Published by the American Writers Museum                   Volume 6, Number 4    July 28, 2015

I know that literature sets me free, just as Emily Dickinson knew that more than 100 years ago. It is that possibility of freedom that AWM celebrates. ­


-Stuart Dybek, Nationally Renowned, Award-Winning Writer

AWM Hosts David McCullough at Union League Club of Chicago

To see a YouTube video clip on McCullough's remarks, click here.

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning historical writer David McCullough once again showed his enthusiasm for the museum as a guest speaker at an AWM luncheon at the Union League Club of Chicago in June. McCullough commented on the museum's

importance: not just for readers, but also as a place which will inspire new generations of great American writers.


The event was attended by nearly 200 guests, each of whom received a signed copy of The Wright Brothers, as well as a commemorative bookmark featuring David McCullough and the North Carolina state quarter, which depicts the Wright Brothers' famous Wright Flyer.

To see a Vimeo video clip on McCullough's remarks, click here.

View This: New AWM Introductory Video

To view the new introductory video on YouTube, click


Please watch (and share) this newly produced, two minute video that captures the magic - and the importance - of the American Writers Museum. The video, produced by Boston-based Northern Light Productions, provides an overview of the AWM mission and features images of numerous American writers. 

To view the new introductory video on Vimeo, click

Leigh Pierson Conant Joins AWM's Founder's Council

Leigh Pierson Conant is now a member of AWM's Founders Council! "The concept of the American Writers Museum resonated with me from the minute I heard about it," explains Conant. "To celebrate writers and writing, to encourage young people to find joy and release in this form of expression is a high calling indeed, and one I would very much like to be associated with...... I have unbridled enthusiasm for this project.  I am an avid reader, a sometime writer, a former educator, and lifelong participant and supporter of the arts." Conant said "the idea of being on the ground floor of creating a museum is very enticing."

Meet New Board Member Marie Arana


Longtime AWM supporter and National Advisory Coucil member Marie Arana has just joined the AWM Board of Directors. The prize-winning author and editor serves as a senior advisor to the U.S. Librarian of Congress and is a Writer at Large for The Washington Post. Currently, Arana sits on the Scholars' Council at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, where she was the Distinguished Scholar from 2009 to 2010. Her most recent novel, Bolívar: American Liberator, a biography on the iconic Simón Bolívar, won the Los Angeles Book Prize in 2014. Arana is also chair of the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., which will be held on September 5, 2015.



Poe Baltimore Joins as the Newest AWM Affiliate

Joining our fifty AWM affiliates is Poe Baltimore, the one-time home of Edgar Allan Poe, the father of the modern short story, Poe wrote many of his early works while living on North Amity Street in Baltimore where the homes is located. Visit Poe Baltimore's website 


Founders Council Profile: John Estey

John Estey, chairman of S&C Electric Company and former chairman of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, became involved with The American Writers Museum when he connected with his industry colleague AWM President Malcolm O'Hagan.


S&C Electric Company was an early backer of AWM's traveling exhibit "From Our Neighborhoods: Four Chicago Writers Who Changed Anerica" now touring local libraries and other public venues. Estey explained that the exhibit coincides with S&C's philanthropic mission to enhance core education and focus on local communities.


AWM at Printer's Row LitFest


From left to right: Writer Nelson DeMille, with AWM Executive Director Nike Whitcomb, Catherine Ryan, administrative assistant

AWM's team met writers and mingled at the Printer's Row LitFest preview luncheon at the 

Union League Club of Chicago. New fans of AWM included b est-selling author Nelson DeMille; syndicated columnists Clarence Page and 
Mary Schmich; and award winning writers Mary Morris and Rebecca Makkai.
At LitFest on June 6th and 7th, AWM shared a booth with the Illinois Women's Press Association. Nearly 250 people stopped by to learn about the AWM, and more than 100 signed up for the AWM newsletter and/or to volunteer. Thank you to all who stopped by to learn more about us and a big thank you to our volunteers!

Spotlight on Two AWM Affiliates in Alabama


Harper Lee and Truman Capote: Old Courthouse Museum


"There are just some kind of men who-who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one..."

        -  Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird



The Old Courthouse Museum in Monroeville, Alabama, preserves the Mo nroe Cou
nty Courthouse which inspired Harper Lee's courtroom scenes in  To Kill
Mocki ngbird. The Courthouse was also recreated on a   Hollywood sound stage in the classic 196 2 film adaptation of the novel which has been so  m uch in the news this month. The museum houses  permanent exhibits on  Harper Lee and  Tr uman Capote, t wo of the most iconic American writers of the twentieth century. Lee and Capote grew up tog ether in Monroeville and became close friends, even advising one another on literary endeavors and collaborating on research for Capote's  In Cold Blood. 


The F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum

"He was, in one sense, the richest man that ever lived - and yet was he worth anything at all?"
-  F. Scott Fitzgerald

Another Alabama museum dedicated to a literary pair is located about 100 miles away in Montgomery. The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum is housed in a renovated building which the famous couple lived in briefly in the early 1930s. The museum, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, includes numerous artifacts related to the Fitzgeralds, as well as rare video footage of interviews with Zelda's friends and relatives.

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

What was Ray Bradbury's novel, Fahrenheit 451, originally going to be titled?

Submit your answer  here for a chance to win. A winner will be drawn randomly from the correct respondents to receive the $25 prize, 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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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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