The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
01/15/09
How wonderful of you to research this note in history and write a story about it. It's so typical of what the USA is all about. Well done.
Your title is carried out well in the story, and the anticipation of arriving in America is very clearly pictured.
01/19/09
Oh, you DEFINITELY have to write this book!
I'll read your book. As always, you did a great job. Very enjoyable.
01/20/09
What a great choice to write for USA!

I'll be honest, though and say I didn't feel the anticipation or the emotion.

The first sentence didn't click with me
"Anticipation wasn't helping her mood"

The definition of anticipation is expectation .. What is she expecting? and how isn't that helping her mood?

And whatever the reason her mood isn't helped we only see her as cheerful and calm, responsible and "together" I would love to hear her feelings described or her inner dialog of wonderings and apprehensions.
She must have had them.

Going by boat from Ireland to America? That's HUGE! "What will America be like? What will it be like to see Mamma and Pappa again?. Mamma! Will it be okay? Am I okay?" (or...)

I wouldn't think Philip, age 7, after being on the ship for 10 days, would be quickly engaged by the sight of the gently rocking ocean... esp. since you had just said that they were fidgety b/c of the lack of interesting scenery.

"muttered" is not the right word. Muttered carries the connotation of "grumble or mumble" and that's not what you are looking for. You're looking for speechless awe. How would you convey that?

The word "trotted" sticks out. Too confident and casual. These kids are in a foreign land.. Everything is new.

I hope I have helped and not discouraged.

I think your story could be greatly improved with a little character development and a realistic portrayal of emotions and events. Make Philip seasick. Make Annie lie awake at night because she is afraid or she misses her best friend or Aunt in Ireland. (or whatever) :)

This is a very intriguing story - I certainly wanted to read more! You made the characters come to life!
I love this story and appreciate the historical context. Please sign me up for one of the first copies of your book. Seriously, you should absolutely go for it. :)
I love the history here...nice approach to the topic. I did feel this sentence could be stronger, ""We're here. In America. Care to go up on deck and see?" I don't know any children that would be that low key at such an exciting moment, or use say 'care to' instead of just saying, 'let's go to the deck and...' Good research!
01/20/09
I learned something new today! What a cool bit of history.
01/20/09
What a fascinating bit of history! To think the first immigrant to register at Ellis Island was a teenage girl! Very creative way to handle the topic! :)
Lovely piece of history.
Very interesting.
01/21/09
Oh how I love a tidbit of history brought under the microscope for me to see - thank you for that. It would have been nice to hear a little bit of Annie's inner dialogue, just for some character development, but the 750 word limit has you under it's thumb eh? :-) This would make a great book with backround and time to get to know the family - looking forward to it.
01/21/09
You've brought this event to life…(my grandfather and his family came through Ellis Island about a hundred years ago).. This is so interesting. Yes, I definitely wanted more too. :)
01/21/09
This was a beautiful mingling of history and fiction, and I too, would love to read more. I LOVE the one word title. Excellent job!
01/21/09
I enjoyed this bit of history! What an adventure that must have been for them and what a responsibility for Annie!
01/22/09
I loved it, and I definitely want to read the book!

I agree that more character development would help the story, as well as context....but oh how I know it's hard to beat that word count! Nicely done. :)
01/22/09
This is a really great story!!! Congratulations on your EDITOR'S choice!!! So happy for you!
01/22/09
Congratulations on your EC, Joanne. That novel is waiting to be written. :)
01/22/09
So cool to see this on "The List"!! Super congrats!!
01/22/09
CONGRATULATIONS, Joanne, on your EC win with this wonderful story! :)
Very interesting. The ending is what really grabbed me, as I did not know that this fictional tale was based off a true story.