The fiction samples were all entries in the FaithWriters' Weekly Writing Challenge. Each week, a topic is given and the writers are given one week (or 200 entries) to write something on the topic, within a word count of 150-750 words.
The entries can be written in any style, as long as it's from a Christian world view. The top entries, the Editor's Choice (formerly the top eight, now ten per topic), are included in a quarterly anthology book. The winners are selected based on a criteria of nine areas, scored by a panel of four judges (all the judges are writers who've placed in the EC at least once), that rotate weekly.
(This piece was given the award of Highly Commended
in the Beginner's level for the Challenge.)
Miriam woke before the others and grabbed a basket from the corner and went to the market to get some fresh fruit, bread, and a few other things they would need for the day. She really didn't want to go to the beach, but her parents insisted that they go as a family. She hated the way the water made her eyes sting. She hated the hot sand that felt like it was burning right through the soles of her sandals. Her little brother on the other hand loved it, but then their father was teaching him to fish. Being a girl, she only got to watch, which really didn't bother her all that much. She didn't want to touch those smelly old things anyway. Mother was teaching her how to cook the fish. That was bad enough.
She looked at the sun, which was just over the horizon. She had better hurry before it got too hot to fish. She gathered her purchases, paid and hurried home. By the time she arrived, her mother was already bustling around the kitchen, "Good morning, Miriam, dear. She gave her a kiss on the top of her head. "Is the bread fresh today?"
"Yes, Mother. She put the basket down.
Her mother began to set the table. "Go get your father and Benjamin. They are back of the house getting ready."
Miriam nodded and scooted out the door. She saw them busily repairing the net. Benjamin got it caught on something last time and ripped it. "Mother said to come to eat."
Her father looked up and smiled, "We're done. We just need to wash our hands and we will be right there."
After they finished, her mother packed the rest in the basket for their lunch and they set off for the day. As they got closer, the fishy odor hit her and it almost made her gag. She didn't mind eating fish, but it was hardly her favorite meal.