Book It To The First American Writers Museum!


“It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn’t wait to leave.” – Anatole Broyard

I’m not going to lie here. As a former dual-major in English and Journalism, getting an invite to the opening of the first-of-its-kind American Writers Museum gave me a little tingle of glee. How could you not love an idea like this, especially here in Chicago, the setting of so much damn fine writing.

Here’s what the museum says about itself:

The mission of the American Writers Museum is to engage 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 strives to:

  • Educate the public about American writers – past and present
  • Engage visitors to the Museum in exploring the many exciting worlds created by the spoken and written word
  • Enrich and deepen appreciation for good writing in all its forms
  • Motivate visitors to discover, or rediscover, a love of reading and writing
  • Inspire the young writers of tomorrow

Through innovative and dynamic state-of-the-art exhibitions, as well as compelling programming, the American Writers Museum educates, enriches, provokes, and inspires the public.

Sounds pretty good to me.

The museum opened yesterday with a speech and a ribbon cutting from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough.

The great David Mucculah doing what he does best.

The great David McCullough doing what he does best.

I loved hearing from both of them about the importance of reading, writing and being well-rounded people. As someone who loves reading (but sadly seems to never find as much time as I like for doing it), it was a sentiment that rang true to my very soul.

It’s not a giant museum but it is packed full of knowledge, tidbit, changing exhibits and fun. There’s digital screens, immersive bits of writing and some tranquil exhibits that are peaceful just to walk through.

I mean, when was the last time you actually sat down and wrote on a typewriter? It’s actually a lot harder than you think it would be. Also, I think I’m onto something here…

Also, they’ve got a pretty adorable children’s exhibit for the writers of the future.

Tickets are $12, which might be a little bit too much for what it is, but it is supporting a great cause and if you love literature, you will love this spot.

See you in print!


The American Writers Museum is located at 180 N. Michigan Avenue, Second Floor, Chicago, IL 60601. Tickets are $12 per adult, $8 for students and free for children and can be bought here.