Monday, May 26, 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. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  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 cast your vote! (See the end of this post.)
  • 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!)
  • 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: 113
  • Mary B: 80
  • Elisabeth: 59
  • Emily F: 3
  • Angela: 13
  • Funto: 9
  • Benj. Evans: 37
  • S. Brightly: 32
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Rebekah B: 47
  • Anna: 35
  • His Princess: 71
  • Tara T: 61
  • Evan: 10
  • Rcubed: 69
  • Sarah: 94
  • Jillian: 10
  • Brooke: 12
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Kaira Anne: 62
  • Katheline: 16
  • Kendra: 18
  • Russian Pianist: 10
  • Lottie Le: 6
  • CeCe: 10
  • Katie: 26
  • Marsh: 20
*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.


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!) 

Thanks so much to everyone who voted! It helps the judge panel tremendously.

We were very impressed this week at how far all of you have come since the beginning. All of the entries were incredible, and it was very hard to judge! So please don't discouraged if you have yet to place (or haven't in a few weeks). The competition has become very tough, but the judges still think every one of your entries are impressive. So keep it up! =)

(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: 

She saw him at once. Which meant that he had seen her long before. Pinning her gaze to his uniform, she refused to let his eyes find hers, though the brazen medal resting at eye-level taunted her as it glinted in the light. She flicked her gaze to the fraying ribbon that it dangled from. Red like blood. She chewed the inside of her mouth until its rancid taste filled her cheek. What he said next could have the power to change her life forever. 
“Who are you?” His voice reminded her of the teenage boys who practiced after her team. She had almost expected it to crack, he looked so young. She could handle this. 
Letting her wide eyes settle into his—as if she didn’t know who he was—she nodded her head eagerly until her pigtails bobbed. “I’m a gymnast,” she prattled. “I started seven years ago, and I’m competitive. My coach says I’m very talented.” She cast her eyes to the pavement as if struck by sudden shyness.
“Tell me,” he tilted his head sideways, “where is your gymnastics school?”
He had fallen for the trick. Or he was playing along, acting stupid to make to let down her guard. More likely, the latter. But she couldn’t be sure. “You know the school that way?” She extended her arm to full length and pointed. Dots of black sharpened in the vapid irises. He knows. Time to prove that she wasn’t stupid. “It’s on the busy street.”
“Which street would that be?” The black points didn’t recede into the swirling abyss of blue. Good. 
She hitched her shoulders into a dramatic shrug. “I don’t know…I’m bad at remembering street names.”
He showed his teeth for the first time in a crooked smile. “And bad at acting too?”
Congratulations, The Russian Pianist! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

I swung my leg over the rough bark of the tree branch besides me, the moss placed upon it tickling my palms. A small pond lay in front of me, a view that I had grown to adore. The cool mist over the pond shimmered with the sun’s radiance from above. The tips of my dress slid across the rippled waves, the dirt from the tree rubbing across my clean fabric. I sighed, staring into the sparkling glimmer that reflected into my eyes. It was so… peaceful.
“Excuse me?” My heart skipped a beat; I twirled around, looking at the eyes of a young boy. I stared, my fingers clutching my dress, turning the smooth folds into wrinkles. My mind raced inside. What is he doing here? How did he find this place? Who is he?
He had an unnerving sense about him. Nodding, he leaned against the tree upon which I was sitting. He offered a polite smile.
He’s calm. I observed. Too calm. Gathering all the courage I could muster, I managed to stammer out an answer to his greeting. “Is… Um… There anything I could… Well… Help you with?”
He gave another smile, the tips of his teeth protruding amidst his lips. They were perfectly white; yet another unnatural aspect of him.
My muscles tensed up as he moved towards me, leaning in. Small shivers raced up and down my back. The gorgeous glitter over the water had disappeared and was replaced by a dark, looming fog.
“Get out.” He whispered menacingly.
I needed no further prodding. I scrambled to my feet, sprinting through the overgrown underbrush. 
Congratulations, Katie! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

A year and a half had passed since John’s death. Jenny and I were moving on with our life making the most of it without him. They say time heals all wounds and it is true. Jenny was in school now and a star student at that. And I, too, was busy with my job and housework. One day progressed pretty much like another until that all changed in one afternoon. I was in the kitchen tidying up from breakfast and just as I was putting the cereal box in the cupboard, the door bell rang. I opened the door to find a police officer on my porch; his left hand resting on his hip right above a shiny pair of handcuffs. My heart skipped a beat and my worried thoughts flew to Jenny.
“Can I help you, Officer?” I asked a bit nervously.
“Mrs. Harris?” I nodded.
“I’ll need to speak with you, Ma’am.” He motioned with his hand to the living room and I dumbly stepped out of way to let him pass. He strode inside and took a seat on the couch, pulling out a photograph that looked as if it had been taken with a very outdated camera and handed it to me.
“Have you ever seen this man before?”he asked. I stared at the photo dumbfounded, wondering why he was asking if I had ever seen John before.
“Yes, he was my husband.”
“Where is he now?” Would it be untactful to say the graveyard?
“He died two years ago. Why?”
“Ma’am, we have reason to believe your husband is still alive.” I sank into the chair behind me hoping this wasn’t just a cruel prank.
“Alive?” I managed to choke out.
What he said next could have the power to change my life forever.
Congratulations, His Princess! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Emily Fisher
  2. Kendra
  3. S. Brightly
Congratulations! Click here for your badge. =)

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.
  • 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:

Note: You can always combine the prompts into one entry.
  • (Optional) Write a passage continuing your entry from last week week (or whichever week you'd prefer). If you can, try to continue it using one of the following prompts.
  • Write a passage using these items: magnifying glass, knife, and timer. 
  • Write a passage based on this picture
  • Write a passage incorporating this piece of dialogue: "You have one chance to make your decision. What's it going to be?"
Cast Your Vote!

We're going to try something new at Monday's Minute Challenge.

Since choosing the winners is such a time-consuming process for the judges, and since you already read each others responses, we have decided to give you the opportunity to take part in the judging process. =)

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

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

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

Current Judge Panel:

post signature


  1. Congratulations to all this weeks winners!!! Here is my story I used the sentence and my entry is 295 words! Have a great holiday weekend!!!

    My feet pounded on the hard forest floor as I ran away from King Jacobi’s soldiers. My shoeless feet seemed to hit every rough stone in the forest. My breath came out in quick sharp breaths. I sent up a quick prayer begging to be kept safe.
    I was a wanted criminal in this country for telling others about Jesus. I wondered just how much longer I could outrun the soldier’s horses.
    In the distance I could hear horse hooves pounding. I tried to run faster, but my energy was leaving me. My best beat was to hide so I ducked under a large bush. I let out a muffled groan as I scraped my knee on a sharp stick.
    The sound of horses came closer and I prayed for them to pass me. I could see the horses now slowing as they came to a halt.
    “She must’ve stopped here,” barked a man. “The dogs lost her scent up ahead.”
    The man whistled and a pack of four dogs ran toward him. They began to sniff around the area and before I knew what was happening a dog began to bark and in a matter of seconds I was surrounded.
    A man pulled me out of the bush and laughed.
    “I’ve found you; now tell me where the other missionaries are?”
    I didn’t open my mouth and he twisted my arm around and I screamed as agonizing pain rushed up my arm.
    “Tell me where the others are hiding, or I will have you killed,” whispered the man in my ear. “You have one chance to make your decision. What’s it going to be?”
    “I will never tell you,” I whispered softly as they lead me away to what would likely be my death.

  2. Thank you for the Honorable Recognition. Good job everyone! Here's my entry, it's 260 words and I used the sentence and picture prompt.

    I looked around wildly, looking for some kind of help. This was ridiculous, what were these people playing at? "We're sending out five damsels, each one will be in distress, tapped by something -dragons, fire, that kind of thing. You have to choose one to save. You have one chance to make your decision. What's it going to be?" The words of Jerry played in my mind. I had replied, confused and horrorstruck "You mean that the others -the ones I don't choose- they'll die?" He'd looked at me calmly "Yes, and the one you do save will be your wife." I felt sick, but had no time to dwell on the conversation. "Go!" I ran blindly, my heart in my mouth. One girl was calling to me, begging me to rescue her from the dragon. Another sobbed as a surly man threatened her with a knife. One black haired damsel fought the handcuffs that chained her to a tree. The most sickening was the tall lass who was gasping for breath, blood pooling around her. "You have one chance to make your decision. What's it going to be?" The words pounded in my head over and over again. My feet carried me to the river where I made my decision -randomly more than anything else. I dove under the water to rescue the girl who was drowning. I came up, her in my arms. Numbly I heard Jerry, "Good choice, although I was partial to Phyllida -the one who the dragon had, but I must say, Raynor, she is pretty."

    1. Love it!!! Great idea for how to use the picture :)

    2. This idea was so interesting
      I hope you continue writing it.

    3. Thank you Emily and Angela!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. It's so good!!!! I love it SO much!!!!! :)

  4. Congratulations to the winners! The entries were all really great.

    Here's mine, I used the picture prompt.

    The wind torments me. I run across the open prairie, struggling to keep my balance.
    Here the wind seems alive. As if it knew what I'd done.
    Where am I? I don't even care anymore. It's just the wind, hitting me with invisible punches.
    She'd been beloved of the wind. Of the open air. I should never have come here, where the prairie still remembers her.

    Ever since then, I'd been chased by the wind, tormented day and night. Relentless.
    Now it had driven me to it's home on the open plains and the rolling hills.

    For the wind loved Emma Marie, and I had let her die. I'd watched as they ran her through with the tip of the sword. Then I'd run to the lake, picking her up—sobbing over the girl I loved.

    But the wind grieves too, and blames me for her death.

    And I run across the prairie. Trying to escape from memories, and the relentless wind.

  5. The entries were great! Here's my prompt:
    In Christ,

  6. I deleted my comment because italics don't show up in the comment section. I'll just be giving the link to my blog this week.

  7. Here's the link to my entry, 300 words. Congrats to all the winners!

    Hope you enjoy!

    1. Its really good! Great job :)

  8. Tessa, this isn't related to Monday's Minute Challenge, but I think you will like this. :)

  9. The Russian PianistMay 28, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I'm working on my entry and got two different word counts for it: 300 from Microsoft Word and 309 from the word counting program linked above. Is this a problem and will this disqualify me?

    -The Russian Pianist

    1. I use Microsoft Word always, and usually it seems that an online counting program is different than Microsoft Office. It won't disqualify you if it is 300 words according to Microsoft Office--at least I don't THINK it will....

    2. The Russian PianistMay 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Thanks TW!

      I was able to cut a few words down, so it's 298 words. It's a continuation of last week's entry, but I wasn't able to combine any of the other prompts into it.

      She lowered her voice into a husky tone. “I’m a gymnast, not an actress.”
      “You weren’t lying about that?” The jest was far too serious to comfort her.
      “I just came from the gym. My father meets me here after work.” Risky, but she had to reassure him.
      “You don’t drive yet?” A question, not a statement. She tossed her chin upward and surveyed him over the delicate arch of her nose as if she was sizing up the vault. Twenty, maybe. But she could pass for at least 17. He knew that the pigtails and petite frame were just part of the gymnast physique. Yes, it could work.
      “I’m close…but you do of course.” She shuffled closer and arched her brows coquettishly. She gagged at the sticky breath that filled her face as he snorted a laugh. Pretend he’s handsome.
      “What’s your name?”
      No, not that. She pasted a smile on her face and squeezed in the breath until it pounded against her head, searching for an escape. “Viktoria Petrovna.”
      His mouth unbent and he paused. Which meant thinking. She tugged at the elastic of the leotard under her dress that dug into her skin. “And yours?” The words bounced off her tongue.
      A smile slid onto his face, and he brushed the baggy elbow of her coat with his fingertips. “You’re a bold one.”
      What did he mean? She narrowed her eyes at him, scrutinizing his intent. Forward? Or audacious, trying to deceive an NKVD agent? She fought to keep her shoulders from rolling forward. “That’s a compliment from a high-ranking official like you,” she simpered, her voice seeping with sarcasm. Keep him bantering.
      “Your coaches don’t call you Viktoria Petrovna.” Too direct—he wanted her last name. She had underestimated the vacant blue eyes.

      -The Russian Pianist

  10. Great entries guys!! =D

    Here's mine:

    TW Wright

    1. Oh this made me want to cry! Very good, TW. ;}


  11. I voted! I think it went through... Thanks so much for holding these each and every week. It has definitely become a highlight!

  12. Ok, here's mine. It is 300 words and I used the dialogue prompt.

    Walk away.

    That two worded warning alarm rang over and over in my head. It was Friday night and I had gone with a couple of my friends to have a little ‘fun’. Now whether their definition of fun and my definition of fun came out of the same dictionary was something I was about to find out. As we pulled off into the parking lot of a liquor store, the warning bells in my head echoed in time with the ones in my heart.

    Walk away.

    This didn’t feel right. In the front seats my friends giggled hysterically over another inside joke that I had missed.

    “Guys, what are we doing here?” I asked. Josie and Kat stopped there incessant giggling to stare at me with their can-you-really-be-that-dumb look. I squirmed in my seat and after a very long moment Josie rolled her eyes and said,” What else do you do at a liquor store? You buy liquor!” They laughed again and Kat got out to go and buy the filthy stuff.

    Walk away.

    At this moment I was seriously thinking about it. “Look, Josie, I don’t think we should be doing this. Why don’t we just go to a movie or something?”

    “Don’t be such a baby, Erin! If you’re afraid of having a little fun then maybe you should go home.” She smiled smugly. ”You have one chance to make your decision. What's it going to be?” I debated for a second trying to decide between what I had been taught in my upbringing and the harm in having a little ‘fun’. Somehow this seemed like it went beyond the bounds of a little innocent fun.

    “Well? What are you going to do?”

    Conviction stirred in my heart; I knew the answer to that question.

    “Walk away.”


    1. This is so beautifully well done. I love the, "walk away" beats and how it finishes with that at the end. I love it!
      - Katie

  13. I voted (yesterday, I think)! Good job everyone!


Thanks for stopping by my blog!