On the Mainstage

To present in BYU LawStories on the Mainstage write a true story about your life and the law. You can focus on one main idea or weave several experiences together into a thematic whole. Remember that your experience does not need to be dramatic to be meaningful: significant events and epiphanies can occur in everyday experiences. Make sure you go beyond merely writing an anecdote, and create a story that has a narrative arc and illustrates growth, change, or a perceptual shift. Being specific and descriptive will help you connect with your readers and listeners, and lend your story authenticity and interest.

What You Receive

Ten selected storytellers from around the nation will receive:

  •         All-expenses paid trip to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on March 13 – 16, 2019.
  •         Half-day seminar on storytelling taught by nationally-recognized storyteller Sam Payne, host of The Apple Seed on BYU Radio.
  •          Participants will present their stories to an audience at BYU LawStories on the Mainstage
  •          Participants will record their stories at the BYU Radio studio.
  •         Storytellers will travel to Moab to visit one of Utah’s iconic national parks.

Participation Guidelines

Story Requirements

• Titled
• 4 – 6 double-spaced pages in length (1000 – 1500 words)
• Non-fiction
• Tied in some way to your life and the law
• Original, unpublished work
• Content must not be (a) defamatory, threatening, or an invasion of a right of privacy of another person; (b) bigoted, hateful, racially or otherwise offensive; (c) violent, vulgar, obscene, pornographic or otherwise sexually explicit.

Judging Criteria

The narrative arc must show evidence of growth, change, or a perceptual shift. The story connects with the reader and listener, and shows more than tells. The story has a meaningful theme and is mechanically sound (outside editing is encouraged).

Submission Guidelines

Due: 2.20.2019, Noon (MDT), to byulawstories@law.byu.edu

Format: Word document

Cover page: List your name, contact information, and title of your story. Your title must also appear at the top of the story itself.

Rules and Terms

Rules

  1. Stories must be submitted by a current law student.
  2. Stories should be titled.
  3. Stories should be 1,000-1,500 words; stories not meeting the word requirement will be disqualified. We suggest pointed, conscious, and careful editing to encompass your main message.
  4. Tied in some way to your life and the law.
  5. Original, unpublished work.

Terms and Conditions

By submitting your story, you give BYU Law School the rights to edit and publish your story on their website and social media. In addition, BYU Law School may use you story and personal image as part of the LawStories initiative and BYU Law School promotional efforts.

You acknowledge that your story must be your original work and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity, or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. If the story contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, you shall be responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the story, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit use of the story by BYU Law School. BYU Law School may, in its sole discretion, disqualify story submissions for privacy or intellectual property infringements. BYU Law School reserves the right to use or not use submissions.

You warrant that you have not entered into any agreement which will adversely affect BYU Law School’s rights under this agreement, and that BYU Law School’s use of the story will not infringe upon or otherwise violate anyone else’s rights, and that the author shall have no obligations of any kind to any other person(s) except as stated herein. You further agree to abide by all appropriate federal, state and local laws and regulations in writing the story.

You assume all risk of participation and acknowledge and agree that neither BYU nor the BYU Law School shall be liable for any damages, injuries, claims, causes of actions, or losses of any kind or nature resulting from participation in this story competition.   

BYU Law School reserves the right to interpret these official rules and administer the competition as appropriate and its decisions are final. This agreement will supersede any and all other agreements, oral or written, or any other understanding.

FAQ

What if I am not a law student?

  • Only law students may submit a story. 

How many stories may I submit for consideration? 

  • You may only submit one story.

What if I want advice for the quality, etc., of my story?

  • You may use outside editors on your story. The work needs to be yours, but revising is often best handled by outside readers.

How will my story be judged and how will finalists be chosen?

Stories will be judged by a panel of expert storytellers and writers (without author names attached to the pieces) based on the following criteria: 

  • Narrative arc shows evidence of growth, change, or perceptual shift
  • Shows more than tells
  • Connects with the reader and listener
  • Has a meaningful theme
  • Mechanically sound: outside editing is encouraged.