The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
02/22/07
This was interesting to learn about. It's a unique take on the topic, and I like the fact that you wrote a letter.
I love the brash tone of the boy who wrote the letter. It's a fun read, and you wrote it very well. Kudos!
02/24/07
I really like the letter format. Great job. This was interesting reading, and great info in the author's notes.
02/24/07
I liked the unique take on this topic. I'm pretty sure I've heard of this "incident" before. I'd love to see this expanded to include a possible response letter. At first, I thought it would be a response, but a "form letter" that dashed the little boy's hopes. I'm glad that wasn't the case! Great job.
Yes, I enjoyed this too. Love the notation at the end that the little boy had become a Christian. I also loved his brashness in the letter denouncing any part of taking religious holidays seriously. Good writing. Boy, I'll bet the judges had a hard time with all these good challenges!
02/24/07
This is super - I loved it before I discovered the true story behind it, but that made it even more special.
I'm glad you didn't succumb to the temptation to add a reply, or to have the little boy change his mind, or something. An open ending is (in my opinion) a million times stronger (unless it actually happened differently).
02/24/07
I like this! You caught how a 12 year old thinks and I liked that you tied it up at the end by letting us know he went on to become a ball player and a christian. Good job!! :-)
I like your letter idea, and the notes at the end really made this a full circle story. Terrific writing!
02/25/07
I really liked the letter format and your intro. I think you did a great job of capturing the voice of a twelve year old boy. The letter took an interesting and unexpected twist toward the middle. ďI guess Iím a ChristianÖĒ--sad, but sometimes true.

I also agree with Helenís comment about the open ending being much stronger. It is more realistic. And this one was great!
02/25/07
Great job! This is a great way to tell one story, and to suggest the other. Extremely effective, and great writing.
02/25/07
I loved this the first time I read it and it only gets better with each read. You did such a wonderful job with this format. I agree with all the other comments about capturing the mind and words of a 12 year old.

Children haven't learned tact and speak what is in there heart so many times. This expresses that well. I am so glad he became a Christian. Wonderful job!!
I enjoyed this piece, especially the notes at the end. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.
02/26/07
FRANKly, I smell a winner here! You were right on topic. It was very creative in the format. The 12 year old's voice was authentic and genuine. You gave us an insight over some historical information that we didn't know. This is a standout in my opinion. Fresh and innovative. I agree with Helen, it is much better to leave it open ended than to slap on a "sweet, resolved ending." Joanne, seriously, this is one of my favorites this week. Congratulations! It's an excellent piece!
02/26/07
I am totally 100 percent sincerely impressed!
I really liked this. I loved Sandy Koufax too. And the Frank Tanana curve was awesome. I knew him too, at least from a fans perspective. Super writing. Great story. Creative approach and delivery. Maybe the key to victory this week will be having a character named "Frank" in the story:)
Great job, Joanne! One of my favorites in my short time here at FWs. God bless.
02/26/07
Oh yes. I'm a big fan of research. Your research was spot on, even down to the careers of the two players so the story fits the timeline if it would have indeed happened. This is great even down to the smallest detail a reader on first read might miss or fail to appreciate. Did I tell you yet, I really liked this:) God bless.
02/27/07
Although I know nothing about the sport discussed, even I was sucked into the admiration of this school boy for his hero, but his confusion over his hero's stand of faith. To then discover that it was based on truth was a mega bonus. Well done!!!
02/27/07
Refreshing, original, and professional writing. Thanks.
An original concept and an excellent read. You did a very good job with this piece. I like it a lot.
I could just picture everthing - a wonderful, informative read. Good, descent role models are so important to bring out he best in all of us.
02/28/07
Joanne - a fantastic slice of baseball history. Good blend of historic fact and fiction. The Note was especially enjoyable and particularly pleased that you included the holiday.
02/28/07
This was different! I'm not a big baseball fan, but this sure held my interest and made me want to know more! I like the form of using a letter, it was right on target with the age mentioned. Good job ^_^
02/28/07
I love the example Koufax makes placing his priorities in the right place. And God honored that! The greatest part about this piece (imho) is the hint of placing baseball or anything in a place of idolatry. Hmmmm. Something to think about. Blessings!
Neat title and a nice approach to sharing a little history. One paragraph distracted me a little. The boy's language "lousy job...taking offense" made him seem a touch older than the rest of the letter, but overall I enjoyed reading this piece.
Love the letter format. It's one of my favorites. Love your MC, too. What he wrote is very believable. This is a winner in my book!
06/24/08
I liked the letter format of this piece. Some of the boy's sentences made him seem older than 12, probably because it was written by an expert writer. ;) Thanks for the notes at the end.
Joanne, this was just awesome. I had no idea so much of it was taken from real life! Fun stuff! Thanks for posting this.
06/24/08
This was so creative.
You got my attention when you mentioned Frank Tanana. He used to attend the same church as my brother-in-law, Tim. Frank had a special fondness for Tim's toddler Doug, and would carry him around after services. Doug didn't end up much of an athlete, but he is an excellant musician. Maybe some of that talent rubbed off after all, just went in a different direction.
This is as strong today as when I read it...such a great message. My oh my, do we ever need more role models like this. Great job and your research simply makes it believable that our acts can and do affect the lives of others.
06/25/08
This shows the child's heart so clearly. Very enjoyable read... even though sports is a foreign lanquage to me.
Well done.
06/25/08
I missed this one the first time! I'm so glad you linked to it - it's very original and, tho fictional, sounds like it could have been a real letter. I appreciate the note at the end too - makes the article all the better. :)
06/25/08
What a typical 12 yr. old! You captured the period and voice as it carried us all the way through. Loved the POV -- creative and flowing.
06/25/08
I am not a baseball fan, but you sure held my interest. You gave us facts without it being boring at all! I'm glad you told us of Koufax missing that game because of the Jewish holiday, what an example he set! Very nice writing, great p.o.v., I enjoyed this very much.