"The Catcher in the Rye" Parody Short Story Contest
In an effort to help the legal system establish more clear lines between parody, fair use, and copyright infringement, the Fiction Circus will be holding a "Catcher in the Rye" Parody Short Story contest for the month of July, inviting everyone in the world to try their hand at walking the fun legal tightrope between art and malice.

Step right up! Don't be shy!

J.D. Salinger has recently sued Swedish author John David California (AKA Frederik Colting), author of a new novel that uses characters from "The Catcher in the Rye," in addition to using the character of Salinger himself. Salinger has sued California on the grounds that the book is a blatant copyright infringement on Salinger's jealously guarded intellectual property, notably his characters and themes.

California argues, on the other hand, that his book "60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye" is parody and homage, and is instead a novel about an author's unhealthy relationship to his own characters. The book features Holden Caulfield escaping from a nursing home and returning to New York to menace his drug-addicted sister, only this time Salinger is trying to murder him.

We have not read California's novel. It is impossible to read California's novel because there is a restraining order against it. However, based on the plot synopsis, we think that the idea is too trivial and too easy, and we figure California's real mistake is in not being hard-hitting or controversial enough.

Theft is not parody.

We invite you to research everything you can about parody, fair use, and copyright infringement, and draft a story that is:

1). Damning of the original work!
2). Legal! and...
3). Well-written!

If a Buddha meets a Buddha, coming through the rye...


1. 2,000 words or less
2. Send your story IN THE TEXT OF AN EMAIL to "[email protected]" with the words "MY SALINGER CONTEST SUBMISSION, YOU PHONIES" in the subject line.
3. Submissions will open on July 1st. Submissions will close on August 1st. No multiple submissions.
4. A winner will be announced August 31st.
5. The winner will have their story illustrated by crack Fiction Circus illustrators and read aloud by a crack Fiction Circus reader live in Central Park. A recording of this event will be made public. We will also publish the text of the winning submission on this website.
6. The winner will receive a red hunting cap, a bottle of Clearasil, and a copy of Jack Kirby's "ROM" #69, published by "Marvel" with the tagline "By EGO Consumed!"
7. Stories will be judged by the Fiction Circus. None of the editors of the Fiction Circus are eligible to win this contest. If somebody famous wants to judge this contest instead of us, they need to let us know before August 1st.
8. If Salinger dies before August 31st, the contest will close without choosing a winner. We are not monsters.
9. If J.D. Salinger enters this contest himself, he automatically wins.
10. John David California is banned from entering this contest.

Posted by miracle on Tue, 23 Jun 2009 10:21:21 -0400 -- permanent link

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