Denis Hamill is a journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and TV writer. As a journalist, he served his apprenticeship at a Brooklyn weekly called Flatbush Life. Within a year, he was writing for the Village Voice and a year later, he won the prestigious Meyer Berger Award from Columbia University for the best New York City reporting. From there, he went on to write columns for New York magazine, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, the Boston Herald American, New York Newsday and the New York Daily News. In addition, he is the author of ten novels, several screenplays, movies, and TV shows/series.

Born in Brooklyn

TOP-LINE – NEWSPAPERS • NOVELS • MOVIES • TV

REPORTER

Denis learned from his older brother Pete Hamill who would phone in stories from around the world to Denis, who would type them up, and then call the New York Post. A copy boy would come and pick up the copy. The next morning, there it was, in the paper. Denis learned about forming an opinion based on look-see reporting, active verbs, concrete nouns, and hard deadlines during his apprentice to one of New York City’s most lauded and beloved daily newspaper columnists.
The annual Columbia Journalism School Meyer Berger Award was presented to Denis Hamill for his in-depth, human interest reporting on Brooklyn neighborhoods in decline, and police abuse.

COLUMNIST

You don’t get to be a newspaper columnist unless you have something to say – a viewpoint- that reaches and touches the readers of the paper. At times your columns are inflammatory to some, beloved by others and sometimes they are saved by the readers because what you’ve written is so clear, so true, so authentic to their lives that reading the columns makes them feel you not only know them but are OF them.
Hamill: My pal Don Forst me to get it write by insisting on getting details
Denis reported for: Flatbush Life/Weekly/paid $100-week 1976. Village Voice/Legendary Weekly Alternative Newspaper, Home of controversial, incendiary, provocative writers and reporters who told it exactly as they saw it. In 1977 Denis won the prestigious Meyer Berger Award from Columbia University for best NYC reporting. New York Magazine – City Hall column called The Koch Watch and feature stories. Los Angeles Herald Examiner - Was called by the legendary editor Don Forst to move out west, cover the city of Los Angeles, and write a three-times-a-week cityside column. And learn how to drive. Hamill was so homesick for Brooklyn that he wrote his first novel, “Stomping Ground,” for Delacorte Press about criminals from Brooklyn. Boston Herald-American - Don Forst moved back East and took Denis along, to cover Boston and write a three-times-a-week cityside column. While there Hamill wrote his second novel, “Machine,” a political thriller set in the corrupt netherworld of the Brooklyn Democratic machine. New York Newsday - When Newsday created an all-new newspaper for New York City in addition to the original on Long Island, the choice for editor could only have been Don Forst. And once again, Forst hired his columnist of choice. Denis covered the city with a column for six years – until he signed with the New York Daily News – but took time in between to write his third novel “House on Fire,” for Grove Atlantic about a Brooklyn family of cops and firefighters. New York Daily News - Denis spent 24 years of covering all things New York in his column and wrote seven more novels and various movie projects.
Denis was a columnist for:
New York Magazine, LA Herald Examiner, Boston Herald-American, New York Newsday, New York Daily News: 24 years of reporting and columns for the New York Daily News.

“This is the kid who made my Mom and me laugh till our sides split with his outlandish, hand-written ‘Denis stories’ as a young kid,” writes Kathleen Hamill Fischetti, the only sister among six Hamill brothers.

So, what else could Denis do but continue to write stories. His novels celebrate New York, its eccentricities, and its tough exterior along with the people who make it that way, many of whom would give you the shirts off their backs, while others were at the same time stealing those shirts.
For everyone who knows at least one New Yorker who could best be described as a “character”, Denis has created many more, and you’ll find them in his funny, sad, often outrageous, sometimes gruesome, other times seductive, novels of which there are now ten, and counting.

SCREENWRITING

When your mom works as the cashier at the RKO Prospect in Park Slope, just a few blocks away from the railroad flat that your five brothers and one sister call home, you spend a lot of time at the movies. How great is that for a kid who was already writing outlandish “Denis stories?” Denis viewed the forty-foot images on the screen and found a new way his stories could be told. He majored in film in college, entered the newspaper business and saw his first screenplay collaboration with his brother John, the cult classic “Turk 182!” on the big screen in 1985. Denis has written several more films, with two screenplays in development and four movies written and/or written and produced by Denis that you can rent, stream, or watch on demand.

TV WRITING

Covering scores of celebrated trials for daily newspapers in the courtrooms of New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, and rubbing elbows with cops, DAs, defense lawyers and criminals which also fueled his novels could only lead to one thing: A seat in the Writers Room of television’s longest running series: “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Show Runner Warren Leight hired Denis Hamill to start writing for SVU in 2019 and Denis hopes to return for Season 23.
The Hamill Family
Seven children of Belfast, Northern Ireland immigrants Billy Hamill and Annie Devlin Hamill – Pete, Tom, Kathleen, Brian, John, Denis, Joe.

The family business: Four brothers and one sister are writers. One brother is a scientist. And one brother a photographer.

Born in Brooklyn

Denis Hamill is a journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and TV writer. As a journalist at the Village Voice, he won the prestigious Meyer Berger Award from Columbia University for best NYC reporting. His columns for New York magazine, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, the Boston Herald American, New York Newsday and 24 years at New York Daily News became an integral part of each city's life. In addition, he is the author of ten novels, several screenplays, movies, and TV shows/series.
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Denis@DenisHamill.com

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