Class of 2014 Inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame

Over one hundred literary enthusiasts gathered at the Princeton Club in New York City on June 3 as the Empire State Center for the Book inducted

Russel Banks, Maurice Kenny, Mary Higgins Clark & Alice Hoffman

its fifth class into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.  The 2014 group included Russell Banks, Mary Higgins Clark, Nora Ephron, Alice Hoffman, Maurice Kenny, Rex Stout and James Thurber.  Banks, Clark, Hoffman and Kenny were in attendance and members of the Stout and Ephron families were also present.  In addition, Joyce Carol Oates, a member of the 2012 Hall of Fame class was there to induct her friend Russell Banks.

Members of the Wolfe Pack, the fan club for Rex Stout, the creator of the Nero Wolfe mysteries, were out in full force to celebrate the author and to hear his daughter, Rebecca Stout Bradbury, who traveled to the event from California, accept the award.  Nora Ephron’s son Jacob Bernstein, attended to speak on his late mother’s behalf, while Robert Markoff, the cartoon editor for The New Yorker inducted James Thurber.

This year’s induction brings the total number writers in the Hall of Fame to 50.  Past inductees include such names as Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman, E.L. Doctorow and Kurt Vonnegut.  The honorees are selected by a committee composed of librarians and others involved with literature and literacy.  This year’s selection committee was comprised of Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, Jeffrey Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education of the New York State Education Department, Barbara Genco, retired librarian from Brooklyn Public Library and Editor of Collection Management at Media Source, Brian Kenney, Director of the White Plains Public Library, Brian McCarthy, Associate Publisher of the Library of America, Kathleen Masterson, Director of the Literature Program at the New York State Council on the Arts, Christine McDonald, retired director of the Crandall Library, Glens Falls, Bertha Rogers, Executive Director of Bright Hill Press & creator of the New York State Literary website and map, Charlene Rue, Brooklyn & New York Public Libraries Book Ops, Rocco Staino, Director of the Empire State Center for the Book, and Hong Yao, Associate Coordinator of Collection Development at Queens Library.

Plans are underway to house the NYS Writers Hall of Fame at the New York State Library in Albany. The Empire State Center for the Book is part of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is currently housed at the New York Library Association.

For additional information on the Empire State Center for the Book and the Writers Hall of fame, please contact Rocco Staino at the New York Library Association 1-800-252-NYLA or