What is Midland Authors?

Midland Authors is a membership-based organization dedicated to supporting Midwestern Authors. Founded in 1915 as the Society of Midland Authors, its goal is to create a closer association among Midwestern authors.

What does Midland Authors do?

To promote authorship and readership in the Midwest, the organization hosts monthly literary events that are free and open to the public; publishes Literary License, a monthly newsletter that includes members’ news and other information important to the community; participates in special events, such as Printers Row Lit Fest; and conducts an annual book awards competition.

What are the benefits of membership?

Membership offers a forum to meet readers and other authors, and provides opportunities for members to promote their own work. Members can share news through Literary License; join the Members Directory, which hosts authors’ biographical information with links to author web sites; sell books at Printers Row Lit Fest; participate in special events; and learn more about the ins and outs of the writing life.

Who can become a member?

Membership is open to published authors who live, or have lived, in one of twelve Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Associate membership is open to other individuals with a professional connection to literature, such as librarians, teachers, publishers and editors.

How can one join?

The author must live, or have lived, in one of twelve Midwestern states (listed above) and must be nominated by a current Midland Authors member. Nominations are reviewed and voted on by the Board. For full details, see How to Join, under Membership.

Can self-published authors become members?

Self-published authors can become members if they live, or have lived, in one of twelve Midwestern states (listed above) and are nominated by a current Midland Author member, who vouches for the merit of the author’s work. All nominations are reviewed and voted on by the Board. For full details, see How to Join, under Membership.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Annual dues are $40.

What do the monthly events provide?

Monthly events feature an author or panel of authors discussing topics of interest to writers, such as a timely new book; important aspects of writing (how to conduct research, how to find a publisher, how to succeed in the profession); and the nature of different genres of literature (mystery writing, children’s literature, etc.).

Where are the monthly events held?

They are held in a variety of places in Chicago, including the Cliff Dwellers at 200 S. Michigan Avenue in the penthouse overlooking Grant Park, the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium at the Harold Washington Library, and local bookstores.

In what categories does the Midland Authors award prizes in the annual book competition?

There are six categories: Adult Fiction; Richard Frisbie Adult Nonfiction; Poetry; Bernard J. Brommel Biography and Memoir; Children’s Fiction; and Children’s Reading Round Table Children’s Nonfiction. The competition is juried and offers a top prize of $500 in each category.

How much does it cost to enter the competition?

The fee is $25 for each entry.

Who are some of the better-known members, present and past?

Present: Blue Balliett, Timuel Black, Stuart Dybek, Jonathan Eig, Gillian Flynn, Chris Jones, Rick Kogan, Rebecca Makkai, Dominic Pacyga, Harry Mark Petrakis, Dick Simpson, Scott Turow, among many others.
Past: Jane Addams, Nelson Algren, Gwendolyn Brooks, Clarence Darrow, Roger Ebert, Edna Ferber, Ring Lardner, Vachel Lindsay, Edgar Lee Masters, Harriet Monroe, Carl Sandburg, Studs Terkel, among many others.

Can I donate to the Midland Authors?

The Midland Authors is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Contributions are welcome and tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.