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Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Logo

Harriette Gillem Robinet, the acclaimed author of 11 historical novels for young adults, will receive the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's Fuller Award at a ceremony on Tuesday, March 14. The ceremony will take place at Dominican University's Performing Arts Center, starting at six p.m.; a reception with appetizers and drinks will follow. Speakers include Linda Robinet, Nora Brooks Blakely, Athena Williams, Frank Lipo, Glennette Tilley Turner, and Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert. In addition, Timothy Rey and several Beye Elementary School students will read two very short stage adaptations based on the author's work.The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Robinet will be the 14th recipient of CLHOF's highest honor for living writers. Over the past three decades, Robinet has earned recognition from such prestigious organizations as the Friends of American Writers and Midland Authors. She's won a Carl Sandburg Award and a Scott O'Dell Award, and been a finalist for an Edgar Award, a Willam Allen White Award, a Texas Bluebonnet Award, and a Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award. Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues was recognized as Jane Addams Award Honor book in 2001.

Robinet has long been a Chicago-area resident; in fact, she and her husband Mac have lived in the same Oak Park house since 1965. The couple were among the first integrators to Oak Park. Robinet's novels explore various themes related to social justice, often using historically significant moments as a springboard. Chicago appears as a primary setting in several books, notably Children of the Fire and Missing From Haymarket Square. In addition, Ride the Red Cycle fictionalizes aspects of Gillem's experience as a mother raising a handicapped child.

In addition to the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame and Dominican University, Oak Park Regional Housing Center, American Writers Museum, Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Housing Forward, Oak Park River Forest Museum, and The Happy Apple Pie Shop will help present this honor. Contributing partners include River Forest Public Library, Oak Park Public Library, Sisters in Crime Chicagoland, and Mystery Writers of America.

Read our blog interview with Harriette's daughter, Linda Robinet.

Read our Landmarks entry on the Robinet's historic home.

Register now!!!

Introducing the Randall Albers
Young Writers Award

Randall Albers

With the start of the new year, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (CHLOF) institutes a new award: the Randall Albers Young Writers Award.

The award has the dual value of both honoring one of Chicago’s most beloved literary dignitaries, Randall Albers, as well as recognizing, supporting, highlighting, and celebrating the literary gifts of Chicago’s youth.

The Randall Albers Young Writers Award is open to all Chicago-area students currently enrolled in grades 9–12. This year’s inaugural awards will honor young writers of fiction and nonfiction.

A $500 prize will be awarded to the 2023 1st Place winner, with finalists receiving the following amounts:

  • 2nd Place: $250
  • 3rd Place: $150
  • 4th Place: $100

Each winner will also receive a writing consultation with one of the editors for DePaul’s Blue Book: Best American High School Writing 2023, and their winning pieces may be eligible for inclusion in the publication. The winner and finalists will be listed on our website and will have the opportunity to read from their entries during the award ceremony.

Learn How to Enter

Thursday, January 19, 2023 — Midwest Modern Language Association  The MMLA has selected Wherever I’m at: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry for its prestigious 2022 Book of the Year prize. “…readers move, with the poets and artists, through many neighborhoods, travel to legendary (sometimes lost) establishments, pop into the great cultural institutions, dive into historical moments, even ride the famous Ferris Wheel … a story of a city that is different things to different people, with interests and ideas that sometime overlap and sometimes diverge, but always come from a place of deep love.” Read more

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