Los Angeles Times Invites Readers to Participate in "Birds of Paradise: A Novel Collaboration"

LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2008 -- Calling all writers! On Sunday, March 30th the Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com) will debut "Birds of Paradise: A Novel Collaboration" in award-winning journalist Steve Lopez's column. He will provide chapter one of a serial novel and it will be up to readers to write the rest in a daily contest. Over the following 26 days, the paper and Web site will publish consecutive chapters, chosen from entries it receives from readers. Lopez will pen the final installment on April 25th and the completed "Birds" tome will appear in its entirety on latimes.com. The finished novel will also be read aloud by its authors at a distinctive presentation at the 13th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (http://latimesfestivalofbooks.com) April 27th on the UCLA campus, offering a live event at which to celebrate the collaboration between The Times and the community it serves. "Greater L.A. is teeming with story tellers, many of whom have unpublished novels in the works and screenplays stashed in their glove boxes," said Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez. "We thought it would be great to give those undiscovered writers an opportunity to be published as well as showcase their talent at this year's Festival of Books."Contest entries must be 600 words or less and are to be submitted online at http://latimes.com/novel. Each day's submissions must be received by 12pm PDT and each day's new chapter will be posted online by 7pm PDT and in print the following day. The novel will grow as each new chapter is selected by a revolving group of Los Angeles Times editorial staff judges, who guarantee they will read at least the first 50 entries. Winners will receive tickets to The Times Book Prizes (www.latimesbookprizes.com) award ceremony held on Friday, April 25th. Full contest rules and regulations can also be found at http://latimes.com/novel.Steve Lopez has been writing a column for the Los Angeles Times for nearly seven years and is the author of five books. His latest, The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music (Penguin Group), is set for release May 1st and follows the formerly homeless violinist Nathaniel Ayers, whose skid row existence has been chronicled by the writer in The Times since 2005. The book is also currently being made into a film entitled "The Soloist," which will star Robert Downey Jr. as Lopez, Catherine Keener as his editor and Jamie Foxx as Nathaniel.


About the Festival of Books

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with UCLA and presenting sponsor, Target; major sponsors, South African Tourism, Borders and Ticketmaster; contributing sponsor, Time Warner Cable and media sponsors, KTLA-TV, Hoy, KCRW-FM, KPFK-FM, KLAX-FM, KJZZ-FM, KOST-FM, KABC-AM, KRLA-AM and Indie 103.1.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 2.2 million and 3.2 million on Sunday, and a combined print and interactive monthly audience of 4.9 million. The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates, including The Envelope, Metromix, Times Community Newspapers, Hoy, and California Community News reach approximately 8.1 million or 62% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times has been covering Southern California for over 126 years and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country's leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information about the Los Angeles Times is available here.

Nancy Sullivan 213-237-6160 nancy.sullivan@latimes.com

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