Tampa Review Awards First Danahy Fiction Prize

Published: Jan 12, 2007
New York City writer Douglas Danoff won the first Danahy Fiction Prize from the Tampa Review when his story was chosen from more than 200 entries from around the globe.

“It was unanimous,” said Dr. Richard Mathews, Tampa Review director.

The editors awarded the prize to Danoff for his story “The Trader Thief,” his first submission to the literary magazine. The writer will receive a prize of $1,000, and the story will appear in Tampa Review 33/34, to come out this spring. The UT Press publishes the magazine twice a year in hardcover format.

The Danahy Fiction Prize was established by UT alumni Paul ‘51 and Georgia Reed Danahy ’52 with an endowment to provide an annual award for a previously unpublished work of short fiction judged by the editors of Tampa Review. The award is meant to complement The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry.

“For us, it’s a special prize because it was established by UT alumni,” Mathews said. “It’s the first fiction prize we’ve offered, and it’s one of only a few in Florida. It’s a chance to follow the Danahys’ lead in making Tampa Review better known and in fostering quality literature.”

All entrants received a one-year subscription to Tampa Review, and copies were sent as far away as Canada and Australia. The prize already has increased the magazine’s exposure and reputation in the literary fiction world.

“That’s an additional 200 people now seeing Tampa Review,” Mathews said. “Getting these in the hands of all new readers is more important than I had realized when I started the contest.”

While Danoff’s work has not yet been published in Tampa Review, it has appeared or is forthcoming in Wine Spectator, The New York Times and The Jerusalem Post. He also has been nominated for numerous prestigious literary prizes, including the 2006 Pushcart Prize in nonfiction. After graduating from college, Danoff developed his writing as an employee for The New Yorker.

“There I came across old back issues and book-length collections which exposed me to the essays of E.B. White, whose great humor and humanity—and devotion to the beauty and importance of small things—showed me a kindred spirit and later influenced my writing,” Danoff said.

Danahy hoped the contest would draw more first-time contributors like Danoff, he said, and attract more subscribers to Tampa Review. A subscriber himself, Danahy studied history and English at the University before going on to become Assistant Florida Attorney General, but his love of literature dates back further than that.

“I’ve always been a reader from my momma’s lap on,” Danahy said. “Reading in general, and fiction in particular, is a great self-teacher.”

For more information about the Danahy Prize, contact Dr. Richard Mathews or Sean Donnelly at (813) 253-6266 or utpress@ut.edu