Below is a list of our upcoming programs. New programs are added regularly, so come back often to check for updates, or click here to sign up for program updates. Please remember to confirm your email address.

RSVP if you are interested in a program, as space is often limited, and some programs will have costs. AWM Members receive advanced information on public events, invitations to members-only events, and more.


Little Squirrels Storytime

Every Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

The AWM is excited to welcome preschool-age children in its Children’s Literature Gallery every Saturday. Read books, play with other children, and hear a story from the museum’s dedicated volunteers. 

Children’s Literature Gallery. Preschool-age children w/ caregiver.

July 19:

Surprise Bookshelf Series: Tayari Jones

Thursday, July 19, 6:30 p.m.

Tayari Jones is an award-winning author whose new novel An American Marriage is a national bestseller — and latest pick for Oprah’s Book Club — that focuses on a newlywed couple and their reckoning with race, gender roles, and forces beyond their control. 

Readers Hall. General public.

Sold Out
July 23:

Writopia Lab Creative Writing Camps

Week of July 23

Campers will spend the first day of their week-long workshops at the AWM, exploring the history of American writing and Chicago’s literary figures. Registrants receive a free year-long AWM Family membership.

AWM & Writopia’s West Loop Lab. Ages 7 & older.

August 2:

Manisha Sinha: The Slave’s Cause

Thursday, August 2, 6:30 p.m.

University of Connecticut Department of History Chair Manisha Sinha presents her book The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, winner of the 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize.

Readers Hall. General public.

August 8:

Kenneth B. Morris: The Legacy of Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, August 8, 6:30 p.m.

Morris, a descendant of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington and founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives discusses Douglass’s influence in the past, present and future.

Readers Hall. General public.

August 16:

Science Friday: A Celebration of great Science writing

Thursday, August 16, 6:30 p.m.

NPR’s Science Friday comes to the American Writers Museum for a celebration of Great Science Writing with authors Terry Tempest Williams and David Quammen.

Readers Hall. General public.

August 27:

Norman Mailer and the Siege of Chicago

Monday, August 27, 6:30 p.m.

An event in honor of the publication of Norman Mailer’s Library of America volumes, with Mailer scholar J. Michael Lennon and NPR’s Maureen Corrigan in conversation.

Readers Hall. General public.

September 4:

Surprise Bookshelf Series: Fearless Women in Science Fiction

Tuesday, September 4, 6:30 p.m.

Multi-talented authors Mary Robinette Kowal (The Fated Sky), Sue Burke (Semiosis) and Tessa Gratton (The Queens of Innis Lear) read from their novels and talk sci-fi writing as women in the contemporary era.

Readers Hall. General public.

September 6:

David L. Carlson: The Hunting Accident

Thursday, September 6, 6:30 p.m.

Written by Carlson and illustrated by Landis Blair, The Hunting Accident is a graphic novel telling the true story of Charlie Rizzo and his father Matt, who was blinded during an armed robbery.

Readers Hall. General public.

September 11:

Surprise Bookshelf Series: Nnedi Okorafor

Tuesday, September 11, 6:30 p.m.

An evening with the international award-winning and national bestselling author of Who Fears Death (A World Fantasy Award winner) and Black Panther: Long Live the King among many other works.  

Readers Hall. General public.

September 20:

The Frederick Douglass Mixtape Workshop

Thursday, September 20, 6:30 p.m.

A one-night-only workshop & open mic with Young Chicago Authors’ Tim “Toaster” Henderson responding to AWM’s new exhibit, Frederick Douglas: Agitator. Tour the exhibit and write based on Douglass’s work, then read for the audience!

Readers Hall. General public.

September 21:

Singers & Songwriters: Dessa

Friday, September 21, 6:30 p.m.

Rapper, singer and essayist Dessa talks poetry and lyrics and her new book, My Own Devices. A Billboard Top 200 artist who appeared on The Hamilton Mixtape, Dessa is a member of the Minneapolis hip-hop crew Doomtree.

Readers Hall. General public.

September 27:

Surprise Bookshelf Series: Ken Krimstein: The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt

Thursday, September 27, 6:30 p.m.

The New Yorker cartoonist’s page-turning graphic biography of the fascinating Hannah Arendt, the most prominent philosopher of the twentieth century.

Readers Hall. General public.

October 6:

Singers & Songwriters: Ketch Secor

Saturday, October 6, 6:30 p.m.

Old Crow Medicine Show founder and Grammy award-winning musician Ketch Secor presents his new book Lorraine, with illustrator Higgins Bond. It’s a “sweeping, epic Americana story about the power of music and family.”

Readers Hall. General public.

October 15:

Sara Paretsky: Shell Game

Monday, October 15, 6:30 p.m.

Sara Paretsky follows her instant New York Times bestseller Fallout—her most widely read novel in years—with an extraordinary adventure that pits her acclaimed detective, V.I. Warshawski, against some of today’s most powerful figures.

Readers Hall. General public.

October 24:

Walter Mosley: John Woman

Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 p.m.

From the award-winning Walter Mosley comes a dazzling novel of ideas about the sexual and intellectual coming-of-age of an unusual man who goes by the name Woman.

Readers Hall. General public.


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