Volume 4, Number 4 


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.




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 64-page museum design plan 


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


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People are hungry for stories. 
It's part of our very being. 
Storytelling is a form of history, 
of immortality too. 
It goes from one generation to another.
-Studs Terkel

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.

-Lorraine Hansberry

Very early in life I became fascinated with the wonders language can achieve. And I began playing with words.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

You asked me questions nobody ever asked me before.

-Richard Wright
"I'm familiar with the ongoing plans for a Writers Museum, and think that it is a terrific notion. I'm attracted to the mix of grandeur and ephemera that inevitably animates museums devoted to writers - the way, for instance, the Writer's Museum in Dublin offers at once a mini-history of the country and curiosities along the lines of Beckett's telephone, an ingenious device that allowed him to eliminate incoming calls. Doesn't that tell you a lot about Beckett?" 
S&C Electric Foundation to Co-Sponsor
Writing Chicago Exhibit
Gwendolyn Brooks
Richard Wright

The American Writers Museum Foundation (AWMF) recently received a grant from the S&C Electric Foundation to fund the museum's Writing Chicago exhibit. The AWMF is grateful to S&C for joining the Chicago Community Trust as co-sponsor and co-funder of the exhibit, scheduled to rotate through Chicago area libraries, cultural centers, and museums from winter to summer 2014.


A multimedia traveling exhibit created specifically for culturally underserved communities, Writing Chicago will be designed to showcase great Chicago writers who embraced the city's 

ethnically rich neighborhoods as the inspiration and subject of their work.

Lorraine Hansberry

Studs Terkel


Partnering with the Chicago Literary Council and Chicago Public Library, the AWM will tailor 

programming to the varied interests of each community with an exhibit designed to travel 

to other venues in Chicago. In fact, several other states have already made requests to house the exhibit.


Featured Chicago writers Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Studs Terkel, and Richard Wright will be represented in the planned museum's signature Chicago Room.

Writing Chicago, like the future AWM museum, will tell the authors' stories through images, anecdotes, and their moving and influential words. Visitors will experience the author's neighborhoods, ideas, stories, language, and people as the authors knew them.


Writing Chicago will also invite visitors to share what the works of Chicago writers mean to them, along with suggestions for what they want to see in the American Writers Museum when it opens in Chicago in 2015. See the news release.

powShare Your Reading Recommendations for World Leaders


Visit the American Writers Museum's fist online exhibit, back by popular demand, and share your reading recommendations for world leaders. The Power of the Word: Leaders, Readers, and Writers, was originally created to coincide with the G8 and NATO Summits in the U.S. in 2012. Rediscover the importance of American literature to world leaders and learn which books continue to inspire American writers today.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is, to my mind, the quintessential American novel. It gets at the heart of how we strive and desire and so often fail to take responsibility for our actions. America is the land of reinvention and that's what Gatsby manages to do. At the other end of the spectrum, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Lorraine Hansberry's 

Raisin in the Sun show what happens to the people who are shut out of the dream or fail at it. They're both brilliant plays.


- Ann Patchett, American Novelist, PEN/Faulkner Award Recipient

Visit and submit your favorites on Power of the Word.
JonesNew Director of Communications Sandra M. Jones


In early October, the American Writers Museum Foundation appointed Sandra M. Jones as the new director of communications and digital strategy.


"Sandra is an experienced communications professional with a deep appreciation for our nation's rich literary heritage," said museum founder and chairman of the foundation Malcolm O'Hagan. "I'm delighted she is joining our team as we embark on the next phase of developing the first national museum dedicated to American writers."


As communications director, Jones will work closely with Chairman O'Hagan, the AWM board of directors, and the Chicago Literary Council as the foundation begins its first major capital campaign, with a target to open the first phase of the museum in Chicago in 2015.


Author Thomas R. Hummel and photographer Tamra Dempsey are donating half the proceeds from sales of their 304-page coffee table book to the AWM. With over 140 full-color photographs, hand-drawn maps by Sinclair Lewis and William Faulkner, and choice words from the writers themselves, A Journey Through Literary America features biographies from 26 of the great American authors -- and the places that inspired them.

The holidays are rapidly approaching. Plan ahead and order multiple copies. What a wonderful gift for the writers and the readers in your life! 
Note that the book must be purchased online through literaryamerica.net for the American Writers Museum to benefit.
Bonus: Become a Chapter One Patron by donating $100 or more and the American Writers Museum will express our appreciation by sending you a free copy of the book, along with an AWM bookmark, and will list your name on the AWM website.

Become a Chapter One Patron and receive your gift book here!
ernestAffiliate Spotlight: The Ernest Hemingway Foundation


I am trying to make, before I get through, a picture of the whole world - or as much of it as I have seen. Boiling it down always, rather than spreading it out thin. 


 - Ernest Hemingway, excerpt from a letter, 1933
Established in 1983 and now an AWM Affiliate, the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Illinois, operates the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home, the nearby Ernest Hemingway Museum, and a traveling exhibit produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery. 
The Birthplace is a 5,500 square foot, two-story Victorian house, originally built by Hemingway's grandparents and restored following its acquisition by the Foundation in 1992. In 2001, the Foundation also acquired Hemingway's boyhood home, and is currently running a capital campaign to complete the historic restoration of the building.
The Museum houses permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as hosting essay competitions, public lectures, and reading events. Both the Birthplace and Museum facilities are open to the public for tours. 
Annual events and fundraisers, government grants, donations, and volunteer efforts help keep the story of Ernest's young life available to the public and support scholarly research into Hemingway's life and works.
From this house, Hemingway's mother took him to the opera and museums in Chicago, and he went with his father on camping trips in the woods nearby. Hemingway received his only formal education in Oak Park, where he began practicing the keen observation of people, places, and events that would later become his trademark.


Visit the Ernest Hemingway Foundation website ehfop.org for more information on Hemingway, special events at the Birthplace and Museum, and other opportunities to help preserve Hemingway's literary life and legacy.

affiliateAffiliate Program Welcomes Two New Author Homes

From the outset, the American Writers Museum founders envisioned partnerships with authors' homes and museums across the country. Now, the Author Home/Museum Affiliate Program continues to expand. Twenty-four author homes, museums, and foundations have become AWM Affiliates, most recently Joel Chandeler Harris' The Wren's Nest and the John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead. 


The AWM website Affiliates pages include a listing of American author homes and details about becoming an Affiliate. There is no cost involved, and no obligation beyond adding the AWM Affiliate logo to your website and Facebook to indicate your support. One Affiliate is showcased in each of our newsletters, helping the AWM and our Affiliates expand our literary network.


For more information on becoming an affiliate, please contact Lynne Pace Robinson or Pam Buckles at general@americanwritersmuseum.org or call 202.263.3330. 


The AWM is now on Pinterest!


Pinterest is an interactive media site designed to allow users to collect and share images, quotes, links, and just about anything else that inspires them. You do not need an account to enjoy our collections. Visit our page to find literary organizations, AWM affiliate and other news, book festivals and literary awards, literary humor (see sidebar), reading lists, and much more! 

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View the Updated First Edition Online


The American Writers Museum has an updated version of the First Edition available to view online or download in PDF format. 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 AWMF leadership, Advisory Councils, consultants, and participants of several charettes (brainstorming sessions). Funding was provided by a number of sources, including the National Endowment for the Humanities.

contest1AWM Contest: Name That Banned Book


In recognition of 2013 National Banned Books Week,

celebrated this past September: 


What banned book was originally typed in a public library in the early 1950s? Who typed it?


Remember to include your full name and address. We will have a drawing of all those who submit the correct answers. Submit your entry here for the chance to win $25!
Thanks to all our donors, patrons, affiliates, and friends for your ongoing support!
2013 All Rights Reserved
American Writers Museum Foundation / 1999 K Street, NW / Washington, D.C. 20006