Thursday, August 10, 2017

Reading and Signing for Algren a Life at American Writer's Museum August 24th

Thursday, August 24, 5 p.m., Readers Hall. General public. Free with museum admission or $5 suggested donation for the event. Books will be sold at AWM by after-words bookstore before and after the event

Most today know Algren as the radical, womanizing writer of The Man with the Golden Arm, which won the first National Book Award, in 1950, but award-winning reporter Mary Wisniewski offers a deeper portrait. Starting with his childhood in the City of Big Shoulders, Wisniewski sheds new light on the writer’s most momentous periods, from his on-again-off-again work for the WPA to his stint as an uninspired soldier in World War II to his long-distance affair with his most famous lover, Simone de Beauvoir, to the sense of community and acceptance Algren found in the artist colony of Sag Harbor before his death in 1981.
Presented by the Society of Midland Authors.

Algren a Life by Mary Wisnewski Hardback $33.00

RSVP here

Monday, July 24, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Publishing Workshop with David W. Berner at American Writers Museum

Thursday, July 20, Readers Hall, American Writer's Museum 7 p.m. Cost: $50 per participant

Workshop: Publishing
In today’s crowded media landscape, how do you sell your book or short story? How do you make your mark with your writing? In this one-day workshop author David W. Berner (October Song: A Memoir of Music and the Journey of Time, Roundfire Press 2017) teaches you how to find your way through the complicated process of getting your words out.

Book: October Song by David W. Berner $16.95 (paperback)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The day we unite for the open web

On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we've shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!

Learn more and join the action here:

Monday, July 3, 2017

Children's Author Story Time with Ilene Cooper July 11th 10:30 AM at 180 N. Michigan

Presented in partnership with the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators.
July 11: Ilene Cooper, author of A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country, the Absolutely Lucy series, and Jake’s Best Thumb, among other books.

On the second Tuesday of each month, American Writer's Museum (180 N. Michigan Ave. 2nd Floor) welcomes a new children’s author in its Children’s Literature Gallery. Meet your favorite books’ creators and illustrators, get your book signed and hear a story from some of the most inspiring and creative children’s authors writing today. 

Tuesday, July 11, Children’s Literature Gallery, 10:30 a.m. Preschool-age children with a caregiver. Free. Museum admission not included

Books: A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country $24.95 (hardback) and  Absolutely Lucy $4.99 (paperback) by Ilene Cooper

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Poetry Among the Palms: Readings

Ed Roberson and other poets read W.S. Merwin and others inspired by nature and the outdoors among the exhibits at the Garfield Park Conservatory, along with kids’ activities. Presented in partnership with the Poetry Center of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, and the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance.

after-words will be on hand to sell copies of Closest Pronunciation by Ed Roberson $9.95
Thursday, June 29, Garfield Park Conservatory Palm House, 6 p.m. General public. $5 suggested donation.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Harry Potter now available through after-words and

This announcement marks the first time independent bookstores in the United States have been able to offer Wizarding World digital audiobooks to their customers.

The Wizarding World digital audiobooks include all seven novels in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as well as the indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It is narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne who starred as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the 2016 film inspired by the Hogwarts Library book.

About is the independent store for digital audiobooks. An independent company
based in Seattle, WA, offers tens of thousands of DRM-free digital audiobooks, available for download and through its free iOS and Android apps. A partner of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), works with independent bookstores to create co-branded audiobook storefronts.

About Pottermore:
Pottermore, the digital publishing, e-commerce, entertainment and news company from J.K. Rowling, is the global digital publisher of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. As the digital heart of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, is dedicated to unlocking the power of imagination. It offers news, features, and articles as well as new and previously unreleased writing by J.K. Rowling.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Free Screening on June 5th

Free screening of My Cousin Rachel at the Landmark Century Cinema June 5th at 7pm.  Based on the Daphne DuMaurier novel of the same name. 

Philip Ashley's older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose's beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear. Now Rachel has arrived at Philip's newly inherited estate. Could this exquisite woman, who seems to genuinely share Philip's grief at Ambrose's death, really be as cruel as Philip imagined? Or is she the kind, passionate woman with whom Ambrose fell in love? Philip struggles to answer this question, knowing Ambrose's estate, and his own future, will be destroyed if his answer is wrong.

Watch a trailer here:

Get your free passes here:

Friday, April 28, 2017

April 29th is Independent Bookstore Day!

For one day only, Saturday, April 29th, we are having, cookies, promotions and all sorts of deals, all day long. Spend $10 or more and you get to choose a FREE book from our secret stash (while supplies last, 1 book per customer). Store T-Shirts and Store Cloth Tote Bags will also be half price! What a deal!

“Consumers control the marketplace by deciding where to spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read the book. This is how we change the world: we grab hold of it. We change ourselves.” - Ann Patchett, bestselling author and co-owner of Parnassus Books

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Anniversary Party Friday Night 6pm

after-words is turning 20.  We are having a celebration on Friday night starting at 6.  Have a drink, mingle with other literati, and hear some great jazz.  Thank you for all your support through these eventful decades.  Live performance by the Fat Babies.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


In conjunction with General Assembly Chicago and HarperCollins Publishing, we are proud to present a talk by Kelly Leonard centered around his book Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses \"No, But\" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration: Lessons from the Second City.

Please join us from 6-8pm on April 19th, 2017.

Kelly Leonard is the Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation at Second City Works.
He is a popular speaker on the power of improvisation to transform people’s lives. He has presented at, the Chicago Ideas Festival, TEDx Broadway, The Aspen Ideas Festival, The Stanford Graduate School of Business and for companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and DDB Worldwide. Kelly co-created and co-directs a new initiative with the Center for Decision Research at the Booth School at the University of Chicago that looks at behavioral science through the lens of improvisation. He also hosts the podcast, “Getting to Yes, And,” for Second City Works and WGN radio.

In this talk, Kelly Leonard will reveal principles of improvisation that individuals and organizations can use to thrive in a world increasingly shaped by speed, social communication, and decentralization. Attendees will have an opportunity to engage in hands-on improvisation exercises led by Kelly throughout the talk.

For over twenty years, Kelly oversaw Second City’s live theatrical divisions where he helped generate original productions with such talent as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Steve Carell, Keegan Michael Key, Amy Sedaris and others.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Poetry Reading April 13th at 5pm

In celebration of National Poetry Month, after-words bookstore is proud to host Poets and Patrons, along with the Illinois State Poetry Society, for a reading by local poets.

Join us April 13th, 2017 at 5pm.

We will hear from 15 different local poets, all members of Poets and Patrons, the Illinois State Poetry society or both.

Poets & Patrons evolved from earlier attempts to create a meeting ground for poets and poet enthusiasts in the Chicago area.  Established in 1954, it was set up as a non-profit outreach group for poets who wished to receive professional criticism through four workshops each year. In 1956, Poets & Patrons created a Chicagoland Poetry Contest, open to all in the area.

More recently, Poets and Patrons has expanded its outreach to offer free writing workshops at area museums (Write! Chicago), participation in the Printers Row Lit Fest, and open readings for its members. Visit their website at for further information.

The Illinois State Poetry Society (ISPS) was chartered in 1991.  The society was formed “To encourage the crafting and enjoyment of poetry in the state of Illinois.”  Equally important is the goal to offer opportunities for improving and sharing the crafting of poetry.

ISPS members meet all over Illinois to gather and critique poetry.   From its 12 charter members, ISPS has grown to more than 130 members. 

The society sponsors workshops on poetry writing for all ages.  There are also opportunities for featured readings by members throughout the year.  Monthly gatherings at a coffee house are one such example. Themed poetry displays at participating public libraries also showcase members’ work.

ISPS sponsors a poetry contest every year. Information is available on their website, The society also participates in the Manningham contest for students, with a follow-up awards gathering for winners and mention of their poems on the ISPS website.

Below is a list of the participating poets:

Peter Halliday  (P&P)
Jocelyn Ajami  (P&P)
Susan Moss (ISPS and P&P)
Diane O'Neill (P&P)
Mary Ann Eiler (ISPS)
Judith Tullis (ISPS and P&P)
Caroline Johnson (P&P and ISPS)
Melissa Huff (ISPS)
Myron Stokes (ISPS)
David Nekimken (P&P)
Beth Staas (P&P and ISPS)
Sheila Elliott (ISPS)
Joe Carey (ISPS)
Fereshteh Azad (ISPS)