Nevada Writers Hall of Fame: Home


Richard O. Davies – 2013 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame

Richard O. Davies

Richard O. “Dick” Davies, Distinguished History Professor Emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno, is described as a “writer of great versatility and talent” in a letter of nomination submitted to the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame selection committee. “His books run the gamut from a biography of a conservative Republican presidential candidate, Defender of the Old Guard: John Bricker and American Politics (1993), to our country’s love of sports, America’s Obsessions: Sports and Society Since 1945 (1994), to the demise of our small towns, Main Street Blues: The Decline of Small

In the field of sports and social history, Davies is considered one of the country’s finest sports historians. His Sports in American Life: A History (2011, second edition) is a textbook that is used in many college courses dealing with sports across the United States and in other countries. Even the state of Nevada has provided subject matter for Davies. The Maverick Spirit: Building the New Nevada (1999) is a series of portraits of some of the state’s most important political figures. Davies has blended his interest in American sports and Nevada history in his forthcoming book by the University of Nevada Press (spring 2014), The Main Event: Boxing in Nevada from the Mining Camps to the Las Vegas Strip. He earned his Ph.D. in American political history from the University of Missouri. At the University of Nevada, Reno, Davies was named a Foundation Professor of History and was honored in 2009 with the Distinguished Faculty Award.-Town America (1998). ”Main Street Blues, a study of the small Ohio farming village of Camden—Davies’s hometown—was named one of the top 25 books in American history by Choice.

Tupelo Hassman – 2013 Silver Pen Recipient

Tupelo Hassman

Tupelo Hassman is a graduate of Columbia University’s M. F. A. program. Her debut novel, Girlchild, is the story of Rory Dawn Hendrix, a young girl growing up in the Calle, a cluster of mobile homes on a plot of dust outside of Reno. The NY Times says, “Hassman is such a poised storyteller that her prose practically struts. Her words are as elegant as they are fierce.”

Hassman’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Harper's Bazaar, Imaginary Oklahoma, The Independent, The Portland Review Literary Journal, sPARKLE & bLINK, We Still Like, ZYZZYVA, as well as,, and Invisible City Audio Tours, among others. More is forthcoming from Girls on Fire: Stories of and for Teen Girls. Hassman lives in San Francisco's East Bay where she can be found, most days, having a root beer on tap at The Hog's Apothecary.

Christopher CoakeChristopher Coake — 2013 Silver Pen Recipient

Christopher Coake’s powerful first novel, You Came Back (2012), is a compelling journey through the human heart. His collection of short stories, We’re in Trouble (2005), won the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for a first work of fiction. In 2007 he was named a “Best Young American Novelist” by the prestigious literary journal GRANTA.

Coake’s stories have been published in several literary journals and anthologized in Best American History Stories 2004 and The Best American Noir of the Century. A native of Indiana, Coake received an M. F. A. in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Ohio State University, an M. A. in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio, and a B. A. in Secondary Education from Ball State University. He has been a member of the English faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno since 2005, where he teaches creative writing.

About the Nevada Writer Hall of Fame

The Nevada Writers Hall of Fame was conceived by former Friends of the University Libraries President Marilyn Melton in 1988. She envisioned two purposes: an annual event honoring Nevada's finest writers, and a stimulus to encourage excellence among emerging writers in the Silver State.

The first selection committee met at Marilyn’s home and chose Robert Laxalt and Walter Van Tilburg Clark as the recipients. Since that time, the Hall of Fame has become an annual event.

The names of all of the authors who have been inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame are now prominently displayed on a wall of honor in the Leslie Harvey and Robert George Whittemore Tower Entry and Reception Gallery of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.

Honorees are selected based on their body of work, critical recognition and a strong connection to Nevada through the themes of their writing or residence in the state. Including the 2013 inductee, there are 49 members in the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

About the Silver Pen Award

The Silver Pen Award was established as part of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1996 to recognize writers who are in mid-career and have already shown substantial achievement. The award is designed to honor their talent and encourage other emerging and mid-career writers.

Honorees in this category are also selected based upon their body of work, critical recognition and a strong connection to Nevada through the themes of their writing or residence in the state. It is hoped that through their outstanding work they may one day be inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

Contact Us

For more information on the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, please contact:

Millie Mitchell, Director of Development
University Libraries
Phone: (775) 682-5682