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Dan’s Literary Prize for Nonfiction: What You Need to Know

Submit your work to win the largest nonfiction writing prize in the country.

If someone asked you which magazine awards the largest nonfiction writing prize in the country, you might guess The Paris Review. Well, you’d be wrong. The largest nonfiction prize in the country is awarded as part of the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction!

The Prize doles out a whopping $10,000 in prizes to local writers. Whether you’re an established writer who’s published extensively, or an eager young writer looking to break out, this is your opportunity to show off your skills and your local pride.

The 7th Annual Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction—open to writers of all ages—and the Dan’s Papers Emerging Young Writers Prize for Nonfiction—open to writers 25 and under—are now accepting submissions through August 8, only online at LiteraryPrize.DansPapers.com.

We know that many of you have more than a single story to share, so eligible authors may enter up to three works, at a cost of $25 per entry for the Literary Prize and $10 for the Emerging Young Writers Prize.

First place for Dan’s Papers Literary Prize for Nonfiction is $7,500. Two runners up will be awarded $500 each.

First place for the Dan’s Papers Emerging Young Writers is $1,000. Two runners up will be awarded $250 each.

What should one write about? The first thing to note is that the Prize celebrates the profound connection between writers and the East End of Long Island. So 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.

Eric Feil, CEO of Dan's Papers, takes a photo of our largest Literary Prize audience to date!
Literary Prize Gala Awards Ceremony audience, Photo: Barbara Lassen

The Gala Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception will take place Thursday, August 23 at 4 pm. at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall East Hampton. The doors open at 3:30 p.m. and admission is free. The Ceremony will feature staged readings and discussions, keynote addresses, live readings of the winning pieces and a performance by Perlman Music Program alumni.

This year’s keynote address will be given by Roger Rosenblatt, author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year and three New York Times bestsellers, including the memoirs Kayak Morning, The Boy Detective and Making Toast. Rosenblatt is currently the Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook Southampton and formerly held the Briggs-Copeland appointment in the teaching of writing at Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. Among his honors are two George Polk awards; the Peabody and the Emmy for his work as an essayist at Time magazine and on PBS; the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize; a Fulbright Scholarship; seven honorary doctorates; the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement; and the President’s Medal of the Chautauqua Institution for his body of work.

Dan's Papers founder Dan Rattiner and author Tom Wolfe
Dan’s Papers founder Dan Rattiner and author Tom Wolfe

Previous keynote addresses have been given by Pulitzer Prize winners Robert Caro, Jules Feiffer and Carl Bernstein; National Book Award winners E.L. Doctorow and Tom Wolfe; Jefferson Lecturer Walter Isaacson, science writer Dava Sobel and seven-time recipient of New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Award for Distinguished Journalism, Gail Sheehy.

In past years, winning essays have been read aloud to the rapt audience by the likes of Emmy award winners Pia Lindstrom and Dick Cavett and Academy Award winners Melissa Leo and Mercedes Ruehl.

Actress Melissa Leo
Actress Melissa Leo

Immediately following the Ceremony, join us for a complimentary Cocktail Reception in the Garden at Guild Hall with book signings and more.

So what are you waiting for? Clear off the desk, sharpen your pencils, stretch your typing fingers and get to work. You could be the next winner!

Enter you piece now, and read all the entries from previous years, at LiteraryPrize.DansPapers.com.

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