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The 2019 Texas Bar Journal
Short Story Contest

You’ve been thinking about it. Begin. Start writing your short story now. You’ve got 2,000 words to state your case. There can be only one winner. Will it be you?

Submit your manuscript to the Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest by 5 p.m. March 4, 2019.

To be eligible, you must be a lawyer admitted to practice and a member of the State Bar of Texas in good standing. Members of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors are not eligible. All stories should be previously unpublished and must be fiction and deal with or be related to the law or lawyers in some fashion. One entry per person. Manuscripts should not exceed 2,000 words and should be submitted in Microsoft Word format.

The top three winning entries as selected by an independent panel of judges will be featured in the June 2019 issue of the Texas Bar Journal. For more information, go here.

2018 Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest Winners

Thank you to the 28 writers who submitted entries to the Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest this year. The winner, “The Protective Order,” by Rosanne Gordon, earned the highest number of points.

• “The Protective Order,” by Rosanne Gordon (First Place)

Here’s an excerpt from “The Protective Order”:

The overwhelming smell of pine cleaner grabbed my throat as I opened the glass door. I walked quickly across the rural community center’s glistening tile floor, glancing at the dozens of people sitting on folding chairs against the walls. A pair of young women. One probably applying for a divorce, the other making sure she didn’t chicken out. A scowling man holding a bundle of papers. An elderly couple with an adult, disabled child. I avoided eye contact with the volunteer law students stationed at tables in the middle of the room, hoping they were too busy interviewing potential clients to notice my arrival. No such luck. A tall, young man in a crisp, gray suit called out, “Professor?”

I ducked my head and put my palm in the air. I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone. I made a beeline for the office I had occupied one evening a month for the past six years—an old, wooden desk in the back corner. I took a deep breath. The odor stung my eyes. I grabbed a tissue from the ever-present box and dabbed the tears. After another deep breath, I sat up and motioned the young man over. 

• “Whiskey Hands,” by Ron Uselton (Second Place)

• “Max’s Mindspeak,” by Marvin Sprouse (Third Place)

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