Ep7: Writing 101, Day Five: Be Brief

You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter. And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.

The letter seemed to be tucked inside a very fancy looking envelope, and the recipient’s and sender’s names and addresses were washed away by the water leftover from this mornings rainfall; the only thing I could still make out was “Kevin”. I decided to open the letter, hoping I would get some clues as to whom it was addressed.

“Dear Mr.Atkins,

Greetings from Stanford University. This year’s pool of applicants included some of the brightest students from all around the world………we are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to enrol into our chemical engineering programme. Please let us know…………

Yours truly,


It was an acceptance letter to one of the most prestigious universities in the world, addressed to a certain Kevin Atkins. Good for him, but why was it here?

Suddenly, feelings of grief began to envelop me as I started remembering this morning’s news reports. Kevin Atkins was a young kid living in Harlem, and during an intense night of celebration with his friends yesterday, some gang members apparently had a disagreement, resulting in a toll of 3 dead and several injured. Kevin was one of them.

The only thing left was to somehow find where he lived and present this to any family he had. I took off, not even trying to shake off my feeling of  disgust at humanity that had immediately overcome me. Giving his family the letter was the least I could do.


6 thoughts on “Ep7: Writing 101, Day Five: Be Brief

  1. I love the twist you put to the story, I thought you did an excellent job and I find nothing wrong with your story, I like that you led “something” for the imagination, leaving questions to be answered or remaining unanswered.

  2. I think you wrote well too. I have two suggestions. 1) take out the blah, blah, blah’s. Those, to me, mean that contents in that part of the letter are meaningless, i.e. a put down. I think if you just put the periods there (…….) it would indicate that there are words that you aren’t reporting fully, which I think is your intention. 2) Instead of using this in the last sentence I suggest you say what “this” means. For example: Giving his family the letter was the least I could do.

    Hope that is helpful feedback. Nice job!

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