We’re looking for smart, informative, and entertaining stories about criminal defense investigations.
The best story wins $100.
The title “private investigator” is broad. It includes a variety of disciplines, from surveillance to white collar investigations.
There’s a guy in Peculiar, MO who specializes in insurance fraud surveillance jobs. He spends hours stacked upon hours in a car or van or truck documenting the day to day of potential fraudsters.
There’s a gal in Ugly, TX who is an expert in blood spatter analysis. She reviews crime scene photos and blood evidence from a terminal in a basement office for hours and hours.
There’s a retired cop in Nameless, TN who has applied his extensive interview skills to witness examination. His job is informing defense attorneys about the facts (“good” facts and “bad” facts) of their cases.
The title private investigator means lots of different things to lots of different people.
I am a criminal defense investigator. I focus on gathering facts and telling stories. I suppose that’s what we all do in some form. We cobble together as many facts as we can to help our clients tell a story.
In PursuitMag this year, we’d like to explore the ins and outs of criminal defense investigations in greater detail than we’ve ever done before. Our plan is to offer one criminal defense story each month throughout the late spring and summer. To do this, we’re going to need your help.
Write an article of 600-2,000 words in length about criminal defense investigations. Teach us something about the field. Be creative. You could approach the topic in many different ways.
Here are a few examples of how you might focus your article:
- Interview a defense attorney about how investigators can play vital roles in building a criminal case and even during trial.
- Offer a detailed look into an public defender’s office and the work of PD investigators. Is there an imbalance of resources between prosecutors and public defenders in your town? Is the PD office understaffed? Does it manage to do a lot with a little?
- Write an “investigator’s notebook” piece that offers lessons learned from cases you’ve worked. Be as specific as you can. (Feel free to change some details if need be.) Share your successes and failures.
- Write an op-ed about why criminal defense work matters to you, including your personal philosophy about the constitutional right to a defense.
- Assemble a detailed list of services a defense investigator can provide to attorneys.
- Do an explanatory piece on mitigation investigations and/or post-conviction defense work — the hows and whys.
- Do a how-to piece on report writing for criminal defense cases. How are these reports different from other kinds of investigative reports?
You are by no means limited to these — if you’ve got a better idea, we’re open to it.
Send your pitches directly to me at the email address below. We will choose our favorites for publication. We’re looking for well-crafted stories that teach us something about our industry, hard-won wisdom from the trenches, anecdotes that illuminate and entertain, and information that our fellow professionals can use to help them defend their clients.
Want to read an excellent example of the kind of article we’re looking for? Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link.
If PursuitMag’s editorial team selects your story, you’ll work directly with Kim Green or me to edit and produce the best possible article.
What do you get? You get to be a thought leader. You get to promote your company and your work in the author bio section. You get to share the post. And, after the story’s been up on Pursuit for a week, you can post it to your blog (with a link back to Pursuit). It’s a win-win.
The popular favorite — the story that has the most shares, likes, and comments — will be guaranteed a spot in the “Best Of” for 2016 and will receive special consideration by the judges. And <drum roll…> the top three stories chosen by our editorial team and readership will win cash prizes. So, that’s it. If you’re a criminal defense investigator (or attorney) and you want to share your story, please pitch us.
(And if you’re not a criminal defense investigator but want to research the topic thoroughly and write an informative piece, this contest is open to you, too.)
- What: An article about criminal defense investigations
- Word count: minimum, 600; maximum, 2,000. Make every word count! More is not necessarily better.
- Deadline: Email your story by 2200GMT on Monday, May 9.
- First prize: $100
- Runners up: Second- and third-place stories will win $50 each.
- Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org