Monday, August 25, 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!
  • 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: 40
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 15
  • CeCe: 28
  • Elisabeth: 72
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 30
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 107
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 51
  • Kaity: 5
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 24
  • Kaity: 3
  • Katie: 67
  • Kendra: 53
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie J: 11
  • Mary B: 118
  • Marsh: 20
  • Mickayla: 11
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 120
  • S. Brightly: 110
  • Sofia Marie: 11
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 172
*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!) 

First of all, I want to apologize for posting this late! I was unable to judge and gather the scores for your entries on time due to being admitted to the hospital for a few days unexpectedly. Thank you for your patience! 

Also, the entries were very difficult to judge this week! Everyone did incredible. There was a tie for third place and four honorable mentions rather than three. 

Remember: The more times you enter, the more chances you have of winning. 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 (tie): 

If Laira had known this was to be her fate, she would have hugged her mother once more. As she watched her homeland fade to mist, her eyes began to water. No. She wouldn’t show these barbarians weakness. She blinked in succession until her eyes were dry.

“Get off that step there, ye vermin! Come down to the bottom deck.” Laira narrowed her eyes at the man’s voice behind her but obeyed. What else could she do besides jump overboard? That. That was an option. Chancing the waves had to be better than the slavery in her future.

Too late. The man grabbed her arm. No escaping now. She sighed.

The man yanked her arm. “What was that?”

Laira shook her head. “Nothing.”

“I'm 'master' to you.”

She shot a glare at the wooden planks beneath her. It didn’t satisfy the surge of anger, but it was better than nothing. “Nothing at all, master.” She gritted her teeth so hard it hurt.

“We’ll work on that.”

He swung open a creaky door and pushed her down stairs that didn’t look sturdy enough to hold a rat. Of course, apparently, Laira was merely a rat to this bumbling bunch of savages. Oh, the nerve of that man to call her a vermin. She clenched her fist.

“Pent up anger ain’t good for ye. Yer master’ll whip that right out.”

Laira didn’t respond, nor did she unclench her fists. The man didn’t notice, though, because they’d reached their destination- a hollow hole housing the prisoners. No sooner than she’d stumbled into line with them did a man come up to her and take her hand. He pressed a stamp into her palm, and when he walked away, Laira looked at the mark.

A barcode, and under it: “Slave”.

So now it’s official. 
Congratulations, Katheline! Click here for your badge. =)

Third place winner (tie): 

I shuffled forward and halted, as I had been doing for what seemed like hours. I squeezed my brother’s hand so tightly it made my knuckles white, we were reaching the end of the line. The line began to move once again and my mind raced for an escape. A man with a black suit drew closer to me and my brother, Aiden. In this evil man’s hand was a large metal box with a black hole in one end.

“Just stay calm, Ryan, we will get ourselves out of this.” My brother whispered softly into my ear. His voice is shaky, he is scared too. 

“You two,” the man pointed straight at me and my brother, I gulped. “Single file!” Aiden obediently dropped my hand and stepped in front of me, but I wished he hadn’t, I needed his support and comfort, though he was just as scared and surprised as I was. The line once again inched forward and Aiden was the next teenager. 

I watched in horror as Aiden’s hand reached for the machine and entered. I heard a quiet popping noise and my brother’s sagging body shot up with attentiveness. What did they do to him? I turned to run away but was too late, the machine had already been slipped over my hand. In a matter of seconds a chill ran throughout my body and I walked forward against my will. I looked to see where Aiden went in order to follow but my legs led me in the other direction. What is happening to me? I was now alone. I was now enslaved.
Congratulations, Mickayla! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

The broken glass crunched under my feet. I shiver as the wind blows, howling through bare trees. Even though Mom discourages me from coming up here, she doesn’t forbid it. In the tree house, with the old walls and the broken windows is where I belong. Not in our house that is slowly emptying as all of our belongings are packed up, but here in the woods where I can be free.
Two weeks ago, with one last, and very loud, fight, Dad got in the car and drove away. An hour after Dad left, Mom got a phone call. There had been an accident.
They said he didn’t suffer.
Now I come to the tree house that was ten years old. Dad and I had made it together. After I had gotten the news Dad was gone, I ran out to the tree house. The roof was gone, and the windows broken, but even messed up there was a beauty about it I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else.
Then Mom told me we were moving, just another blow to add to my beat up life. From my spot standing next to the broken window I watched as the “For Sale” sign got hammered into the frozen ground.
So much change in so little time. Would I ever have anything secure about my life again?
The wind blew again, ruffling my hair, gently stroking my cheeks, giving me a friendly reminder that God wouldn’t leave me. God will never leave me.
Congratulations, NaomiClick here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

She knew he was coming back. He must come back. Their very lives depended on it. And he'd always come through before.

But the rushing water was up to their waists now, and rising by the second. It had all happened so fast. The luminous green water had swallowed their car in seconds, trapping them in this surreal world. Water had immediately begun spurting in from every possible crack and crevice she wouldn't have ever known was there. But the windows hadn't broken. Hadn't given them a way out. 

"Isabel!" Sarah's panic-tight voice caught her attention. She turned to the backseat, where her best friend still sat frantically struggling with her seatbelt. "I can't get it, Izzie, please-"

Isabel pushed between the two front seats, feeling around the icy water until her hand found the buckle. "I've got you." She pressed down to release. Nothing happened. "All right, count of three, I'll press, you pull. One, two, three!" 


"Izzie!" Even in the dark, Sarah's eyes glowed with terror. The water, just below Isabel's chest, was only a centimeter from covering Sarah's mouth. 

"It's okay. Ethan's coming, just wait." Isabel kept pulling as the water crept higher. Ethan had seen their car go under. He was coming. He would find them.

Wouldn't he?

Sarah was lifting her head, trying desperately to keep her nose above the water, to keep breathing. 

Isabel pulled. 

The seatbelt had to come undone. It had to. She prayed more desperately than she ever had before. God could break the window, He could lift the car right out of the water. Please, God-

But the water covered Sarah's head. 

In that instant, Isabel realized: It was all for nothing. Everything they'd been through, all they'd survived, fought for, it meant nothing.

Attempting life, they'd died.
Congratulations, S. Brightly! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. TW
  2. Maddie
  3. Flygirl
  4. Sarah
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: piano, rose, necklace (submitted by Sarah)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by S. Brightly)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  I jumped at the sound of a door slamming downstairs. Where could I hide? (submitted by Emily)

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:

  • Tessa Emily Hall (me)
  • Kate Petty
post signature
post signature


  1. Hello,
    The past few weeks, two of the prompts I've submitted have been chosen. However, my points (I think I should have 6 so far) have been added to Emily F's points. My first name is the same as her's so that probably is what caused the confusion, but I thought I'd let Tessa (or whoever keeps track of the points) know.
    -Emily (And if it'd be easier if you had my last initial, it'd be Emily S.)

    1. Sorry about that! Thanks for letting me know; I'll fix that now. =)

  2. Tessa, do I need to email you what I did to get points?
    Congrats, everyone! :)

    Here's my entry. I used the items prompt and it is 297 words. :)

  4. Congrats everyone!

    My word count is 241.

    I sat down, my heart beating so fast I thought it would burst. I couldn’t take this anymore. My family was being torn apart. How could God let this happen? I leaned back, my head resting against the door frame. I didn’t have much time. My father would be up here any second, or the cops, and neither would be friendly to me. The snow fell soft outside the window, and I knew my sister was out there, somewhere, looking for safety. For a real home. For me. I jumped at the sound of a door slamming downstairs. Where could I hide? My eyes fell on the small panel beside the fireplace. The one I knew opened up into a secret passage. My bare feet flew across the wooden floor, and I tried to open it as fast as I could. Heavy feet pounded up the stairs and the panel got stuck. I shoved even harder and harder, trying my best to open the panel. “Lord, if you still love me, let me live,” I prayed, “Please.” I shoved and the panel flew open. I dove into it and shoved it closed as the door opened. “Where is she?” My father. I knew his voice. “Lana, where are you?!” I held my breath as I heard him stand right outside the passage. I was about to pass out when I heard him leave. I took a deep breath. “Thank you, God.”


  5. Congrats everyone; good job!
    Here's mine:

    I jumped at the sound of a door slamming downstairs. Where could I hide? I hurried to scramble underneath the piano, hoping the roses wouldn’t make me sneeze. Clutching my necklace close to my chest, I prayed that whoever had entered the house wouldn’t find me. Please God, keep me safe. Please don’t let them find me here. Wooden floor boards in the hallway creaked as someone stepped on them. “I know you’re in there” a man’s voice called. “Come out now; you can’t hide from me.” Suddenly I heard a frightened child’s voice “Sih, I...I...I di’nt mean to. It was raining, sih, and I just was gonna come inside for a bit till the rain passed.” No one knew I was here! The man wasn’t speaking to me! Thank you God, thank you! “Never mind, that’s trespassing. You’re coming with me and we’re going to deal with this, you little law breaker.”


  6. And my prompts:
    Words: Yarn, salt, ribbon.
    Phrase: This isn't my fault, you don't understand.


  7. I'm using the sentence prompt and it's 299 words long! :)

    I sat on my bed thinking about what my sister said. She'd been getting ready to go. I asked her if she had to leave so soon. She said she had to leave before they- but then she had stopped and went downstairs. I asked, "Before who does what?" But she didn't say anything and just left.

    Then something caught my eye. The corner of a book was sticking out from under my sister's pillow. I walked over to her bed and took the book out from under her pillow. It was her diary. I opened it up to the last page she'd written. The entry was dated for today. I started to read.

    "Dear diary,

    "My life will never be the same, but that's okay."

    I was interrupted when I heard a car pull up. I ran over to the window and saw a black car parked on the side of the road in place of my sister's red car. Four guys got out. I opened the diary back up to see what it said.

    "My sister might hate me after this."

    I jumped at the sound of a door slamming downstairs. Where could I hide? I stepped out into the hallway and into the other room, pulling down the ladder to the attic. I climbed up, pulled the ladder back up, and hid behind some boxes. I sat there a few minutes, and then I heard someone pull the ladder down. I watched as the four guys climbed up and started looking around the room. Daring to open the diary again, I finished reading the page. "But that doesn't matter."

    I gasped, forgetting that they were even in the attic. One of them walked over and moved a box. What was I going to do now?

    Objects prompt: Palace, tree, horse
    Sentence prompt: "You have to do this, no matter what."
    Picture prompt:

  8. I'm going to get over my shyness and finally submit an entry. I used the phrase and the word prompts, and my entry is exactly 300 words.

    I jumped at the sound of a door slamming downstairs. Where could I hide? I looked around. Why, out of all the rooms in the house, had I chosen the music room? The sleek white walls and the large expanse of the floor made me feel even more exposed, and the only furniture currently was the large grand piano and a bookshelf.

    Suddenly, I heard the door behind me opening and I spun around. I breathed in relief when I saw who it was. My sister Rosette walked in, her feet softly moving beneath the folds of her white lace dress.

    “Why hello Melissa,” she said, fingering her blond hair and adjusting her necklace. I wrinkled my nose at the delicate rose perfume.“What are you doing here?”

    “Rosette,” I clung to her arm desperately as she moved toward the piano bench and sat down. “I'm being searched for.”

    Her round blue eyes locked into my brown Asian ones. “Why?” she asked.

    I fingered my detective's badge in my pocket. “It has something to do with a case I'm working on.” I answered.

    “Well, I didn't see anyone around the premises.” she said. “Would you excuse me? I have to practice my scales.”

    Rosette began playing, and I frowned as I leaned against the piano and gazed out the window. Something seemed wrong.

    Suddenly, Rosette stopped playing and glanced behind my shoulder at the door. A burning fear welled up inside me as I realized what was wrong. The door downstairs had slammed. Rosette didn't slam doors. I whirled around. Three tall men in black suits and holding handguns stood in the doorway.

    I had been betrayed. They had found me. Then I heard Rosette whispering behind me, a tremor in her voice.

    “I- I'm sorry, Melissa. I had no choice.”

    1. That's really good writing, Victoria!
      -Mary S.

  9. Here are some prompt ideas:
    3 words-rain, flowers, gun
    Sentence-I've got to do something, anything or I'll go crazy.

  10. Congrats winners!! I loved ya'll entries!! :D
    My entry for this week:

    Picture Prompt:
    Quote Prompt: "It's not the future that you're afraid of. It's repeating the past that makes you anxious."
    Object Prompt: Scissors, passport, wanted poster

    TW Wright

  11. My Entry:

    Picture Prompt:
    Quote Prompt: "I can't heal you, but God can."
    Object Prompt: Typewriter, airplane, glasses.

    Katie Grace

    1. Oh, and this is the same Katie that has 67 points. This should be the last time I have to switch accounts; sorry for making this so confusing! I started my own blog, so I needed a different account.
      I'm excited to be back and participating again :)

  12. Here is my entry, I did the three objects, 229 words:

    Picture Prompt:
    Object Prompt: bow, tree, paper
    Phrase Prompt: "I just can't come with you, you wouldn't understand."

  13. here's my entry.
    In Christ,
    Thanks for the Honorable Mention:)

  14. Yay, got mine in on time! I'm using the picture prompt, 300 words exactly. :)

    Perhaps it was the way they were walking, or the slight look of uncertainty in their eyes as they looked over their shoulders. Whatever it was, it caused the cheerful "hello!" to die in my mouth and my half-raised hand to float gently back down to my side. I squinted my eyes against the noonday sun. What were those girls up to? As far as I could tell, they hadn't spotted me in the midst of the crowded market. Curiousity tugged at me insatiably, and my feet began to trace along behind them almost against my will. For a moment I felt foolish. What would anyone say if they caught me stealthily following the two adorable girls of my lovely host family?

    After a few minutes, I'd nearly convinced myself to give it up. But when I saw the elder girl, Cosette, stop flat against the stone wall and look around with narrowed eyes before practically yanking little Marie around the corner of the alleyway, I was glad I hadn't listened. I slowed my steps to soft footfalls, creeping up to the edge of the alley to listen. I heard jumbled French as they spoke in heated, fast-paced whispers, punctuated occasionally by a small whimper from Marie. My brow furrowed in concern. Were they in trouble?

    "Amelie!" Cosette's voice, still quiet, yet rang with impatience. "Where have you been?"

    I dared to peek around the corner, seeing a young, slight girl in a dark dress, perhaps a little older than Marie, biking quickly toward the girls. She whispered something I couldn't make out.

    "We don't have much time!" Cosette's voice rang with fear underneath her impatience. "Boost me up."

    Amelie rested her bicycle against the wall, helping Cosette climb. Grasping the vines, Cosette looked down. "Pray for me."

  15. Nicely done, S. Brightly!!
    E and M S.

  16. I voted!

    Here are my prompts:

    Sentence: A place I passed every day; who would have guessed it was really a trap?
    Three words: Tear, blessing, ballet shoes

  17. I used all three prompts, and my entry is 281 words long. Here is the link to my blog post.

  18. I voted.. hopefully it wasn't too late



Thanks for stopping by my blog!