FAW Chicago, IL Est. 1922
FAW Chicago

FAW Meetings

Summer Butterfly

FAW is on Summer break. Meetings will resume September 2012 with new programs. Do you enjoy reading, writing, or supporting new writers whom are starting their career? Join Friends of American Writers for one of our excellent programs at the Fortnightly Club. Membership is an excellent price at only $40.00 . Download the membership application and send it in today.

Membership form (PDF file)

FAW 2014 Literary Winners

About the Awards

Friends of American Writers has been awarding prizes to new and promising authors from the Midwest since 1928. Winners have included: Carl Sandburg, William Maxwell, John Gardner, Toni Morrison, John Casey, Jane Smiley, Mona Simpson, Deborah Eisenberg, Larry Watson, and Richard Yates. The juvenile awards were initiated in 1960.

We will be starting our review of books for the 2014 - 2015 Literary Awards in September. Books are eligible for review based on the following criteria.

  • The author must be a resident (or previously have been a resident for approximately five years) of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin; or the locale of the book must be in a region identified above.
  • The books can be fiction or non-fiction of literary quality (not poetry).
  • FAW is not considering Self-published and e-Books currently.
  • The book must be published in the calendar year prior to the awards year. Currently we are evaluating books published during the 2014 year.
  • The author must not have published more than three books under his/her own pen name, the third book being eligible for consideration. If an author has more than one book published during that year, we will consider all of them.
  • Books nominated for the award must be submitted to the FAW Awards Committees by December 10, 2014.

Attention 2013 - 2014 Literary Awards

See our Literary Awards page for additional information and listing of past award winners.

Are you looking for reading resources? Visit the The Dust Jacket for additional reading resources and bios of our literary winners.


FAW membership dues are currently forty ($45.00) dollars a year. For further information about membership in Friends of American Writers, please contact Membership Chairman
Sandy Weiss at membership@fawchicago.org
Membership form (PDF file) Membership PDF file

FAW Officers

2014 - 2015 Officers

PresidentChristine Bern
Vice President
SecretaryChristine Spatara
TreasurerEileen McNulty

Committee Chairmen

Awards Luncheon ChairMarion Sherlock
Bulletin EditorShirley Baugher
Foundation Fund TrusteesCorene Anderson
Literary Awards ChairTammie Bob & April Nauman
Juvenile Literary Awards ChairTanya Klasser
Luncheon - Social ChairCarol Eshaghy
MembershipSandy Weiss
Program ChairRoberta Gates
Publicity - HistorianTBA
Revisions ChairEdith Riley
Sustaining Clubs ChairAngie Higginson
Yearbook - Awards ProgramPat Adelberg
Website ManagerKaren Baker

Board meetings are held at the Fortnightly at 10:30 a.m. the mornings of the luncheons.

Sustaining Clubs

Flossmoor Book Club
Ogden Dunes Book Club
Renaissance Art Club
Women's Reading Club of Riverside

FAW History

Our mission shall be to study American literature, to encourage high standards and to promote literary ideals among American writers.

Friends of American Writers (FAW) was established in 1922 to study American literature, to encourage high standards, and to promote literary ideals among American writers. Members are invited to attend the luncheons, serve on committees that help run the organization or participate in the selection of the award-winning authors.

Over the years, after an annual lengthy screening process, FAW has honored Midwestern authors or those whose novels or non-fiction are set in the Midwest, by recognition and monetary awards. Those honored are invited to address the FAW membership at the Awards Luncheon.

Among the many emerging adult authors recognized over the years are Sara Paretsky, Jane Smiley, Toni Morrison, Harry Mark Petrakis and Carl Sandburg. Kevin Fenton and Chad Harbach won awards for the 2011 year.

In 1960, FAW introduced awards for Juvenile Literary authors. Clifford Hicks won the first award for "First Boy on the Moon". Recent winners include Brynne Barnes delightful picture book and Delia Ray's book for young readers.

Additionally, through the FAW Foundation Fund, students at local universities, recommended by their writing professors, are given recognition and cash awards to offset tuition.

Dorothy Gwynn has published a short booklet, "Friends of American Writers: Encouraging Writing and Thoughtful Reading", which describes in more detail the formation and proceedings of FAW.