Law in Popular Culture

Prize in New Legal Fiction Contest Is Pride of Publication

If you have a shorter legal story you’d like to tell, a new fiction writing contest will give you a chance to have your work judged by some high-profile authors.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to enter, but your story has to take place in a legal setting or focus on a law-related character, according to the contest rules. Submissions must be 5,000 words or less and previously unpublished. They are due by March 15.

There is no mention of a cash prize. Ten winning stories will appear in the Journal of Legal Education, published by the Association of American Law Schools. The publication is sponsoring the contest along with Southwestern Law School, according to the National Law Journal and a press release. The 10 winning stories, along with 10 runners up, will also be published online. The authors will retain the copyright.

Contest judges are Michael Connelly, author of The Lincoln Lawyer; Marshall Goldberg, a TV and movie writer who worked on L.A. Law and Paper Chase; Charles Rosenberg, legal consultant for Paper Chase, L.A. Law and Boston Legal; and author Denise Hamilton.

The competition comes on the heels of a new contest for book-length fiction created by the ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law. The contest’s first Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction went to John Grisham for his book The Confession. Connelly, one of the judges in the new short-story contest, was a finalist for his novel The Reversal.

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