Monday, February 17, 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. If there is at least 5 entries, the panel of judges will select a 2nd and 1st place. If there is at least 10 entries, the judges will select a 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place. However, if there is under 5 entries, the panel of judges will only select one winner.
  2. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  3. 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. 
  4. The same person cannot win first place two weeks in a row. 
  5. The deadline for the contest will be the following Sunday. You may submit your entry at any point during the week.
  6. You do not have to be a teen to enter the contest.
  7. If you have entered at least 3 contests and have yet to place, send me an email and I will be happy to give you a critique of your last entry, which will include tips and suggestions.
  8. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)

*NEW* The point tallying will begin on 2/10. 

Earning Points:
  • 3 points: If you post your entry on your blog, 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!)
  • 2 points: If you respond to another person's entry. (Positive feedback only! You may respond more than once, however the points will only count for one response per week.)
  • 10 points: If you win 1st place in the writing prompt contest (beginning 2/17).
  • 7 points: If you win 2nd place in the writing prompt contest (beginning 2/17).
  • 5 points: If you win 3rd place in the writing prompt contest (beginning 2/17). 

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.
  • 75 points: You will receive an 800 word critique on your novel, short story, article, etc.
  • 90 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. 
Points Tracker:
  • TW Wright: 4
  • Mary B: 7
  • Elisabeth: 7
  • Funto: 9
  • Benj. Evans: 5
  • S. Brightly: 7
  • Jacqueline: 10


Since there were 10 entries for the writing prompt category, there will be three winners (see the rules above). 

Keep in mind that you cannot win first place two weeks in a row.

**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!) 

Since there were two entries that had the same amount of points for 3rd place, we have decided that they both deserved to place. 

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

Third place winner (#1): 
Congratulations, Funto! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =)

Third place winner (#2): 

I always knew my brother was up to no good, but when he joined the IRA, I knew he was in serious trouble. When my family heard of his death last month, our home in Killarney became a house of mourning. I was loathe to see that Mother was so overcome with grief at the death of her firstborn. Ah, my dear mother! How she loved him! Alas that he should fall so young! My father appeared stoic at first, but soon his countenance grew more somber. He disapproved of his son’s fierce political fervor from the start, but could not restrain it. He had seen far more death than mother and I had. As for me, I longed for my brother’s company, his jovial voice, the brotherly clouts, and most of all him. I was usually timid, but I always felt more confident around him, but it was not to be any more. As the surviving oldest I now had new family responsibilities to keep and to learn.
I went to the lakeside where I would sometimes sit and think. I recalled memories of my brother as I gazed across the lough to our familiar mountains. They had been there for ages and had no doubt seen many more troubles than I had. Surely they had wisdom they could bestow on me. Indeed our lough was named for learning: Lough Leane. Tradition had it that Brian Boru, great king of Ireland, had learned at this very lake, on Innisfallen, at the ancient abbey. If only I could be guided into the ways of becoming a more responsible and wise man for my family, then I could have confidence without my beloved Deartháir.
Congratulations, Benj. Evans! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =) 

Second place winner: 
It was one of the last warm days of Indian summer. I still remember it so clearly. Sophie had been the one to suggest we ride the trails together, up through the woods that we spent most of our childhood playing in. Cara had quickly seconded the plan. It took some convincing, but eventually we even got Benjamin to agree to the idea, instead of spending the day locked up in his books like the nerdy genius he was. 
We rode that day until our muscles ached, splashing through creeks and scratching our arms and faces on lowhanging branches we somehow never saw. We all complained about what a stupid idea this had been, but yet no one ever even brought up the idea of stopping. We all knew in the back of our minds that this would be the last time in a long time we could all hang out together- maybe even in forever. High school was over now, college was coming; for Cara, a missions trip to the Philippines. 
The field we stumbled upon was a welcome sight. We rolled off our bikes and collapsed to the ground, catching our breath and laughing over how horrible we looked. Cara, ever our little thinker, was the first to say something serious. "It's beautiful up here." She breathed the words, almost wistfully. Something like sadness passed through her eyes, and then she smiled. "I'm so glad we came." Sophie rolled her eyes and fell back onto the soft carpet of grass. The low-lying sun cast a golden glow over everything, giving everything an unearthly glow. I was tired, aching, and sweaty, but I remember feeling a sudden, unutterable contentness. 
Yes, it was the last day. How I could have known it was the last of everything? The golden orb hanging over our heads was the last of our innocence and youth. Darkness was coming, thick and choking and more terrifying than anything we'd ever imagined. But how could we know.....
Congratulations, S. Brightly! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge and ebook sent to you. =)

First place winner: 
The hospital room was too small for John to properly pace in. “Sir.” The doctor waited for him to acknowledge him. “Sir,” he said more forcefully. John stopped pacing. “Doc, please tell me they’re gonna be okay.” The doctor sighed. If only he could. “You’re son will be fine.” John’s heart dropped. He knew what was coming next. “But you’re wife is fading fast.” A sob tore through John as he sank to his knees. The doctor watched silently as John’s lips moved feverishly in a prayer. Tears streamed down his face, and his whole body shook. The doctor turned from John as one of the nurses escorted him out. He may not have much hope, but the doctor would do what little he could.Tim knew it wasn’t good news when his son stumbled out. He didn’t ask if it was the baby or Cassie, he just led his son to a chair and put a hand on his shoulder. “The doc doesn’t think she’ll make it,” John said, tears still dotting his face.Tim bowed his head. He could still remember the day Cassie had waited for them at the gate, cane fishing pole in hand. He couldn’t imagine life without his daughter in law. Silently, he prayed to God that He would save Cassie. That baby needed a momma and John needed his wife. Twenty long minutes later the doctor came out of the room. John didn’t even glance up. His breath came in quick spurts and his heart-rate tripled. What would the doctor say? “John,” the doctor said. Reluctantly, he lifted his head. “She’s hanging on. She’s weak, but she just might make it.” 
Congratulations, Jacqueline! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =) 

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

  • Submit your response in the comments below. 
  • Your response should range between 1 - 3 paragraphs. However, some exceptions may apply.
  • Let me know which prompt you have chosen.
  • (Optional) If you submit your response on your blog and link back to this post, I will add your link to the list of participants at the end of this post.
  • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments, you may email it to me instead.


Choose at least one:
  • Write a passage using these objects: nail polish, bubble gum, popcorn
  • Write a passage based on this picture
  • Write a passage beginning with this line: When she called my name, I knew my life would never be the same again.


*NEW* Pinterest Writing Challenge:

This category will have its own set of winner(s). Keep in mind that you can participate in both categories.
  • Create a new board on Pinterest. Title it: Monday's Minute Challenge.
  • Pin the above Monday's Minute Challenge picture.
  • Then, pin 3 different things: 1) A picture of a setting (beach, mountains, school, etc.), 2) A quote or song lyrics, 3) A photograph of someone (or multiple people). Choose these at complete random.
  • Now, write a passage based on these 3 pictures.
  • When you submit your entry, be sure to give the link of your Pinterest board.
  • Good luck!


Are you participating on your blog? If so, make sure that you have linked to this blog, and included the above picture. Submit your post's link and I will be sure to add it to this list! (You will also receive 4 points if you post your entry on your blog.)


Would you like to . . . 
  • discover new, clean YA books?
  • discuss these books with other young readers?
  • possibly win some prizes?

post signature


  1. When she called my name, I knew my life would never be the same again. I closed my eyes and sighed, but pasted on a fake smile like I knew everyone expected. I was the lucky boy that was chosen. The other alley-dwellers looked at me with envy. I would have gladly let them take my place. I stood next to the queen. At twelve years old I was just as tall as she. She grabbed my dirty hand and lifted it up. I was the prince’s playmate, the palace charity case. If I had known then, just how my life would change, I would have run despite the guards surrounding the square.
    Now I stand in that same square, on the same platform. But this time, I’m not in ragged peasant wear. I stand garbed in newly-polished armor, a bright red cape, holding a recently-sharpened sword. A block of wood with a curved notch in it sits in the center of the platform. A man kneels before it with his chin in the notch. I raise my sword, but hesitate. I would recognize that mop of curly brown hair anywhere. Instead of swinging my sword, I grab the man by the hair and pull him up.
    His eyes widen. “Adam?”
    I release his hair. “Run.”

    1. Oops! I forgot to say which I was doing. I did the prompt, "When she called my name, I knew my life would never be the same again."

    2. I love it, Jacqueline! You did a great job. :D

    3. Thank you! I always like yours.

    4. That's an awesome entry, Jacqueline!

  2. Congratulations, guys! You deserved to win. Now I'm just going to sit here and feel sorry for myself...
    OK, I'm done. :) I based my entry on the picture.

  3. I don't quite get how the points work.

    1. The only thing I'm confused about is one week Tessa said that if you win 1st or 2nd three weeks in a row you get a free ebook of Purple Moon. But I haven't seen her mention that since. Does that still apply?

    2. I'm not sure... I thought that she said that you can't get 1st place twice in a row. :P

  4. Here is my entry.
    I really enjoyed doing this. :-)

  5. Tessa! I have some questions! First, how does the point system work exactly? Because there is a sentence under the rules where it says the winners will be picked based on points; what does that mean exactly? I think Elisabeth and Jacqueline are a little confused too.
    Also, it says writing prompt contest for teens.... what if you're not a teen and want to participate?

  6. So sorry for the confusion!

    The points that the judge panel uses is different than the point system. I'm going to clear that up in the post asap. It has nothing to do with the Point System that I refer to in this post.

    In the Point System, you can participate in the activities I listed (such as post a tweet on Twitter) in order to receive points. (By the way, I am also going to add a few more activities you can do to earn more points). When you reach a certain amount of points, you will receive prizes (which I listed in the post).

    Let me know if you have anymore questions.

    Jacqueline, you're right, I did mention that a couple weeks ago I think. However, that was before I decided to have a point system instead. The point system will allow you to win other prizes, such as a blog critique. (I will also continue to add prizes as time goes on). Since it might take a while to reach 100 points (free ebook), I'm going to add a few more activities you can do in order to gain more points. That way it will be more fair--since you're right, I did say that you would receive a free ebook once you placed twice.

    Again, I apologize for all the confusion! I hope that cleared things up a bit, though. Let me know if you have anymore questions. =)

  7. S. Brightly,

    I forgot to answer your other question. You can definitely still participate in the writing prompt contest if you're not a teen. I only put that since I know that the majority of the participants are mostly teenagers. =)

    Thanks for your question! I'll also add that to the rules so no one else will be confused.

  8. I'm doing the picture prompt.

    Another night without sleep. How could I sleep with thoughts of John's death running around in my head. I went over to the mantel piece where framed pictures of our different family trips were placed. They all brought back memories of John, too many. Especially the one he took of me on our honeymoon hike in the Rockies. I can still feel the breeze on my face and hear John's lovely laugh. Tears start to blur my vision...again. In one quick movement I threw the pictures to the floor and fell to my knees among them. Why John? Why me? Why us? With my head in my hands I wept as the all ready shattered pieces of my heart broke further. Why was John taken from me so early and why must I go on with out him?
    "Mommy?" The small voice of my daughter startled me. I held out my arms for her to come to me and buried my face in her soft blonde hair. Blonde hair like John's. "Its OK baby. Mommy is just upset." She reached up to touch the tears on my face. "Mommy sad?" I nodded. "Sad 'cause daddy's in Heaven?" I nodded again. In that moment I saw why I couldn't be with John. My daughter needed me. She was hurting too. She had lost her daddy in the same awful accident I had lost my husband.
    But I would not let her lose her mother as well.

    I don't know if I did this exactly right because I only mentioned the picture. If it doesn't count oh well! Enjoy anyway.


    1. Gosh your's is really good, HP. I love it! =D

    2. Thanks TW, I'm glad you liked it! By the way I went to see your entry but it couldn't seem to find it through your link. :(


    3. =P Thanks for saying that. I couldn't get it to work either. I'll post the link in a reply to my original comment, thanks, HP!! =)

  9. Hey! =) Awesome entries you guys! =D Sorry I'm late =P my internet's been so stinken' terrible, right now i'm at a restraunt typing this. =P But, anyway, this one was really fun, Tessa, thanks. =)

    BTW, I am a follower (private) through GFC, and on Pinterest (though sadly I am not allowed to share my name because it contains, uh, my real name. =P) and I am a fan of you on Goodreads. =)

    And my entry::: --I did the written prompt =)

    Thanks for doing this Tessa! =D

    TW Wright

    1. Here is the real link. =P Thanks HP for pointing that out. =P

      That should work... =P

  10. I don't know what happened, but as it looks now there just white areas where the writing should be, maybe it'll clear up, but I'll post it in comment as well. I'm continuing the "Deartháir" story, "When she called my name, I knew my life would never be the same again." oh look third place #2, thanks!

    When she called my name, I knew my life would never be the same again. I was by the lakeside still, pondering the course of my life when I heard my name. “Lachlan!” It pierced through my thoughts and rang out over the peaceful lough. I was being called away from my place of quietude back into the ebb of life. Turning my head I beheld her, Fiona. She was my brother’s sweetheart, who, after hearing the news had shut herself up in her house for weeks. The both of us had lost the one who had once brought fire to our lives, fire to my timidity, and fire to her heart.

    She was there before me, her long dark hair swept up in the light breeze across the lough, a hard look in her face, a new, deeper, dimmer gleam in her eyes that I had never seen before. What was I to do? We held a silence, a silence more powerful than multitudinous words, a silence that inferred a kindred spirit that we both held; a silence of mutual sorrow.

    We must have held that silence for a century. The gentle waves lapped the loughside, the leaves rustled, and our hearts beat, unsteadily at first, then surer and more even. The light behind me faded as the day drew to a twilight, half disclosing, half hiding what we both knew must be around us. One by one, my steps led homeward, through the trees and the fields I had known so well, but somehow they seemed more foreign to me than ever.

    1. I'm pretty much hooked on this story now. :) Love it! (And congratulations on placing two weeks in a row!)

    2. This is going to be my last entry for a while (2 1/2 weeks) because I will be on a trip with practically no internet, I probably will do a few on the ones I missed when I get back. Thanks, congrats to you as well!

    3. Thanks! :) Have fun on your trip, wherever you shall be going... I'll look forward to (hopefully) reading more whenever you have time for it again. :)

  11. Hi, Tessa! This is my little sister's entry. Her name is Anna and she's 10. I think she did a really good job. :)
    She based it on the picture and on 1 Timothy 6:10. Here it is:

    I felt like I was on top of the world. I stopped to take in the beauty of it all. Even though I was petrified, I still managed to wonder at the loveliness of it all.
    “Sophie, come one! We haven’t got all day!” Steve barked, grabbing me roughly by the arm and yanking me down the ravine.
    “I know! I’m coming!” I exclaimed, pulling my arm from my kidnapper’s grasp.
    “Watch your tone, it could get you into trouble.” he growled as he turned to face me.
    Oh, no! I thought once I saw him fully; he had his hand on his hip reaching for a gun! He slowly took it out, looking with pleasure at my fear-stricken face. “Now,” he said, pulling the gun out of his belt holster. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way.” He finished, raising the pistol and aiming right at my heart. “And I’ll choose the hard way if you take a single step.” Steve declared with a smug smile of satisfaction on his face.
    “Why are you doing this to me?” I cried
    "You really think I would let your family get away with that?” he bellowed heatedly
    “Away with what?” I asked confused.
    “Your family stuck me in debtors’ prison for 5 years!”
    “That’s because you stole $5000 from us!” I yelled indignantly.
    He started to walk toward me, but I couldn’t leave since his gun was still pointed at me. He circled around me and the cold metal touched my back and I flinched from the surprise.
    An evil smile crossed his lips as he raised the gun.

    1. Ooh, your little sisters story is really good. :)


    2. Great job Anna! The plot is really interesting.

    3. Sure Lizzie, you're just saying that to try to convince me that I have a chance of winning.

    4. Anna, seriously, you have a chance of winning. :)
      Are you convinced now?

    5. Ehh... I'm thinking. No, I'm not convinced :p

  12. Isn't she good? I forced her to write an entry. :)


    This is my first one. My sister Mary said I ought to do it. It was fun!

  14. So I did the Pinterest entry *since now I share an account with friends* You can find the board here-->
    And I have the first three pictures on there. And I guess I'm just supposed to write it here...
    The man stared at me through shoulder length wisps of hair. I tried not to stare back, but I couldn't help it. My eyes studied the man. His hair. His face. His clothes. His eyes. His eyes peered at me. When I stepped closer to the man, he stepped farther away. When I looked up at his face again, I saw that his mouth was moving.
    "What are you saying?" I called towards him.
    His voice raised just loud enough for me to hear, "On the other side of fear, lies freedom," and with that he turned away and weaved through the trees of the forest.
    On the other side of fear, lies freedom... how did that man know what I was doing? How did he know that I was searching for freedom? And how did he know that I was scared out of my wits?
    Thanks for doing this Tessa, I hope this right...


  15. Congratulations to the winners! Your entries are all awesome. No wonder I'm not winning. :)

    My entry is here:

  16. Here is my entry; I'm doing the picture prompt.

    The wind toyed with her hair, cooling the perspiration that dotted her forehead. She stood alone at the edge of the mountain, staring into what felt like an endless picture of empty beauty. Wasn't this where her help was supposed to come from, the hills? The mountain had seemed like her last refuge. But now, exhausted and shaking, she was forced to face the truth: the mountain could change nothing for her.

    She shut her eyes. Up here she was small and fragile. It wasn't hard to imagine how easy it would be to simply slip and fall to the tree-sprinkled ground below. Maybe it would even be better that way.

    Her legs shook as she contemplated the option; her fingers trembled as she clenched the worn strap of her backpack. Why did she even fight so hard to stay alive? What was she living for? To watch all of those she cared about fade away?

    The silence taunted her at the same time as it comforted her. Maybe the question to ask herself shouldn't be why she continued clinging to life; it should be why she began dancing with death in the first place.

    Ugh, I've been struggling with a really bad case of writer's block all week. So.... Take this for what you will.

    1. I think your entry is really good! The writing all flows so beautifully.

  17. Uggghhhhhhhhhh! You guys are so totally going to win! I really like all of the entries though, good luck! :D


Thanks for stopping by my blog!