The Festival

If you have a specific question that is not listed below, please email your question to the American Writers Festival at

COVID Protocols

The American Writers Festival is committed to the safety of everyone involved and will follow all current guidelines as recommended by health officials and the City of Chicago. Proof of vaccination is required to attend. Attendees will receive a wristband once vaccination has been confirmed. Festival organizers are also committed to move entirely online if circumstances make that the safest option for writers, staff, and attendees. Sign up here for the latest COVID updates.

How can I get involved with the Festival?

The deadline for volunteering at the Festival has passed. If you’d like to volunteer with the American Writers Museum on a regular basis, please email

Where can I see the schedule? What are the hours of the Festival?

The Festival will take place from 10am to 6pm. View the full schedule here! And be sure to sign up for updates to be notified if anything changes. Read the Festival schedule press release here for more information.

Do I need tickets? If I sign up for updates, does that guarantee me a seat?

The American Writers Festival is free and open to the public. It is first come, first served. No tickets are required. When you register for updates, this does not guarantee you admission to any program.

Will Festival events be livestreamed as well?

Festival programs will not be livestreamed, but select programs will be recorded and made available to watch later on the AWM’s YouTube channel. Subscribe to be notified when new videos are added.

Will books be available to purchase?

Books will be sold by Seminary Co-op Bookstores, the exclusive bookselling partner of the Festival. Select books by writers featured in the Festival will be available.

Will writers be signing books?

Signings will be determined based on the writers’ availability on the day of the festival. Some writers may pre-sign books for purchase. Writers’ signing time will be limited, so please limit the number of books to sign to no more than three per person.

How do I become a sponsor of the Festival? What are sponsor benefits?

Find more information on sponsoring the Festival here. Email Director of Development Linda Dunlavy at with any questions.

Can I suggest a writer to feature at the festival?

Our programming for the festival is limited and we already have a very full schedule in the works, so we are not accepting further proposals at this time. However, we will be surveying attendees and look forward to your input for future programming. For local author events we encourage you to reach out to your community’s independent bookstore or nearby public library.

Can I bring children?

Children are welcome at the Festival, and most of the programming at the American Writers Museum will focus on children’s and young adult authors. Attendance is free all weekend long at the American Writers Museum as well.

Will there be Festival merchandise for sale?

Commemorative Festival tote bags will be available for purchase. Which is great for all the books you’ll get when you’re there!

Will there be food and drinks for sale?

No, there will not be food vendors on-site, but there are plenty of dining options nearby. Discover where to eat and drink in the Loop here.

Getting and Staying Here

How do I get to the Chicago Cultural Center and the American Writers Museum?

The Chicago Cultural Center is located at 78 East Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602. We recommend using the Washington Street entrance to enter the Festival. The American Writers Museum is located one block north at 180 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601. The Museum is on the second floor of this building.

What are nearby public transportation options?

  • From the elevated lines: exit at Washington/Wabash and walk east.
  • From the subway: exit at Lake (Red Line) or Washington (Blue Line) and walk east.
  • Served by Michigan Avenue buses 3, 4, 19, 20, 26, 60, 66, 124, 143, 147, 151, 157 and Washington St. buses 4, J14, 20, 56, 66, 147.
  • For travel information, visit For fare information or to purchase fares in advance, visit

Where can I park if I am driving to the Festival?

Nearby parking garages are located at Grant Park North Garage (25 N. Michigan Ave.), Grant Park South Garage (325 S. Michigan Ave.) and Millennium Park Garage & Millennium Lakeside Garage (5 S. Columbus Dr.). We also recommend using apps like SpotHero to find parking spaces.

Where in the Chicago Cultural Center will these events be held?

The Festival will take place across four stages: Sidney R. Yates Gallery, Preston Bradley Hall, GAR Hall/Rotunda, and the Partner Stage at the Millennium Park Room. Additionally, more programs will be held in Readers Hall at the American Writers Museum.

Are there hotels nearby?

The Festival takes place in downtown Chicago within walking distance to many hotels. Explore hotel options here.


Mobility Access

  • The wheelchair accessible entrance to the Chicago Cultural Center, located street level at Garland Court and Randolph Street, leads to the westernmost Randolph Square entry doors which have power assisted opening. The entrance to the American Writers Museum is also wheelchair accessible and there are elevators to bring you to the Museum level. All exhibits in the Museum are ADA compliant.
  • All restrooms and elevators in the Chicago Cultural Center and American Writers Museum are wheelchair accessible.
  • Wheelchairs for use in the Chicago Cultural Center are available upon request on a first come, first served basis. Upon arrival, please ask the security officer on duty in the lobby for assistance. The wheelchairs may be used in the building and returned to the security desk when finished. There is not staff available to push the chairs.
  • An elevator connected to the underground Pedway is located in the Randolph Street Lobby. An elevator located outside the building on the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street also connects to the underground Pedway providing access to the Chicago Cultural Center, the Metra Train Station and the Grant Park Underground Garage.

Press and Media

How can I cover the Festival?

Thank you for your interest in covering the American Writers Festival. For all media inquiries and coordination on site the day of the Festival, please contact Isaiah Neal at Read the official press release here for more information, as well as links to high-res publicity images, digital promotional assets, and more.

Please be aware that when you visit, there will be staff on site capturing images, video, and sound recordings to be used for commercial purposes. By entering the facility, persons consent and agree to the following: Images or likeness photographs and video can be used for any purpose including, but not limited to, publications, web pages, videos, brochures, and advertisements.