The Official Writing Challenge
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Very good. I enjoyed reading this.

"I started stealing at the ripe old age of none." Nice.

At first I thought this was a girl so you might want to establish that earlier on. :)

"I decided right then and there to pull a Hail Mary prayer..."

I love that paragraph. Great voice!

I like the Chaplain and his analogies.
Well done. You told a hard-hitting story without wrapping it up all neat and tidy. Lots of raw emotions and very realistic. Terrific.
I feel like I know this young man. What a life to be born into. Excellent story-telling, as always:)
Quality story-telling with excellent sentence styling.

Quite effective.
I love how you introduce and maintain a crossflow of similarities and contrasts and keep us with you all the way.
Thank God for prison chaplains - for of all preachers they have a captive audience.
Very well-written.
Wow, this is good! How you managed to get such a complete story across within the word limit amazes me. I especially liked the pastor's making a connection for the man on death row with the thieves on the cross. This is a keepsake!
This is really good! Very, Very well done!
Congratulations on your well-deserved first place. I enjoyed this interesting story told with a great voice and style.
Story-telling at its best. A great piece and a well-deserved win...congratulations!!
Wow - this really touches the heart with its excellent storyline. Beautifully written. Congrats on your very well deserved 1st place.
I certainly agree with the judges. This is first rate. A story that will stick in my mind for a long time. Congratulations!
Congratulations on "sitting on top" with this outstanding story! The last paragraph is "priceless."
All of the above, Mari. You are definitely an awesome writer. And I can say I know you ... or when you are famous ... I knew her when.
Excellent voice. Love it.

Congratulations on this bit of awesomeoness, Mari!
Mari, I love this for so many reasons. First of all, it's believable, a real story. The POV is strong and lets the reader get into the mind of the character. Then it 'says something' worth saying, it has a point. Just splendid and worthy.
WOW! Mari, God has really given you a mighty gift with words! I look forward to seeing how He choses to prosper this gift! Love you! CONGRATULATIONS!
Congratulations on your first place win.

The story was told with conviction and promise. Excellent perspective about a young man in prison.
Wow! This definitely deserved 1st place! Great Gospel message wrapped in an interesting setting and story.
Mari, I LOVE this!! Excellent in so many ways. It gave me goosebumps. You definitely deserved your editor's choice award. Super congrats on 1st place!!
Wow!i love this.i really love your style of makes easy for the reader to comprehend.Congratulations again!
Congrats on your BoB placing!
Mari - this is absolutely, positively STUNNING. Just WOWzers. Congrats and 2nd place BoB, my friend (and I need/get to interview you - watch for that :D). LOVE ya.
Hi Marita,

Great entry and very deserving. Bea and I love sharing the gospel and this really touched our heart.

Congratulations and God Bless, Mike & Bea Edwards

Re-reading this reminded me how much I love this piece. Congratulations on your win!
I can see why this was a runner up for the Best of the Best. Awesome job!
Mari, this is so AWESOME. The thief's prayer made me almost cry. Love it - congrats times a kazillion on your BoB 2nd place!
Marita, this is superb and well deserving of runner up in BoB! Congratulations!
Whoa! This is very good. Especially love the voice.
Wow. This is amazing. A mighty big "CONGRATS" on 2nd place Best of the Best!
Mari, you have so many wonderful elements and references in this. Super, heart-felt congratulations on 2nd place Best of the Best for 2012!!! <3 <3 <3
Congrats! I am so happy for you. God Bless~
Marita, I too congratulate you for a story so very well-told!
Praise God, young man. Welcome to the family of God. You are loved.

--a sister in Christ
Nice story. Very real.