Featured Images

James Patterson, Jennifer Egan, Larry Kramer & Doris Kearns Goodwin

2019 Writers Hall of Fame Honorees 






Letters About Literature Winners 
Roman Peterson, Thea Millenson-Wilens, Elon Collins




Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jennifer Egan, James Patterson, Larry Kramer, Ntozake Shange,  

Richard Peck & William Cullen Bryant

to be Inducted into NYS Writers Hall of Fame


                             Doris Kearns Goodwin              Jennifer Egan                        James Patterson      




Larry Kramer


 Ntozake Shange

 Richard Peck

  William Cullen Bryant


Noted writers Jennifer Egan, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Larry Kramer, and James Patterson are among the seven members of the 2019 Class of Inductees for the NYS Writers Hall of Fame. The four are expected to attend the induction on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at the Princeton Club of New York. Rocco Staino, who serves as the Director of the Empire State Center for the Book, made the announcement on February 7 during a Facebook Live event on the center’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EmpireStateBook/).The Center for the Book is the organization that oversees the Hall of Fame. In addition, three deceased writers: William Cullen Bryant, Richard Peck, and Ntozake Shange will be inducted.  

“This year is the tenth anniversary of the New York State Writers Hall of Fame” said Rocco Staino, Director for the Center of the Book. “Our anniversary class shows the diversity in literary heritage of New York State.” 

The full list of the 2019 inductees is as follows:

William Cullen Bryant - romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post.


Jennifer Egan – Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and short story writer.


Doris Kearns Goodwin – Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian.


Larry Kramer – Playwright, author and public health advocate.


James Patterson – Author and reading advocate.


Richard Peck – Newbery Award winning author of novels for young people.


Ntozake Shange – Black feminist, playwright and poet.




This year’s NYS Writers Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by a selection committee: 

Barbara Genco, retired librarian from Brooklyn Public Library and Editor of Collection Management at Media Source; Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writers Institute; Brian Kenney, Director of the White Plains Public Library; Stefanie Peters, Editor, Library of America; Lisa Lucas, Executive Director, National Book Foundation; Kathleen Masterson, Director of the Literature and Theatre Programs, New York State Council on the Arts; Ira B. Matetsky Esq., Partner, Ganfer, Shore, Leeds & Zauderer; Christine McDonald, retired director, Crandall Library in Glens Falls; Andrew Medlar, Director, Brooklyn & New York Public Libraries BookOps; Bertha Rogers, Creator, New York State Literary website and map; Will Schwalbe, Author and Journalist; Cynthia Shor, Executive Director of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association; and Rocco Staino, Director of the Empire State Center for the Book.


The Empire State Center for the Book is the New York State affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is housed at the New York Library Association.

For additional information on the Empire State Center for the Book and the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, please contact Rocco Staino at rocco.staino@gmail.comor 914-475-3857.

















Contact: Rocco Staino, Director

Empire State Center for the Book


 Email: Rocco.Staino@gmail.com


Empire State Center for the Book Announces Romance Novel for 2018 Route One Reads


May 2, 2018- Guilderland, NY—For the fourth consecutive year, the Empire State Center for the Book will participate in Route One Reads, a roadtrip-inspired reading list that explores various genres through the network of state Center for the Book affiliates located along Route 1. In 2018, the theme of the reading will be romance novels, and the selected book to represent New York is Sex in the City by Candace Bushnell.


With Sex and the City, Bushnell captured the country’s attention by breaking down the bedroom doors of New York’s rich and beautiful and exposing the true story of sex, love and relationships. Bushnell’s writing introduced the nation to “modelizers,” “toxic bachelors,” and the women who are looking for Mr. Big as they glide in and out of the star-studded social scene.


“This book has become an iconic representation of a certain time in New York City social history,” said Rocco Staino, Director of the Empire State center for the Book.  “People come to the city and want to visit the haunts of Carrie and her friends.”


The diverse reading list created by Route One Reads highlights each individual State Center for the Book while celebrating the East Coast as a whole. By participating in Route One Reads, readers can travel across 15 states and the District of Columbia without taking a single footstep, or load selected books into the car for a literary road trip. The full list of featured books for the 2018 Route One Reads initiative is available along with a map of participating states at Route1Reads.org.


Route One Reads is a partnership between the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and its affiliates in: Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Virginia; and, Washington, D.C.

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About Route One Reads: Connecting the 2,369 miles of U.S. Route 1 from Ft. Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida, the Route One Reads initiative is a partnership between 16 affiliate Centers for the Book to promote books that illuminate important aspects of their states or commonwealths for readers travelling the major and meandering highway. The initiative was launched at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit Route1Reads.org or follow #Route1Reads on Twitter.


About Empire State Center for the Book: The Empire State Center for the Book is committed to the book in all formats. Interests of the Center include the promotion of the culture of reading, literature, literacy, book arts, and book history throughout New York State. The Center will work with publishers, libraries, museums, educational institutions, scholars, authors, illustrators and other interested parties to enrich book culture for the people of New York. The Center for the Book relies on grants, sponsorships and the contributions of individuals who share the ideals and support the mission of the Center to promote literature, literacy and libraries.


To learn more, visit www.empirestatebook.org.


About the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress: Established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. It sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers and collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. The Center for the Book is part of the Library’s National and International Outreach service unit. For more information, visit Read.gov.







Grant Cottage Designated New York's 26th Literary Landmark

U.S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site has been named the 24th New York State Literary Landmark by United for Libraries and the Empire State Center for the Book. Literary Landmark status is granted to community locations associated with a literary figure, author, or his or her work. Ulysses S. Grant completed the second volume of his memoirs at cottage, just days before his death in 1885.  

The Friends of Grant Cottage will hold a public Literary Landmark Plaque Dedication Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 at Grant Cottage, featuring keynote speaker David S. Nolen, Assistant Editor at Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and contributor to the annotated edition of The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant

Early-release copies of the annotated memoirs will be available for purchase and signing by Mr. Nolen. Other speakers will include Rocco Staino, Director of Empire State Center for the Book and Alane Ball-Chinian, Saratoga-Capital Regional Director of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  U.S. Grant (portrayed by Steve Trimm) and Mark Twain (portrayed by Kevin O'Brien will be in attendance and available for tin-type photographs by Glens Falls Art (weather permitting).

Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant has never been out of print and stands as a work of profound political, historical and literary significance, praised by such diverse critics as Mark Twain, Thomas Nast, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Edmund Wilson, Bruce Catton and Gore Vidal.

Grant Cottage thanks generous sponsors Saratoga Arms, Northshire Bookstore, and  Glens Falls Art for making the Literary Landmark status possible: 



U.S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site is the final home of Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War Commanding General of the U.S. Army, 18th U.S. President and beloved American public figure. Impoverished by a Ponzi-style swindle and dying of throat cancer, he moved to the Cottage on June 16, 1885. With the love and support of his family, his publisher Mark Twain, and the nation at large, he completed Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant only days before his death on July 23, 1885. The two-volume publication ensured his family’s financial security and gave the world one of the most critically acclaimed memoirs by a U.S. president or historic military figure. 


2017 NYS Writers Hall of Fame Honorees



Ron Chernow                                             Alexander Hamilton                                  William Kennedy               


Christopher Morley                                  Walter Dean Myers                                       Fredrick Law Olmsted                             



                                                                                       Lillian Ross



John Ashbery Is Dead at 90; a Poetic Voice Often Echoed, Never Matched

Paula Fox, Novelist Who Chronicled Dislocation, Dies at 93

Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow, & William Kennedy Among Those to be Inducted into NYS Writers Hall of Fame 





Literacy for Incarcerated Teens to be Recognized by Empire State Center for the Book


Lost in New York: A Subway Adventure to Represent New York at National Book Festival

Five Members of the New York State Writers Hall of Fame Join PEN to support APPLE

Stephen Sondheim Among Eight to be Inducted into Writers Hall of Fame 

New York Selects Steinbeck's Travels with Charley for its Route 1 Reads Book

E.L. Doctorow Dies at 84

North Country NPR Story on the Wilder Homestead Literary Landmark Dedication

Wilder Homestead to be declared a Literary Landmark

Center for the Book Announces New York State Letters About Literature Winners

Empire State Center for the Book to dedicate Literary Landmark in honor of Walter Dean Myers

Ann M. Martin's Rain Reign to represent New York State at National Book Festival

NYS Writers Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Announced

Harriet the Spy Park Hangout Designated a Literary Landmark

Walt Whitman Birthplace Designated as a National "Literary Landmark"

View the photos from the 2014 Hall of Fame Gala

Children's Book Week Celebrated with Literary Landmark for Lyle the Crocodile's E. 88th Street

Lyle the Crocodile's Official Home Sweet Home

2014 Letters About Literature Winners Announced

In Celebration of Children’s Book Week, East 88th Street to be Literary Landmark, May 14

Plans for the 2014 New York Writers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala are announced.

Balloons Over Broadway to represent New York at National Book Festival

2014 Inductees to the NYS Writers Hall of Fame announced



7 pm January 24 - Announcement of the 2018 Inductees into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame -