Celebrating Chicago Writers

Despite it being a frigid Chicago winter’s night, a full-house assembled at The Book Cellar this past Saturday to participate in the annual Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Awards. My friend Randy Richardson and his fellow board members always put on a great event, and this year was no exception. All four winners were present, and each read from her prize-winning book. It was nice to see so many of the authors who were honorable mentions and finalists also in attendance. The winners in the four categories were:
Traditional Fiction: The Virginity of Famous Men by Christine Sneed
Indie Fiction: Out the Door! By M. L. Collins
Traditional Nonfiction: Algren: A Life by Mary Wisniewski
Indie Nonfiction: Of This Much I’m Sure by Nadine Kennedy Johnstone
The winner of the CWA’s “Spirit Award” was Suzy Takacs, the owner of The Book Cellar, for being a “tireless advocate for Chicago literature and the people who create it.”

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Cliff Dwellers Book Club Update

The Cliff Dwellers has been hosting thought provoking literary events since the club’s inception in 1907. Such literary giants as William Butler Yeats and Vachel Lindsay graced its rooms in the early years. Cognizant of this great tradition, we were somewhat wary launching the new Cliff Dwellers book club this past January. Yet after three stimulating and informative sessions, the book club has been a smashing success. We are indeed fortunate in having the authors participate in the next two scheduled sessions. On Saturday, April 26, Christine Sneed will discuss her novel “Little Known Facts,” while William Hazelgrove’s novel “The Pitcher” is up for discussion on Saturday, May 31. The book club sessions start at 11:00 am and end about 12:30 pm. Often discussions continue over lunch at the club. If you plan on attending as well as staying for lunch, please make a reservation at cliffdwellers@cliff-chicago.org. The club is located at 200 South Michigan, directly across the street from the Art Institute.