Catherine Magee is the director of the Nevada Historical Society, where a new lecture series and book signing event kicked off in November. Learn more about the Writer’s Wednesday lecture and book signing by visiting the society’s website at http://bit.ly/2jw0E67. The next event will be Feb. 8, starting at 5 p.m. The lectures are $5 for non-members and free for NHS members.
Tell me a bit about the Writer’s Wednesday series.
The Writers Wednesday lecture series is to highlight the writers that specifically focus on Nevada or the Great Basin or the West in general. The main reason why we do this is because we have so many writers that come in here, into our library and use our resources. And so we’re really familiar with local authors, regional authors and even national authors. … We’ve had events … where we have had book signings, but I thought it would be a really great way to highlight the authors—have question-and-answers with the audience as well as book signings and just be very specific to [one author] instead of having, you know, a group of authors here. It started in November. And we’re having really great luck with people who are coming. We’re getting requests from people who are interested in participating [as authors]. And … it’s from a variety of people. We most recently had David Lowndes who wrote a book called Reno’s Heyday. … It was really great because, you know, he spent a lot of time really identifying photographs and telling people a lot about the photographs of Reno. And you get a lot of history that way. So, for his lecture, he talked a lot about his book, but he also really talked about the process of how he was able to identify the photographs and how he could tell the era and the buildings he used as markers for time frames and things like that. So it’s a great way for people to learn how to also identify their photographs.
How many lectures have there been so far?
We’ve only done three, and the next one is the eighth of February, and it’s going to be Guy Clifton, who you probably know, who … was a journalist with the RGJ. … And, actually, it’s not falling on Wednesday for April, because it’s the author Lynn Downey, and she was the archivist for Levi Strauss & Company. So she has her new book about Levi’s and Levi Strauss. And you may or may not know, but Levi’s were invented in Reno. And I think it’s really great that we’re going to have her speak [on April 26].
… After that it’s Karl Breckenridge, who is another journalist, on May 10. And then Peter Meyers on June 14. … We have them at 5:30—so book signing between 5 and 5:30—as a way to allow people who work to come to some of our events. A lot of our events are during the day. … We have a lot of events on Saturday. But we wanted to … hopefully attract a different audience who can’t get here to our lectures at noon.
What’s the first step for people who want to learn more about presenting as an author or just attending?
Well, the first step is probably to access our website. … Our website should have all of our schedules on it. … But if people want to join, and they become members we also send out … what we call an e-blast, where we … remind [people] of the lectures. And then also on our Facebook page, I’ve been posting lectures … and things like that.