We have plenty of events and exhibits that are some of the top things to do in Chicago this month. Celebrate American writing with us!
Autumn has officially fallen upon us. But as the weather and the leaves continue to change, so too does our calendar of programs and events! There’s something for everyone too, including talks with award-winning authors and filmmakers, a retro ’80s party, a NaNoWriMo writers space, and more. So plan your visit today!
Check out what we have lined up in November and subscribe to our e-newsletter below to stay up-to-date on all that’s happening. Also, AWM members get free admission to the AWM and most programs, so if you’re not already a member, become a member today!
1. Curtis Chin: Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant (November 7, 6:00 pm CT)
Filmmaker and writer Curtis Chin’s new memoir about coming of age and coming out traces the author’s journey through 1980s Detroit as he navigated rising xenophobia, the AIDS epidemic, and the Reagan Revolution to find his voice as a writer and activist—all set against the backdrop of his family’s popular Chinese restaurant: Chung’s Cantonese Restaurant. Served up by the co-founder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and structured around the very menu that graced the tables of Chung’s, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant is both a memoir and an invitation: to step inside one boy’s childhood oasis, scoot into a vinyl booth, and grow up with him—and perhaps even share something off the secret menu.
Chin discusses his memoir at the American Writers Museum with Grace Chan McKibben, Executive Director at the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Get your tickets here. This program will also be livestreamed, and you can register for the viewing link here.
2. Get Lit: ’80s Night (November 8, 5:30 pm CT)
We’re going back in time at our next Get Lit happy hour event. So, dust off your leg warmers, tease your hair to new heights, and join us for a nostalgia-filled evening that pays homage to the iconic era of the 1980s, when the writing was totally radical. Dance to ’80s jams and watch clips from iconic films as you make DIY slap bracelets, shutter shades, and explore all of our exhibits with a beverage in hand including the night’s signature cocktail The Pretty in Pink Lady. Flex your knowledge in the That’s What I Call the ’80s trivia bingo to win prizes. Plus, discover the life and work of John Hughes with a pop-up exhibit featuring typewriters he actually owned and used. So, grab your Walkman, channel your inner Molly Ringwald or Ferris Bueller, and relish in the magic of the ’80s at our unforgettable throwback night!
Get Lit events take place the second Tuesday of every month from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (except for this month!). Each month has a different theme, so check out upcoming Get Lit events here and be sure to check back regularly as we announce more Get Lit events throughout the year.
3. Words and Machines: The Future of Writing with Jonathan Taplin and Michi Trota (November 10, 6:00 pm CT)
Are you ready to embark on a literary journey into the future? Join us for an evening of exploration at the intersection of literature, technology, and artificial intelligence as we welcome tech industry journalist Jonathan Taplin and science fiction author Michi Trota to the American Writers Museum. These two prominent voices will engage in a dynamic discussion—accompanied by an actual AI chatbot—and together they will delve into how technology has reshaped the world of writing, the advantages and challenges of AI, and the profound implications of AI for the future of creative expression.
Taplin’s latest book The End of Reality: How Four Billionaires are Selling a Fantasy Future of the Metaverse, Mars, and Crypto is a brilliant takedown and exposé of the great con job of the twenty-first century—the metaverse, crypto, space travel, transhumanism—being sold by four billionaires (Peter Thiel, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreesen, Elon Musk), leading to the degeneration and bankruptcy of our society. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Get your tickets here. This program will also be livestreamed, and you can register for the viewing link here.
4. NaNoWriMo Writers Space (November 12, 10:00 am-5:00 pm CT)
November is National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, and we want to help you get across the finish line! Join your fellow writers and readers at the American Writers Museum’s second annual NaNoWriMo Writers Space, where you can swap ideas, share tips, give feedback, and write your #NaNoWriMo novel. General Highlight Tours of the AWM will also be offered at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 4:00 pm to inspire the writer inside you. Spend a day at the AWM with fellow writers and find motivation for your novel from the American masters of the craft like Ernest Hemingway, who psyched himself up with the mantra, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.” Included with AWM admission. No advance registration required. Plan your visit!
5. Isaac Bashevis Singer: Writings on Yiddish and Yiddishkayt: The War Years, 1939-1945 (November 15, 5:30 pm CT)
Join the Yiddish Book Center at the American Writers Museum for a conversation with editor and translator David Stromberg and historian Kenneth Moss about the forthcoming collection Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Writings on Yiddish and Yiddishkayt: The War Years, 1939-1945. A reception will be held at 5:30 pm CT and a book signing will follow the discussion. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended to secure a seat. Learn more and register with the Yiddish Book Center here.
6. Thanksgiving Weekend
The American Writers Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 23. But other than that, we are open all Thanksgiving Weekend long! Plus, beginning November 24 is our new tour, ‘Twas the Night Before: A Holiday Tour. Immerse yourself in the timeless tales and cherished traditions that have shaped our holiday celebrations through the power of words. Included with admission and offered at 3:00 pm daily when the AWM is open. Also beginning Friday, November 24 and lasting through Sunday, November 26, get 10% OFF ALL merchandise in the AWM Gift Shop, in person orders only. Our gift shop is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and you do not need to purchase admission to shop. Plan your visit to the AWM today! If you are looking for savings year-round, AWM members always receive 15% off gift shop purchases, so become a member today and save even more!