Monday, July 7, 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: 23
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 15
  • CeCe: 28
  • Elisabeth: 72
  • Emily F: 25
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 21
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 90
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 45
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 16
  • Katie: 67
  • Kendra: 40
  • Lottie Le: 29
  • Maddie J: 5
  • Mary B: 106
  • Marsh: 20
  • Rcubed: 69
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 103
  • S. Brightly: 81
  • Sofia Marie: 8
  • Tara T: 82
  • TW Wright: 148
*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: 
And just like that, she was gone.
It was hard to believe that the same girl who’d been smiling, laughing, so full of plans only a few hours earlier was gone now. Cold. Still. Extinguished. Dead.
He stared stupidly at his hand, which was dark and wet. A chill ran down his spine. No, it couldn’t be. It couldn’t be. It was just water. It couldn’t … no …
Still, he grabbed the flashlight by her bed and shone it at his hand. He stared. This would have gone on indefinitely had not a cold trickle of sweat – or something worse – run down his chin and break the silence as it hit the ground.
He jumped up, with a start, from the rickety stool he had been crouching on. His wide eyes darted around the room. All was silent. In the darkness, he couldn’t be sure of much else.
He sat down again. His heart beat so hard, he felt it would break his ribs. He heaved shallow breaths. At last, he rose and strode over to where the bed must be. With his flashlight, he found the headboard. Looking a foot lower, he saw her. A blanket covered her head. He lifted it and there she was, eyes closed, a serene expression on her face. Her head was propped up on a pillow and her orange curls cascaded around the bed clothes.
It was nothing after all. It had all been a bad dream.
He strode – practically ran – to the door, then stopped.
No. If this was a dream, it was uncannily realistic.
He returned to the bedside.

In her chest was a dagger.
Congratulations, Tara! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

There was only one thing left to do: run, and I should have ran right then and there. But I stayed. I watched as the invaders climbed over the hill. I stayed at the sound of battle cries and pain-stricken wails from below, and I knew which sounds belonged to our side, and I stayed as the smell of fallen hopes seeped up to me. My little sister pulled at the edge of my tunic, begging me to take her away from this destruction, but I still wouldn't leave. For a foolish pride, I gave my freedom. Many say how they regret that fear took them away in time of battle, but it wasn't heroism that drew my sword and ran down to join the fight. My duty did not lie on the battle field, but I wouldn't realize that until I lay with my hands tied behind me on the way to slavery.
Congratulations, KairaClick here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

Humidity sucked air from my lungs, making my uphill climb even harder. Why on earth had he wanted to meet today? The plan was concrete, the culmination of over a year of careful planning and detailed analysis. It was air tight, everyting ready to go in only two short days. Right now I should be studiously avoiding my cohorts. The slightest misstep could alert the authorities (I hated calling them that, unlawful as they were and mean the death of our loved ones. But Caeden said it was urgent.

Had he somehow discovered a fatal flaw in our plan? I prayed it wasn't so. We were so close. To have to turn back now, abandon those who so desperately needed our help, would be a worse feeling than that of defeat. At least in defeat, we would have still tried our hardest. Giving up was, to me, the worst form of cowardice. 

The bright blue gate reached my line of sight, the heart carved into the rough wood bearing witness of happier days. My heart sped up for an instant as I imagined how Joanna had done the same thing, on the gate in our garden. Or, what used to be our garden.

I shook my head slightly, steeling myself against such thoughts. I perused the area cautiously, checking each road and every possible vantage point. It seemed clear. I let out a breath and stepped out from the shrubbery, sliding quickly through the gate.

Latching the gate firmly, I stepped back against the wall, my eyes roving the garden. No Caeden. 

A slow minute passed. My shoulders tensed. Something wasn't right...

The instant my senses became aware of it, I heard the footsteps. Fast. Too fast. Unfamiliar voices spoke.

There was only one thing left to do: run.
Congratulations, S. Brightly! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Sofia Marie
  2. FlyGirl
  3. Katie
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: lantern, arrow, rose (submitted by Lottie Le)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Katie)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase: I'd made my choice and taken the hard way. These were the consequences. (submitted by S. Brightly)

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. Congratulations all winners!
    Nice picture Katie!

  2. Congratulations to all the Winners!
    I used the Picture Prompt. It might be sad, but that is what I was aiming for. I really want your feedback... so please comment what you thought. :)

    My Word count was 298

    The training barn exploded and I ran across the grass, glancing back. Suddenly, it wasn’t the training barn. I wasn’t sixteen. It wasn’t Ben dragging me from the barn. It was my sister pulling on my sleeve. Pulling us farther from the house. We both had known that someone bad was there. My parents didn’t listen to a ten year old, or a little three year old. I lifted my sister off the grass, running faster and faster. There was an explosion that threw me and my sister to the hard grass. I watched in fear as my family’s house burned. My mom screamed. I watched her run out of the house and noticed her dress was on fire. She tried to stomp it out. I cried as the flames engulfed her. I pulled my bow from my shoulder and an arrow from the quiver. The door to the house opened. The person that killed my parents walked out. I heard a gunshot and watched my sister fall to the ground. I shot at him, watching the arrow find a place in his chest. He was dead. I dropped beside my sister. She gasped. I pulled her head into my lap. “You’ll be okay.” I said, stroking her hair. I kissed her forehead, wiping the tears from her eyes. She winced and gripped her side. I closed my eyes, trying not to see her blood. Her pain. Her dying. I opened my eyes and suddenly, her hands fell from the gunshot wound. Her head fell to the side and her lively eyes were dead. I screamed, my scream dying into a wail. I opened my eyes and turned around. It wasn’t the house. It was the barn. I looked back to the ground. My sister had still died.


    1. SO sad! It's awesome!

    2. Thanks!


    3. Very good! I love the way your character recalls a memory. The writing gives me the impression of racing through her thoughts. I get the sense of speed. I'm not sure if that's what you were going for but it's a cool effect.

  3. Here is my entry.

  4. Congrats winners! =)

    Here's my entry:

    Object Prompt: mirror, key, light
    Picture Prompt:
    Quote Prompt: If you don't know who I am then maybe your best course of action would be to tread lightly.

    TW Wright

  5. It was burning all because I'd made my choice and taken the hard way. These were the consequences. Even from a distance, I could see how each flame searched for chaos. Smoke bled into the sky, slashing its weak color with an inky black.
    ‘You’ll need to get the family out of here before we set everything aflame. This town is covered in sin and rotting of death. The fire shall purge it clean.’ This is what my father told me two days ago. He said that he was the Almighty’s avenger here. He also said that if I shared with anyone his plan, I would be judged accordingly. This is how my father works his way into the minds of men: telling them that he is sent from God to do a just deed and if anyone tries to stop him…
    The acidic smell of burning cedars brought me back out of my head. And I began to run. I ran towards the fiery furnace. If only I had paid more attention to the plans, I chastised myself. If only I had stayed near the house and not gone to make the flowers Isaac gave me into a wreath for our wedding day. Suddenly, a gust of blistering hot wind hit against my body, propelling me backward. Then, a small voice slithered through my conscience as I sat there, the dry grass stabbing at my palms: They’re all gone, Liza. Mama…Carol…Timothy…Father…Isaac…everyone, all gone. They’ve been submitted to a righteous fire.
    “Father,” I screamed, “I hope you burned in your own ‘righteous fire’! I hope Beelzebub himself guided you down into the brimstone! I…” Bolting upright, I hurled myself into anguish and ran away from Cedar’s Landing. Somewhere, I’d be given the chance to rebuild anything….everything.

    I used the picture prompt and the phrase. This entry is based on off of John Brown's raid of Harper's Ferry in 1859. Brown was known to believe that he was doing God's will in his fight against slavery, even if it met murder and deception. I imagined how one of his daughter's might feel if she had been instructed to watch for the time to take her family out of the area but was never told when the town would be set on fire. How would she feel? What would she think?

    1. Fascinating! I love your premise as well as the descriptions. Great job!

  6. Here's mine! 212 words. I used the sentence prompt and the item prompt.
    Aniya raised her lantern into the starless night. The moon was hidden in the fog that enveloped the land around her. A gate creaked a few yards ahead, which led into some unknown villagers rose garden. She sighed. ‘I made my choice and I took the hard way. Now these are the consequences.’
    She had wanted to prove herself to her condescending twin sister by taking the hard way. Now she had to pay the price. Aniya was now lost in the principal kingdom of that century with no map, compass, or even a friend to keep her company. She was alone in a land contaminated with the black-plague. There was not another living soul for miles. At least that’s what she thought.
    Aniya turned to see a shadow slip through the fog not ten feet away. Her heart skipped a beat. Was it just her imagination or did she hear a footstep coming toward her?
    Aniya crept through the village, careful not to run into an unseen tree or whatever shadowy creature was out there. ‘How am I to find a lost prince in this mess? And why would he be hiding here anyway?’ But her question was to be left unanswered for arrows coming from all directions rapidly engulfed her.

  7. Here's my prompts.
    Three objects~ roses, box of chocolate, gun.
    Phrase~ A tear fell down her cheek as the sword drew closer to her throat. "Please, you can't kill me, I'm your sister" she looked at her brother pleadingly.
    I don't have a picture prompt.

  8. I tried to vote but I don't think it went through.

    Here are my prompt ideas.
    Picture Prompt: http:/
    Phrase Prompt: Was that it, two words to apologize for killing my sister? She deserved so much more than two words.
    Three Words Prompt: Ineffable love, mysterious man, unread letter.

  9. Hi! Guys my name is Kaity. This week the picture inspired me to write my story. I have exactly 300 words this time. Here is part of my story named ‘Tropical Hideaway’.

    “Good Bye…my friends.” Kaila called out as she watched the raft disappeared from sight taking her only friends back to what they called Florida. Kaila sighed then asked herself “Will I ever see them again?” Kaila shook her head making her long hair, which is the color of sun ripened wheat, dance. “You just have to learn how to be alone again.” Kaila told herself with a confidence she didn’t have. “I’d made my choice and taken the hard way. These are the consequences.” No matter how many times she told herself Kaila wasn’t convinced that she had done the right thing. “It’s your own stubborn pride that made you tell them you wanted to stay.” Slowly, Kaila made her way toward her tree house home. But just when she had reached the bend in the creek a mob of frightened jungle animals nearly toppled her over, making Kaila look up toward the volcano. It was erupting. All of a sudden Nya, a mother monkey, ran into Kaila screeching. “Where is Mangalo?” Nya just kept ramping. “Alright I’ll go find him. You have to get to the water!” Kaila commanded as she sprinted deeper into the jungle. Sparks and embers began to fall around her like flaming arrows. “Mangalo! Mangalo! Where are you? We need to get out of here!” Kaila called out in earnest. A sharp cry broke through all of the commotion and reached Kaila’s ears. “There you are!” Kaila cried out, finally spotting the young monkey clinging to a tree branch. She grabbed him and broke into a run. The rose bushes around her burst into flames shining like lanterns in the forest. Abruptly, Kaila tripped and fell headlong over a small cliff. Landing on her side Kaila heard a sharp crack, and she knew no more.

    1. Hi, Kaity! I love it when the prompts give me inspiration. "Tropical Hideaway" sounds really cool!

  10. My prompts:
    Use these three things: Tree, Frying Pan and Pencil
    This Picture:
    And Phrase: A branch cracked behind me. I whirled around but there was nothing there.

  11. I voted, but I'm not sure it went through.

  12. here are some ideas for prompts.
    objects: teddy bear, bomb, palace.
    phrase: Some are loyal to their king...I am loyal to my gun.


  13. This is late, but here's my entry:
    In Christ,

  14. Here is my very late entry. 293 words and I used all three prompts. :)

    The fire snapped and hissed before me as I stood there that day in late September, the breeze playing with my hair and sending shivers up my spine. Or was it the fire causing me to tremble?

    Everything had been so perfect. The sky had been clear and the sun had peaked its head out from under its blankets of clouds just for Livy’s wedding but now all that was ruined. The sky was no longer clear and the sun had retreated behind the clouds again, except this time they were smoke clouds.

    And I was to blame. I started the fire deliberately. Why? Because I was jealous. Jealous of Livy. Jealous that everything went perfectly for her all of the time and nothing ever went right for me. Jealous because I was only the bridesmaid and not the bride. All that bitter envy had started as a small ember inside my heart but I had nursed it and blown on it until it roared to life like the blaze in front of me.

    I watched as the small village I had grown up in burned to the ground. It hadn’t been hard to start the fire; just a few pieces of straw lit from a lantern, tossed into the dead grass, and the inferno was born. And it all looked like an accident. A tragic accident that just happened to fall on Livy’s wedding day.

    I pulled the wreath of roses from my head and flung it away, after all, I wasn’t going to be needing them. Glowing hot coals shot into the air like fiery arrows. A tinge of remorse touched me but it was too late now. I'd made my choice and taken the hard way. These were the consequences.



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