The Scoop

Dan’s Papers Literary Prize Books Now Online

Amid the fray of year-end lists celebrating the best of this and the best of that, bibliophiles are happily sharing their picks for Best Books of the Year in their many forms. Best Fiction Books. Best Picture Books. Best Works By Authors Born at Noon on February 29. In that spirit, we have a list of our own to share: Best Writing About Life in the Hamptons, Montauk and the North Fork by Residents and Visitors. The list contains two books. And we know the only place you can find them.

When the first annual Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction was awarded at a ceremony that included Honorary Co-Chair and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro in August 2012—this is the first literary prize ever offered on the eastern end of Long Island for short literary nonfiction—it was also announced that all the submissions would be published in an online volume. We’ve doubled that. Exclusively at, we have collected every work accepted to the contest into two digital books: “Hamptons Review 2012” the full set of more than 400 stories, and “Hamptons Memories 2012,” a special collection of reminiscences about the East End.

Dan’s Papers has showcased artists on its covers for more than a quarter-century, and the inspiration for the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize came from a vision of doing the same thing for those practicing the art of the written word. A community whose renowned resident writers have included George Plimpton and John Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut and E.L. Doctorow and countless others, the Hamptons has long inspired outstanding writing and storytelling. As Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio said onstage during the Literary Prize awards gala and presentation at Guild Hall in East Hampton on that unforgettable August day, the writers who submitted stories to this contest did that longstanding tradition proud.

“This contest has put an exclamation point on my notion of the genius of everyday people,” Riggio said. “Quite simply, the entries were awesome, and more than a pleasure to read. Many revealed a piece of our culture and natural habitat I quite frankly never knew existed.”

Since the inaugural contest was launched early in 2012, we’ve published various entries in the paper and right here at, sharing a selection that exemplifies the breadth of voices and styles that made the contest so special. You’ve read about celebrities and fishermen, about drives along the North Fork and perfect days at the beach. You’ve enjoyed the two second-prize essays—“Littoral Drifter” by Susan Cohen and “Waiting for the Ferry” by Jean Ely—and the grand prize winner, Magic Shirts by James K. Phillips.

And the response has been overwhelming, each story whetting readers’ appetites for more. But only the Literary Prize judging committee had the opportunity to read the full complement of entries (the judges for the first year competition were as follows: Martin Shepard of The Permanent Press, author Chris Knopf, radio personality Bonnie Grice, book reviewer Joan Baum, editor Elise D’Haene, and Jim Marquardt, the Chairman of Marquardt and Roche Advertising, along with Len Riggio). Only that select audience was able to experience everyone’s story…until now. Enjoy.

Visit to read both “Hamptons Review 2012” and “Hamptons Memories 2012.” In addition, you can watch video highlights of the awards ceremony and enjoy the reading of “Magic Shirts” by Emmy Award–winning broadcast journalist Pia Lindstrom. 

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