Debutante Ball

1. Five debutantes and eligible bachelors all in a row. 2. Dani Shapiro accepts the Mentorship Award.

One afternoon tea after Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge, five writers put on their finest digs to be announced to the literary world as the bright young stars they are. The event was One Story’s Literary Debutante Ball, billed on its program as “A Celebration of Emerging Writers.” Really, it was a fancy, boozy party and the writers — judging by the rowdy applause — are more ‘emerged’ than ‘emerging.’ The venue was the Invisible Dog Art Center in Boerum Hill, a restored warehouse with one 8,000-pound capacity freight elevator that moved guests from the ground floor to the party upstairs.

1. Debutante Susanna Daniel. 2. Eligible bachelor Jim Hanas escorted by Brian Davis and Emily Schultz.

True to its name, One Story is the one-thing-at-a-time literary magazine that sends its subscribers a single story every three weeks. This was their second annual Debutante Ball; last year’s must have been winning because this year’s was sold out and packed as soon as the doors opened. The first hour-plus was all drinks and hugs and kisses and maybe one chest-bump, observed from across the room, among an august crowd of writers, editors, publishers, and related personalities. In the back: a live band. In the front: a silent art auction. Sartorialist worthy outfits everywhere (Cassie Hay, let’s tag-team for next year’s?)

1. Former roommates Larissa Pahomov and One Story author Sam Allingham. Sam is chastising all the people in the world who haven’t heard of Javier Marias. 2. Gentlemen who declined to provide their names.

Eventually Selected Shorts legend Isaiah Sheffer took to the makeshift stage as master of ceremonies. In his fabulous bass, he thanked One Story “for upping his street cred” and then introduced the night’s debutantes and (What is the word for a male debutante? Google says ‘eligible bachelor.’) eligible bachelors, who made their way down an aisle formed by rope-holding One Story staffers, each escorted by their literary mentor(s). The debutantes/bachelors — Robin Black, Susanna Daniel, Seth Fried, Jerry Gabriel, and Jim Hanas — assembled for one long, loud round of applause before One Story editor-in-chief Hannah Tinti took to the mic to present author and teacher Dani Shapiro with the night’s Mentorship Award. The crowd hushed for both Hannah and Dani’s heartfelt remarks, then resumed cavorting as the official program concluded, the rope aisle vanished, and the stage area turned into a dance floor.

It was clear this was a party that would go on for hours, at this venue or another. America: we don’t need royalty. We have writers.

–Kai Twanmoh is a regular contributor to Electric Dish.

1. Hannah Tinti encourages the crowd to give it up for Dani Shapiro (they did). 2. Helen Phillips (center), author of And Yet They Were Happy.

1. Jennifer Acker and Hannah Gersen, editors of new lit journal The Common. 2. Author Elliott Holt and Joshua Henkin, author of the novel Matrimony.

1. Master of ceremonies Isaiah Sheffer. 2. Left to right Karen Thompson Walker, Casey Walker, and Norah Tinti — Hannah’s sister.

1. Megan Lynch, senior editor at Riverhead, and friend Amber. 2. One Story co-founder and publisher Maribeth Batcha and The Story Prize director Larry Dark.

1. One Story editor-in-chief Hannah Tinti (center). 2. Paul Morris of BOMB Magazine and his lovely girlfriend.

1. Part 1 of silent auction artist Anthony Haden-Guest’s impromtu performance piece. 2. Part 2 of impromtu performance piece.

1. Our own Scott Lindenbaum and One Story’s associate editor Marie-Helene Bertino and friends. 2. Fellow event photog Aslan. Yep, like the Chronicles of Narnia.

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