The Laxalt Distinguished Writer Program

The Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Program was established in 2001 to inspire new generations of writers in honor of Laxalt, who developed from news reporter to fiction and nonfiction author during his prolific career. Considered by many to be Nevada’s finest writer, Laxalt founded the University of Nevada Press and wrote 17 books, four of which were entered for the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote for National Geographic and served as a professor in the University’s Reynolds School of Journalism for 18 years, teaching magazine writing and literary journalism.


2018 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer: Timothy Egan

Enjoy two events with Timothy Egan, the 2018 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer and National Book Award-winning journalist. He will read from his work, The Worst Hard Time, and select books will be available for purchase and signing. 
Both events are free and open to the public.

A Reading By Timothy Egan
Moderated by author Michael Branch
Tuesday, November 27, 2018, Noon - 1:00 pm
Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Avenue, Reno

A Conversation with Timothy Egan
Moderated by Reynolds School of Journalism professor Alan Deutschman
Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 7:00 pm
Wells Fargo Auditorium, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
University of Nevada, Reno

These events are presented in partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno Reynolds School of Journalism

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a popular columnist, and a National Book Award-winning author. He currently writes a weekly online column for The New York Times. Before that, he worked as the newspaper’s Pacific Northwest correspondent. In 2001, Egan was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that wrote the series “How Race is Lived in America.” He is the author of many books, including his National Book Award-winning The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl and The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America.


The 2017 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer: Sally Denton


Sally Denton is an investigative reporter, author, and historian who writes about the subjects others ignore: from a drug conspiracy in Kentucky to organized crime in Las Vegas; from corruption within the Mormon Church to the hidden history of Manifest Destiny. She received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Public Scholar Fellowship, and the Black Mountain/Kluge Fellowship. She is the author of, among other books, The Money and the Power, American Massacre, The Bluegrass Conspiracy, and The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World.


The 2016 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer: Richard Ford

An American Craftsman: A Conversation with Richard Ford
Moderated by Christopher Coake, MFA, associate professor of English, UNR
Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, noon-1 p.m.
Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., Reno | FREE

Richard Ford: Some Thoughts About Memoir
Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, 7 p.m. 
Wells Fargo Auditorium, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center,
University of Nevada, Reno | FREE

Select books will be available for purchase and signing. Both events are free and open to the public. 

Richard Ford was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of eleven books of fiction, including the New York Times best selling Independence Day, Canada, and Let Me Be Frank With You. His short stories have been widely anthologized, and he is prolific essayist and journalist, writing often on politics for Le Monde, The Financial Times, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Dagens Hyheter  in Sweden. His work has been translated into thirty languages, and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Prix Femina in France, and in 2016, the Princess of  Asturias Prize in Spain. He is Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, and lives in East Boothbay, Maine, and Billings, Montana. 


The 2015 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer: Jess Walter

The Power of a Good Story: A Conversation with Jess Walter
Moderated by Christopher Coake, Associate Professor of English, University of Nevada, Reno
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, noon-1 p.m.
Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., Reno | FREE
Join us for a conversation with Jess Walter about the creation of a story, the differences between a novel and a short story, and why It took fifteen years to write Beautiful Ruins.

Then You Read: Of Writers and Empathy
Tuesday Nov., 17, 2015, 7 p.m.
Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre, University of Nevada, Reno | FREE


The 2014 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Lecture: Sheri Fink

Decisions of Life and Death: A Conversation with Sheri Fink
Moderated by Katharine Schweitzer, Ph.D.
Monday, Feb. 9, 2015
Book signing to follow
Renown Regional Medical Center, Mack Auditorium, 1155 Mill St., Reno | FREE

Join us for a conversation with Sheri Fink about her investigations into the health and human welfare, and the ethical challenges of medical care that arise during natural catastrophes, epidemics, and times of war.

Reporting in an Emergency: The complex trauma narrative in the age of the tweet
Monday, February 9, 2015, 
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, Wells Fargo Auditorium, University of Nevada, Reno | FREE

Sheri Fink is the author of The New York Times bestselling book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, the Ridenhour Book Prize, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Book Award, and the American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Award.

Fink’s news reporting has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Overseas Press Club Lowell Thomas Award, among other journalism prizes. A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, Fink received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her first book, War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival (PublicAffairs), is about medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. She is a health correspondent at The New York Times.