Book festival grants awards

The Vegas Valley Book Festival has named Carolyn Hayes Uber, Luke Anderson and Arcata Associates Inc. recipients of its 2013 Crystal Bookmark Award.

The Crystal Bookmark Award is presented each year to people and organizations who have advanced the cause of literacy and literature in Southern Nevada.

Carolyn Hayes Uber was recruited 11 years ago to start Stephens Press, the book publishing arm of Stephens Media (which also publishes the Las Vegas Review-Journal).

From then, and until her retirement earlier this year, the festival said, Hayes Uber made “a seminal contribution” to the body of literature about Southern Nevada via volumes that told “an astounding array of Southern Nevada stories,” including those of Helen Stewart, Howard Hughes, casino owners, mobsters, the Hualapai, showgirls, cowboys, brothel madams, the Moulin Rouge, the Mojave, the Stardust and the Las Vegas Country Club.

“Stephens Press became the hallmark of regional publishing across genres including history, current affairs, sports, children, arts, entertainment, architecture, culture and memoir,” the festival said, “all of which capture the spirit and complexity of the place known as Las Vegas.”

Luke Anderson, a product of the Clark County School District, got his start as a writer at the College of Southern Nevada. His first screenplay produced in a College of Southern Nevada screenwriting class became his first self-published book, “Hockey Penguin,” which was followed by two more in a series.

Anderson visits schools and after-school programs weekly to read with students and teach them to write. He has had, the festival said, “a great influence on getting boys to love reading and writing.”

Arcata Associates Inc. has made “impactful contributions that have improved regional literacy and literate civic conditions and conversations,” the festival said.

Buck W. Wong founded the company in 1979 to provide engineering services to the U.S. Air Force. Wong retired in 1993, and his son, Tim Wong, now serves as CEO and president, and his daughter, Nancy Wong, serves as executive vice president.

Arcata and the Wongs are “civic leaders, visionaries and activists,” the festival said, whose ” contributions “often serve as a catalyst for new services and innovative, collaborative approaches that reach new audiences and expand literacy activities.”

“They are exemplary in their philanthropic leadership, generous with corporate gifts and have served on various boards that have focused on improving education and literacy conditions in our community.”

The Crystal Bookmark Award was created in 2008. Past winners include Kris Darnall, John L. Smith, Glenn Schaeffer, Dayvid Figler, Michael Green, Spread the Word Nevada, Vegas PBS and Nevada Public Radio.

For more information, visit or call Danielle Milam at 702-507-6179.


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