Published by the American Writers Museum         Volume 6, Number 5   September 30, 2015

Given that America has a banana museum and a hammer museum, surely it is time for a museum dedicated to the American writer.   ­

-Mary Morris, Award-Winning Writer
American Writers Museum to Announce Space Soon
Please watch your email for a special announcement regarding the first official home of the American Writers Museum.  We will hold a press conference on Tuesday, October 27 at 8:30 a.m. Chicago time to announce our location and plans for the Museum. If you would like to attend, email Catherine Ryan at for more information.

AWM Launches Blog

The idea of a blog for the AWM has been around for a long time, but in the past three months it has become a reality.  The blog launched on Tuesday, September 29th, and new blogs will be posted every Tuesday.

Bloggers include Michael Albani, writer and historian; Melissa D'Lando, historian; Jill Dwiggins, editor and public historian; Esther Hershenhorn, Chicago-based children's literature author; Christian Kriticos, AWM's former intern who has now returned to his home in England; Alexandria Petrassi, editor; and AWM Executive Director Nike Whitcomb.

Please let us know if you are interested in blogging with/for us, and let us know how you like our posts. Click here to read more on our bloggers!

Award-Winning Female Authors Event: Thursday, October 22nd

Join Chicago Tribune Literary Editor Elizabeth Taylor as she leads a discussion with
Elizabeth Taylor
d-winning authors Jamie Freveletti, Rebecca Makkai, and Mary Morris. 

Taylor, literary editor of the Chicago Tribune, is co-author of "American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation." She has sat on three Pulitzer Prize committees, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle, where she has served as President.

Jamie Freveletti

Freveletti, author of "The Geneva Strategy" and "The Janus Reprisal" was awarded '
Best  First Novel' by the International Thriller Writers and received several notable awards for her thriller, " Running from the Devil ."

Rebecca Makkai

Makkai is author of " The Hundred-Year House,"  awarded the Chicago Writers  Association's Novel of the Year, " The Borrower ," a Booklist Top Ten, and short story  collection, " Music for Wartime."

Mary Morris

A p rofessor at Sarah Lawrence College, Morris is author of " The Jazz Palace"  and " Vanishing Animals & Other Stories,"  a collection of short stories awa rded the Rome Prize in Literature.
AWM Elects Board and Officers at Annual Meeting

The AWM Board of Directors and the Founder's Council have been merged into one body - the Founders Board.  At the Annual Meeting on September 9, the following were elected:  Chairman: Jerre Stead; President: Malcolm O'Hagan; Vice Chairmen: Roger Baskes, John Estey, Hill Hammock, Ronne Hartfield, and Werner Hein; Treasurer: Jay M. Hammer; Secretary: Lynne Pace Robinson. 

Members elected: Marie Arana, Allan E. Bulley III, Michael T. Clune, S. Leigh Pierson Conant, James Donnelley, Robert Franden, James G. Hansen, Lamar Johnson, Roberta Rubin, Paul T. Ruxin, Tom Staley, and Helen Sullivan.

For more information about the AWM Board, click here.

New Visitor Experience/Business Plan Now Available

With announcement of the AWM's space imminent, we have
pro duced a combined Visitor Experience and Business Plan. The entire 40 page d ocument is being uploaded to the AWM website. It includes the latest renderings and overview for exhibit  spaces, available naming opportunities, attendance projections, Board members and their biographical information, National Advisory Council members and Subject Matter Experts, fundraising information, budget projections and much more. We will post the link to this new document after the Press Conference.

One Book, One Chicago goes to Thomas Dyja

AWM curatorial advisor, Thomas Dyja, is this year's One Book, One Chicago's featured author. For more information on this event, and Dyja's book, "The Third Coast," click here.

Halloween Gathering: A First for Chicago's Cultural Mile Association and the AWM

Chicago's Cultural Mile Association(CCMA) is a new organization dedicated to promoting  arts and cultural organizations and activities on the newly-branded stretch of Michigan Avenue which extends from Wacker Drive to Congress Boulevard.  The AWM will participate in the first annual Halloween Gathering on Saturday, October 24.  We will be reading scary stories from 2 - 3 p.m. in the Chase Promenade Tent at the north end of Millennium Park, and staffing an information table in the tent from 2 to 5 p.m. For more information about the Festival, please go to
If you are interested in being a volunteer reader OR helping at the AWM table, please contact Catherine Ryan:

Affiliate Spotlight: The House of the Seven Gables and Herman Melville's Arrowhead

"Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst."    
- Nathaniel Hawthorne,
"The House of the Seven Gables"

The House of the Seven Gables, a seventeenth-century mansion in Salem,
M assachusetts, celebrates the history of the local area and the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. The home was own ed by the Ingersoll family,
relatives of Hawthorn e. He would visit regularly, even using the home as the inspiration for his 1851 gothic novel "The House of the Seven Gables." In addition to touring the home, visitors to th e site can see gardens, the waterfront, and Hawthorne's birthplace. This Salem mansion is the perfect place to visit this Halloween. Upcoming events and performances in clude Taste of the Gables , Spirits of the Gables , and Legacy of the Hanging Judge , which recounts the history of the Salem Witch Trials.

On the other side of Massachusetts stands Herman Melville's Arrowhead, which preserves the home in which Melville lived and wrote many of his most ac
claimed works, including "Moby Dick" and the short story "Bartleby the Scrivener." 

Melville and Hawthorne were contemporaries, and became close friends while Melville was living in Arrowhead, with Melville even dedicating "Moby Dick" to Hawthorne. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the historic home, which has been restored to match its appearance  during Melville's years there. Th ey can also see the sustainable Arrowhead Farm , which is part of the recreation of the Melville homestead. Upcoming events include the Harvest Moon Walking Tour of Arrowhead's grounds.

To learn more about these iconic American writers, please visit the websites for The House of the Seven Gables and Herman Melville's Arrowhead , and be sure to check out their upcoming events!

"There is nothing nameable but that some men will undertake to do it for pay."  
- Herman Melville 
Fall and Halloween with the Affiliates

Halloween Season brings out the ghoul in fun ways at Affiliate homes.  Be sure to visit the Affiliate websites below and check out their events to ensure that you are  scared-literally!
The House of the Seven Gables (Salem, Massachusetts)
Washington Irving's Sunnyside (Pocantico Hills, New York)
Poe Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland)
Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia)
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford, Connecticut)
Edith Wharton's The Mount (Lenox, Massachusetts)
Thomas Wolfe Memorial (Asheville, North Carolina)
Two New Affiliates Join AWM

w ould like to welcome our two newest AWM Affiliates-the Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center  in Henning, Tennessee, and The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut.

The AWM officially has 50 Affiliates. To become an Affiliate, click here for more information.   

AWM Joins Instagram

Click here to follow AWM on Instagram, and to keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter !

AWM Trivia Contest - Enter to win $25 and an AWM Poster

Sent in by Jerry Yanoff of Chicago: What American writer is named after a hospital?
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
205 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 620
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 346 - 9018
American Writers Museum Foundation
1999 K St. NW, Box 6
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 263 - 3330
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