Monday, March 10, 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. =)


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.
  • 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:
  • TW Wright: 36
  • Mary B: 19
  • Elisabeth: 25
  • Funto: 9
  • Benj. Evans: 10
  • S. Brightly: 41
  • Jacqueline: 38
  • Rebekah B: 13
  • Anna: 5
  • His Princess: 26
  • Tara T: 22
  • Evan: 10
  • Rcubed: 2
  • Sarah: 7
  • Brooke: 3
*Points are updated every 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.


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 1st 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: 
"There is nothing you could say that would make me change my mind." 
I grab my brother’s arm as he walks away. “But Caleb it wasn’t your fault!” 
He whirls around abruptly, his eyes blazing with fury. I know it is not directed at me, but at himself. “Bull!” He throws down his small duffle bag. “It was my fault! Those men were after me! It was me they wanted to hurt!” His shoulders slump. “But they need me alive, so they knew the best way to hurt me was to hurt you.”
I put my hand on his arm again. “Do you really think you leaving will stop them from coming after me?” 
He pushes off my hand. “Don’t talk like that. Micah will protect you.” 
“Stay here and you can protect me!” 
He throws his hands in the air. “Like I did last time?” 
He cuts me off. “Wasn’t my fault, I know. You keep saying that. But I could have stopped it. And now I will.”
My mouth drops open as I realize what he plans to do. “You fool!” I snatch his heavy bag from the ground and unzip it. I pull out the holster and throw the bag onto the ground. “You were going to go after them!” 
“Am,” he corrects. “I am going after them.”
“No! I won’t let you!”
Caleb crosses his arms, “Mae, if you don’t give me the gun, I’ll just go meet them unarmed.”
I hand him the gun and put my hand on my hip. He picks up his bag, puts the gun inside and zips it. As he once again turns and walks away, I stay by his side, in step. 
He stops. “What are you doing?”
“If you are going, then I’m coming too.”
Congratulations, Jacqueline! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =) 

Second place winner: 

Jessica carefully flipped the page on the photo album that she shared with her best friend. The picture of them together instantly captured her attention. Though it was only a few years ago, so much had changed between her and Sammy. The picture was a reminder of it. 
“That’s a good picture of us,” Sammy said as his hand rested lightly on her shoulder. “It seems like that was a lifetime ago.”
She lifted her hand to turn the page, but stopped herself. “I think this was the last one we did.”
“Yeah, I think so,” he removed his hand to take a sip of his tea. “Well, I think I better go. I got a test tomorrow.” 
“Okay,” she nodded, getting up and taking her cup to the sink. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
When she turned, he was already walking to the front door. “That sounds good. Bye.”
“Bye.” She wondered why he left so quickly while she put the cups in the dishwasher. Just as she was about to walk away, she looked at the photo album left on the table.
It was open on a new page, one she didn’t recognize. In the center was a more recent picture of her and Sammy along with a note. “Jessica, I know you’re the one for me because I know I won’t make you happy all the time. But I know without a doubt that you’ll never let go of me. I will do the same for you. I promise you forever. By God’s grace, I’ll love you until the end.”
Before she could react, she noticed a little box left on the table. She grabbed it and ran to her widow. Happy to his headlights still in her driveway, she ran outside to meet him.
Congratulations, Sarah! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge and ebook sent to you. =)

First place winner (#1): 

I breathed in deeply of the flavorful steam coming off of the blackberry-current tea in my mug. Looking out the window I watched the rain come down hard beating a rhythm against the pane of glass and gathering in puddles in the yard. I wonder what is taking Lewis so long. Though, looking at the weather I wasn't really surprised. Slowly I turned my eyes back to the photo album in front of me. I flipped through the pictures of my family and smiled as fond memories washed over me. There was the picture of my brothers and I at the county fair; all smiling with our arms looped around each other. It was one of my favorites. I continued to look through the pages and pages of memories. I came across a picture of Lewis and I from a couple of months ago when we got engaged. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimmer of light from my engagement ring. I closed the photo album and lifted my hand so my ring could catch the light from the table lamp next to me. Wiggling my finger I watched the ruby sparkle. It was simple but lovely. Lewis knew me so well; he knew I would want something simple. I looked up at the sound of Lewis' truck pulling into the driveway. A smile came to my lips. I couldn't wait to see him!
Congratulations, His Princess! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =)

First place winner (#2): 
“There is nothing you could say that would make me change my mind.” Anger flooded my mind. She looked at me so long her eyes seemed to have attached to my skin. “You are one sad soul, my lady.” I dug my fingers into my upper arms, “Leave. Now.” “As you wish, my lady,” the woman bowed and turned on her heel. I watched her go, her steps seemed hurried. When she opened the door, it seemed to me as if I heard the slightest scream from outside. But I pushed aside what I had heard and stood up. “Guards,” I clapped three times, in moments my men stood in front of me, “Dispose of everyone who is against me, my laws, and what I have set up in this kingdom of mine.” Hundreds of men looked at each other from the corner of their eyes, but none dared move. “Go on with you then,” I turned to walk towards the side door that led to my room. They still stood there when I left. But I paid no attention to that either. Instead, I looked into the mirror on the wall of my room. My beautiful black hair curled down my back, below my waist. The crown was still high upon my head. The red dress went well with my pale skin. Shouts from below. I swore at the sounds. I rolled my eyes before returning to my throne room. All of the peasants of my kingdom stood in the room—staring at me. “Yes?” I questioned the people. “Queen of the dark! Queen of the dark is all you’ll ever be!” the children taunted. The woman’s words flashed through my mind, ‘They’ll come for you sooner or later, change, my lady, change.’
Congratulations, TW! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =) 

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. S. Brightly
  2. Brooke
  3. Elisabeth
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, 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 this Friday.

Choose at least one:
  • Write a passage using these objects: flowers, car, porch
  • Write a passage based on this picture
  • Write a passage beginning with this line: The noise woke me up right after I'd drifted off to sleep. 


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!
Current Judge Panel: 

  • Laura Anderson Kurk: YA Christian fiction author
  • Sarah Holman: Christian fiction author
  • Penny Tritt: Freelance writer 
  • Tessa Emily Hall (me): YA Christian fiction author


Are you hoping to become an author one day, but have no idea where to begin? If so, check out my new Writing Mentoring Program for Beginners! In this program, you will:
  • Receive critiques on your writing
  • Receive lessons especially designed to fit your writing needs
  • Have the opportunity to receive feedback on your current novel
  • Set reasonable goals for your writing
  • Be personally mentored step-by-step through your writing journey, for however long you wish! 
  • And more!
Beginning your writing journey can become a bit overwhelming and confusing. By enrolling in this Writing Mentoring Program for Beginners, I will break down the process for you and mentor you throughout the process.

And for a limited time only, a one-month subscription is only $15! Click here for details. =)

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  1. Thanks so much! I had a lot of fun writing it! Everyone else did amazing!
    In Christ,

  2. Oh, thanks so much! Everyone did so well. :)


  3. Congrats to you winners and everyone else! I love reading all the entries and so does my sister Anna.

    Here's my entry. Hope ya like it! :D

    1. lol. I like your entry Elizabeth.

    2. Thanks! I know, I'm way too into LOTR. lol. :)

    3. YOUR'S IS AWESOME ELISABETH!!!! I mean, seriously, I. Totally adore it. Keep at it! =D

    4. Thanks! :D
      I've got a whole story planned out. :)

  4. Congrats!! All of you winners did great! I really love yours, Sarah. :-)

  5. Everyone did awesome this week! =) Good job everyone! =D

    Here's my entry, the first one is the quote entry and the second is the Pinterest entry. =) Thank you so much for hosting these, Tessa, they're so much fun! =)

    TW Wright

  6. Here is my entry. ‎

    1. Good job Mary! BTW the link doesn't exactly lead to your page. It goes to an error page but I was still able to find your story from that. :)


    2. Thanks HP! :-)
      I'll go fix that. :-\

    3. Alright here is the link. Hope this works. :-)

  7. I'm doing the picture prompt. :)

    I leaned on my favorite tree, reading my favorite book, my favorite horse, Sparky, grazing by my side.

    Then I heard someone shout my name. I saw them running towards me. When my big brother got to me he leaned over gasping for breath. Tears streamed down his face. What was wrong? Mark never, and I meant never, cried. Alarm spread through my heart like a wild fire in the prairies we called home.
    He finally straightened up and looked me in the eyes. "There was an accident. Mom and Dad, " he choked on his own words, "they didn't make it, Ruth."

    I stood up, not realizing I had dropped my book. Sparky stood by my side, more faithful than a dog. I was in shock, my brain tried to grasp what my ears had just heard. I spoke the only word I could think of, "How?"

    "It was a drunk driver. He came around a corner too fast, he was out of control, they didn't see him till it was too late. The driver came out with only scratches."

    I tried to wake up. It must just be some freak dream. Right? Drunk driver, not getting hurt but my parents dying, that only happened in the movies. Only in the movies, not my life. Not to my parents.
    Then the first tear slipped as reality struck.

    1. That's really good Brooke! You're a fantastic author! =D


    2. Thanks!! I loved yours too. :)
      If you ever make it a full book, make sure to tell me. :)

    3. I really like yours Brooke! If I cried over books I most certainly would have cried.

    4. Liked this one :D You captured the emotion.

    5. Gee, thanks everyone. I don't know how the judges do it, everyone's are so good. :)

  8. Here's my entry:
    Hope you like it!
    In Christ,

  9. Here's mine! I used the "flower, porch, car" one :D

    The scream rang out, piercing the silence and projecting mental echoes that swelled with awful implication.
    My breath caught in my throat.
    What was happening?
    In a flash, my legs managed to untangle themselves from each other and I mechanically worked through the front door, past the recently painted porch that still reeked of primer. Stumbling past my mother's prizewinning flowers—a cacophony of red and white—my heart trilled a staccato when my eyes met the steady headlights of my aunt's dented green car. The wheels were propped above the ground by an uneven object.
    Oh, God. No.
    “Help!” My aunt Cierra, brushing her artfully dyed hair out of her eyes, was shrieking and heaving as her atrophic muscles—fed with one too many Chicken McNuggets—strained to lift the vehicle off my sister Eloise's chest.
    “Get in the driver's seat!” My voice sounded shrill and hard. “Start the ENGINE, Cierra!”
    Sobbing furiously, Cierra tripped to the front seat, her fingers shaking so hard she could barely handle the keys.
    Come on!
    My sister, bulging and red with the inability, to breathe, let out a soft sound that sounded like the laughter of demons.
    My muscles, toned from days at the pool, tightened under rickety bumper.
    Now or never.

    1. Do you ever find it amazing how in a time of crises people suddenly find the ability to do things they normally can't. I have always thought it was so amazing.
      Really like your entry Rcubed.

    2. I like your writing style. Your is really good, but it makes me sad too. I can't help but start to imagine what I might do if it were my sister in that situation. :(

    3. Thanks, Mary B and S. Brightly! Yes, Mary, I recently learned in my class about how people's adrenaline can prompt them to do amazing things. And yeah, S.--it would be completely awful if our siblings were in that situation. I can only imagine the terror.

    4. Great job! I'm intrigued! =)

  10. Here is my entry. I'm doing the picture prompt. (I'm a sucker for anything country.) 287 words. :)

    I rocked back and forth in the saddle, swaying in motion with the horse’s steps. The sun was hot and the warm breeze played with loose wisps of hair that had come undone from my braid. I stole a glance out of the corner of my eye at my husband of six months. He looked the perfect picture of a rancher from his much abused cowboy hat right down to his well worn cowboy boots.
    My rancher.
    He pulled on the reins to halt his horse and I did the same. “Whoa Tomahawk.” I crooned and patted the horses neck. Joel jumped down from his stallion and reached up to help me dismount. When my cowboy boots were firmly on the ground he took my hand in his calloused one. We stood on a high ground overlooking the ranch. It was a beautiful sight. We had been looking for just the right piece of property to set up our own ranch on for months now and at last we had found it. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders. ”Finally, we’ll be able to set up our own home. Just the two of us.”
    I smiled. I had a secret to tell and it wouldn’t wait much longer. “Yes, it is wonderful. But there is just one thing wrong with that picture.”
    “It’s not the two of us anymore.” I watched as my news slowly sunk in. He turned to look at me, his hands resting on my shoulders. “Are you—Do you mean—We’re going to be—Really?” I laughed out loud as he picked me up in his arms grinning like a little boy. This moment was just as good as I had imagined.

    Hope you liked it!


    1. Aww, I really like it, HP!! :-)

    2. It's funny how you start to notice a pattern in what each of us writes. :) Yours are all really sweet HP.

    3. Lol thanks Mary and Brooke. I'm so glad you liked it!

      You're right Brooke, you can start to see a pattern in all of our writings. I've noticed it too. :)


    4. This one was really sweet :D I love how it was so subtle :)

    5. Aww, I love yours, HP! It's so sweet! =)

    6. Thank you TW. I LOVE yours. Its so utterly thrilling!



    I'm really late. :/ The pic links to the blog.

    1. Ha, I wasn't expecting fairies. :) I really liked this one.

  12. I know this is late…but here's my entry to the prompt:

    The noise woke me up right after I’d drifted to sleep. A siren? A fire alarm? The obnoxious loud noise entered my bedroom, forcing me to thrust my pillow over my head. I squeezed my eyes shut. This is not happening. I desperately need sleep. But the noise ceaselessly continued to wail.

    I wrestled with my bed comforter and jumped out of bed. “Are you kidding me?” I yelled, wrapping my Snuggie tighter around me. Frizzy tendrils of my hair stuck out all over the place, one managing to get tangled in my mouth.

    Groaning, I opened my bedroom door. “Mom? Dad? What’s that noise?” I pinched my forearm to make sure I was awake. Yep. The noise was real.

    “Alex, hurry!” Mom sprinted down the hallway, her bunny slippers flying off her feet. “We need to get out of here.”

    My eyes widened, and a shiver crept down my spine. “Why? What’s going on?”

    “They’ve found us. Quick--we need to go.”

    1. Ohh, this is very good. But who found you?! I have a love/hate relationship with cliff hangers. :) By the way, how do you do the italics on a comment? I've looked and I can't seem to find a way. :)


    2. This is great Jillian! Fantastic work! Ditto to HP about cliff hangers. =)

      HP, if you want to italic something, use this code (without the space) < i > enters word here < / i >
      It should turn up like this: What's going on...?

      Hope it works for you! =)


    3. Aww thanks guys! I have the same feeling about cliff hangers. Honestly, I don't know what happens next LOL :)

    4. That's how my cliff hangers always are... I never know the ending! :D

  13. Hey Tessa,

    I emailed you my entry of last week's. I hope that it works for now. I look forward to catching up with next week's! These are very fun. :)

    Things I've already done:

    5 pts - Joined the Purple Moon Publicity Group on Facebook
    2 pts - Liked your Facebook page


Thanks for stopping by my blog!