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Mystery Writing Competition Winners Announced

In March 2014, Hofstra Law, in conjunction with Mulholland Books, offered writers the unique opportunity to have their short story read by best-selling crime novelists and published online through its Mystery Writing Competition.

The Law School received more than 130 submissions from around the world. The stories were then judged by Professor Alafair Burke, a best-selling author of 10 novels, including the Ellie Hatcher series; Lee Child, best-selling author of 19 Jack Reacher thrillers; and Marcia Clark, best-selling author of four novels featuring Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight.

“We were impressed by the quality of storytelling and the depth of knowledge about the lives of lawyers,” said Professor Burke. “Choosing the winners was not an easy job.”

Hofstra Law is happy to announce the three finalists of the Mystery Writing Competition:


A Prisoner of Time” by Lucian Dervan
Lucian Dervan is a law professor at Southern Illinois University School of Law, where his research and teaching center on domestic and international criminal law. He also enjoys writing legal fiction and is completing work on his first novel.

Read “A Prisoner of Time” on the Mulholland Books website.


“Reasonable Doubt” by Andrew Italia
Andrew Italia attended the University of Maryland School of Law and works as a trial lawyer in Rockville, Maryland, specializing in family law, criminal law, and assisting victims of domestic violence. In his spare time he enjoys writing, martial arts, scuba diving, traveling and the pursuit of the immovable spirit. He lives with his family and Great Dane Theodore Roosevelt in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.


“The Best Defense” by Bev Vincent
Bev Vincent is the author of The Road to the Dark Tower, the Bram Stoker Award-nominated companion to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and The Stephen King Illustrated Companion, which was nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award and a 2009 Bram Stoker Award.

“The Law School is grateful to all of the writers who submitted their stories for consideration and to Mulholland Books for both publicizing the contest and publishing Professor Dervan’s story,” said Professor Burke. “I hope readers enjoy it as much as we did.”

View Professor Burke’s full comments about the contest on the Mulholland Books website.

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