Volume 3, Number 4


About AWM

Learn more about plans to establish the American Writers Museum


See what other people are saying about the American Writers Museum


Learn more about the Executive Planning Team and National Advisory Council


Fill out our online survey and tell us what you want to see in the American Writers Museum


Read the museum concept plan.


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The mission of the American Writers Museum Foundation is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives.

2012: A Year of Great Progress

The American Writers Museum: The Year in Review 

NewYear2012: The Year in Review 

2012 has been a year of significant progress and major milestones. Here
is a roundup of news and highlights:
ConceptplanMuseum Concept Plan Published  

This year, AWM unveiled the initial Concept Plan for the museum. The plan was developed in collaboration with numerous scholars, writers, publishers, designers and museum professionals during a series of brainstorming charettes in Chicago, Boston and New York. The concept plan shows the museum layout and examples of potential exhibits. Funding for the plan development was provided by the NEH and the Stead Family Foundation.  View the plan here.



Leaders, Readers and Writers:
AWM's First Online Exhibit 


In May, the American Writers Museum launched a three-gallery online exhibit entitled Power of the Word: Leaders, Readers and Writers. The first gallery explores the reading habits and literary preferences of world leaders. The second provides insight into the reading lives of 38  contemporary American authors. The third component is an interactive gallery which gives viewers the chance to submit their own personal recommendations for books that best represent American life and culture. The exhibit will be archived at the end of the year. AWM is currently planning our next online exhibit. What should it be? We would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts here.



 Grant Exelon and The Chicago Community Trust Grants 


The American Writers Museum received grants from Exelon Corporation and The Chicago Community Trust. These grants allowed AWM to pursue a museum site analysis and conduct formal feasibility studiesand were critical to the achieving important goals this year. Thank you to The Trust and Exelon! 





American Writers Museum Takes a Big Step Forward with Exelon


American Writers Museum Receives Grant from The Chicago Community Trust 


OfficialAmerican Writers Museum® Trademarked 


This year, the American Writers Museum® became an officially registered trademark with the US Patent Attorney's office, with all the rights and privileges thereof.  This is a noteworthy milestone in our journey to establish the museum and ensures that we can protect the mark going forward.





 AWM in the News  


Click on these links to see some examples of news coverage in 2012 about the American Writers Museum.


Chicago Tribune Printers Row

Washington Independent Review of Books

Chicago Sun-Times




Selected Endorsements from 2012 
"I enthusiastically support the efforts to place a national writers museum in Chicago. Such a museum will complement the rich offerings of the City's theaters, museums, libraries and musical activities, and add significantly to Chicago's vitality."
-Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of the City of Chicago

"I welcome the American Writers Museum to Illinois. I cannot think of a better location for the first national museum dedicated to American writers than here in the state that gave us Ernest Hemingway, Ray Bradbury and Abraham Lincoln. Reading and writing are the building blocks of education and independent thinking. It is my hope that the museum will both educate the public and draw more tourists to our vibrant state." 

-Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois 

"The American Writers Museum is a grand, highly worthy idea. I'm all for it. Imagine all there will be to work with and what a center of inspiration it will be! The importance of our novelists, poets, dramatists, writers from every part of the country, every kind of background, has been part of the American story for more than 300 years. Think of what we owe them and how much we continue to learn from them!"
David McCullough, Author, Historian, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner
See more words of support here 



AWM at the AWP Conference 

American Writers MuseumThis year, AWM sponsored a panel at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' (AWP) annual conference in Chicago. Authors Stuart Dybek, Aleksandar Hemon and Nami Mun served on the panel, discussing immigrant voices in American literature. The event was moderated by Noreen Tomassi of the New York Center for Fiction. AWM also had our own booth at the event. More than 9,500 people attended the three-day conference.



Chicago Literary Council Meets with Cultural Commissioner Michelle Boone 

In September, the Chicago Literary Council (formed by AWM), met with Chicago Cultural Commissioner Michelle Boone to discuss the role of the literary arts in the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan. Members discussed ways the American Writers Museum can help showcase Chicago as a "city of writing" and spoke about the intrinsic role that literary arts play in the city's vibrant cultural landscape.







In October, Malcolm O'Hagan appeared on C-SPAN2 BookTV with Peter Slen. The interview served as a follow-up to O'Hagan's first interview on BookTV, which aired two years earlier. View the segment on BookTV here.


feasibilityFeasibility Studies  In Progress
In 2012, the American Writers Museum enlisted one of the nation's leading museum consultants, Dennis Barrie of Barrie Projects, to conduct an economic feasibility study and a museum site analysis. Barrie and his Cleveland Ohio team are currently analyzing resident and tourist markets, revenue-producing components, facility needs, and possible locations. Past Barrie Projects endeavors have included The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, Washington D.C.'s International Spy Museum and the recently opened Mob Museum in Las Vegas. 

Three Good Reasons to Donate Before Year's End 

1. We need your financial support to continue with our mission!
2. While dollars are important, our mission is also strengthened by the number of donors supporting the museum. In seeking support from city officials and perspective major funders it is important to be able to show that the museum has considerable grass roots financial support.
3. It's easy to make a secure donation hereand your donation is fully tax-deductible.



Looking Ahead: AWM Building Phase I 


Plans for the next phase in the establishment of the American Writers Museum are underway. The goal is to open in downtown Chicago in 2015, with initial space of approximately 10,000 sq. ft. The exhibits and programming will form the foundation of the museum which will expand over time.  


contestAWM Contest: Name that Author! Enter to Win


His monogram could be WSP, but what is the nom de plume of this American author and the title of his heart-wrenching holiday short story about a couple's gift exchange that goes awry?

Send your answers via email (with "AWM Contest" in the subject line and your answers in the email message) to general@americanwritersmuseum.org. Remember to include your name and contact information. We'll have a drawing of all those who submit the correct answers and the winner of the drawing will receive $25.

Thanks A Special Thank You and Best Wishes for the Holidays



To our donors, grant-providers, newsletter subscribers, volunteers, interns, survey participants, board and planning team members, advisory council members, followers, well-wishers, and believers, words do not suffice in expressing our gratitude.  The first national museum dedicated to American writers will be established because of you. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a new year filled with time to enjoy reading the works of American writers past and present.







©2012 All Rights Reserved