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.
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.
Shaun Griffin – 2014 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame
Ronald M. James – 2014 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame
Alicia Barber — 2014 Silver Pen Recipient
Reno’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.p>