Friends of American Writers (FAW) was established in 1922 to study American literature, to encourage high standards, and to promote literary ideals among American writers. Members are invited to attend the luncheons, serve on committees that help run the organization or participate in the selection of the award-winning authors.
Over the years, after an annual lengthy screening process, FAW has honored Midwestern authors or those whose novels or nonfiction are set in the Midwest, by recognition and monetary awards. Those honored are invited to address the FAW membership at the Awards Luncheon.
Among the many emerging adult authors recognized over the years are Sara Paretsky, Jane Smiley, Toni Morrison, Harry Mark Petrakis, Carl Sandburg, Kevin Fenton, Kalisha Buckhanon, Chad Harbach, Gillian Flynn, and Sara Gruen. Recent award winners include Ethan Rutherford, Celeste Ng, and George Hodgman.
In 1960, FAW introduced awards for Juvenile Literature authors. Clifford Hicks won the first award for "First Boy on the Moon". Recent winners include Brynne Barnes delightful picture book and Delia Ray's book for young readers.
Additionally, through the FAW Foundation Fund, students at local universities, recommended by their writing professors, are given recognition and cash awards.