Volume 4, Number 2


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's  64-page design plan 


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Add your name to our mailing list and receive updates about the American Writers Museum



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.

"The American Writers Museum promises to be a vibrant cultural institution dedicated to preserving American literature in an entirely contemporary manner. What a gift this innovative museum will be to writers, readers, and educators across the nation. PEN/Faulkner is pleased to endorse this exciting project." 
- PEN/Faulkner Foundation

  • Breaking News: AWM First Edition Design Plan Released 
  • "Reflections on Reading and Writing" from David McCullough 
  • AWM Launches Author Home/Museum Affiliates Program
  • AWM Sponsors First 'Brooksday in Chicago 
  • New Summer Research Associates Support AWM Efforts 
  • Spotlight On: Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House 
  • Wall Street Journal Features AWM 
  • AWM Contest: Who Said It?
  • Thank you to Our Chapter One Patrons!
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Visit us on Facebook


    The American Writers Museum Foundation has released plans for its First Edition, or first design-build phase, of the museum. The 64-page document provides a preview of the first phase of the museum, including visuals and descriptions of themes, floor plans, exhibits, and galleries. The First Edition was developed by Boston-based AMAZE Design in consultation with members of AWM's leadership, Advisory Councils, consultants, and participants of several charettes, or brainstorming sessions. Funding was provided by a number of sources including the National Endowment for the Humanities. See news release here and view digital version of First Edition plans here

    "Reflections on Reading and Writing" from David McCullough 

    Recently, The Chicago Club hosted a lunch event for the American Writers Museum and special guest David McCullough. The Pulitzer Prize winning historian delivered a compelling address entitled "Reflections on Reading and Writing," in which he spoke about the importance of literature in a functioning society and stressed his concerns about the dwindling knowledge of American history among today's generation. McCullough maintained that American authors reveal more about our nation than we could possibly imagine: "I think if you took Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer and Rip Van Winkle...out of our way of life, it would be like taking Mississippi away or the Rocky Mountains." McCullough spoke about the power of the written word, noting that a book's characters "become part of our lives, influencing us, as examples of how to live or how not to live, how not to be. They transcend time." Calling the AWM project "a big idea" he stated: "I feel very happy, very willing to speak about this project at any time or any place because I feel it's so important." The American Writers Museum is deeply grateful for McCullough's support. 


    AWM Launches Author Home/Museum Affiliate Program

    The American Writers Museum is excited to announce our Author Home/Museum Affiliates Program. This new initiative will strengthen communication and collaboration with many of the outstanding author homes and museums across the nation. It is hoped that the Affiliate Program will garner support for joint advocacy in literary funding, cooperative programming, and other mutually beneficial endeavors. 
     Mark Twain's Boyhood Home & Museum,an AWM affiliate
    AWM Sponsors First 'Brooksday' in Chicago
    Earlier this month, the American Writers Museum teamed with Third World Press and the Guild Literary Complex to sponsor the first 'Brooksday,' a posthumous celebration of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks who called Chicago home. More than 850 people were in attendance. The event, which took place at the Chicago Cultural Center, celebrated what would have been the "We Real Cool" poet's 96th birthday and included more than 60 authors and celebrities among the well-wishers. Participants joined together for an all-day marathon reading of the Pulitzer Prize winner's work. Spearheading the project was Third World Press founder Haki Madhubuti, a member of AWM's Advisory Council and a former student and friend of Gwendolyn Brooks. Another AWM Advisory Council member, Dr. Reginald Gibbons, was also a driving force behind the project. 


    Above: Haki Madhubuti presents Brooks' books to Cultural Center Commissioner Michelle Boone. Reg Gibbons, Chairman of the Chicago Literary Council (second to the right) looks on.
    Reciting the works of Brooks at the Cultural Center
    New Summer Research Associates Support AWM Efforts 
    Davidson(left) and Freedman(right) in Mayer Brown's D.C. office

    AWMF welcomes Rachel Davidson from Chicago and Hannah Freedman from New Mexico, two new summer Research Associates. This summer Davidson and Freedman will be working in the D.C. office, contributing to our research efforts for the First Edition exhibit galleries, and participating in AWM fundraising endeavors. Leading the team will be Rebecca Moore from Virginia, a veteran, now on her third internship with AWMF. All come to AWMF from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
    Kelsey Grashoff

    Congratulations to past American Writers Museum Research Associate Kelsey Grashoff for being nominated as a George Washington University Distinguished Scholar. Grashoff, an honors student, was selected as one of two English department students for the university-wide honor.
    The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) published former AWM Research Associate Jessica Chace's article, Power of the Word: Foreign Influences in the Summer 2013 edition of The Writer's Chronicle. Chace's article describes last winter's AWM online exhibit, The Power of the Word: Leaders, Readers and Writers and summarizes the most popular selections and trends among the 38 contemporary contributing authors.
    Spotlight On: Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House 



    Nestled in historic Concord Massachusetts sits Orchard House, the former home of classic American author Louisa May Alcott. The house remains open to the public and has been preserved by Executive Director Jan Turnquist and the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association. In 1868 Alcott sat at a desk built for her by her father and wrote what would become one of the most beloved novels in american literature. This home became the setting for Alcott's classic, Little Women. Orchard House hosts diverse programs and events including "A Conversation with Annie Leibovitz and Doris Kearns Goodwin" later this month, and July's "Hand-in-Hand at Orchard House," an event designed for children ages six and under to explore Victorian times. Orchard House is an Affiliate of the AWM. 




    Wall Street Journal Features "A Bookish Proposal" About AWM
    On June 14th, The Wall Street Journal included an article by reporter Anna Russell about the American Writers Museum and our First Edition plans. View the article here. 


    AWM Contest: Who Said It?


    What famous American novelist and short story writer once said, "Easy reading is damned hard writing?"  


    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 a $25 prize check.



     Thank You to our Chapter One Patrons!  


    We would like to extend our gratitude to the AWM Chapter One Patrons. Your financial support helps us to continue with our mission to establish the nation's first American writers museum. 


    If you would like to become a Chapter One Patron and be listed on the AWM website, please make your secure $100 or more donation here. Donations are fully tax-deductible. 



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    Please follow @AmerWriteMuseum to stay up-to-date on news about The American Writers Museum. There, we post links to other sites, quote American writers, note writers' birthdays and share other literary items of interest. Follow us and join in the fun!  



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