FAW Chicago, IL Est. 1922
FAW Chicago


FAW January Meeting

Welcome to Friends of American Writers 94th year.

Winter is here, the holiday celebrations are wrapping up and the New Year is on the horizon. Whether you are curled up in a cozy chair or basking in some southern sunshine, it is the perfect time to escape into the depths of a new good book.

The FAW Literature committees are busy meeting on the third Wednesday of each month to discuss their many submissions. The process of reading and sorting through these books will take the committee members through the winter months and into the Spring. The winnowing process may seem callous as various merits are discussed and the list of potential winners narrows, but it should be remembered that the books we receive are already winners by virtue of already having been published.

Meeting News
Last month we thoroughly enjoyed the glimpse into what went into the making of West Side Story offered by composer/conductor Stephen Kleiman. Click here to see photos of the meeting.

Readers & Reviewers will be meeting before the regular meeting at 10:30 AM on Feb 8 for a discussion of the 2009 novel Brooklyn by the well-known Irish author Colm Tóibín. Roberta Gates will serve as the facilitator.

More info on Readers & Reviewers meeting Feb. 8 2017!

February 8th program
Dan Crawford - The Newberry Library - It's Book Sale and Collections

Join us for the FAW luncheon on February 8th, 12:00 noon at the Fortnightly Club of Chicago
Click here for a map to the Fortnightly ClubMaps to Places

Luncheon reservations and cancellations are due no later than 6:00 PM Sunday February 5.
(Sorry - no reservations by email!)
• Pat Adelberg - (847) 588-0911 or
Lorraine Campione - (773) 275-5118

• $45.00 Pay by check(preferred) payable to FAW at the door. Cash is accepted also.
• Vegetarian meals may be requested at the time you make your reservation.
• You must call to cancel your reservation, otherwise you will still be charged.
• Discounted parking is available two doors west of the Fortnightly at 100 Bellevue Place
• Group reservations - please only have one person make the group request to avoid confusion.

Seating Arrangements

Please mention any special seating arrangements when you make your reservation.
--Seated with a Friend or group
--Disability seating
Every effort will be made to honor your request.

FAW Literature Award

Literature Awards
George Hodgman for BETTYVILLE: A Memoir, (Viking, 2015)
Tie 2nd$1000 ea
Andrew Malan Milward for I WAS A REVOLUTIONARY, (Harper Collins, 2015)
Judith Claire Mitchell for A REUNION OF GHOSTS: A Novel, (Harper, 2015)

Young People's Literature Awards
David Arnold for MOSQUITOLAND, (Viking/Penguin, 2015), $1300
Christine Hayes for MOTHMAN'S CURSE, (Roaring Brook Press, 2015), $1300
Aimée Bissonette for NORTH WOODS GIRL, (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2015), $1300

About the Awards

Friends of American Writers has been awarding prizes to new and promising authors from the Midwest since 1928. Each year the Literature Awards Committee reads and reviews dozens of books to pick the current year award winners. 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 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 creative non-fiction.
  • Self-published and e-Books are not eligible.
  • The book must be published in the calendar year prior to the awards year. Currently we are evaluating books published during the 2016 year.
  • The author must not have published more than three books under his/her own pen name. Books one, two and three are 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, 2016.

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Visit the Dust Jacket to read about our new Literature Award Winners.

Congratulation to our FAW Scholarship winner, Jonathan Riesbeck from National Louis University. Each year we award a scholarship to a creative writing student who shows particular promise. To read more about Johathan click here.

FAW is proud to announce that member and award winning author, Dr. Amina Gautier, has a new short story collection released. The Loss of All Lost Things won the Elixir Press 2014 Fiction Award. It is a short story collection with complex themes illuminating how differently each of the central characters experience and deal with events of tragic loss. You will want to read it in one sitting.

Looking for something new to read? Check out these new books by past FAW Literature Award Winners. New Books!


FAW membership
Do you enjoy reading, writing, or supporting new writers who 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 $45.00 . Download the membership application and send it in today.

For further information about membership in Friends of American Writers, please contact Membership Chairman
Ida Hagman at membership@fawchicago.org

Membership form (PDF file)
Membership PDF file

FAW Officers

2015 - 2016 Officers

PresidentRoberta Gates
Vice PresidentChristine Spatara
SecretaryVivian Mortensen
TreasurerDoris Roskin

Committee Chairs

Newsletter EditorShirley Baugher
Foundation FundLinda Gustafson
Literature AwardsTammie Bob
Young People's AwardsMarti Daniel
Luncheon - SocialCarol Eshaghy
MembershipIda Hagman
ProgramsLorraine Campione
RevisionsDiana Adams
Sustaining ClubsJane Foster
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
The Woman's Reading Club of Riverside
The Renaissance Art Club

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, Carl Sandburg, Kevin Fenton, Kalisha Buckhanon, Chad Harbach, Gillian Flynn, and Sara Gruen. Recent award winners include Ethan Rutherford, Celeste Ng and George Hodgman.

In 1960, FAW introduced awards for Juvenile Literature 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.