Monday, February 24, 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 following Friday. 
  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. 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.
  6. If there are at least 10 entries, there will be a few Honorable Recognitions, which are the next highest winners. They will receive a badge, as well as 3 points.
  7. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.
  10. 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. 

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. 
Earning Points:
  • 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!)
  • 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). 
  • 3 points: You receive an Honorable Recognition. 
Points Tracker:
  • TW Wright: 23
  • Mary B: 14
  • Elisabeth: 14
  • Funto: 9
  • Benj. Evans: 10
  • S. Brightly: 16
  • Jacqueline: 21
  • Rebekah B: 10
  • Anna: 3
  • His Princess: 14
  • Tara T: 15
*Points are updated every Monday.


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 and offer suggestions.

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 2nd 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: 

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. 
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 (#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.”
Congratulations, Jacqueline! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge and ebook sent to you. =)

Second place winner (#2): 
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. 
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: 
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.
Congratulations, His Princess! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =) 

Honorable Recognitions

*NEW* Since some of you may be considerably younger than the winners, I have decided to award the next highest winners with an Honorable Recognition. These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points. 
  1. TW Wright (Pinterest entry)
  2. Tara T
  3. Anna
Congratulations! 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 150 - 300 words. 
  • The deadline for the contest will be this Friday. 
  • 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.


Please note that I have added two new rules this week:

1) Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. (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 this Friday.

Choose at least one:
  • Write a passage that could have this song as its soundtrack.
  • Write a passage based on this picture
  • Write a passage beginning with this line: I knew it wasn't the truth as soon as he uttered the words.


*NEW* Pinterest Writing Challenge:

This category will have its own set of winner(s) -- but only if there are at least 3 participants. Keep in mind that you can participate in both categories. (If there are less than 3 participants, then your entry will compete in category one.)
  • 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 participate in monthly giveaways?
If so, join my new Purple Moon Publicity Group on Facebook! You will have the chance to win several prizes, including: a signed copy of my book, a free critique of your writing, a handmade journal, a Purple Moon coffee mug and sleeping mask, an Amazon gift card, etc. 

Hope to see you there! =)
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  1. I fanned you on Goodreads! I love the first place winner! It was so sweet.

    I knew it wasn't the truth as soon as he uttered the words. I crossed my arms and looked him in the eye. He quickly glanced down, his curly mop of hair covering his face.
    “Let’s try this again.” I tapped my foot impatiently. “Do you like my daughter?”
    He glanced up, then stared at his feet. “Yes sir,” he mumbled quietly.
    I smirked. “Speak up, son.”
    “Yes sir,” he said, more confident this time. He finally looked up and brushed that insufferable mess of hair out of his eyes.
    “So what are you going to do about it?” I asked. It was going to be hilarious to watch him try to ask her on a date. He was shaking in his boots just talking to me.
    He breathed in deep. “I’m going to tell her.” He nodded to himself and started to walk in the direction of the house.
    I cleared my throat. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
    He stopped, obviously confused. After a moment, it dawned on him. “Do I have your permission to date your daughter?”
    I waited for a long moment, watching him fidget nervously. I wonder how long he’ll be able to stand my silence.

    1. That was really good, Jacqueline. I was smirking the whole time. :-)

    2. That's hilarious! I like the lighthearted ones, but I'm not very good at writing them. I'm much better at cliff-hangers. :)

    3. And I'm only good with on the dot ones :P

    4. Thanks guys! Haha I'm not usually good with lighthearted either, but I wanted to give it a shot.

    5. This is making me glad I'm not a guy! As others have said, good job!

  2. Ya'll did so well! I would have had a hard time judging the stories. :) Keep up the good work everyone!


  3. Hey Tessa! =) Thanks so much for doing this! These contests are so much fun! I posted both entries (Pinterest and sentence-prompt) on my blog this time.

    Great job winners! HP totally deserved first place, I loved her entry! =)

    TW Wright

    1. Aww, thanks TW! I can't wait to read yours. :)



    I love doing this. <3

    1. Bekah! That was fantastic!! Absolutely wonderful! You have to keep writing. Ok?

      No, I did not accidentally push Caps Lock (again). :)

  5. I became a fan of you on Goodreads. Here is my entry:

    1. Your's was great, Tara, I enjoyed reading it! I'm not quite sure how anyone s able to judge these, everyone's entries are awesome!

    2. Thank you! I enjoyed both of yours too. I'm glad I'm not a judge. I'd never come to a decision! :)

  6. Loved writing this!!!! Thanks so much, Tessa, for doing these prompts!!

    1. yours is seriously awesome, mary. have i told you yet? ;)

  7. I now follow your blog via Google Friend Connect. :-D

  8. Here's my entry. I decided since it's usually the sad stories that win, I'll write a sad one. :)

    1. Haha it's actually just a coincidence that sad ones end up winning. That is strange, though! I hope to soon write a post on how ya'll can possibly improve your entries, as well as what goes into an intriguing entry.


    2. Your's is really good Elisabeth!! I LOVED it!! =D Good job!

  9. You guys are doing great! I always love reading your entries, as well as the feedback you guys give to each other. =)

    Just so you know, I have updated the points, and they will not be updated again until next week's post.

    Thanks for participating, everyone!

  10. I knew it wasn't the truth as soon as he uttered the words. Although he never really did speak the truth, being a dragon and all.
    “Ramon, how can you constantly speak lies?” I asked. The dragon sat twenty feet tall, almost touching the clouds, stuck his head down to earshot.
    “What do you mean lies?” His fiery breath nearly knocked me down. It was extremely hot.
    I didn’t want to answer that question , for fear I may be eaten alive, just like the last person to questions his sins.
    “You know you are lying, you vile beast!” The voice was not mine. I looked around. No one was anywhere, and there was absolutely nowhere to hide.
    “That must be one of those puny peasants of yours, prince!” The dragon roared.
    He grabbed me with both hands and shook me violently, then lifted me slowly to his mouth.
    An arrow shot out from the cliff. It sank deeply into the dragon’s throat. Black blood oozed out of the deep wound.
    The dragon screamed in pain and his grip on my body loosened. Then, a man leapt onto the mountain, he had obviously climbed the cliff. He had two arrows and a bow. He had a scraggly beard and muscular arms. He had no armor and just a dry tunic. He was obviously one of the peasants I had once never cared about. He took a sword from his scabbard and shouted, “Catch, prince!” And he threw the sword, luckily I caught it by the handle.
    “Stab the dragon’s mouth if he tries to eat you, sire!”The man shouted.
    He shot another arrow at the dragon.

    1. This is my brother's entry. =) He's ten years old.
      If you read my blog, Indonesia Around Me, this is John.

    2. Great job! This was a really cool direction to take the prompt. And I love the detail!

  11. Tessa,
    I was wondering if you would take a 321 word story.

  12. Thanks! Here's my story, hope you like it!

    I lightheartedly pushed my hair from my face as I looked down at Noah, who was busy trying to fix Adam’s jeep, Adam, who was sitting up here with me watching the sun set in the distance. “It’s so beautiful to watch the sun set.” I sighed as I looked up to find Adam smiling at me. “Come on, Gracie, it’s called the ‘Red Moon’, don’t you remember?” Noah teased with a grin. "Oh, how could I forget such a beautiful name?” I teased right back. “I’m looking at another beautiful thing, too.” Adam said looking straight at me. I couldn’t hold his gaze while I blushed looking down. “Okay guys, I accidentally broke something in here, I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to go ahead and try to start it up, so hold on!” Noah yelled from inside the jeep stomping on the pedal, throwing me and Adam off the top of the car! “Oops, sorry ‘bout that.” Noah laughed while jumping out of the now burning jeep. “Well, looks like we won’t get to go to our collage graduation party after all.” I sighed pitifully as Adam helped me up and got on his knees. “Come on Adam, what are you doing?” I questioned while I tried to pull him up, but failed miserably. “He’s asking you to marry him!” Noah blurted out with a look of glee at my astonished face. “Noah!” Adam barked. I stood racking my brain for anything to say, instead of standing there looking like a drowning fish. “This isn’t the romantic way of asking I was thinking of, but Gracie Darb, will you give me the pleasure of being my lawfully beloved wife?” Adam proclaimed a bit louder than he needed to. Without thinking Noah blurted “Say yes!” “Yes!!!” I shouted pulling Adam up and hugging him while all of our friends jumped out from behind the rocks yelling “Surprise!”

    1. Loved it Anna!! I was smirking and inwardly laughing at times. :-)

    2. Aw! That's so cute!

    3. Thanks!
      I only did a happy one because Elisabeth told me to :9

    4. I love yours Anna! You most definitely have a talent. :)

  13. Here's my story to the tenth avenue north song. Hope you like it.

    The alarm went off as it always does at six o’clock on the dot. I’d grown to hate that sound so much because it meant another long day at the warehouse. As I reached for the reset button I could feel the knots in my back, my knees aching and my ankles swollen to the size of oranges. I tried to get up but the pain was too much. I just sat there in the darkness, my head hung in defeat. How much longer God, how much longer can I go on? I silently prayed. Slowly but surely I was losing my will to get up in the morning. I was working so hard for so little and my body was growing weaker every day. I’d been applying anywhere I could, but no calls, no interviews. I was starting to lose faith that I’d find another job.
    “Dear God I’m so tired.” I cried, lifting my eyes toward the ceiling. “I can’t do this anymore God, please help me!”
    Never before had I experienced such physical pain as well as emotional turmoil. I needed a blessing and I needed it now. I remembered how Joshua had prayed for the sun to stand still and it did, he had such faith in God. I fell to my knees and put my nose to the floor in complete worship.
    “Heavenly Father I come to you with a heavy heart and a broken body, I need you to give me another opportunity. I believe in you God, I have faith that you will answer my prayer. In Jesus name, Amen.”
    Instantly my heart felt lighter, I knew God had heard me. I smiled for the first time in months; it was as if a window had opened in my soul spilling light into darkness. As I got up to turn on the light I could hear music in the distance, it was my cell phone ringing. I knew in my heart that was my opportunity calling.

    1. Oh my goodness, your story is wonderful! You wrote it so well! I absolutely LOVE it. :)


  14. I'm doing the prompt: I knew it wasn't the truth as soon as he uttered the words.

    I knew it wasn't the truth as soon as he uttered the words. My arms folded, I stared down at my five year old son. I knew he loved playing with my jewelry but why couldn't he give me a straight answer when I asked him where something was? "Toby, the dog did not take my ring." He stared up at me and a thoughtful expression crossed his face before it lit up. Great, I had just given him another story idea. "You're right Mommy. The dog didn't take your ring. It was the pirates!"
    "The pirates, huh?"
    "Yeah, they stole it! But don't worry, I got it back for ya."
    "Where is it now?"
    "In a safe place." That wasn't exactly the answer I was looking for but at least I knew it was in a safe place. Last time he tried hiding it from the pirates in the dishwasher because it looked like a treasure chest. He took my hand and lead me over to the furnace vent in the floor. "There it is down there." He pointed. Inwardly I groaned. "The pirates will never find it there." He said proudly. I wouldn't find it either for that matter. I patted his head and hugged him. At least our house just gained value.

    :) Enjoy!


  15. I am doing mine off of the picture; I also have the beginning-sentence prompt buried in there but only because I liked the line. :)

    Usually the warmth of my brother's arm around my shoulder brought me comfort in a way nothing else could. But not tonight. Tonight I felt colder than the fifty-degree air called for, and not even the brilliant stars shining above my head could bolster me. Tonight the darkness pressed in on me far more than the tiny pinpricks to Heaven.

    I shivered, and felt him wrap his arm more tightly around me. "Cold?"

    I shook my head. "No." I knew he'd forgotten to bring any blankets, and right now I would rather freeze to death than have him take me home.

    Silence again filled the space between us as we kept our heads tilted toward the sky, searching out our favorite constellations. The stars were breathtaking tonight, more so than I'd ever seen them before. But that wasn't why I couldn't breathe.

    He read my thoughts as adeptly as he always did, almost before I'd finished thinking them. We'd always had that connection.

    "Hannah, don't look so down." He pushed me back so he could look into my eyes. "You're not losing me. You could never lose me."

    I knew it was a lie as soon as he uttered the words. I dropped my gaze as the hollowness in my chest deepened. I'd heard all the empty explanations for weeks now, but nothing could disguise the truth from my eyes; I was about to lose my best friend, my brother, to a girl that had it much more together than me.


    I leaned my head into his shoulder so he wouldn't see my tears. "Yes, I know." I made my voice light. "I'm not losing you; I'm gaining a sister."

    But not even a sky full of stars could thaw the numbness that overcame me at the thought.

    And Tessa, I don't think you got it last time, but I liked you on Facebook, am now following you on Pinterest (can't tell you who I am though), and I fanned you on Goodreads.

    Great job everyone who chose to do lighthearted this week!

    1. Ohhh, made me sad lol but it was very good. :) You always have such good stories!


    2. That was really good, kind of sad too. :-)

  16. I sighed thoughtfully. We had been on a road trip. I had left the hotel soon as everyone was asleep. I was sitting on top of the car looking at the stars. I remembered the drive there so clearly; my older sister Kate was complaining about how we were going to miss our slumber party, my little brother assured her we could just go home tonight and still have it. My mom and dad explained to Owen and my little sister Faith that we were going to our grandparents' and not going home tonight.

    "Hi, Ella." Derek jumped up on the car next to me.

    "Derek," I said, glancing over. "What are you doing here? Have you been following me? Because it seems like wherever we're going, you're going."

    "No, I'm not following you," he reassured me. "I told you... You're going to your grandparents', and I'm going to someplace near where they live."

    I sighed and glanced back up at the sky. I think he could tell I was enjoying the peace, so he took out his phone. I heard mine vibrate and knew he was texting me.

    Annoyed, I took out my phone to look at the text. It said, "Ella- watch your back."

    I glanced over, but Derek was gone.

    This is mine based off the picture prompt. I hope everyone likes it!

    1. Great job! I like the mystery of it. :)


    2. My comment is a little late (thanks, troublesome computer), but allow me to introduce my dearlittle sister, CeCe. She'll most likely be a regular. :)

  17. Mine is using the picture prompt.

    I slammed my hand down on the seat next to me. It was all Jake's fault. He'd insisted on us seeing all the sights before we left, and on us seeing "his" mountain, even though it was getting dark out.
    I turned and looked Jake in the eye. "What's wrong with the Jeep?"
    "I don't know," he said. "Why don't you and Savannah get out and walk around or something?"
    I got out of the Jeep and slammed the door behind me. I turned and looked up at the sky. Savannah, who was also looking at the sky, said, "Isn't it beautiful?"
    I didn't answer. We were from the city so we didn't see stars that often, and I had to admit, they were beautiful.
    Savannah tapped me on the shoulder. "I bet we could get a better view from on top of the Jeep. I'm sure Jake won't mind."
    As we were sitting on top of the Jeep, taking in the beauty of the stars, we didn't even hear Jake yell, "I fixed it!" He laughed and climbed on top of the Jeep next to us. "You girls never seen stars before?"
    "We've seen them before, just not... often. It's so beautiful," said Savannah.
    "I know," he said. "That's why I call it my mountain."

    1. Now I have the pleasure of introducing my other querida hermana, Lottie, who is convinced she has absolutely no writing talent at all. :) I'm desperately trying to convince her otherwise. :)

    2. You did a good job on your story Lottie. I like how you took it from a different angle. :)


  18. The entries are in! =D Great job everyone! I especially love the feedback you give each other. Feel free to let me know if you have any ideas you would like to contribute for Monday's Minute challenge!

    (By the way, I loved your dream, Elisabeth! Haha =) )


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