• It Happened by Bhavna Mehta

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    Do you believe in destiny? Do you believe that everything is written in the stars? Perhaps you don’t. Maybe you are one of those self-made persons. But if you believe in destiny, t […]

  • I’m a little scared of science fiction normally but I enjoyed this glimpse into the life of Velyrs. Apart from the typical differences like size of ears and feet, I was comforted by the idea of the similarities with the humans in their capacity to love and make huge sacrifices in the name of love. Thank you for the read.

  • Hi Seth. I loved this tale. It was witty and real at the same time. You have a great way with words, for e.g. “Moist winds started washing me.”
    There were a few grammatical errors but they did not detract from your story as you wrote in the first person. Nevertheless, here’s one you can fix easily. Towards the end you say, “I would be no…[Read more]

  • Bhavna K. and Profile picture of JessicaJessica are now friends 3 weeks, 2 days ago

  • Hi Kaiser. Thank you for a very unique story. Even though your intended audience is children, I can easily imagine adults having a very interesting discussion on your take. I was touched by the love and caring by both the humans and the bird. The bird’s decision to start singing as a gift was beautiful. Apart from the switching of tenses mentioned…[Read more]

  • Dear Jessica. Thank you for reading my story and thank you for the excellent suggestion on substituting ‘was’ for a verb. It does make the sentence stronger. I’m definitely going to lookout for similar opportunities.

  • Dear Kaiser. So glad you enjoyed the piece. Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Your comment on laying bare our souls in all its vulnerability captures what I was trying to convey perfectly.

  • Hi Jessica. This is a great whodunnit. The pace was great, the descriptions were real and it was amazing how quickly this murder was solved. Well done!

  • Hi Devishobha. I enjoyed following Reema’s growth from the owner of a small business to someone who had not only grown her business tremendously with hard work, but, also, to a person who saw her self-worth and was able to assert herself in a dignified way. I’m not sure if the Aruna’s of this world get the message and change, though. I could…[Read more]

  • Dear Melanie. This is a sweet, happy ever after romance. This mixed wedding seems a lot less stressful than the ones I have seen. Happy that she found love and her voice. For a short while, I thought there was going to be one last drama.

  • Hi Catherine. I could relate to this story well. I come from a big family and managing family get-togethers over holidays and occasions is always a tightrope act. You also touched upon the challenge of ageing parents, both from the parents and the grown-up children’s perspective. Thank you for this and making me re-visit my own stance on how best…[Read more]

  • Hi Pippa. This is a riveting story and I was gripped from the beginning. I could picture this as some TV series/film with your MC constantly seeking her roots while being plunged into new adventures. Well done!

  • Dear Catherine. Thank you for the read and thank you for the feedback and suggestions. Yes, I need to work on smoother transitions. The style here was very experimental. People have ambivalent views on refugees, migrant workers and immigrants. They feel sympathy but something holds them back. There are no easy solutions but we must guard against…[Read more]

  • Dear Pippa. Thank you for reading my story and thank you for the suggestions and positive feedback. I taught a lot of refugees and immigrant students about ten + years ago and I was moved by some of their stories. As teenagers, they were reluctant to talk about their traumas but the story of a child-headed family stuck in my head. This was my…[Read more]

  • Victoria’s Journey by Bhavna Mehta

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    It was Friday and the English teacher listened to formal speeches presented by the students. Mrs Brown looked forward to listening to the students as it was a welcome break […]

    • Wow, tears at the ending. That is a powerful story.
      I found the middle section confusing. The piece where the students, teachers, and parents are talking about how they view the refugees. It clearly presented the way South Africans across the spectrum view the refugees, but I think that requires a fairly strong contextual knowledge. Perhaps the scene written from Mrs Brown’s perspective would be slightly less jarring?
      I liked the transition from journal entries to dialogue with the Chetty’s, that felt like a natural way to express the passage of time.
      And I say it again, perhaps it is knowing people with a story that looks like that, but it is powerfully written. Evoking strong emotions. Good job.

    • A beautiful, emotive piece. You managed to keep it flowing with the leaps between ‘scenes’ and covered a lot of ground for the word count, perhaps as a small improvement you could make the leaps smoother and a little less disjointed.
      Much heartache and pain captured here but I like that you showed real kindness too. Well done.

    • Dear Pippa. Thank you for reading my story and thank you for the suggestions and positive feedback. I taught a lot of refugees and immigrant students about ten + years ago and I was moved by some of their stories. As teenagers, they were reluctant to talk about their traumas but the story of a child-headed family stuck in my head. This was my way attempt at capturing a slice of that experience. I’m glad you appreciated it.

    • Dear Catherine. Thank you for the read and thank you for the feedback and suggestions. Yes, I need to work on smoother transitions. The style here was very experimental. People have ambivalent views on refugees, migrant workers and immigrants. They feel sympathy but something holds them back. There are no easy solutions but we must guard against losing our humanity.

    • Wow. What a powerful piece. I already knew what the scene was going to be when Victoria went to see the Chettys, but it still brought out tears. The moment she knelt was beautifully written. It captured the moment of absolute helplessness when we can’t see any other way than begging. A moment when our souls are laid bare in all vulnerability. Thanks for sharing. I loved this piece.

    • Hello.
      Your story has a lot of emotions and good pacing. I do have a suggestion. In this paragraph, ” Victoria was a tall, thin girl with high cheekbones. She was…” You use the word, was, a lot. Its not wrong, but you can eliminate the amount of times you use it. For example you could say, “Victoria ‘s thin body stood tall with high cheekbones. She spoke quietly and only when addressed.” I’ve been told, was, is a filler word and substituting ,was, for a verb can make make your sentences stronger. Don’t get me wrong, you can use, was, like when the MC says her father was a school teacher, I think that time is fine.
      This next sentence your wrote was my favorite, “There is something about watching grown-ups cry.” This is a powerful statement. Not only because it’s true but its pack with emotion for the reader and the characters in the story. Overall, I enjoyed it. Keep writing!

    • Dear Kaiser. So glad you enjoyed the piece. Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Your comment on laying bare our souls in all its vulnerability captures what I was trying to convey perfectly.

    • Dear Jessica. Thank you for reading my story and thank you for the excellent suggestion on substituting ‘was’ for a verb. It does make the sentence stronger. I’m definitely going to lookout for similar opportunities.

    • A powerful piece with a strong message.

      It is a little haphazard at times with the jumping of several different types of styles.

      There was a lot to say in just 1200 words.

  • Hi Julie. Your story is touching. I liked the description of the young girl as a “Rose in the Desert”. I think it would have made a great title for this tale of a traumatised woman trying to be a mother. I wonder how much the obnoxious Bill knows knows about his wife’s past and whether the arrival of the baby would strengthen their relationship.…[Read more]

  • Dear SM. Thanks for the read and the lovely feedback. Really appreciate it. As for the bathroom scene, they are only funny in retrospect, but I think a collection of those stories from around the world would be a hilarious read.

  • Dear Julie. So pleased you enjoyed this story about a young woman’s first encounter with the in-laws. I think it will resonate with other women in a gentle, satirical way. As for the wedding, that might require several chapters. There’s just so much that happens. Thank you for the read.

  • Dear Nicole. Thank you for reading my story. I’m glad you found it both entertaining and ‘human’. In retrospect, things are never quite as bad as we thought they were and it’s so important to see the humour in awkward situations.

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Bhavna K.

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