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Legal training, useful for many things, appears to prepare writers for prize-winning badness: A Seattle lawyer has won this year’s Purple Prose prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

“I’ve had an interest in bad writing for many years,” said winner David Hirsch. “Law school put a certain polish on my badness, and 20 years of practice helped.” The contest, named after novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who began a book with “It was a dark and stormy night,” awards prizes for the worst opening sentences of imaginary novels.

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