What do Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade and actor Brad Pitt have in common? They have all had their “life story in a minute” written by Dan Hurley, the world’s only 60-Second Novelist. So have over 50,000 people you’ve never heard of!
Dan invented 60-Second Novels while working as an editor in Chicago in the 1980s. His crazy idea was to type stories on the street for passersby. Figuring it would be a one-shot absurd experiment, he was shocked to find that people actually lined up and applauded when he wrote the stories. He quit his job, moved to New York…and the rest is history. Dan has been hired at hundreds and hundreds of events to write instant life stories across the United States and around the world. He even met his wife, Alice, writing her a 60-Second Novel!
How does it work?
Dan shows up at your event with a gorgeous 1938 manual Remington typewriter. He dresses sharp, like an old-fashioned reporter, in his trademark yellow fedora, yellow sport coat and yellow bow-tie. He talks with each guest for two or three minutes to get a sense of who they are and learn something interesting about them. The conversation is a key part of the process—Dan is a master interviewer, working like a cross between Stephen Colbert and a therapist. He then instantly types the guests’ “life story in about a minute” right before their eyes! He reads the story aloud to the guest, signs it with a fountain pen, and gives it to them with a printed “jacket” on the opposite side of the paper. Perfect for framing, putting on the refrigerator, or posting on Instagram!
Each story is different and appropriate to whoever he is writing for. They’re about the person, inspired by the person, and seek to capture the essence of the person. (Or people—Dan often writes his stories for couples!) He has no formula: he literally makes up each story, from scratch, on the spot, based on what he learned. Hipsters, grandmothers, kids and everybody else get Dan’s expert treatment. Each story is a few paragraphs long, or about 250 words. The entire process—talking, typing and reading aloud—takes about five minutes.
Accept no imitations! Some companies have now popped up that will send out any old starving writer to write “instant poems” or “haikus” at your event. They might look good, but you’ll have no idea who you’re getting. Imitation may be the best compliment, but Dan says: Don’t put your event in the hands of amateurs or hired hacks.
Dan Hurley’s uncanny ability to look into a person’s eyes and see straight into their soul is nothing short of magic!
– Janice C. S.
Dan’s Secret Identity
Like Superman, Dan has a secret identify as a reporter for major metropolitan news outlets. For real. He has written hundreds of pieces for the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, and more. He is the author of four books, including The 60-Second Novelist: What 22,613 People Taught Me About Life.