The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s mission is to promote and celebrate Chicago’s rich and proud literature tradition by honoring the authors whose words have best captured the essence of our city.

Through our mission, we will collect and exhibit literary artifacts; document the accomplishments of Chicago’s best writers; capture the voices and words of Chicago’s best writers; become a portal to Chicago’s literary events, publishers and people; and promote new literature through recognition and prizes. Our annual induction ceremony is an occasion for Chicago to crown past, present and future literary achievements.

Chicago is not a city that can be crisply explained, neatly categorized, or easily understood. Yet through our literature we strive to define our place in the world. Our literature speaks to our city’s diversity, character and heart. In our literature can be found all we love and hate, frozen snapshots of our vast terrain over the years, commentary on our ever-changing culture. In our literature can be found who we are and what we do and where we do it. The value and character of our city is not only reflected in but shaped by our great books.

2010 Inductees

2011 Inductees 

The Chicago Writers Association

The Chicago Writers Association (CWA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the 4 C’s of writing: creativity, commerce, craft and community. CWA strives to:

  • Foster a visible, supportive writing community.
  • Provide genuine, constructive feedback and access to resources.
  • Assist writers at all levels achieve their writing goals.
  • Build a bridge to unite all facets of Chicago’s diverse literary culture.
  • Promote Chicago as a place of literary distinction.

Who we are:

CWA’s diverse membership ranges from professional freelancers and published authors, to writers aspiring to be published and those who write as a creative outlet. Our members write both fiction and non-fiction, including novels, short stories, poetry, plays, feature articles and essays. Some work in specific genres such as romance, history, religious, horror, science fiction, biography, or memoirs.

Most members live in Chicago or surrounding areas, though some choose to participate from afar via the CWA online discussion group.


The CWA was founded in 2003 by Diana Laskaris as an online discussion group with the goal of bringing writers together to share information, experience and encouragement.

In July 2005, the CWA’s newsletter, The Clarion, edited by Walter McElligott, made its debut. And in March 2006, the CWA launched its website, originally designed and administered by David Hanley.

Then in November 2006, the CWA formed a Steering Committee with the goal of guiding the organization’s continued growth as a community and resource supporting writers of all genres, styles and formats. At the direction of the Steering Committee, the CWA in December 2006 obtained approval from the State of Illinois to operate as not-for-profit organization. In 2008, CWA became a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible

Board Officers:

President: Randy Richardson

VP and Secretary: Paul Neilan

Treasurer: Diana Zwinak

Board of Directors:

Jennifer Brown Banks
Victor David Giron
JD Gordon
Valya Dudycz Lupescu
Kristin Oakley
George Rawlinson
Juli Schatz