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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.
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.
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: thatsnotmytable.wordpress.com
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.
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.
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 www.estherhershenhorn.com. She blogs at www.teachingauthors.com
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.
Nate is a New Hampshire native who currently lives in Chicago. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2014 with a degree in Journalism. Currently, he is a waiter by day and writer by night
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.
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.
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.
Alexandria Petrassi is a recent graduate of Augustana College, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English. She currently works as an Audience Development Editor at Prime Publishing, and also serves as the Co-Editor of the poetry blog, Floodmark.
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.
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 http://jennasauber.com and follow her on Twitter @cajunjen.
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.
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.