While covering a cookie-stacking contest, Pollak kept asking herself that ever-important question: What and where is the story? So instead of a cutesy, standard piece about a child winning a competition, we get a more quirky and enduring one, in which a child has to deal with disappointment. And still, things turn out okay. We admire the ending, in which Pollak was able to reconstruct Nyasha’s conversation with her stuffed animals—a lovely way to show her character. Pollak’s tone, too, is just right: casual, off-hand, itself a little quirky.

Read “One good thing on top of another,” by Lisa Pollak

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