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.
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.
Ellen Hopkins – 2015 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame
Laura McBride — 2015 Silver Pen Recipient
Laura McBride moved to Nevada in 1986, choosing Las Vegas as the place to raise her family. She’s grateful to have made that choice because it meant her children could be witness to the power of second chances. McBride’s debut novel, We Are Called to Rise, has skyrocketed since being published, ending up on seven “Community Reads” lists, including Nevada’s, as well as being a lead fiction title for Simon & Schuster in 2014 and a #1 IndieNext pick. We Are Called to Rise explores the beautiful and explosive possibilities of Las Vegas, a diverse community in which the conventional social boundaries are unusually fluid. The title of the book was taken from Emily Dickinson’s poem We Never Know How High We Are: We never know how high we are/Till we are called to rise. McBride is a tenured professor of English at the College of Southern Nevada, where she has been actively involved in all aspects of teaching and college life.
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.
View the remarks from the 2014 awards ceremony: