Media Release


Monday, August 22, 2011
For Immediate Release

Contact: Margaret Kurtz
Telephone: 229-6993


Vegas Valley Book Festival Pre-Festival Events Start Sept. 3
Entertainment, Children’s Authors, Bookmaking, Letters To Troops Available In The Cultural Corridor


Plan to enjoy this year’s Vegas Valley Book Festival pre-festival events Sept. 3-Oct. 27. The first event welcomes children to the Cultural Corridor Saturday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for a day of entertainment and bookmaking sponsored by the city of Las Vegas and the Nevada Arts Council, including:

  • “The Magic of Harry Potter” - Join an interactive workshop to create Harry Potter-inspired laboratory notebooks at 11 a.m. Take in a special performance of Tony Daniel’s Harry Potter Magic Show at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. North, at 12:30 pm. Call 384-3466 for more information.
  • “A Bookmaking Extravaganza” - Enjoy activities at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Create a literary masterpiece as you learn about bookmaking and bookbinding in a workshop by artist-in-residence Bobbie Ann Howell; and work with museum staff on a project to create and customize your own book, capturing a visit to “Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home.” Supplies will be provided for young and older. Call 382-5437 for more information.
  • “Veterans Celebration Letters” - Drop by the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park at 500 E. Washington Ave., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and write a letter to our armed services heroes who serve in harm’s way to keep us safe. Work with staff to create a personalized book of thanks. Your creations will be included in a special mailing to the troops. Call 486-3511 for more information.
  • “Making Books: Celebrating Creativity with Local Children’s Authors” - Be part of a festive bookmaking experience at the Las Vegas Library, 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with  local children’s authors Doug DuCharme, Sid Goodman, Denise Ashurst and Jackie Yoxen. This event is free and open to ages 5 through 12 years. The authors’ books will be available for purchase with scheduled book signings during the event. Call 507-3514 for more information.

Other upcoming pre-festival events include:

  • “Crystal Bookmark Award” - Nominations are being sought from the public through Sept. 23 of local individuals and organizations who advance the cause of literature in the Las Vegas Valley for this year’s Crystal Bookmark Awards. Nominations can be submitted online. Nominees must reside in Southern Nevada. The two awards will be presented at the festival Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth Street. For more information, call (702) 229-5431.

  • “FLASH! The Short, Short Fiction-Writing Contest” - This contest will be held Saturday, Sept. 10, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. Registered authors will gather for a 90-minute writing competition to produce an original 500-word short story based on a theme provided at the time. The project is limited to the first 20 writers who apply for the contest. There is no fee to participate. Three cash prize winners will be selected to read their compositions at the book festival on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. at the Historic Fifth Street School. Registration to participate in the competition is open through Aug. 31 online. Call 507-3459 for more information.

  • “Uncensored Voices: Celebrating Literary Freedom” - Enjoy an evening of readings, performance and free expression in recognition of National Banned Book Week on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Clark County Library Theater, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. The event is free and open to the public. Local authors and community leaders will read excerpts from banned or challenged works. Participants will include:
      Dr. Carol Harter, executive director, UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute and program moderator;
      Charles Bock, author of “Beautiful Children;”
      Bob Brown, publisher, Las Vegas Review-Journal;
      Jeanne Goodrich, executive director, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District;
      Jane Heenan, director, Equality Nevada of Las Vegas;
      Joshua Kryah, author of “Glean” and “We Are Starved;”
      Steve Sebelius, political columnist;
      Andrew Kiraly, author and editor;
      Students from the Green Valley High School Theater Department; and
      More to be announced!

Cosponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, the event will include a special appearance by the Nevada Repertory Dance Theater, with a reception to follow the program. Call 507-3459 for more information.

  • “Readings in the Pumpkin Patch” - Enjoy a celebration of books, readings and music on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gilcrease Orchard at 7800 Tenaya Way. The event will include kids’ bookmaking projects, children’s book authors, book signings, the book festival typewriter project, the ABC’s of the Garden, great veggie ideas for the family, and more, all in the community’s historic farm and orchard. Admission will be free for the first 300 cars.

  • “The Tell: Bar Stories” - Local poet Dayvid Figler hosts an evening of bar stories on Friday, Oct. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Artifice Lounge, Boulder Avenue at Art Way in the 18b Arts District. Enjoy performances by seven writers and spoken word poets, each story paired with an iconic cocktail. The $5 admission fee at the door will benefit the book festival. The evening is cosponsored by Vegas Seven Magazine and Artifice Lounge.

  • “What Are You Reading?” - Local book clubs and the public are invited to hear the works of this year’s book festival keynote authors, Max Brooks and Jane Smiley, Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane. Readings will come from Brooks’ “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War,” and from Jane Smiley’s bestselling novel, “A Thousand Acres.” Local authors Joshua Kryah and Maile Chapman will read from their own works. Attendees also will enjoy refreshments, a match of literary charades and a special appearance by the Nevada Repertory Dance Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

  • “The Parallel Universes of  Mid-century Las Vegas and Havana” - Enjoy an afternoon of three panel discussions that explore the parallel mid-century worlds of Vegas and Cuba on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The El Cortez, 600 E. Fremont St. The discussions will focus on resort development, iconic architecture, lifestyle and the Mob connections. With architectural historian Peter Moruzzi (“Havana Before Castro – When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground”); local architect, Robert Fielden (“Creating Place - Remaking America Green”); historian Michael Green; and others. A reception will follow at the Morelli House, 861 E. Bridger, from 4 to 6 p.m. Both events are co-sponsored by the Architectural and Decorative Arts Society, Las Vegas Chapter, and are free and open to the public.

  • “Fade, Sag, Crumble: Ten Las Vegas Writers Confront Decay” - The public is invited to enjoy a panel discussion with some of the authors who contributed short stories to the Las Vegas Writes Project 2011 on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Clark County Library Theater, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. Scott Dickensheets will moderate a panel that will include Stephen Bates, Deborah Coonts, Lynnette Curtis, Jarret Keene, Danielle Kelly, Andrew Kiraly, Rick Lax, Matthew O’Brien, Steve Sebelius and Stacy J. Willis. Admission is free. For more information, go online to 

The 10th annual Vegas Valley Book Festival will take place Nov. 3-6, 2011, with most programs scheduled at the downtown Historic Fifth Street School, located at 401 S. Fourth St. The largest literary event in Las Vegas, the book festival will bring together more than 100 authors for panel discussions, readings, book signings, workshops, poetry readings, spoken word performances, exhibitions and other special programs. Most events are free and open to the public. The four-day festival will offer the Children’s Book Festival, Comic Book Festival, contests, awards and the popular “Feasting on Words: The Literature and Food Fair” with Rick Moonen and other celebrated chefs.

This year’s festival programs have special emphasis on our region, with panels focusing on fiction about Las Vegas, Las Vegas nostalgia and the history of women as part of the casino work force. Free writing workshops will cover topics such as poetry, memoir, science fiction/fantasy and travel writing.

The Vegas Valley Book Festival is produced by the city of Las Vegas; Las Vegas-Clark County Library District; UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute; American Institute of Graphic Arts, Las Vegas chapter; Las Vegas Review-Journal; and Nevada Humanities, a festival founder. A schedule of events and a roster of featured authors will be posted online at as information becomes available. To receive updates on activities from festival organizers, sign up on the festival website. For more information about the Vegas Valley Book Festival, please call (702) 229-5431or go online.


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