The Official Writing Challenge
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Whoa! Powerful and jarring.
Excellent story, good job with setting up the story in terms of expectations.

The mother was ruthlessly involved with her own agenda, and sadly...I've seen this occur more times than not.

Well done. This should score well with the judges.

God bless~
Poignant. You have MY vote!
This was stirring and emotional. My only bit of red ink is that maybe Maureen was too cruel and selfish. That would be okay if the entire story was from the perspective of Alex, but, since it switches back and forth between Maureen and Alex, it would maybe work better if we saw some glimmer of self-doubt or concern on the mother's part. That would make the final result that much more impactful. As it stands now, it's sad for us to read, but I don't come away necessarily believing that Maureen has learned anything about herself.

Take that with a huge grain of salt, because it's just my feeling as I read it, others may see it entirely differently. None of that takes away from the fact that you have a beautiful story here, with believable characters and a dramatic, impactful and, sadly, realistic plot.

Very nicely done!
Wow, powerful and emotional read! Just so sad for me, :( i have heard these stories so often, breaks my heart. Imagine how, with just one or two more lines at the end, it would have moved your readers, if you wrote her entering into the kingdom and Jesus crown her homecoming queen! Voted off the land but coming home, daughter of a king! :)
Good job with this.

I do agree with the comment that a glimmer of hope at the end for Maureen would have been nice. I'm not talking a big revelation at the end. Even a dismissive "Perhaps I've been a bit hard on her... naw." before the end would have done it for me, because it would give the idea that she would revisit that thought at the end.

Over all, though a very powerful story. Nice job.

The hope and encouragement we give to our loved ones is SO important. You make that point in a very powerful way.

I read this and see the positive message, mentioned above, highlighted by the grim details of your well written tale of woe.

Good writing. Blessings.
Pride drives self and others.

Those who drive others without concern for their good are bullies.

Change only comes with humility.

This was a well written story which could be the background cause of much evil in the world today.

Try to get this short story published for many to read. It may be a "wakeup call" to those it applies to.

What a powerful but heartbreaking ending to a well-crafted story.
What a tragic tale and all too real for some families. The drive for affluence and demand for societal conformity to an illusory reality without concern for the soul is heartbreaking. Sorry, I almost took off on a tangent there. You did a great job with this piece. I connected well with your MC, and felt the stab of horror at the end. Wonderful work.
Wow, this just sent me to my knees. I wanted to reach through the page and whack the "mother" in the back of the head while scooping up the poor girl and just letting her feel loved. There is an Alex not too far from any reader. I did stop and pray for them all. I hope your story encourages readers to open their eyes and reach out to help those hurting around us. You did a fantastic job with this one. Congratulations in ranking 7th overall. Happy Dance!
Sorry the one didn't show up. Congratulations on ranking 17 overall.

Congratulations on your placement. I thought this was a fine story. Glad it got recognition.

God bless you~