First Nevada Narratives Poetry Contest Closes February 26th

Time to get your poetry in for the first Nevada Narrative’s poetry contest. It’s closing soon.

Contribute a poem about how Nevada has affected your life and helped to make you who you are.

What? You’re Not a Poet? Give it a shot. Writing poetry is a kick, especially when you’re writing about a place you love and the format is totally up to you.

Here is a link to the complete contest rules and suggestions. Have fun with it.

Submit by email to sstormon(at)  Please use subject line: Poem for Nevada Narratives’ Contest

By submitting the poem(s), you are giving permission for me to (non-exclusively) publish them on this blog. You retain all rights to your work.

The winner will be published on the blog and will receive a $10.00 gift certificate for Better World Books. (I know that’s not much but this blog has no budget as of yet)

P.S. If you are inspired to write something other than a poem, you can still submit it for possible publication on the blog. I’m interested in many types of stories.


The 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor – Reno, Sparks

I’ve been going down memory lane lately – and right now, that “lane” is the 4th Street/Prater Lane Corridor in Reno and Sparks.

This all started with a writing prompt in a memoir class, which asked me to write about “Where I’m From.” A few days later, I came across the 4th Street/Prater Way History Project on-line. This coincidence resulted in a poem, a poetry contest, and some other writing I will share later.

It’s funny how some places feel central to a part of yourself, and how the change in a place can sometimes mirror your own changes. Although I’ve moved away and don’t hang out on 4th Street anymore, I can see the same progression as the street in myself. Starting out strong, being bypassed, and (hopefully) experiencing a renaissance.

I didn’t spend a lot of time on 4th Street, but I usually lived close to the corridor during my twenties. I really only hung out at the diner in the poem, the coffee shop at the El Rancho Motel on 4th, and occasionally a bar at Lake and 4th. When I lived in Sparks, Deer Park was a great place to have a picnic when it was too hot in the house. That was a long time ago, but those years shaped me in many ways. Those years helped lead me on the crooked path to where I am today.

This is a side door at the historic Morris Hotel on 4th Street in Reno. It's now a permanent staging ground for a many Burning Man display.
A side door/window at the historic Morris Hotel on 4th Street in Reno. The hotel is now a permanent staging ground for a many Burning Man display.

The History Project tells the story of the changes on this corridor, the old Highway 40, through town. The website breaks this story up into different eras. Each era is described in an essay, pictures, and the oral histories of some of the people who lived and worked there. Many of the people in these stories are there now, holding on to the old places or building new lives.

The corridor today is a place of art and business, new colors and old faded ones, that make such a wonderful collage. Take a look at all the wonderful work that went into this project.

Which streets, lanes, and paths, are important to your personal history? What made them so? Let us know in the comments. Better yet, write the story, the poem, paint the picture, take the photo. Send your idea to Nevada Narratives and we’ll work on publishing it here. The poetry contest ends February 26th.