Dan’s Literary Festival 2017 – Big Winners, Top Authors and More

Dan's Papers Literary Festival 2017 mashup
Scenes from the 2017 Dan's Papers Literary Festival, Photos: Barbara Lassen

The sixth annual Dan’s Papers Literary Festival, 2017, was an exciting night of awards and entertainment for the capacity crowd at Guild Hall in East Hampton on Thursday, August 31.

Highlights from the evening included speeches from internationally renowned local authors Gail Sheehy (Passages, “The Secret of Grey Gardens”) and Dava Sobel (Longitude, The Glass Universe), a special interview panel with A Speck in the Sea authors John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski, Nancy Atlas’s wonderful performance of “The Ballad of Johnny Load”—her song about Aldridge’s harrowing experience—and beautiful classical music by Perlman Music Program pianist Weiyin Chen.

And, of course, 12 talented writers took home awards from the Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction and the $4,000 Emerging Young Writers Prize for Nonfiction (scroll down for the complete list of winners).

Nancy Atlas sings "The Ballad of Johnny Load" at Dan's Literary Festival
Nancy Atlas sings “The Ballad of Johnny Load” at Dan’s Literary Festival, Photo: Barbara Lassen

Dan’s Hamptons Media CEO Eric Feil, author Daniel Simone (The Lufthansa Heist) and Dan’s Papers founder Dan Rattiner announced the Judges Choice, Runners Up and First Place winners, respectively, for both contests. Then, after Rattiner delivered each top prize, Academy award-winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter, I’m Dying Up Here) read the two stories with gravitas and brio.

A cocktail reception and Literary Luminaries Book Signing, catered by Union Cantina and Southampton Social Club, followed in Guild Hall’s lovely garden. And select VIPs joined illustrious authors Dava Sobel, Gail Sheehy, Daniel Simone, John Aldridge, Anthony Sosinski and Dan Rattiner for a once-in-a-lifetime dinner at Serafina in East Hampton.

Melissa Leo at Dan's Literary Festival 2017
Melissa Leo at Dan’s Literary Festival

This year’s winners are:

Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction

$5,000 First Place: “The East End Rocks” by Thomas Fox

$500 Runner Up: “A Little Wild” by Heather Tomich
$500 Runner Up: “ Seeking Hamptons Based Organically Grown Lover” by Eve Eliot (This is Eliot’s third consecutive year in the money!)

Judges Choice: “She Was Dancing on the Edge—My Last Memory of Marilyn” by Joel Vig
Judges Choice: “A Letter to My Daughter” by John Zaremba
Judges Choice: “Mama Lee and Rose” by Jayleen Lawler

Dan’s Papers $4,000 Emerging Young Writers Prize for Nonfiction

$3,000 First Place: “The Last Landscape” by Anthony DeFeo

$500 Runner Up: “If I Could Tell Him” by Amanda Birbara
$500 Runner Up: “Pink Sweater” by Jordan Ferdman

Judges Choice: “Skipping Rocks” by James Michaelson
Judges Choice: “Two Worlds” by Rebecca Poutasse
Judges Choice: “Grey Butterfly Gardens” by Alexander Motz

Along with cash prizes, winners received Barnes & Noble gift certificates and NOOK tablets, certificates marking their achievements and, for First Place writers, our coveted Literary Prize trophies! The above pieces, and other notable entries, will be published here on DansPapers.com in the coming weeks and months.

You can read all Dan’s Literary Prize submissions from 2017 and previous years at DansLitPrize.com.

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