The Official Writing Challenge
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Fantastic, unforced, patient storytelling!

You have wonderful comfort with your story that allows you to steer clear of unnecessary dramatics. I wish I had the same. I can never seem to escape gravitas. Ha!

It's a winner for sure.

Well done! Can't wait to see who wrote this!!!
From beginning to end I was captivated. The language just flows beautifully and I love that it is not a 'feel good, everyone loves one another' type narrative.

I think we will see this one on the winners podium next week.
I love this story! Don't know what I could say as far as critique, except that it wasn't long enough. I want more. :) Great writing.
Yes, I want more too. The flow was flawless. The atmosphere real enough for me to be there.
This will stay with me.
I was holding my breath, hoping they weren't caught! I also want to read more! A novel in the making!
Wonderful job, and a wonderful style of writing.

Thank you,
Oh, this is good. I love it. Historical fiction, particularly involving the Civil War/slavery have always been favorites of mine!
Oh, I like stories of this era. You did a good job with describing the setting and characters. I wasn't sure how it fit the theme of WIN though. Keep up the good work.
This is a winning "Win" entry for sure. Grace is a winner for going out alone in the dark to help those less fortunate, risking her safety and the wrath of her strict father. Benjamin and Ellie were winners because they were willing participants in Grace's plan to teach them to read and write. This sort of kindness was often repeated in the deep South for many years by kind hearts who wanted to make a difference like Grace did. Good job!
Yes, tell us more, please. :) Well done.
This was one of the best stories I've seen in the challenges--characters, setting, plot --all well done and the language and atmosphere were exactly right.
Very evocative work that draws us right into the setting, with credible characters and dialogue - all with a sense of tension and courage. Great writing.
Being able to read is one blessing many of us take for granted.

This story has all the makings of a winner--strong characters, good dialog, and a proper ending. I know this will win an EC.
I thought this story would place in the top ten, Betty. I might ask for a judges report to see why it didn't.
Thanks, Bonnie. How sweet. I'm okay with their decision. I have asked for reports in the past, but this is fine. It actually gives me another story for my collection with no strings attached.