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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)

TITLE: First Page
By Allison Egley


Veronica slammed her books down as she slid into her seat seconds before the bell rang. She wanted to skip class so badly today. If only she weren't so afraid of being caught. She could always go to Coach Couch's room. He wouldn't care. But he would ask her why she wasn't in class, and that was a question she couldn't face right now.

Mrs. Konner stood up and greeted the class. "Good afternoon. As you all know, today is the peer review for the stories you've been writing. This will give you a chance to hear what your classmates have to say about your work, and then you can tell your classmates what you liked and didn't like about their stories."

Great. It was time to be humiliated. Veronica tried, but she just never seemed to be able to get it. The ideas in her head just didn't make it to paper.


She trudged out of her pity party.

"Veronica, I'd like you to work with Emily this time."

Great. The best writer in the entire senior class. Of course. Thanks for adding to my humiliation, Mrs. Konner. I appreciate it.

Veronica refused to move, making Emily move across the room to meet her. "Here." She shoved her hand-written story at Emily, the crumpled paper falling to the floor. Emily picked it up silently, then opened her folder and brought out her perfectly crisp typewritten story. Wonderful. She had been one-upped already and they hadn't even begun reading each other's stories.

Veronica glanced at Emily's paper, not bothering to actually read it. "Great. Good job. You don't need to change anything." She waited until Emily finished reading.

"I love it," Emily said.

"Ha ha. Very funny. Now tell me how you really feel. Tell me how horrible it is, and how it makes no sense, and how I should have never made it to Twelfth Grade English. Everyone else does it. I can certainly take it from the best writer in the senior class."

"I'm serious, Veronica. I love it."

"You what?"

Emily chuckled. "I understand what you're trying to say here, and I love it. It's something that needs to be said, but few people have the courage to say it."

"You mean it actually makes sense?"


"But I don't understand. You're the... Queen of Creative Writing. You can get the words to dress in drag and do the hula if you want them to. Me? It's like I ate a delicious five course dinner that didn't agree with me, and that's what ended up on my paper. It's not the same coming back up, you know?"

"Did you even read my story?"

"I'm sure I don't need to. You never need to change anything."

"Just read it. Or as yearbook editor, I'll put your story on the first page."

"You wouldn’t."


"Fine." Veronica read the story, her eyes wide. "But this is... it's me. How?"

"Because that was me about two years ago. But then another classmate mentored me and taught me some things."

"Would you..."

"Sure. You have a few rough bits in this story, but I think I can help you out. Want to give it a whirl?"

"Why not? What have I got to loose?"

"Your sanity."

"Too late."

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This article has been read 634 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mona Purvis05/13/10
This could be my grandson by just changing the names...it's that believable.
I love the characters. You gave them such depth, even the teacher by just having her connect the two girls.

Francy Judge 05/15/10
Great dialogue. I like how her inner dialogue helps to give her personality. Nice job.
Barbara Lynn Culler05/16/10
I liked the way you used the fun wording the MC used to describe her writing and the other's writing!

I wondered about Coach Couch and wondered if that unigue name was going somewhere in the story.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/18/10
The MC's feelings were so real they brought back my own experience in HS English. Good interaction between the girls. I was also tripped up by the Coach line, kept waiting for its significance. Nicely done.