• A lovely tale Lauren, and a brilliant strategy for all those kids bullied into doing someone else’s homework. So good to see Paul get what he deserved in the end.

    I enjoyed the teen insecurity, especially around the prom, and the scene in the bathroom is disarming and powerful. Your dialogue is strong and carries your story well.

    A good…[Read more]

  • What an interesting story. I enjoyed it a lot. I felt for poor old Betsy from early on, but you still surprised me with the end – well done.

    Like the others, I am super curious to know why it didn’t want to go back. The storyline there has so much potential for exploration, it’s almost a distraction. I was interested that the android ate…[Read more]

  • A good continuation from last month. I agree with the comments about the formatting etc above – it is very difficult to read in its current form. “White space” is all the buzzword for internet writing – the more spaces the better.

    You still jump between first and third person narration, but the first person voice is stronger in this story, and…[Read more]

  • An interesting twist on the cheating story. Am very keen now to read February and see what happens!

    One comment, make sure you watch your tenses – you jump from third person to first person and back again – pick one and stick with it. It will help make your story flow easier for your readers.

  • An interesting tale, Julius, creepy in a way many of us can relate to. I used to have a job that meant I needed to drive back country roads once in a while, and those memories all came back so vividly, thanks to your description, thank you.

    I had a problem with tense issues in one sentence: “I did not notice the hump in the road and bump my…[Read more]

  • A fun story, for sure, Christy. Bandit is a wonderful, well imagined character. And those damn wombats!

    One issue: “when you’re life belongs to another” – you’re should be your

    Well done on such a good story. It was fun to read, and I’m glad to read you had fun writing it, I think it shows

  • A fun, well imagined story Ellen, I enjoyed it a lot. As soon as Midge couldn’t identify what type of pie for Neil, I was intrigued by him, and you kept that going through the rest of the story. All three characters are written so strongly, with a certain affinity but are definite individuals in their own right, well done. Your dialogue was…[Read more]

  • OMG I despise corduroy trousers! My parents forced me in them for a while there in the early Eighties – I have never worn any since.

    I really enjoyed the narrator’s voice in the story. “Being older gives a man a sense of perspective” – really helps connect with your readers, I think. “Orange groves in Alaska” sets the tone early – wonderful…[Read more]

  • A fun story to read, Claire. Your twist at the end made me laugh, and I would have loved to see a little more reaction from the stunned neighbours , so rudely woken.

    A couple of little issues which just brought your story down a little. “he bidded goodnight” – as someone else has mentioned, I would substitute bidded for something else, for me,…[Read more]

  • Interesting and different take on the prompt. And who hasn’t wished to be able to rent-a-‘rent before? I thought some of the dialogue was a little weird – Mum asking about milk and sugar etc – but it did all make sense once I realised the true nature of the Mum. “It’s my job to listen to you, and give advice if you want it.” made so much more s…[Read more]

  • I enjoyed this, Joel. I hadn’t read your part one, but I didn’t feel I needed to, to get into this story as a standalone.

    I agree with the comments above. instead of your mc narrating, telling us everything that happened, I would have killed for some dialogue, some interaction between the characters to move the story along and to introduce new…[Read more]

  • Oh Jane, I enjoyed the hell out of this story! I am so pleased you chose to go with first person, and stuck with it :). It does read so much better as a first person story. I love the way you treated her doubting her motives – very well done indeed.

    Only minor issues, which others have mentioned anyway, but nothing got in the way, or caused…[Read more]

  • I love the imagination in your extra challenge stories, Elaine, and this one is no exception. You had me chuckling from the cover photo onwards. His indignation in the first paragraph, “Vesuvius was a mere burp” – delightful. I admit I had to look up adynaton, and I think some of your examples are hilarious. The banter between the characters was…[Read more]

  • I enjoyed this quite a lot, Jeremiah. I loved your analogy with the bug in the oil, it worked so well and provided an excellent counterpoint for your story. You conveyed the desperation, the helplessness, and Sally’s guilty memories really weil. I was convinced the ending was going to go a different direction, but I am so pleased it ended the…[Read more]

  • Hi Seyi

    This the first story of your I’ve read, and I enjoyed it a lot. I love the African/South African stories that come from having so many South Africans in this group, and I think yours is right up there with capturing the Africana feel, and bringing the scene to life – well done.

    I enjoyed your turn of phrase in places – “with a…[Read more]

  • Reine and Profile picture of JM BarrieJM Barrie are now friends 1 day, 9 hours ago

  • Bentley pulled to the side of the road of the deserted industrial estate. He flashed his high beams twice. A figure emerged from the shadows and climbed into the passenger seat. Bentley drove away without a […]

    • The plot thickens! Now I’m waiting for Bentley’s next move… great stuff.

    • JM I dug your spy story. It was a fun read and I can easily see this being a small part to even a greater whole – novella or novel. I hope Bentley gets the upper hand in the next installment!

    • Jane replied 3 days ago

      Hi John. I really enjoyed your story. The dialogue flowed well and it was well paced. I enjoyed the end where it appears that Bentley might be about to get his own revenge on the evil and faceless man. Well done.

    • Oh I’m so glad there’s the possibility that nameless son-of-a-b will get what’s coming to him! You’ve created a very unlikable character and I want to know how he’s dealt with. I do hope there’s a continuation to this, John. Great dialogue as well!

    • Right on point.

      Nice work keeping the creepy rolling. It weirded me out, right to the end. Bentley getting his revenge can be a take off story. We all want to see what the asshole gets in return.

      Great job!

    • Hello again JM and how goes it? Very tight, economical writing, you write conversations AND do action scenes really well (my most glaring failings)..I went back to last month’s story to be sure I knew what was what and I really enjoyed that as well. You have a sentence when it seems you refer to Bentley as Agent Griffin though (“‘Excellent, Agent Griffin, exactly the response I expected from you.’ “), so I had a bit of confusion there,. Perhaps I missed a background detail? Glad that Bentley is fighting back and looking forward to next episode. Well done and regards, Seyi

  • Well done for trying something new. Your strong expression of faith gives this poem all the power it needs to spread its message.

    Than you for sharing

  • Hi Ali,

    Your bar reminded me so much of the bar my dad and I used to drink in when I was 15. The descriptions of the regulars and “rush hours” is wonderful and spot on. I love the bartender’s “uncaring curiosity” about his customers lives, and his own affinity with the bar at the end is a touching detail.

    I admit, I read your story after…[Read more]

  • I enjoyed reading this, Martin. I wasn’t expecting it to take where it went, but it was an interesting ride through their history nonetheless.

    It’s quite a phenomenon, how people around you react to news of your major illness, that they can’t handle the fact that I’m so sick, they don’t know what to say etc. We found a lot of “friends” dropped…[Read more]

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