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Submit Your Nonfiction to the 2016 Dan’s Literary Prize

Everyone has a story about the East End. Maybe it was a day you spent strolling through a vineyard and tasted a transcendent Long Island wine. Maybe it was an afternoon you sailed around Gardiners Island years ago, trying to figure out where Captain Kidd buried his treasure. Maybe it’s a memory of summers on the beach as a kid, building sandcastles and collecting shells and hoping the days would never end.

And maybe, just maybe, your first place story could win you $5,000. But only if you write it up and enter it into the 2016 Dan’s Papers Literary Prize.

Established in 2012, the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction celebrates the deep connection between writers and the East End of Long Island. It celebrates the very stories everyone reading this article has inside, just looking for a place to shine. “We created the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction to honor writers, as Dan’s Papers has been honoring local artists on its covers since 1987,” says Dan’s Papers founder and Editor-in-Chief Dan Rattiner.

Now in its fifth year, the Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction is open to writers of all ages, while the $4,000 Emerging Young Writers Prize for Nonfiction, established in 2015, is open to writers ages 25 years and younger. For both competitions, all entries must be an original work of nonfiction between 600 and 1,500 words, and must make meaningful references to the East End of Long Island. Entries may be excerpted from previously published works, but can only be considered if permission is granted to the competition for their use. Poetry is not accepted.

“I think if anyone can bring together some of the greatest writers around today on behalf of recognizing new, emerging work and thus ‘restock the pond,’ to the benefit of all, that would be Dan,” says Literary Prize supporter Alec Baldwin. “Dan and Dan’s Papers’ contributions to the art of writing and the craft of journalism are legendary. This competition is the latest effort in his stewardship of the written word.”

Once again this year, all entries will be judged by an independent panel of judges that includes luminaries in the worlds of publishing, writing and academia. Winners will be announced at our gala awards ceremony as part of the Dan’s Papers Literary Festival at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater in East Hampton on Thursday, September 1, 2016.

In past years, the winning essays have been read aloud to the rapt audience by the likes of Emmy winner Pia Lindstrom and Academy Award winner Mercedes Ruehl, and keynote addresses have been delivered by double Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro, National Book Award winner E.L. Doctorow, Oscar winner and Pulitzer Prize winner Jules Feiffer, and National Book Award winner Tom Wolfe.

Major funding for the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction is provided by Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Sponsorship is provided by Bridgehampton National Bank, Ben Krupinski Builders and Montauk Rumrunners, with support provided by Alec Baldwin.

Entries for both the Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction and the $4,000 Emerging Young Writers Prize for Nonfiction will be accepted through August 12, only online at Since we know that many of you have more than a single story to share, eligible authors may enter up to three works in each competition, at a cost of $25 per entry for the Literary Prize and $10 per entry for the Emerging Young Writers Prize.

Now stop reading. And start writing.

Submit your stories and find complete rules at through August 12.

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