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Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Events and News
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Events and News


CLHOF Appreciation Party

Thursday, February 21, 2019
7-10 p.m.


Hyde Park

A party  to show our gratitude for all the support we've received throughout the year, from volunteers, to partners, to board members, to authors and scholars. There will be food, drink, and a fire. At the party, we'll recap our 2018 accomplishments and unveil our 2019 calendar.

Back of the Yards

Saturday, February 23, 2019
10-11:30 a.m.

The Newberry Library
Ruggles Hall
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Great Chicago Books Club: Rosellen Brown

Sunday, March 10, 2019
5-7:30 p.m.

Hyde Park

Chicago, IL
Private Home

Our Great Chicago Books Club on Sunday, March 10, will feature Rosellen Brown’s The Lake on Fire, the author’s first fictional foray into the Chicago landscape after nearly a quarter century living in…  read more

Chicago By The Book: The Federal Writers Project’s Illinois Unit

Thursday, April 25, 2019
6-8 p.m.

City Lit Books
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647

The Caxton Club's newly-released Chicago By the Book maps out a history of our city through some of its most important literature. For this panel discussion, we're going to focus on entry #61: Illinois:…  read more

Chicago’s Black Literary Renaissance Bus Tour

Saturday, May 4, 2019
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Kenwood United Church of Christ
(across from Brooks Park and Gwendolyn Brooks statue)
4600-08 S. Greenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653

Bus will load and unload here.

Part of the larger Chicago Black Renaissance, the literary movement started in the 1930s and continued to foster important African-America authors through the 1950s. On this bus tour, we’ll visit some of the…  read more

Great Chicago Books Club: Jane Hamilton

Sunday, May 5, 2019
5:30-7 p.m.

Oak Park, Il
Private Home


Our Great Chicago Books Club on Sunday, May 5, will feature Jane Hamilton’s Disobedience, the author’s fourth novel, and one featuring a discovered affair in a Chicago household. The story explores a mother's…  read more

Oak Park Literary Walking Tour

Sunday, May 5, 2019
1:00 to 3:00 pm

Meet at the Oak Park-River Forest High School, 201 Scoville Avenue.

End: Hemingway's Birthplace, 339 North Oak Park Avenue.

Ernest Hemingway Birthplace
Oak Park Avenue

Oak Park, a sleepy conservative village when Ernest Hemingway was a child, has evolved in the last century to become a bedrock of liberal thought. This tour explores Oak Park's significance in litreature for more…  read more

Chicago’s Gold Coast Literary Walking Tour

Thursday, May 9, 2019
1:30-3:30 p.m.

Meet: Bughouse Square (across from Newberry Library)

End: Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street

In its heyday, when debates raged in Bughouse Square and ideas bounced about the Dil Picke Club, Chicago's Gold Coast featured a wide array of vibrant, joyous, and culturaly significant literary spots. Even today, the…  read more

Fuller Award: Sara Paretsky

Thursday, May 9, 2019
5-7 p.m.

Newberry Library
60 W. Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610

On Thursday, May 9, author Sara Paretsky will receive the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's Fuller Award for lifetime achievement at the Newberry Library.

Paretsky’s novels, particularly her V.I. Warshawski series, revolutionized…  read more

Printers Row Lit Fest

Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2019
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Printers Row
620 S. Dearborn
(between Congress and Polk)
Chicago, IL

Printers Row Lit Fest is maybe our country's greatest literary festival, a weekend of bookselling, author discussions, readings, music, and generally a coming-together of nearly every player in our community. The read more

Bughouse Square Debates

Saturday, July 27, 2019
12-4 p.m.

Washington Square Park
901 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL

The Bughouse Square Debates are free and open to the public, and happen in conjunction with Newberry Library's annual book fair. The afternoon is an homage to Bughouse Square's history of lively debate and…  read more

Great Chicago Books Club: Audrey Niffenegger

Sunday, July 28, 2019
5-7:30 p.m.

Chicago, IL
Private Home


Our Great Chicago Books Club on Sunday, July 28, will feature Audrey Niffeneggers’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, the author’s debut novel and a long-standing bestseller.  The Newberry Library, which is the start…  read more

Chicago Journalists Bus Tour

Saturday, August 10, 2019
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tribune Tower
435 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s roll of inductees includes a large number of writers whose careers were made in whole or part through their work as journalists. Ben Hecht, Mike Royko, Fanny Butcher, Carl…  read more

Great Chicago Book Sale

Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, 2019
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church

405 S. Euclid Ave.

Oak Park, IL 60302

This fundraiser will feature a large assortment of used books, including a large number of collectible copies. Among the featured books will be many editions signed by Chicago authors. We'll also have baked goods for…  read more

Great Chicago Books Club: Nate Marshall

Saturday, August 24, 2019
6-8:30 p.m.

Private Home

This Great Chicago Books Club installment features a recent poetry collection that is already a Chicago classic. Nate Marshall will be the honred guest as we discuss Wild Hundreds, a book that explores…  read more

Fuller Award: Sterling Plumpp

Thursday, September 19, 2019
7-9 p.m.

Poetry Foundation
61 W. Superior Street
Chicago, IL

Sterling Plumpp will receive the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s Fuller Award for lifetime achievement at a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Poetry Foundation. During Sterling’s long…  read more

Detecting Chicago: Exhibit Opening

Saturday, September 28 through Saturday, November 23
6-9 p.m.

Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore
7419 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130

In nearly two hundred years of Chicago life, so much has been done—and undone. Even in our own lifetimes, we’ve seen iconic buildings razed, cherished institutions rebranded, beloved neighborhoods completely overhauled, famous and infamous events…  read more

Great Chicago Books Club: Rene Rosen

Sunday, September 29, 2019
5-7:30 p.m.

Private Home


Our Great Chicago Books Club on Sunday, Sept. 29, will feature Renee Rosen's Windy City Blues the author’s historical novel exploring Chicago’s legendary Chess Records.

The event will be held in a…  read more

2019 Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Thursday, October 24, 2019
6-9 p.m.

Cliff Dwellers
200 S. Michigan Ave.
Penthouse (22nd Floor)
Chicago, IL 60604

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will induct its newest class of three writers on Thursday, Oct. 24 at Cliff-Dwellers, this event will be held at Cliff Dwellers. Though this is a private club, the event…  read more

Great Chicago Books Club: James McManus

Saturday, November 16, 2019
6:30-9 p.m.

Evanston, IL
Private Home


Our year's final Great Chicago Books Club will be a rare Saturday night (Nov. 16) affair,  featuring James McManus's Positively Fifth Street, a non-fiction account of the author's forays into the world's biggest…  read more


CHLOF Named Finalist for Oak Park and River Forest Spotlight Award

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
5:00 - 7:00pm

Nineteenth Century Club
178 Forest Avenue
Oak Park, Illinois

Decal sent to the CHLOF by the Oak Park - River Forest Chamber of Commerce

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame has been selected as a finalist for the Oak Park - River Forest Chamber of Commerce Spotlight Award in the Community Character category. The winners will be announced at the OPRF Chamber of Commerce's annual Spotlight Awards ceremony, October 9, 5:00pm at the historic Nineteenth Century Club on Forest Ave., just north of Lake Street in Oak Park. For more information about the event, click here.

The OPRF Chamber of Commerce describes the awards on their website:

“The 3rd Annual Business Spotlight Awards recognizes and celebrates businesses and community organizations across six categories of leadership. The program is open to all businesses in the Oak Park, River Forest and surrounding communities.

Community Character

This is a business or organization reflective of our community - unique, creative, smart, one-of-a-kind, supportive, fun, successful. The kind that epitomizes the spirit of who we are.”

Representatives of the CLHOF will attend the October 9 event.

“The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is honored to be named a finalist for an Oak Park - River Forest Chamber of Commerce Spotlight Award,” said Donald G. Evans, Founding Executive Director of the CLHOF. “We work hard to celebrate and preserve Chicago's great literary heritage through our events, website, literary tours, and outreach programs such as sponsoring Margot McMahon's Gwendolyn Brooks sculpture in Brooks Park, and the “From the Porch” poetry workshops for children, inspired by that sculpture.”

Chicago Community Trust Acting Up Award

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chicago, June 20, 2018 – The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (CLHOF) has been awarded a Chicago Community Trust (CCT) Acting Up grant to help fund its proposed “From the Porch of Gwendolyn Brooks” program.…  read more

CLHOF Installs Sculpture of Gwendolyn Brooks in Brooks Park.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Gwendolyn Brooks Park
4542 S. Greenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, in partnership with sculptor Margot McMahon, Chicago Park District, the Poetry Foundation, and Brooks Permissions, celebrated the landmark installation in read more

CLHOF Receives IACA Support Grant

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) has awarded the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame a grant of $1,000 from Federal funds for general operating support. The Illinois Arts Council Agency is a government…  read more

1001 Donors in Chicago

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
641 W. Lake Street, Suite #200
Chicago, IL 60661

Fundraising Initiative to Sustain CLHOF's Work

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame has very little money; it’s been this way for eight years. We’ve never received major support, in terms of grants or endowments or big donors. We scrimp and scheme and scrounge. Despite this, we’ve inducted (or are in the process of doing so) 42 CLHOF writers in beautiful, memorable ceremonies that included many living descendants of the inductees, as well as world class presenters that ranged from biographers to star authors to theatre groups to renown actors to gifted singers. We’ve presented four Fuller Awards for lifetime achievements. We’ve administered multiple youth literary contests. We’ve participated in major festivals, from Printer’s Row Lit Fest to AWP’s annual conference to the Carl Sandburg Festival to the Chicago Book Expo to the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature’s annual symposium. We’ve put on programming at bookstores and libraries and art galleries and bars and private clubs. We’ve run a monthly book club featuring Chicago’s greatest books. And so much more.

How we’ve done this all with so little money, I don’t know. But it sure cannot go on.

We need your help.

As the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame enters another full season of programming (see our events calendar), we need funding: to support these events, solidify our administrative capabilities, and build toward a bright future as the primary source of Chicago literature.

Here’s what we’re asking:

Give a minimum of $10—more would be better, sure, but participation is important and ten dollars is nothing to sneeze at. Some donors have set up repeat payments, either monthly or yearly, and that is ideal for us. You can do this by using the Donate button on our website, or sending a check to:

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
641 W. Lake Street, Suite #200
Chicago, IL 60661

The second part is, SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT US. Write a very short blurb along with your donation—25 to 50 words. Send that to Founding Executive Director Donald G. Evans.

We will publish the blurbs and blurbers, though, in the name of discretion, not the dollar amounts. A thousand and one is a big number. Ben Hecht, who set out to write a column a day for 1001 days, only made it a little more than halfway to his goal. We want to get all the way to our goal, at which point we’ll be in great shape to keep doing what we’ve been doing, plus build toward an expanded database of Chicago literature and, eventually, our own home. 

Thanks in advance: we need and appreciate whatever you can offer.

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
641 W. Lake Street, Suite #200, Chicago, IL 60661
773.414.2603 © 2019 Chicago Literary Hall of Fame

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

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