Beach Reads

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Miss Dan’s Papers Literary Festival

The big day is almost here—the 2017 Dan’s Papers Literary Festival and Gala Awards Ceremony for the Dan’s Papers $10,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction! Now celebrating its sixth year, this event supporting local writers is free and open to the public, and we want to make sure you’re there on Thursday, August 31, at Guild Hall in East Hampton.

If you entered the contests this year, then you may be a winner—and you’ll want to be in the audience with your friends and family in case your name is called! If you love great writing, then you’ll want to be there to see such legendary authors as Dava Sobel and Gail Sheehy. If you want to witness an Oscar winner in action, hear a world-class piano performance…well, there are countless reasons you’ll want to attend. Here, help us count down the Top 10.

$10,000 in Prizes • This has been called the largest nonfiction prize in the country, and with good reason. Where else is $10,000 in cash prizes awarded to writers in a nonfiction competition—and where else can you be there in person as the awards are announced and handed to the winners?

Discover the Next Great Young Writer • Years from now, when the winners of this year’s $4,000 Emerging Young Writers Prize for Nonfiction are basking in the glow of their literary fame and fortune, you’ll be able to say you were there the day those careers began!

A Real Life Montauk Saga Onstage • The book—and forthcoming movieA Speck in the Sea tells of the harrowing night in 2013 when Montauk lobstermen John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski headed out to sea. It is a tale of both how Aldridge survived in the ocean after falling overboard, and how Sosinski, the Coast Guard and the Montauk community led an improbable search and rescue effort. Aldridge, Sosinski and Nancy Atlas—who wrote the song “The Tale of Johnny Load” after the events—will take part in an onstage reading and discussion about the incredible story and putting it all into words and song.

World Class Classical Music • You’ll have incredible seats and be treated to a performance by Perlman Music Program alum Weiyin Chen, whose piano mastery will amaze as he performs Brahms Intermezzo in A Major Op.118 No.2 (5’30) Schumann/Liszt Widmung (4’30).

Speeches to Leave You Speechless • This year’s keynote address for the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize will be given by Pulitzer Prize finalist Dava Sobel, the author of such best-sellers as Galileo’s Daughter and Longitude. The address for the Emerging Young Writers Prize will be delivered by acclaimed author Gail Sheehy, who wrote the transformative work Passages.

The Silent Auction Signed books, works of art, East End experiences and more can all be yours if you make the winning bids!

Eat, Drink and Be Literary • All attendees at the Festival are invited to join us for a complimentary cocktail reception in the garden at Guild Hall, with tasty fare catered by Union Cantina and Southampton Social Club. That’s how you kick off Labor Day Weekend!

Meet Legendary Authors • The annual Literary Luminaries Book Signing is a rare chance to meet and greet—and get books signed, of course—with Dava Sobel, Gail Sheehy, Daniel Simone, John Aldridge, Anthony Sosinski and Dan’s Papers founder Dan Rattiner.

Witness an Oscar Winner • One of the most anticipated moments of every Dan’s Literary Festival is the reading of the winning essays. This year we’re in for a treat as Melissa Leo, who won an Academy Award for her role in The Fighter—you loved her in Snowden, Prisoners and many other films as well—brings the Grand Prize winners of both the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction and the Emerging Young Writers Prize to life.

VIP Authors Dinner • Enjoy an intimate once-in-a-lifetime dinner with Dava Sobel, Gail Sheehy, Daniel Simone, John Aldridge, Anthony Sosinski and Dan Rattiner at Serafina in East Hampton. Not only will you get a night of fabulous food and conversation, but also admittance to the Literary Luminaries Book Signing (with a copy of each book) and a VIP gift bag.

The 2017 Dan’s Papers Literary Festival and Gala Awards Ceremony is Thursday, August 31, at Guild Hall in East Hampton. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., event begins at 4 p.m. Seating is first come, first serve. The Awards Ceremony, including “A Speck in the Sea” discussion, Perlman School Alumnus performance and Cocktail Reception, are free and open to the public. Tickets for the book signing and authors dinner are extremely limited and are available at

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