Manuscript Evaluations

Work from PJ MacMillan

  Chapter 1 ‘How dare they!’ “How dare they!” the girls voice repeated under her breath, her voice lost, blown out to sea in the swirling wind that danced around her. The outline of the island only came into view as the ferry prepared to dock. The thick fog that shrouded the island lifting only as the ferry master ...
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Work from George

In the corner of the room Sergei saw a wooden pirate’s treasure chest. Katherina would have loved it, he thought, especially if it were full of dolls. He lifted the lid, took one glance inside and collapsed.  Sergei’s blood had deserted him. This was no ordinary chest; it belonged to Katherina and contained a solitary doll ...
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Work from Lisa

Every morning, Mama complained long distance from the flesh-colored phone on the motel bed stand. Propped amongst the pillows, she kept a magazine open on her knees to flip through if the other person started talking. When it was her turn, she’d make sure they knew about Father’s NASA fellowship and then wait for them ...
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Work from Ola Gagliardi

The beige clothes that were piled on top of each other, hanging from Carlotta’s left arm, looked from afar as a little spark of calm colors, when in fact her mind was the opposite. Walking down the streets that she had seen throughout her life, every little detail seemed obscure and distant, as if her ...
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Work from CR Britting

Gunfighter’s Legacy: Orphans’ Inheritance Volume 2 of the Beth Carver Saga By CR Britting Blaine, Colorado, 1886 The crowd on the sidewalk looked on in stunned amazement as the echoes of the gunshot died away. There had been some short-lived sympathy for the woman when the McCraken kid had shot her horse. After all, nobody liked to see a ...
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Work from Nazib Wadood

Exploring By Nazib Wadood My sleep broke in the sound of the ghong-ghong coughing. The dam mice were still playing with their kids running and jumping behind the furniture. It had become almost an everyday matter. Just unbearable. But unavoidable. The house had become uninhabitable. The muajjin (the man who calls Muslims to the mosque for ...
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Work from Lisa

Matthew and Suzy spent Saturday evening celebrating Mr Fox’s fiftieth birthday. He was a chemistry teacher and Matthew’s friend. Suzy took his hand and they wove through the crowds of strangers on the dance floor. She wanted to get to the tables where they had the party food because she loved eating those cocktail stick things, ...
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Work from Rook Necro

It was a dream unlike any other she had experienced. First, an eldritch whisper came from the light-less ether. Clouds were surrounding the area about her. “If one had a second chance at life at their fingertips, what would they do to achieve it? Would they sacrifice everything they have? What would they try to ...
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Work from Vanessa

Robert called from the living room. “I’ve been lonely…come and say hello to me.” His voice carried a deep tone with the softness comparable to silk. I smiled, of course not so that he could see. I came invited into his personal space. He sat on the sofa; his back a little slouched and with one ...
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Work from David

Johnny hunted for some vicious fucking classical music at the vintage LP store in which the same dust had coated most of the records for the twenty-three years the store had been open. “Hey, man, could you point me t’the classical records?” The man standing behind the counter pointed left, then right. “Vivaldi at the bathroom, Bach ...
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Work from maddy

Signs blow in the wind as I walk the pathway that leads to the abandoned hospital. One of the signs bangs, hangs from a fine wire, and swings back and forth. Bread Moore Psychiatric Center. Branches latch together and make an arch overhead. The path is long and narrow. The steps are steep as I walk ...
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Work from fouroux

A missile sounds different than a grenade. A grenade announces its presence with a loud shout, like the pounce of a cat upon its quarry. A missile lets long its battle cry, like the shriek of an owl upon its prey. A proper lady, like Fadwa, knew the difference. As the sun climbed towards the dawn ...
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The cure for headaches / Never trust a skinny chef

The cure for headaches Divorced Mrs Donovan enjoys wearing shapeless Afghans and oversized sunglasses in the posh high-street café. This is to appear interesting to the striking blond waiter that works Tuesdays. She considers this ‘living vicariously’ and fancies her thrill-seeking behaviour to make up for her youth misspent alone in the university library. It is not ...
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A Christmas Murder

A Christmas Murder Chapter 1 I believed I was going to have the hottest Christmas party of the season I thought my party was going to be a success. Until 11: 30 P.M when I found something something more sinister under my Christmas tree. I saw someone else’s feet sticking out under the branches. I turned to my ...
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Yearn

Yearn Each musical scale he plays, Spoon brings out from deep inside himself, an accomplishment you understand only from years of practice. He thinks about those years, the days gone past like that subtle horizon he surveyed on his way to the gig. The dark orange sky set ablaze in the falling sun. Now he is ...
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Terry

Terry The leaves of the maples appear ignited. The orange is a splash of contrast against the dying brown grass. The crows call as they sift through the trash in Wilson Park. The ground sits damp; the musk fills the air with that distinct smell of the wet lawn. Terry enjoys coming here with his father, standing ...
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A Beast in Venice – excerpt

Brigham Stone walked the ancient  (When you use “ancient streets,” “ancient” comes from outside Brigham and his world. Ancient is a value judgment Brigham wouldn’t think about, and it comes from the narrator, if the narrator is established, or the author. And it’s a cliché. Using “ancient” works against you here. May seem minor, but ...
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Standing in the School Backyard

Standing in the school backyard, I was watching the kids and doing my job as a counselor in after school program.  First graders Stephanie was rushing toward me crying and accompanied by one of her classmates. Before I say a word she wrapped her arms around my waist and rested her face on my stomach. ...
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The Three Mallards

Paul Robert Ceretto Perry waits for the bus. It is a Monday, so today he has his writing lab. The wind, gentle and tepid, is pleasant for March. A half a moon is still visible in the early morn. It looks to Perry like his fishing bobber after a solid castinto Lake Beulah. The orb drifts ...
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