Skip to main content

Nevada Writers Hall of Fame: Home

About the Nevada Writers 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 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 2014 inductees, there are 51 members in the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

See all Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Members by year

About the Silver Pen Award

The Silver Pen Award was established in 1996 as part of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame 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 through their outstanding work they may one day be inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

See all Silver Pen Recipients by year

Give Today

Make a Gift to Nevada


Shaun Griffin – 2014 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame

Shaun GriffinA Nevadan since 1978, Shaun Griffin’s soulful poetry and engagement with Nevada communities make him one of the state’s most well-loved literary figures. He is the author of This is What the Desert Surrenders, Bathing in the River of Ashes and Woodsmoke, Wind and the Peregrine, among others. Griffin’s editing also adds to his literary legacy, specifically his editing of Torn By Light, poems by Joanne de Longchamps. Likewise, his translations of Emma Sepulveda’s poems have allowed her work to be enjoyed by an increasingly wider audience. Both de Longchamps and Sepulveda are members of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. From Griffin: “I believe poetry has a central role in our lives – if we slow down and find the one poem that excites us. From there on, it is like returning to a fountain for fresh water. We can be a culture of poetry readers…if we listen for the voice lying dormant on the shelves.” Griffin was awarded the Silver Pen as an “author of promise” from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1998. He is also the co-founder and director of Community Chest, a rural and social justice agency serving northwestern Nevada since 1991.

Ronald M. James – 2014 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame

Ronald M. JamesFolklorist and historian Ronald M. James is the author or co-author of a dozen books, including The Roar and the Silence: A History of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode and Uncovering Nevada’s Past: A Primary Source History of the Silver State. More recently, his co-edited book, The Gold Rush Letters of E. Allen Grosh and Hosea B. Grosh, received an “Award of Special Recognition” from the National Mining History Association. His articles on folklore, history, architectural history and archaeology have appeared in popular and academic journals in six countries. James is a University of Nevada, Reno graduate in anthropology and history; he has served as an adjunct professor of anthropology for the University. Besides writing, James is very involved with the state, having administered the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office for nearly 30 years. From 2004 to 2013, he served on the National Historic Landmarks Committee, both as member and chairman. Currently he is the Executive Director of the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture.

Alicia Barber — 2014 Silver Pen Recipient

Alicia BarberReno’s Big Gamble, Barber’s first book, chronicles the city’s changing fortunes from the days of the Comstock Lode and analyzes the dynamic relationship between Reno’s reputation and its development. She has edited and contributed to other excellent works, including We Were All Athletes: Women’s Athletics and Title IX at the University of Nevada and Imagining the Big Open: Nature, Identity and Play in the New West. Barber holds a Ph. D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. While teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno from 2003-2013, she offered courses ranging from Nevada history to museum studies and directed the Oral History Program (2009-2013). She is the co-founder and editor of the website and mobile app Reno Historical.

2014 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Ceremony


KNPB News Director Brent Boynton interviews 2014 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame inductees Shaun Griffin and Ron James and Silver Pen Award recipient Alicia Barber.

Visit our Media Page for more videos and photos

Remarks from 2014 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Award Recipients

Director of Development

Millie Mitchell
University Libraries
(775) 682-5682