Thank you to the 20 writers who submitted entries to the Texas Bar Journal Short Story contest this year.

Author names were removed from entries before being submitted to judges in order to keep the contest fair and impartial. Two panels of judges faced the challenging task of selecting winners, and for each round, the same evaluation form was used for consistency. Nine entries advanced to the final round, which was judged by Pamela Buchmeyer, of Dallas and Jupiter, Florida; Mike Farris, of Dallas; and last year’s winner, Brian Schmidt, of Athens.

The winner, “The Captive,” by Mark Ratway, earned the highest number of points.

Please congratulate these attorney-authors for making it through the competitive first round of judging to the finals.

“The Captive,” by Mark Ratway (first place)

“Returning the Favor,” by Caryn Carson (second place)

“A Puncher’s Chance,” by Alexander G. Hughes (third place)

“Small Decisions,” by Katherine Ho

“The Upside-Down Snow Globe,” by Dave Beran

“Forgetting to Remember,” by Victor H. Segura

“Behind Closed Doors,” by Luvenia Sanchez

“Soft Rain Falls in the Spring,” by Paula J. Gaus

“Normal,” by Shara Saget

Here’s an excerpt from “The Captive”:

“The elevator opened onto a dark floor of the Leland C. Delaneaux Federal Building. The elevator buttons flashed in strange combinations and sequences before going dim. Scarlett’s heart began to race when she mashed the alarm button, and it did not work. Though she thought her phone was charged, it would not power on. She felt the elevator lurch up and down a few times, and the doors began to close. Not wanting to be trapped, she stepped off.”

The entire story, along with the second-place and third-place entries, will be published in the June issue of the Texas Bar Journal.