Monday, June 23, 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
  • 3 points: If your writing prompt is selected for Monday's Minute Challenge.
  • 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:
  • Angela: 13
  • Anna: 44
  • Armina: 10
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 15
  • CeCe: 19
  • Elisabeth: 72
  • Emily F: 22
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 9
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 81
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 35
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 16
  • Katie: 52
  • Kendra: 37
  • Lottie Le: 23
  • Maddie J: 5
  • Mary B: 97
  • Marsh: 20
  • Rcubed: 69
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 28
  • Sarah: 103
  • S. Brightly: 60
  • Sofia Marie: 5
  • Tara T: 61
  • TW Wright: 133
*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.

Please don't discouraged if you have yet to place (or haven't in a few weeks). The competition becomes more and more tough each week, but the judges still think every one of your entries are impressive. 

Remember: The more times you enter, the more chances you have of winning. So keep it up!

Also: A blog post will soon be posted on how to strengthen your writing and increase your chances of winning. =)

(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: 

The boat moved quickly with the strong breeze. She stared down the deadly cliff that nobody dared to go down, the shock of what had happened still coursing through her veins, his last words still whispering in her ear. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she remembered him calling her name as they carried him away. She knew what was going to happen now. 

They would kill him. And she would never see him again. 

She walked to the edge of the cliff and looked at the raging waters below. She contemplated whether what she was going to do next would be the right thing. Taking a deep breath, she ignored the nagging voice in her head telling her not to do it. She pushed it away, telling herself, "If he's not going to be here, I don't want to be here either." 

She closed her eyes, whispered the goodbye that would never be heard, and jumped. 
Congratulations, Lottie Le! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 
Trypta had vowed never to trust anyone. Now, as she watched them leave, she realized she had broken that vow. She’d crumbled her walls for someone she hardly knew and he had used her, tossing her aside when she had served her purpose. She’d thought it was love… but no. It could never be. No one could love her.

I am unwanted

It seemed like her heartbeat that was the only thing she would feel again. The pain left a dull ache inside.

I am weak

Sitting on the rocky shore, she wondered what people must think of her. It didn’t matter. She thought worse of herself than they did. If only she’d never been born; she was no use to anyone.

I am useless

She stood up and made her way back… where? Where could she go? She didn’t belong. As she wandered aimlessly, she noticed something glint in the dim sunlight. The shining blade suggested something that should’ve made her cringe; instead, she held it and decided it was for the best.

I am leaving

While she readied herself for her last breath, she glanced around. Would anybody notice her absence? Would they care?
She knew the simple, pitiless answer and it only glanced off her heart.
Her hand jerked when she drove the knife towards her heart and she dropped it. Cursing under her breath, she picked it up only to have it fall from her grasp. She picked it up once more, only to have it forced from her hand. She backed away, frightened. What was going on? Who would care enough to stop her?
"You are mine,” it whispered. "You were made for a purpose; made you for a purpose.”
She dropped to the ground with tears streaming down her face.

I am loved
Congratulations, ElisabethClick here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

The waves crashing against the dejected coastline matched her heart. For a century she'd waited, standing against invisible bonds, waiting. Waiting for her inevitable punishment. She saw the ship sailing through the dismal water, as the sun struggled to escape the clouds and touch her rock. Sometimes the sun would dance beseechingly in the far off mountains, and she would strain against her bonds, but it was useless. The clouds were her captors as much as the ship sailing towards her.

She tried to tell herself she did not fear death, but deep down she knew that was a lie. Oh what would she do to feel the sun once more against her skin. To run through golden fields, to speak to another human.

She didn't notice the ship docking. She didn't notice the man creeping towards her, his hand drawn back to throw the dagger. All she saw was the sun, triumphantly breaking through the clouds and bathing the ocean with golden light.
Congratulations, Kaira! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Armina
  2. FlyGirl
  3. Brooke
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: lock, fire, doll (submitted by Mary B)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Kendra)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase: I looked back, realizing this may be the last time I ever see my home or my family again. (submitted by FlyGirl)

Submit your prompt idea!:

The prompts that are used for Monday's Minute Challenge are submitted by the participants. Here's how this works:
  • You will be able to submit 3 prompts each week in the same format as above: three objects, one picture, and a piece of dialogue or phrase.
  • On Mondays, I will choose 3 prompts that have been submitted by 3 different people.
  • If your prompt is selected, you will receive 3 points!
  • You may submit in the comments below, Monday through Sunday.

Cast Your Vote!

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. Wow! I can't believe I got 2nd place! Congratulations to all the other winners! :D

    1. Great job, Elisabeth! That story deserved it. :)


    2. Bravo! =) Great job winners!!

    3. Congratulations, Elizabeth! Your story was great!


  2. Congratulations all winners! I'm really enjoying this challenge, it gives me ideas for my book and gets me going when I can't think of anything to write. This is SO FUN! I really like this weeks picture, nice job Kendra!

  3. Congratulations winners!!!
    Here are my prompt ideas:
    Items: Bible, flowers, swimsuit
    Sentence: Everything looked normal, but I knew that it was not what it seemed.

    Here’s my story! I used the picture prompt and the sentence prompt and its words.

    I mounted my white horse and turned my head so that my family wouldn’t see my tears. We had already said our goodbyes, so I urged my horse forward and as the dust flew up around me my eyes stung from the dust as well as the tears.
    “My family needs the money,” I whispered under my breath as I tried to convince myself that this was the right thing to do. I was leaving for my new job as a maid in a far off city.
    I looked back once more at my family realizing this may be the last time I would ever see my home or my family again. I let my gaze wander around my seven brothers and sisters. “I’m doing this for them,” I muttered to myself.
    I turned around and refused to look back again. I cried until I ran out of tears. I was only fourteen; I shouldn’t be leaving my family so soon.
    A voice broke my thoughts, “Hello child,” smiled a middle aged woman.
    “Hello,” I whispered in a voice barely audible I had always hated strangers.
    “How would you like to come with me?” smiled the woman.
    The words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. Her smile seemed too sweet, but finally I managed to speak. “I’m sorry I can’t come with you, I’m expected in Swelton in a few days and I can’t be late.”
    “Let me rephrase that,” hissed the woman her smile gone. “Come with me,” she commanded as she pulled a long blade out of the bag on her back.
    My breath caught in my throat as the woman grabbed the reins of my horse and lead me deep into the forest. What dangers lay ahead of me I could only wait and see.

    1. Yikes! Terrifying, but very good :)
      - Katie

    2. This is amazing!


    3. Awesome Emily! This time PLEASE finish making up the story so you can tell me what happens!

    4. Thanks! I have no clue what would happen! Sorry :)

  4. Here is my entry:

    And my prompts:
    Written prompt: I reel backward in shock
    Write using these words: Spoon, Butterfly, and rotten potato
    The Picture:

    1. The entry links over to last weeks post...
      - Katie

    2. Here's her real link ;)

    3. Thanks for letting me know. And thanks for taking care of that for me TW. ;-)

    4. How terrifying! Poor little girl.


  5. Here's my entry:

    Object Prompt: bag, camera, gargoyle

    Picture Prompt:

    Quote Inspiration: I hope my last breath is a sigh of relief.

    TW Wright

  6. Congrats winners!

    Here's my entry:

    Here's my random objects: Coffee, Princess, Sword.
    Here's my picture prompt:
    Here's my sentence prompt: There was only one thing left to do: run.

    Thank you SO much for holding these, Tessa!
    - Katie

    1. Oh my goodness, I love this soooooo much. Please write some more to it! :)


  7. Here is my entry. It is 222 words and I used both the sentence and the picture prompt (great picture FlyGirl). It is a continuation of the story I wrote the week before last. :)

    I looked back, realizing this may be the last time I ever see my home or my family again. But I couldn’t stay in this place where everything reminded me that my cousin was dead and I was responsible. My horse pawed the ground and stamped his feet impatiently. Perhaps he was anxious to be away from the guilt of cowardice too. I pulled my eyes away from the home I loved and nudged my horse forward into the surrounding mist. Finally I would be free. Free from the torture of a heart that knows it’s done wrong. A vision of my cousin’s face flashed before my eyes, the contorted look of death on his features. A death that he didn’t deserve. Yes, my heart knew it had done wrong, alright.

    I studied my horse. He was a handsome beast, graceful, and white. A white horse that represented nobility I no longer could claim, for I was not noble in the least. Was there no escape? Was there no escape from this shame? Was there no escape from these thoughts that haunted me day by day and night by night? No. I had the blood of an innocent man on my hands and I could not wash away the stains. I was a fool to think I could outrun my own disgrace.


    1. This is so amazing!


    2. How did her cousin die? I need to know what happened and what's going to happen!!!

    3. Here is the link to the first part of the story, Armina. :)


  8. Write a story using this picture:

    Write a story using these random objects: stool, pillow, flashlight.

    Write a story using this sentence: I shouldn't have come here, it was too soon.


  9. Write a story using this picture:

    Write a story using this sentence:
    I was excepted to do the hardest think I had ever done in my life. I was expected to forgive.

    Write a story using these random objects: Paper clip, leaf and quilt.

    Good job winners! I used the picture and the sentence prompt. Good job on the sentence prompt, Fly Girl, it goes really well with the picture too! My entry is 155 words.

    I looked back, realizing this may be the last time I ever see my home or my family again. The lump in my throat was the size of a small elephant. I'd planned to live here forever. And then they'd told me that I was the rightful queen of the kingdom of Taralis and my whole life was thrown into chaos. The king ruling now ignored the kingdom, living in wealth while the rest of the kingdom starved. Worse still there were rumors of armies approaching the kingdom. In it's present state Taralis was to weak to hold if other kingdoms declared war on it. Thus was the condition of the kingdom as I, Queen Kasandra Emerald Zephanie (please, just call me Kassie), set out to reclaim and strengthen my kingdom. Then I turned, patting the white pony I rode, my brown hair blowing gently in the wind as I rode into the gray mist.

    1. This is really great, Kendra!


    2. Good job. And I really liked the picture you choose this week, Kendra. :)


  10. I used all the prompts. My word count was 298.

    I ran down the hall, nervously clutching the key in one hand and my sister’s hand in the other. I could feel the flames getting hotter, just waiting to burn my family and our castle to the ground. Ky’s words echoed in my head. Don’t look back. Just run. Run. And before I knew it, I was at the end of the hall. My sister whimpered. “Ruby, it’s getting closer!” She squealed. I bent down. “You have to calm down. As soon as I find the hidden lock, we will be fine.”
    “But ma and da… they’re back in the great hall.” She whimpered. I fumbled for the lock. The door opened and Ky stood there. Lissie ran into his arms. My white horse stood behind them. Ky pulled me into a hug. I felt his tunic grow wet with my tears. “It is safer if we split up.” He murmered. “I will take Lissie to the east, near the coast. You go to the west. Find my cousin, Jayne. I will send word when it is safe to meet up again.” I nodded, watching my sister’s green eyes well up with tears. I pulled a doll from my bag. “Here.” I handed it to my sister, “As a reminder that I will always come back to you.” I looked at Ky. “Both of you.” The flames licked out the door. My sister screeched, and Ky hoisted me onto my horse. He stared up at me. “Stay safe.” I nodded. My horse ran off, and through the smoke I looked back, realizing that this may be the last time I see my home or my family ever again. And the last memory would be of the flames reaching higher and higher through the walls of my beloved palace.


    1. Wow, I love it! PLEASE TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS! This contest is annoying like that, you NEVER find out what happens!

    2. Wow! That was great! You need to continue it next week.

    3. I might. =)


  11. Prompts:

    Sentence Prompt: The darkness closed around me, confirming my isolation.
    Three Object Prompt: Pearl, Setting Sun, and Agate
    Picture Prompt:


  12. I LOVE it!

  13. Here's mine!
    Hunted. The word rang through her ears. She could hear the hounds barking from the other side of the river that was roaring behind her. War cries sounded ahead of her, slowly growing closer. They would soon be upon her. The chill wind swept her hair back, her cloak ruffling in the wind. Her horse shifted nervously, knowing the danger they were in.
    “I know your scared girl; I am too, but we need to keep our wits about us. We obviously can’t go straight and we can’t go back either, which leaves us with the mountains to our right and the cliffs to our left.” Amira knew her horse could not make it up the steep mountainside and doubted if she could do any better. She looked down the cliff, a sheer 200 foot drop with sharp, jagged rocks waiting at the bottom. She was trapped.
    Amira tried to think of a way out of this, the way she always did, but she could not concentrate. 'Come on Amira, you can do this, just think!' But for the first time in her 13 years of living, Amira was too scared to think. She had always had some option of postponing the danger so she could come up with a plan, but now there was nowhere to run.
    The shouts grew louder, and then they were upon her. The mob slowly forced her to retreat until she was nearing the edge of the cliff. They waved their spears toward her, threatening to hurl them at her. Men shouted commands over the viciously growling dogs. The hounds drew nearer, her horse drawing closer and closer to the drop that would surely be their deaths. Amira’s horse stumbled to keep her footing. A hound sprang upon them and then they were falling.
    P.S I voted.

    1. I forgot to say I used the picture prompt!

    2. This is really good! And btw... I will probably write a book using the passage... and I will try to get it published. :)


  14. I voted.


  15. Can I email the draft Paste button on laptop not working!

    1. I emailed a draft of my entry cause my laptop is not pasting anything

  16. Hard as it was, I voted. :)

  17. The Russian PianistJune 27, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    My entry uses the sentence prompt and is 287 words:

    He looked back, realizing this may be the last time he ever saw his home or his family again. He slid his hand along the unsanded rail. Where splinters had once torn the skin, the irregular grain of the wood now knobbed over lumpy callouses. How many times had the thought crossed his mind? Innumerable. Once it had perturbed; now it flitted with an ironic levity that quirked a smile on his lips.
    Home. What was home? Smokestacks choking out their cigar breath into a steely gray existence stained with red? A stuffy apartment with sheets hung from the ceiling being the only dividers between Grisha repeating multiplication facts and Babushka clucking about the price of herring? Plywood walls that failed to stifle the drunken expletives of the factory workers that Mama had to share a kitchen with? At least curses at the conservatory accompanied interesting things like hammers breaking on the pianos or impossible passages of octaves.
    His wry smile untwisted, softening into fond remembrance. The conservatory, its witch-hat spires a landmark among city residents. Saratov, untouched by the raging war. Beautiful Mia with gold-flecked eyes who could talk about Brahms with him in the abandoned practice rooms until midnight.
    The thought of Mia quickened his pace. He turned sharply, not caring that his broad shoulders clipped the odd angles of the narrow stairwell. At the base, instead of gingerly touching the greasy knob and imagining some hideous creak as it turned, he pushed open the door, letting the bells tinkle. Let them hear; he didn’t care. Defiance inflated within. No more would he slink around, worried they would discover who he was.
    What was there to hide anymore? Nothing of significance.
    Only himself.

    -The Russian Pianist

    1. I love reading your entries soooo much! :) I love the way you describe things.


    2. Wow... The way you describe is so captivating. :) I love it.


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