American Writers Museum – Chicago

If you caught my most recent Blog post, you’ll know I recently attended ACE Comic Con in Rosemont, Illinois, meeting Tom Holland and Kit Harington and generally having the time of my life. While there, my wife and I stopped by the American Writers Museum in downtown Chicago. Let me tell ya, that was a cool place!

If you’re like my wife and I, and you’ve hit all the big museums and galleries in Chicago, but you’re still looking for that thing you haven’t done before… this is it. It’s not going to kill a whole afternoon, but hit the museum, run into Garrett’s Popcorn across the street, then do some shopping on Michigan Ave. It’s the perfect side dish to a wonderful Chicago meal.

Inside, you’ll find tons of little tidbits about many great American writers from hundreds of years ago up to the present. I’m not a big buff on writing history, but I found out a few things that were quite interesting (Did you know Edgar Allan Poe wrote some science fiction!?).

What I really enjoyed were the interactive exhibits. In a lot of museums, interactive exhibits are either super lame or just for children. The exhibits here were fun for all ages. I took part in a quiz where I found out I have something in common with one of my biggest influences in writing and art, the great Charles Schulz (creator of the Peanuts comic series). There’s also a word selection game, where you can battle it out with a friend to fill in the blanks in a famous novel (my wife kicked my butt). My favorite part of the museum, however, were the typewriters that you could actually sit down at and type up a page! I wrote the first line of Naevia-18, signed it, and hung it up for someone to probably throw away (I’ll imagine someone found it and is currently cherishing it while they finish reading my book in wonder).

That thing was tough to type on! I couldn’t bear having to deal with one of those everyday. Now I’m much more grateful for my eight year old MacBook Air! This took me a practice page and another five to ten minutes of figuring out how to get this thing going right!

I was very impressed with my overall experience here at the American Writers Museum. Give it a go if you’re in the Windy City. You definitely don’t need to be a writer or even be interested in writing to enjoy this place. You’d be surprised what many forms “writing” can disguise itself as. From books to songs to movies, newspapers, and more, this museum has got ya covered. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll end up as part of an official exhibit here!

Plus, it’s got this really cool wall.