The Official Writing Challenge
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Love this story! I was hooked from the opening line, and enjoyed being drawn in to each scene and conversation. Was a teensy bit disappointed that it wrapped up so tidily at the end, but I'm sure the word limit had something to do with that. Would love to see you develop this into a novel (Mary's backstory with her family, the town's prejudice, even Miss Ellen's history...) Write the book!
This was an excellent story that was interesting, touching, poignant and powerful at once.

I loved the message that was brought forward, and the writing was superb.

The support that was given to the MC was touching, and showed how important it is to reach out to someone who is in need, emotionally or otherwise.

You've concocted a story that reeks of authenticity, and if the judges don't give you a win for this...I "give-up!" A winner in my heart.

Well done.

God bless ~
You created a couple of really likable characters in this story between Mary Winifred and Miss Ellen. And your telling of their story is honest and simple, with a touch of the wide-eyed innocence you display in your MC. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing here and hope this story does well in the judging this week.

Great job!
This had to be yours! Your style of writing, your vivid descriptions and gripping storyline equate to one word:
WINNER! Love this and love you . . .

Congrats in advance!
I really enjoyed this story. You wrote the dialogue very well so I could almost hear the characters speaking. Right on topic too. Just a little red ink: In the sentences below I suggest a little extra punctuation: a comma after sandwich, and inverted commas around "Help Wanted".

Hot and hungry, she went inside the station to get a sandwich with every intention of boarding another bus to Mobile, Alabama. Then she saw the Help Wanted sign above the counter of a small bus station restaurant.

Great writing!
A fantastic article that is dead-on right with delivering the message intended with gossip mill. I read it several times, and thought that I had reviewed it. It is an article worth reading many times in that with each reading I find another piece of hidden truth revealed. I plan to read it again, and know I will find more than I did the last reading.

God Bless Always!
Brilliant. You undersell yourself as a writer. You have become an excellent story teller.

My red ink is small and a matter of interpretation; which means I could be very wrong.

In paragraph six we have: 'Then she prayed. God, please let this be!' So the young lady is shown to know the Lord and to be a Christian -- one presumes.

In the third paragraph from the bottom we have: 'Mary Winifred surrendered her life to Jesus Christ the very next Sunday.'

This threw me a little and didn't jell; for me. Perhaps 're-committed her life' would have worked better, reflecting a struggling relationship rather than a new relationship.

I think your ability to write dialog is outstanding and you did a brilliant job with the flow of this story.

This is good!

The ending felt just a bit rushed.

I liked the baby's name, too. :)
Congrats Lynn on your HC!
This was a fine piece of writing.

God bless~
From the first sentence, Mary Winifred had my attention, and I was rooting for her right to the end.
Congratulations on your HC!

Your story is one of hope. When times feel hopeless, God has a way of using the situation to bring glory to his name. As a single, teen mother back in the 80s I can relate to the gossip and everyone having an opinion. Congratulations on ranking 13 overall! Happy Dance!