Nevada Writers Hall of Fame - University Libraries

Alerts, Navigation and Content

No current web-related alerts for this page

Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Quicklinks

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. 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.


Nevada Writers
Hall of Fame 2016

Gailmarie Pahmeier – Nevada Writers Hall of Fame

Gailmarie Pahmeier grew up in St. Louis, where she was in grade school when the iconic Arch was built. The motto of that national monument is “Gateway to the West,” a slogan Gailmarie took quite literally. Upon graduation from high school, she began heading west, with a stop in the Ozarks where she completed her MFA at the University of Arkansas, then on to Oklahoma before settling in Nevada, where she has lived the majority of her life. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Nevada.

Although her girlhood ambition was to be a county western singer/songwriter, Pahmeier discovered, much to her delight, that she could still tell musical stories in other ways, the primary way being through poetry. Pahmeier’s poems have been widely published, anthologized, and recognized regionally and nationally, having earned a number of awards and honors. She is the author of the poetry collections The House on Breakaheart Road and The Rural Lives of Nice Girls in addition to two chapbooks from Black Rock Press. Her most recent chapbook, Shake It and It Snows, won the Coal Hill Chapbook Award from Autumn House Press. Her literary awards include a Witter Bynner Poetry Fellowship and two Artists Fellowships from the Nevada Arts Council, as well as the Silver Pen Award (1999). In 2007, she received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and in 2015, she was appointed the first Poet Laureate for the City of Reno. Now a “naturalized” Nevadan, Gailmarie and her husband share their Reno home, a little piece of heaven between the rails and the river, with two exuberant dogs and a couple of confident cats.

Willy Vlautin – Nevada Writers Hall of Fame

Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published four novels: The Motel Life (2007--NYT Editor’s choice and notable book, made into a major motion picture starring Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsh, Stephen Dorff, and Kris Kristofferson), Northline (2008), Lean on Pete (2010-Winner of the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, short-listed for the IMPAC award, and soon to be a major motion picture starring Steve Buscemi and Chloe Sevigny), and The Free (2014-Winner of the Oregon People’s Choice Award). In 2007, he was awarded the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Vlautin founded the band Richmond Fontaine in 1994. The band has produced ten studio albums to date, plus a handful of live recordings and EPs. Driven by Vlautin’s dark, story-like songwriting, the band has achieved critical acclaim at home and across Europe. 2014 saw the debut of Vlautin’s new band, The Delines, featuring vocalist Amy Boone (The Damnations). Their album, “Colfax” received rave reviews from across Europe and the United States. Vlautin currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon.

Tod Goldberg – Silver Pen Recipient

Tod Goldberg is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, including the novels Gangsterland (Counterpoint), a finalist for the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in the field of crime-writing; The House of Secrets (Grand Central), which he co-authored with Brad Meltzer; Living Dead Girl (Soho Press), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; the popular Burn Notice series (Penguin); and the short story collection Other Resort Cities (Other Voices Books). His nonfiction and journalism has appeared in numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, and Las Vegas Weekly, and have earned several notable distinctions, including five Nevada Press Association awards and inclusion in the “Best American Essays.” Goldberg has been part of the creative community in Las Vegas for over a decade, writing for the Las Vegas Mercury, Las Vegas City Life, and the Las Vegas Weekly. He currently is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, where he directs the Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. Tod Goldberg holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Literature from Bennington College. His wife, Wendy Duren, is also a writer. Goldberg’s next book, a sequel to Gangsterland, will be released in fall 2017.

Our Mission

The University Libraries embrace intellectual inquiry and innovation, nurture the production of new knowledge, and foster excellence in learning, teaching, and research through scholarly resources, creative learning spaces, cutting-edge technology, and world-class service.


Prepare graduates to compete globally through high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and selected professional programs

I Want to Learn


Create new knowledge through basic and applied research, scholarship, and artistry in strategically selected fields relevant to Nevada and its role in the wider world.

I Want to Discover


Strengthen the social, economic, and environmental wellbeing of Nevada citizens, communities, organizations, and governments through community outreach and reciprocal partnerships.

I Want to Engage