Monday, March 31, 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.
  • 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!
  • 90 points: You will receive two weeks free in my Write Now Mentoring Program!
  • 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!)
  • 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: 58
  • Mary B: 37
  • Elisabeth: 40
  • Funto: 9
  • Benj. Evans: 20
  • S. Brightly: 59
  • Jacqueline: 50
  • Rebekah B: 19
  • Anna: 9
  • His Princess: 38
  • Tara T: 27
  • Evan: 10
  • Rcubed: 41
  • Sarah: 35
  • Jillian: 10
  • Brooke: 12
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Kaira Anne: 11
  • Lottie Le: 2
  • CeCe: 2
  • Marsh: 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 3rd place, we have decided that they both deserved to place. 

(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): 

“You. Are. Insane.” He grabbed my arm. “Do you have any idea what this could do to your reputation?”
I snorted. “Nice one, Oryon. Like it isn't in ruins already after what happened.”
“I'm serious. You could get hurt. Nobody knows what goes on there, Emeli. Nobody. Because nobody ever comes back.”
“It's time somebody did.” I stared out at the expanse of blue water, my heart quivering but yearning at the same time. Swirls of rough red sand accosted my back, but I was used to it. Nothing would hold me back from this journey.
“You can't just expect to make it back here alive!” There he was, clawing at my arm again. I detest people who touch me. “They're all dead, Emeli. Worms are eating their bones as we speak.”
Oryon always was a tad too dramatic.
I yanked my arm back and reached over the bridge railing. My fingers slid easily through the damp ocean breeze. “Who said they died there?”
Oryon leaned forward. “What?”
“Who said they died there?” I swung around to face him.
Color drained from his face.
“What if it was so amazing, and magical, that they never wanted to come back?” The wind whipped my hair around as I whispered the words. “That's why I'm going, Oryon. To find out.”
Congratulations, Rcubed! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =) 

Third place winner (#2): 

I fought hard, but to no avail. They had their arm wrapped around me so tightly, crushing my collarbone into my chest. I couldn't breathe. 
They were dragging me back to the woods. 
Darkness was pressing up against the edge of my eyes, and it wasn't just the night. I was losing consciousness. I kicked my heels into the soft ground, desperately gathering the little bit of air I had left. I pushed it out with all the force I could muster, hoping it might pass as a scream. It barely whistled past the hand clamped over my face, then died. 
Oh, dear God, was I going to die out here? 
The thought took what oxygen I had left, and panic-filled remorse pulsed sharply through my veins. I'd been warned. And now I was going to pay the price.
The arms around me suddenly let go, and I fell to the ground. I gasped in air, my shoulders throbbing in time with my racing heart. Run. I had to run. 
A hand twisted in my hair, halting me painfully. My head yanked around. My assailant's face was only inches from mine. 
And I knew those blue eyes so well.
Congratulations, S. Brightly! Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your badge sent to you. =) 

Second place winner: 

I walked down the road. Debating whether to take the right or the left path. To wander in the desert or to swim in an endless ocean. I couldn’t decide.
They called to me. The desert louder. Telling me if I went that way I would find an oasis. It wouldn’t be too hard. Not as much work as the water.
But the voice of the ocean nagged at me. “The hard way leads to the safe place.”
That’s where I wanted to get to. The safe place. But which way really led to it? I had to make a choice. And now. The sun was quickly setting, and I had to get move. If I stayed monsters of the past would get me. I could hear them getting closer. Which way? Which way?
Then it was clear. I knew what I had to do. If I went through the desert, the easy way, the monsters would follow me. But the ocean, well they couldn’t swim. Even if it was going to be hard, I needed to go. I slipped into the water just as the angry beasts leapt for me.
I woke with a start. Breathing heavily. I didn’t usually have dreams that meant something, but that dream sure didn’t seem a coincidence.
“I’ve got to talk to David,” I whisper. “The hard life here Lila comes. And you better watch out because I’ve got lots of emotion today.”
My stomach rolled as I thought about the conversation that was coming. But I needed to get this behind me, and that wasn’t going to happen if I took the easy way.
Congratulations, Brooke! 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): 

My feet found their way on the track that led through the wood. I traveled from the lough on my way home. It was not long before I came to the stretch where I lived. There was smoke in the chimney; it would be a cold night. Shutting the door tightly behind me, I saw my father in one of his rare moments. He sat by the fire with his fiddle on his lap. The glow of the flame showed me his pensive face. I caught a glimpse of his wrinkled brow as he turned towards me. “Me boy, wheer ya been?,” he said. 
“Oh yeh know, just down to the lough.” I casually replied. It must have been something in my voice, his expression softened.
“Want ta hear a tune?”
“That’d be swell!”
I pulled up a chair to listen to the strains of “Tobhair dom do lamh.” It was only occasionally that he pulled out the fiddle. I had even heard him talking to mum about selling it, which he never got round to doing. I gazed into the fire as the song continued. I remembered how my brother loved to hear Father, the rare times he played. Maybe this was a song for him. I noticed the subtle change as the tune switched, this time to a jig I knew as “Swallowtail.” It was approaching the time I usually retired, but I stayed there in the midst firelight and listened. The hour drew on until the final note was heard, lost in the silence of a cold Irish night. 
Congratulations, Benj.! 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. Marsh
  2. Sarah
  3. His Princess
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.


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 continuing your entry from last week week (or whichever week you'd prefer). Try to continue it using these items: scissors, a bird, and sunglasses. 
  • Write a passage based on this picture
  • Write a passage using this phrase: It was the scariest thing I would ever face ... but I also knew it was my only chance to find freedom.

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
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  1. I am continuing the entry from last week (that used the destroying me prompt) but without mentioning scissors, bird, and sunglasses. Is that okay?

    Here is the link:

  2. I did both the picture prompt and the sentece prompt. I hadn't intended to, but they fit together well in my story :)

    “You need to let me do this,” she called, fleeing blindly up the golden, grass covered hill, her red hair flowing behind her.
    “You haven't thought this through, you're running away,” I grabbed her hand, pulling her to face me.
    “Can't you see? I'm destroying everything around me, I'll destroy you! This world, it's trapping me.”
    She struggled to pull away from my grip.
    “Leah, I love you. You'll destroy me by leaving.” The birds screeched overhead in the stormy, almost purple sky, pulling the other-worldly carriage along with it.
    It was the scariest thing I would ever face ... but I also knew it was my only chance to find freedom.
    “I'm coming with you.”
    “You can't!” She looked at me, “You'll live a normal life. I can't ask you to follow me.”
    “You didn't ask me to come, I did.” I knelt down grasping her hands.
    “Leah Smith, will you allow me to spend the rest of my life with you?”
    Her cheeks flushed light pink as she smiled.
    “I will.”
    I led my new fiance to the carriage.

  3. Tessa, will you take 305 words? I can't cut anything from it. =\

    1. Forget that. I was able to cut something. =P

  4. Here's my entry:
    really liked this one, Tessa, thank you! =D

    TW Wright

  5. Here's the link to mine! I used the picture prompt, and it's the first one that you come to :D

  6. Chosen theme: This week's given picture on Pinterest

    His eyes bulged at the sight above me.

    I couldn’t help but be dumbfounded, filled with confusion.

    We were hitting it off pretty well; or so I thought.

    It seemed as if he was listening and hanging by my every word that passed from my lips…

    (Sudden interruption to my current thought)

    “C’mon Rose! We gotta get outta here! A tornado is forming!” Shawn yelled and shrieked, grabbing my right wrist in an attempt to have us both make a run for it.

    “What?! You’re kidding me!” I said, shouting in disbelief.

    Birds were hastily flying above us through the dark and gray covered skies, desperately shrieking, desperately trying to find a safe haven in time.

    All the while, I realized I had been running with Shawn in hopes of doing the same.

    We heard the wind blow violently, loudly, and powerfully; the same intensity as our horrified heart beats.

    “Run, run, run! We’ve gotta find cover!” Shawn shouted over in an effort to be heard over the loud roaring winds.

    I didn’t even know where we were going.

    My hair couldn’t help but cling permanently to my face.

    “We’re not going to make it, Shawn!” I shouted back, getting ready to cry my way out as a way of surrender.

    His hand was slipping from my wrist as I tried to catch up to him, but couldn’t as easily; not with this long dress of mine.

    This was such a wrong day to wear this dress.

    Honestly, who knew?

    “Yes we will, Rose! My Grandpa happens to be a tornado hunter!”

    Taking a leap down a steep hill together, Shawn ducked over me, shielding me from the earthly rage.

    “We will make it, Rose. And you know why? Because God is almighty.” He whispered soothingly beside my ear.

  7. Hi, mine's 192 words, hope you enjoy! =D

    It was the scariest thing I would ever face… but I also knew it was my only chance to freedom. I wiped a tear of fatigue from my cheek as I stepped on the first stair. It held. I whispered a short prayer of thanks, finally beginning to breathe again. I climbed up the staircase about halfway before I stopped for a slight rest. As I lay there feeling as if in dream, I heard the pounding footsteps of my pursuers coming up the stairs that I myself had walked on merely a few minutes ago. I scrambled to my feet and picked up my long flowing skirts and ran for my very life, blinded by the fear that they had put into my mind. After running for a few minutes with the heavy footfalls only thirty-two steps on the winding staircase behind me, my skirt snagged on one of the stone stairs, throwing me back down part of the ominous staircase. “Come on boys, she’s down!” the leader shouted when he saw the state I was in, and all his followers threw their heads back with a terrifying gurgle of triumph.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Here is my entry.

  10. Really good Mary! I loved it, but then again, I loved all of them.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sorry! I noticed a few errors.


    I did the picture prompt.

    1. I loved yours, Rebekah! Very creative. :)

    2. Really imaginative Rebekah! I like it :)


  13. Hope y'all enjoy it! :)

  14. I love everyone's else's entries! Here's mine:

  15. It was the scariest thing... I'm not continuing Killarney Brother this week, gotta change it up once in a while :) thanks everyone!

    The desert air turned cold as night fell. Chained with the other slaves, I tried to keep up the fast pace the merchants kept. Their heavy laden camels strained under the weight of figs and dates to be sold in the north, perhaps in Asia Minor or even Russia. The moon rose in the east, casting a pale light upon the caravan, showing me the scars on the backs of the heavyset man in front of me. His roughly cut hair fell in locks upon his weathered face. He was strong, that was easy to tell. His calf muscles tightened and bulged; he had endurance. I tried to see his face, but I couldn’t see his countenance clearly. From what I saw he held a peculiarly noble bearing. The yank of the chain woke me out of my curiosity. I had much to learn about being in captivity.
    At last we came upon what looked to be an oasis. I saw the silhouettes of a few palms against the starry sky. The merchants started a fire and told us to sit. The man passed me a flask from which I took a greedy gulp of water before passing to the next man. I questioned the scarred man about his identity in hushed Arabic, hoping he would respond.
    He said nothing, but drew an arc in the sand, then looked intently at me. A moment of silence passed. It was the scariest thing I would ever face, but I also knew it was my only chance to find freedom. I drew another symbol in the sand, and looked up at the man. The corners of his mouth turned upward and a light shone in his eyes.
    “Well met, friend.”

    1. Very intriguing Benj. Evans!


    2. I really liked that one! It was really good and interesting!

    3. Nice one! Really liked it!


  16. This is my continuation from last week!

    When I woke up, I was in some sort of bed. Not my bed- Oh, I was in the hospital. I jerked myself to a sitting position. I immediately noticed my cousin, Lucy, who was a nurse here. She was sitting in a chair by the door.
    "Oh, you're finally awake," she said, looking up.
    "Cody's dead, isn't he?" I whispered, disoriented.
    "No," she replied. "Can I let Kaya in?"
    "Sure," I said, relieved. I tried to process what she had just said. No. He wasn't dead. He was still alive.
    When Lucy came back in with Kaya, we all sat in the bed in a semi-circle. "If Cody's not dead," I said, "is he okay?"
    "Well, his leg was broken, but he's going to be all right."
    I sighed with relief.
    "Oh, Tess," Kaya said, crying. "I thought you and Cody were dead."
    "Don't worry, everything's going to be okay," I said, giving her a hug. Lucy joined in on the hug.

    1. Great job! I really like this story, CeCe.

    2. Thank you, I didn't think it was that good.

  17. The entries are in! =) Thanks, everyone!


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