Okay, I'll start with Loren's story. I'm going to have to post this in several snippets since I don't think the board will accept one big one. Then I'll post my comments in a letter which I sent to him.
Everyone should keep in mind that what you're seeing here is the first draft of Loren's story. He did indeed rewrite it along the lines I suggested in my letter to him (see my comments below), and so the version which will appear in the anthology (assuming it does -- that's likely but not absolutely certain) is not the same as this one. It's quite a bit longer, for one thing.
The other thing everyone should keep in mind -- this is even more true in Scott's story -- is that there are a lot of little details which will need to be touched up assuming these stories go into print. The main one being that, interestingly enough, a lot of the authors chose to focus on the same set of characters. Two sets, actually. One is Father Mazzare and Mrs. Flannery, and the other are the Jeff and Gretchen household.
Obviously, there are some minor little discrepancies between the way some of the characters are portrayed in one story as opposed to another. But as long as they don't conflict completely -- which, alas, Nina's version of Mrs. Flannery's death did -- I'm not worried about it at this point. There'll be plenty of time later for that kind of editing, which is what professionals call "line-editing." (And means exactly what it sounds like -- a detailed edit, line by line.)
The point of these posts, however, is for people to look at these stories (and my comments) from the viewpoint of "principles of story-telling" in general. If people want to point out little errors of fact or detail, that's fine. But do keep in mind that while nitpicking is a fine and splendid sport to play with ME, it really should be done in moderation with authors who are grappling with the basic craft of writing.