin of the Library of America, Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker, Cheryl Hurley of the Library of America
AWM Affiliate Spotlight
AWM is proud to have several Affiliates that are part of the National Park Service , which is celebrating its 100th birthday this August. This month, we are spotlighting the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, DC, and the Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site  

"To be an abolition agitator is simply to be one who dares to think for himself - who goes beyond the mass of mankind in promoting the cause of righteousness - who honestly and earnestly speaks out his soul's conviction, regardless of the smiles or frowns of men - leaving the pure flame of truth to burn up whatever hay, wood, and stubble it may find in its way...I shall devote myself to this agitation." - Frederick Douglass

At the  Frederick Douglass National Historic Site   in  Washi ngton, DC,
visitors  ca n  learn about the inspiring  abolitionist and states man th rough touring his fin a home, formerly known as Cedar Hill, where he lived for 17 years. Reserve a guided tour o f the home to see its incredible collection of histor ic ar tifa cts, and explore its grou nds to  see a sweeping view  of the nation's capital.  The Site also hosts  various events and program s, including an annual student oratorical
contest, family activities,  movie nights, and  co ncerts.
Be sure to visit the home's Facebook page for more information and updates on events this summer.

Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
"Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
former home of American po et Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and also served as 
one of the headquarters for  General George Was hington during the Revolutionary War. Visitors to the historic Cambridge, Massachusetts house can l
earn about its importance during the Siege of Boston, find out more about the Longfellow family, and see the property's rich collection of art and artifacts. Check out the Opening Day for the 2016 season later this month,  as well as the house's many wonderful events this summer, including performances and poetry readings.
For news and updates from the Site, visit their Facebook page.

To learn more about these American writers, please visit the websites for the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and the Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site . Be sure to find the Affiliate nearest you and check out their upcoming events, and to #FindYourPark as the National Park Service celebrates its Centennial! 

Upcoming Events

The American Writer's Museum will be at the 2016 Printers Row Lit Fest on June 11-12, in the Illinois Women's Press Association tent. We look forward to seeing you there!

AWM has over 50 Affiliates throughout the United States. Here are some of the exciting events they have coming up this summer:
AWM in the News
The American Writer's Museum thanks those that feature us in their publications. This month, we are happy to share this recent coverage.
  • Architectural Digest reported on the museum's proposed exhibit designs, placing an emphasis on the technological aspects of the modern displays which will be in the museum. Go here to read more.
  • Shelf Awareness provided comprehensive coverage for Book Expo America, including an introduction to the museum, which can be read in more detail here.
  • The Strand Magazine interviewed AWM President Malcolm O'Hagan on the inspiration behind the museum and what visitors can expect. Read the full interview here.
  • Newcity Lit reported on the museum's exhibits and naming opportunities still available. Read the full article here
Newsletter to be Released Monthly

In anticipation of the museum opening in 2017, AWM will begin publishing our newsletter once a month rather than bimonthly. 

AWM is not publishing a Board Member Profile this month. Please check back next month for a new interview, when we transition to a monthly newsletter.

AWM Trivia Contest- Enter to win a $25 Gift Card or an AWM Poster

What was Naomi Novik's inspiration for the lead character's name in her 2016 Nebula Award winning novel Uprooted?

Submit your answer here for a chance to win.  A winner will be drawn randomly from the correct respondents to receive the $25 gift card, and the runners-up will each receive an AWM poster featuring American Writers on the topic of writing. 
Thanks to all our donors, patrons, affiliates, and friends for your ongoing support!


The mission of the American Writers Museum is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.
American Writers Museum
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