Murderer Pens Crime Novel, Wins Literary Award

Here’s a case of someone taking the old adage “write what you know” quite literally. Alaric Hunt, who has been incarcerated since 1988 for murder and arson, won the $10,000 prize in a literary contest held by Minotaur Books and the Private Eye Writers of America. Author S.J. Rozan, one of the contest’s judges, said that Hunt’s debut novel, Cuts Through the Bone, had a “new” voice and avoided “the same wisecracking self-deprecating tone you see with a lot of private-eye books.”

Minotaur and Private Eye were unaware of Hunt’s “situation” when they chose him as the winner but apparently found it intriguing, and told the New York Times, “He’s allowed to submit. No one said he’s not allowed to publish. He’s not writing a memoir of the crimes and trying to make money off that.”

But possibly the best part of this story is that Hunt gathered information about the outside world from episodes of Law and Order — which is also our favorite way to learn about the real world. [via The Guardian]