We appreciated the good writing in this piece, the evocative detail garnered through interview. It’s a wonderful example of how narrative techniques can flesh out a story that’s been reported, until then, largely as breaking news. Among the effective detail was the description of the food women in the church prepared for the miners, who they thought had survived.

The first two-thirds of the piece is about joy and faith affirmed. The ending is bleak: There’s none of the life-affirming resolution that’s more typical of newspaper narratives—just the cold grief and disappointment of a group of people who have praised God and then been let down.

Read “Three Hours in the Dark,” by Vanessa Gezari

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