The American Writers Museum is a 501 (c)(3) organization whose mission is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives.



10689542_10206826179236890_221062337145339466_nEmily Bereiter

Emily Bereiter received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Loras College. She is working to earn her Library Technical Assistant Certificate from the College of DuPage. She is a lifelong bookworm and Illinois native who is currently working on her first novel. Her favorite American authors include John Steinbeck, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ray Bradbury.

brentSusanne Brent

Susanne Brent was born in Chicago, and grew up reading the Chicago Sun Times that her dad brought home every night after work. The newspaper inspired her to become a journalist. She earned a journalism degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver and moved to Arizona to work on a weekly newspaper.Now she has a blog which you can visit here:

lisacottrellLisa Cottrell

Lisa Cottrell has been teaching for more than 25 years in high schools and also teaches writing to adults in the evenings. She has earned graduate degrees in literature and writing, and writes mostly memoir. Lisa has recently been on a mission to promote reading and writing in her community.

KathleenDonnellyKathleen Dixon Donnelly

Kathleen Dixon Donnelly’s research for her Ph.D. at Dublin City University, “Such Friends,” was about groups of early 20th century writers, including the Americans in Paris and the Algonquin Round Table. She has taught marketing and public relations in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ireland and the United Kingdom, where she now lives. Kathleen has given presentations about the writers and led tours of the cities where they held their “salons.” Get to know more about her and the writers at Such Friends.

JDraper_9219_cfox-squareJenny Draper

Jennifer Draper is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Chicago, where she earned her master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University. She hails from the Pacific Northwest and favors speculative fiction. Get to know her at

headshot (1)Hannah Engler

Hannah Engler is a summer intern for AWM and a senior at the University of Michigan studying English. She has written for Slant News and the Odyssey, and is currently a staff contributor at Book Riot. She is editor-in-chief of UMich’s first and only feminist magazine, What the F.

eJqNxo9dn68cEEC9cSu2VhH4Wdab-M81Wm10VAVToAkFrancine Pappadis Friedman

Francine Pappadis Friedman is a published writer whose first short story appeared in Story Quarterly, the 10th edition, which featured Illinois writers including James T. Farrell and Harry Mark Petrakis. Friedman’s first book, MatchDotBomb: A Midlife Journey through Internet Dating, was published in 2007. A memoir, MatchDotBomb received first-place awards for non-fiction in 2008 by both the Illinois Women’s Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women. Friedman has appeared on national television and radio shows and has addressed groups across the country on the book’s underlying topic of love, loss and moving on with life’s journey. Many of her articles and essays have appeared in a national magazine.

Esther's August 1 2013 Michael Schact retouched pictureEsther Hershenhorn

Chicagoan Esther Hershenhorn authors picture books, middle grade fiction, nonfiction and poetry, teaches Writing for Children at the Newberry Library and the University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies and coaches writers of all ages to help them tell their stories.  A transplanted Philadelphian, she’s called Chicago home since 1967. You can learn more about her at She blogs at

10659237_10154569156640321_5778751216347510065_n-2Will Hertel

Will Hertel is a Chicagoan writer currently residing in Brooklyn. He is a recent graduate of the College of Wooster, where he majored in Philosophy and minored in English and Economics. When not writing or reading, he can be found practicing German or running.

Paul Holler ImagePaul Holler

Paul Holler is a native Chicagoan and a graduate of DePaul University. His stories and articles have appeared in Eclectica, Southern Cross Review, Copperfield Review, Greek Fire, Bookslut, Critique Magazine, Conversations with Jay Parini and other journals and anthologies.

lora awmLora Kelley

Lora Kelley is an Evanston native based in New Haven, Connecticut. Her work has been published in The New Journal, The Yale Herald, and the Stanford Arts Review. She has interned at McSweeney’s at the Yale Art Gallery.

Nateunnamed King

Nate graduated from Ithaca College in 2014 with a B.A. in Journalism and a penchant for American literature. For three years he waited tables while developing a healthy writing habit. His writing has appeared in The Littleton Courier and The Ithacan, as well as the online magazine Ithaca Week. Originally from the mountains of New Hampshire, Nate moved to Chicago in 2015 and now works as the Administrative Assistant at the AWM.

Angie Klink at desk bookshelf - CopyAngie Klink

Angie Klink is the author of eight books. She writes biographies, histories, documentaries, children’s books, essays, and advertising copy. She was the scriptwriter for the public education documentary Rise Above the Mark, narrated by actor Peter Coyote. Klink is the recipient of the 2016 American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award recognizing lifetime achievement in the marketing, advertising and public relations industry. She has received fifty-seven American Advertising Federation ADDY Awards and an honorable mention in the 2007 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Competition. Klink is a board member of the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) where she chairs the Marketing and Promotions Committee. By day, Klink is a copywriter for Dearing Group, a marketing communications agency located in Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana. Klink holds a BA from the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University.

Christian Kriticos (HS 1)Christian Kriticos

Christian Kriticos grew up in Saudi Arabia and England, before moving to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree at Northwestern University. A former Administrative Assistant with the American Writers Museum, he now contributes to the museum’s blog, while also writing for other websites such as The Millions.

MartaTara Lynn Marta

Tara Lynn Marta holds a B.A. in English from The Pennsylvania State University. She is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. Tara is an avid reader who enjoys classic literature. In addition to writing fiction, Tara’s areas of concentration also include journalism and nonfiction.

headshotScott Ondercin

Scott Ondercin was raised in Cleveland and graduated from the University of Chicago. He holds a graduate degree in Museum Studies and works as an archivist in Chicago.

IMG_5718Ben Railton

Ben Railton is Associate Professor of English Studies and Coordinator of American Studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of three books on American literature, culture, and identity, and also maintains the daily AmericanStudier blog and contributes public scholarly pieces to sites such as Talking Points Memo and We’re History.

Jenna2015v2SmallJenna Sauber

Jenna Sauber works for the National Communication Association in Washington, DC, and is also a freelance writer. She has written for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, BookBub, Huffington Post, I Want Her Job, and more. She previously worked for the Case Foundation and the UN Foundation, and received a B.A. in English journalism from Miami University. Her favorite American authors are Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. You can read more of her writing at and follow her on Twitter @cajunjen.

Whipple_headshotJona Whipple

Jona Whipple is an archivist in Chicago and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Catapult, The Hairpin, The Flounce, Hypertext Magazine, Archival Outlook, and The Chicago Reader. She loves literature that is feminist, Southern Gothic, or post-apocalyptic. new hairNike Whitcomb

Nike Whitcomb is founder and principal of Whitcomb Associates. Whitcomb was the first female president of the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and has received the organization’s President’s Award. She helped author the original certification test for AFP, and is a regular trainer and presenter at local, regional, and national conferences on fundraising and nonprofit management. Whitcomb is a graduate of Milikin University, where she received the Merit Loyalty Award in 2014. She was the first Executive Director of the American Writers Museum.

Calamity Wyatt Photo AWM

Calamity Wyatt

Calamity Wyatt is a Chicago native with a passion for the arts and humanities. She is an essayist, editor, and short story writer. Favorite authors include Annie Proulx, Andre Dubus, and Anne Tyler.
When not reading or writing, Calamity enjoys fostering dogs (cranky yet lovable are her specialty), creating mixed media collages, and trying to live a productive and disciplined life, though these efforts are dwarfed by the life she actually lives – one of procrastination, magical thinking, unsteady book piles, and daydreams of Paris.