FAW Chicago, IL Est. 1922
FAW Chicago

FAW Meetings

Winter Landscape

  FAW Welcomes Author Melanie Benjamin

Chicago writer Melanie Benjamin will be presenting the January 14th program. Melanie has written three excellent historical fiction books, the most recent being The Aviator's Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, released in January 2013. Her two earlier novels, Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, were read and enjoyed by the FAW awards committee, which found much to admire in Benjamin’s work—particularly her graceful blending of history with imaginative storytelling. Join FAW in January and bring your questions for Ms. Benjamin.

If you would like to hear one of our excellent programs and enjoy an afternoon with fellow literary devotees, fill out a membership application and join FAW! Membership is an excellent price at only $45.00 . Download the membership application and send it in today.

Membership form (PDF file)

FAW JANUARY 2015 Bulletin

    Highlights of the JANUARY FAW Bulletin
  • Program - Author Melanie Benjamin
  • Update from The Liturature Awards committies.
  • Some proposed changes to the FAW Bylaws
  • Homage to author P.D. James

January 14th Program -Author Melanie Benjamin.

Join us for the FAW luncheon on January 14th, 12:00 noon at the Fortnightly Club of Chicago
Click here for a map to the Fortnightly ClubMaps to Places

This month's reservation (and cancellations) must be made by Sun. January 10th before 6:00 pm. Call:
(Sorry - no reservations by email!)
• Vivian Mortenson - (847) 827-8339 or
Lorraine Campione - (773) 275-5118

• Pay by cash or check ($40) payable to FAW at the door.
• 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

The seating arrangements are on a first-come first-served basis. Tables are usually round, seating eight people. You may request name place settings if you are bringing a large number of guests. If you wish to sit with your friends and/or guests, please arrive early and choose your seats. Remember that there are lots of nice members at the meetings, and you should try and meet someone new each time.


About the FAW 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, Richard Yates, Sara Gruen, Gillian Flynn and Chad Harbach. The juvenile awards were initiated in 1960, and have grown exponentially in popularity.

FAW Literature Awards Committees are reviewing books for the 2014 - 2015 Literary Awards. 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-five ($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 PresidentRoberta Gates
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.