Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday's Minute Challenge: Writing Prompt Contest for Teens & Up

A quick writing challenge (and contest) to help get your creative juices flowing for the new week.

  1. The entry must be between 150 - 300 words. Otherwise, your entry will not be accepted. (In order to see how many words your entry is, write it in Microsoft Word, or you can copy and paste it here.)
  2. The deadline for the contest will be the Friday after next. 
  3. You do not have to be a teen to enter the contest.
  4. The same person cannot win first place two weeks in a row. 
  5. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  6. The winner will be chosen based on the judges's preferences, as well as the following questions: Does this entry capture my attention immediately? Does it make me want to continue reading? Is the writing clear? They will also take into consideration the writer's voice and style--not necessarily technical issues, such as grammar, punctuation, etc. 
  7. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)


More prizes to come!
  • 30 points: You will be able to create your own prompt that will be used in Monday's Minute Challenge!
  • 40 points: You will receive a critique based on your current week's entry.
  • 50 points: You will receive a free blog critique and helpful suggestions.
  • 70 points: You will receive an 700 word critique on your novel, short story, article, etc.
  • 80 points: You can help judge one of the contests!
  • 100 points: You will receive a free ebook of PURPLE MOON. =)
  • 150 points: You will receive a personalized handmade notepad. 
Earning Points:
  • 20 points: If you sign up for a month of my Write Now Mentoring Program!
  • 5 points: If you post a review of Purple Moon on Amazon and/or Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 5 points: If you join the Purple Moon Publicity Group on Facebook. (You will have the chance to participate in monthly giveaways!)
  • 5 points: If your writing prompt is selected for Monday's Minute Challenge.
  • 3 points: If you cast your vote! (See the end of this post.)
  • 3 points: If you post your entry on your blog via ILink, linking back to this post.
  • 2 points: If you post a tweet about Monday's Minute Challenge, with hashtag #MondaysMinute (You may tweet more than once in a week, however the points will only count for one tweet.)
  • 2 points: If you follow this blog via Google Friend Connect. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you "like" my Facebook page. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you follow my Twitter account. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Become a "fan" of me on Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Follow me on Pinterest. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 10 points: If you win 1st place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 7 points: If you win 2nd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 5 points: If you win 3rd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 3 points: You receive an Honorable Recognition. 
Points Tracker:
  • Ana I.: 35
  • Angela: 29
  • Anna S.: 59
  • AnnaMarie: 22
  • Armina: 52
  • Ashley: 7
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 20
  • CeCe: 28
  • Christine: 22
  • Elisabeth: 127
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 54
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 121
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 58
  • Kaity: 15
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 32
  • Kaity: 9
  • Katie Grace: 91
  • Kendra: 67
  • Lace: 3
  • Laura: 9
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 20
  • Mary B: 127
  • Marsh: 20
  • Michael: 26
  • Mickayla: 34
  • Rcubed: 75
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Samantha: 11
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • SK Lupu: 35
  • Sofia Marie: 16
  • Story Weaver: 3
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 202
  • Victoria: 35
*Points are updated every other Monday.
*When you request to use your points for a prize, the points you use will be taken away from your total. In other words, when you reach 30 points, you can claim the prize for 30 points--but it will cost you all of your points. Or you can continue to try and earn points so you can claim a bigger prize.


If you have entered at least 3 contests and have yet to win, please send me an email and I will be happy to give you a critique of your last entry.

The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system (not to be confused with the point system mentioned above!).

Every entry was incredible this week! It was really difficult to judge. Because of that, there are 2 third place winners today. 

**We will be taking a break and will not post another writing prompt until January 5th. It will be our 1 year anniversary of Monday's Minute Challenge, so you will not want to miss it!**

Also, don't forget to share your love for writing by entering the #WhyIWrite contest! Click here for details.

(Keep in mind that the judges are not aware of which entry belongs to which participant until after the judging is complete.)

The entries that the judges thought was the most intriguing (based on rule #4) is ... 

Third place winner (#1): 

I raced through the woods, my footsteps pounding to the beat of my rapidly thumping heart. I frantically slapped at the thorny branches that sprang across the path to block my way. They tore at my face and ripped my clothes, but I just kept on running. Visions of the locket poured through my mind. The silver glinting so beautifully in the moonlight. The taste of victory. The relief that my town would finally be saved. And then the ravens came. They snatched the locket from my hands and swooped up high into the sky, only flapping their wings wildly in response to my desperate pleas.
I knew where they hid: the swamp that us kids had grown up playing in. We were pesky little kids, playing where we weren’t supposed to. But now it had given me an advantage, because I knew the nuances of the swamp just as well as the ravens. All I had to do was catch them before they made it past the swamp, because once they made it past there, they would be in their home territory.
Finally, I arrived at the swamp, frantically searching for any sign of the ravens and the locket. Then, I heard a distant call. My heart plummeted as I slowly looked up towards the sky. It was the ravens, flying away, and if I squinted closely I could almost see the locket dangling from the lead raven’s claws. I heard their cacaws as they flew away, nasty mocking calls. They were in home territory, but the fight wasn’t over yet. I would follow them there. It would be  a long journey, but I would make it through. I would make it through for my town.
Congratulations, Ana! Click here for your badge. =)
Third place winner (#2): 

I believe she drowned because of them.

They whispered behind her back and stared at her pale, gaunt figure as she passed them in the school halls. They said she was a raven-freak, a witch, a serious nutcase. To them, she was nothing more than the ravens’ carrion. They despised her.

She had no parents, and I never knew her true name. The others shouted at her, calling her Morwenna or Raven Girl, but no one ever bothered to truly discover who, or what, she was. Except for me.

After the school bell rang, I would find her near the swamp, her long, dark locks flowing in the autumn air and her piercing eyes turned to the morose sky. Tears would trickle down her white cheeks and drip onto the black plumage of the raven resting on her hand.

One day, as usual, I followed her. Storm clouds, thick and heavy with the threat of rain, gathered above us as I made my way through the spindly pine trees leading to the swamp’s edge. Raven Girl stood in her usual place, the ravens circling around her head, their cries piercing the crisp air.

Tears cascading down her face, she took a step forward.

Her foot plunged into the icy, black water.

A few more steps and the water swirled around her torso. 

Her black hair spread out on the water’s surface like exotic seaweed. Then, she was gone.

The ravens screamed, and I screamed, racing home to the warmth of my parents.

I told everyone. I said that it was their fault she drowned, but they only laughed and gave me the name Raven-Lover.

They never understood hate kills.
Congratulations, AnnaMarie! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

Fairytales usually end well. Mine almost did. He'd swept me off my feet, acted like the perfect gentleman. With his dashing good looks and sympathetic smile who could blame me?

I'd gazed into his eyes on more than one occasion. Studying them. Sure there was pain, and a hunted look, buried deep within his sea blue eyes, but that was an echo! Long before he'd met me. Long before my smile had pierced his heart.

Of course, then I hadn't thought of the fact that he might only want to pursue me because I was a princess. But he loved me! And with all the fervor of my heart, I loved him.

The dragon had seemed a minor inconvenience when I saw him. My rescuer at last. Never mind that I'd already practically escaped. I didn't mind him taking the credit. Any girl would be honored to be rescued by such a handsome prince—even if he really hadn't been needed. 

I should have noticed the occasional warnings. Like his insistence that I was a damsel in distress. His inability to accept that I wasn't inapt with weapons. And I shouldn't have ignored my maid's quiet caution.

But now I cried kneeling over the body on the snow covered ground. With the prince's sword in her heart, she had no chance; her blood already stained the alabaster snow. I wished I'd listened to her cautions, but pride and blind love had betrayed me. And it had cost my maid's life. 
Congratulations, Kaira! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

There are words left better unsaid, secrets that should remain hidden, and ghosts of the past that should not be revisited.  Those were the rules which governed Holly’s entire life, although she was coming dangerously close to breaking the third one.
“Just a short trip,” she muttered to herself, approaching the old house where she had spent her childhood.  “Go up, hide it, and leave.  That’s all.”
It was nothing but a remote wooden cabin laden with snow and twinkling Christmas lights.  Nothing that would intimidate anyone, especially someone like her.  So why was she nervous?  Taking a deep breath, she scaled the side of the cabin, easily finding every familiar foothold until she reached the attic window.  With nimble fingers, she picked the lock and slipped inside.  No one had noticed her yet.  Good.
Using the light of her flashlight, she tiptoed over to the closet and pulled out the long skeleton key. There are ghosts of the past that should not be revisited.  No.  This was necessary.  Ignoring her urge to run away, she turned the key.  Click.  The closet door swung open, revealing a small collection of memories.  Dusty supplies, Rudy’s kite, even her old winter hat…
Swallowing the lump in her throat, Holly grabbed a small box in the corner and hid an object inside.  There.  No one would find it now.
“Holly?” a voice asked from behind.  Oh, no.  She turned to find Rudy standing in the doorway, a look of disbelief on his face.  “What are you doing here?”
Holly desperately tried to think of a response, something that would explain why she couldn’t stay.  “I…”
“You came home!”  He rushed forward to give her a hug.

“Yes,” she finally answered.  Because there are words left better unsaid and secrets that should remain hidden.
Congratulations, SK Lupu.! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Samantha
  2. RCubed
  3. Kendra
  4. Lace
Congratulations! Click here for your badge. =)

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

  • Submit your response in the comments below, or post it on your blog via InLink (below -- you will receive 3 extra points!). 
  • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
  • The deadline for the contest will be the Friday after next. 
  • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments or on your blog, you may email it to me instead.


1) Your response should range between 150 - 300 words, otherwise it will not be accepted. (Copy and paste your entry here to count the words, or you could write it on Microsoft Word.)
2) The deadline for the contest is the Friday after next.

Choose at least one:

Note: You can always combine the prompts into one entry.

(Optional) Write a passage continuing your entry from last week week (or whichever week you'd prefer). If you can, try to continue it using one of the following prompts.
  • Write a passage using these items: star, snowflake, barbed wire (submitted by Ana)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Kendra)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  I blinked, sure I was imagining this. But she was still here. This could not be happening.  (submitted by FlyGirl)

Post your entry on your blog!:

If you're posting your entry on your blog (+3 points), please add your link below rather than in the comments:

Submit your prompt idea!:

The prompts that are used for Monday's Minute Challenge are submitted by the participants. Here's how this works:
  • You will be able to submit 3 prompts each week in the same format as above: three objects, one picture, and a piece of dialogue or phrase.
  • On Mondays, I will choose 3 prompts that have been submitted by 3 different people.
  • If your prompt is selected, you will receive 5 points!
  • You may submit in the comments below, Monday through Sunday.

Cast Your Vote!

Here's how it works:
  • You can vote for 3 entries per week, but you may not vote for yourself.
  • You can only click "submit" once per week, so be sure to wait until you have selected your top 3 entries before casting your vote.
  • Please do not vote until at least 7 entries have been submitted. (If you do before then, your vote will not count.)
  • Only the participants of Monday's Minute Challenge may vote.
  • Voting will only take place from Monday - Thursday.
  • We will choose the 3 people with the highest amount of votes, then select another 3 or 4 that we think deserve to win as well.
  • From those 6 or 7 entries, we will then select the winners (including the Honorable Recognitions.)

You will also receive 3 points for voting. So when you are done, please post a comment below saying that you have casted your vote.  

To vote, please enter the names of the 1 - 3 writers you are voting for below (or click here instead):

Current Judge Panel:

  • Tessa Emily Hall (me)
  • Kate Petty
post signature


  1. Is there any chance we can change the last prompt to 3rd person?

  2. Hey, Guy! It is `Kaity` again. Here is my story “Christmas in the Concentration Camp.” I used the three things and the picture this time. Hope you like it!

    A little ways away I could see a Nazi officer. Quietly, I settled down in a secluded corner of the room. Huddling against the cold, I began to write.
    Christmas Eve, 1942.
    Dear Diary,
    Today marks my second month in this prison. At some points, I began to question why I took the risk of actually hiding the Jews in our home. Yet whenever I had these thought, I always remembered how much the Lord risked coming down to save me from my sins. When I think like that, I do not regret having done any of the things that I did. Moreover, when I get out again I will do it more. If the Lord wishes.
    The stars above me twinkled and sparkled like one of the crown jewels. Softly, snowflakes drifted down from the heavens. Yes, tomorrow would be a white Christmas. I thought. I closed my notebook. The lights in the camp illuminated the barbed wire fence. I turned away. No matter. I thought. Soon I will be out of here. Soon I will be free again. Little did I know that the road ahead would not be pleasant or easy to any stretch of the imagination.

    Here are my prompts!
    Saying: It’s said that every one has a story. I almost didn’t.
    Three things: bow, night, cloak

    1. Very well written! Haha, I did mine in an concentration camp, too. But it's quite a bit different. Again, great job!:)

  3. sorry I haven't been posting lately. I wanted to but it always said your comment has to be approved. Thankfully it let me this time.

  4. Thanks so much for doing these, Tessa!:)
    I already added mine to the links, but thought I'd put it here, too.
    Here it is:

    Peace on earth, goodwill towards men-is a lie. I know this as I kneel down, my cheek touching the nearly as white as one of the falling snowflakes cheek of my dying brother. My brother who has already lost both his mother and his father to this place of barbed wire, cruel guards wearing the twisted cross, guns…and mostly, death. No, there is no peace or goodwill here. Just cruelty.

    My parents made me promise two things before they died-to keep my faith in God, and to take care of my brother. I have failed to keep both promises. When my brother became ill, I gave up on my faith. God is the one who put us here, the one who took my parents away and caused Günther to become ill. Now, on Christmas Eve, I am going to lose him. I hope I die, too. Because once my brother is gone, I have no reason left to continue to live in this cruel place. Tears of hopelessness slide down on my face, unheeded as I watched the only person I have left to love struggle to breathe.

    I feel a touch on my shoulder. I jump in surprise. Looking up, I see a young woman, perhaps five or six years looking at me. “Who-who are you?” my voice betrays my tears.

    “Someone who is going to help you save Günther,” she answers, already kneeling down and getting to work.

    As I watch her, hoping against hope that she can truly do what she says and save my brother, I wonder if-

    Maybe, just maybe, there still is some goodwill towards man left.

    I notice the beautiful star shining through the cracks of the room as I close my eyes and pray, breaking my vow to never pray again.

  5. Story: Could you paint me some freedom?
    Prompt: three items
    Words: 300

    A yellow star. She mistook it for a snowflake. An easy mistake; both had six points.

    I watched my little sister's fingers trace the painting. They felt curiously  along each point, its yellow color finally giving it away. "Lace? Why does she get to wear a star?" Her innocent blue eyes looked up at mine.
    Sighing, I crouched beside her. "She didn't 'get' to, she was forced to." I said.
    Hope still looked puzzled "Is that why she's so sad?"
    "Sort of... See that?" I pointed her hand past the star to a harsh fence of barbed wire. "Its a fence so she can't get out. She's sad because she isn't free."
    "But we're free, and you're sad... Why're you sad?"
    I put on a weak smile and ruffled her hair. "I'm not sad," I lied.

    I led Hope through the church, trying to bypass strangers who would ask us where our parents were. 'At grandmother's, helping her move.' That was my excuse. That had been my excuse for three years. The excuse that kept child services away, and kept my sister and I together.

    "Lace?" She tugged on my worn sweater, "I thought church was supposed to make you happy...why is there a picture of a sad person in it?"
    Her insight amazed me. "Because churches like to remember," I said.
    Churches loved to remember. And I? I loved to forget.
    We stepped outside, and Hope giggled as snowflakes were instantly trapped in her eyelashes.
    If only her parents could see her smile... and shiver in too thin a coat.

    I wasn't paying attention to the tears that started to form. Someone was. The tall man stooped in front of me, "Little girl, where are your parents?" He asked tenderly.
    I gripped my sister's hand tightly, "They're dead..."

    Prompt submissions:
    Three things: telescope, coin, and mirror
    Sentence: she lost her grip and began to fall.

  6. Prompt ideas:

    Sentence: There is a certain beauty to deceit. Apparently undesirable things can happen when the wrong person recognizes that beauty.


    Objects: glass, hat pin, wooden shed

  7. P.S. I don't know in the points if I'm Lace or The Story Weaver. Whichever is easier for you works, I am fine with either (but I think I'm up as both right now)

    - Lace/the story weaver.

  8. I followed you on Pinterest, posted my entry on my blog, and voted.

    My prompts:
    Picture prompt:
    Object prompt: harp, cloak, grapes
    Sentence prompt: My life seemed to last forever. Hers lasted for only a moment.

  9. My Prompts:
    Sentence- Some days he was a great hero; some days he was a great villain.
    Words- new start, map, star
    -- S.K.Lupu


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