Monday, September 8, 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 Friday after next. 
  3. You do not have to be a teen to enter the contest.
  4. The same person cannot win first place two weeks in a row. 
  5. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  6. 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. 
  7. 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 via ILink, 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: 82
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 35
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 107
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 51
  • Kaity: 5
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 24
  • Kaity: 3
  • Katie Grace: 78
  • Kendra: 59
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 14
  • Mary B: 118
  • Marsh: 20
  • Mickayla: 17
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • Sofia Marie: 11
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 178
  • Victoria: 10
*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.

The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system (not to be confused with the point system mentioned above!).

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: 

I took a deep breath, trying to calm my unrelenting, jittery nerves. They’d call my name any second. All I could do was wait.
     My fingers danced in the folds of my dress, rehearsing their memorized performance. It was only two pages, and lasted forty-five seconds at tops. I had practiced my piece perfectly at home, playing it over and over and over again. Deep down, I knew I was confident, but yet my present state showed otherwise. 
      A chorus of clapping snapped my gaze up from my lap. A girl stood up from the piano, bowed, and flounced back to her seat, a huge smile reflecting what she thought of her performance. 
     "Next up is…” 
     There was a pause and a shuffling of papers. I held my breath, my muscles tensing up as I waiting in anticipation. 
      All eyes turned to me. My heart thudded as I stood up, my footsteps slow as I stepped towards the stage. I had been practicing this for months; I couldn’t mess up.
     My pearl shaped necklace bounced upon my chest as I climbed the steps that led up to the stage, the piano sitting in the spotlight where it could easily be seen by all eyes. 
     I sat down, spreading out my dress and resting my hands against the Ivory keys. After releasing a shaky breath, I played my piece.
     I started softly, but then crescendo as I made my way up to the peak of the song. Like the fluttering wings of a Hummingbird, my hands beat across the keys, ending in a loud, echoing, ending chord. 
    It was silent. 
   And then… Applause. I grinned widely, looking towards my mom clapping her hands enthusiastically, holding a single red rose in her hands, calling my name with pride. 
   I did it.  
Congratulations, Katie Grace! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

“This one,” he pointed at the young girl in the photo.
“Are you sure?” I inquired. Making a mistake could be disastrous.
Johnson nodded; he wasn’t like my usual customers, who were scared silly or desperate with rage. All I sensed was indifference, like it didn’t matter whether I got the job done. He could always hire a replacement.
“Chelsea Warren. She likes playing piano and her favorite flowers are roses.”
I glanced at him. He wasn’t joking.
He slid something small from his pocket and fingered it before answering. “19.”
“Any details you could give me would be helpful.” I added, curious as to whether they were well-known to each other.
“She owns a business, selling her paintings online.” He replied smoothly. “It’s one of her many passions, including music, writing, and making jewelry. She’s good at almost everything she does, but only enjoys half of it.”
“Small-town Iowa with her golden retriever, Lily, which she received as a gift when she was 14; she also owns a kitten called Sweetie or Sweetheart that she saved from certain death two weeks ago.”
I shuffled uncomfortably. Sometimes knowing everything about a target makes you wonder about going through with it all.
"Her most prized possession is a turquoise and jade necklace that her mother gave to her before dying in questionable circumstances.” He added shortly.
“Greatest fear or weakness?”
He continued to study the object in his hands. “She’s terrified that she’ll lose her loved ones like she lost her mother, and she’s afraid of myself, though she doesn’t know my name belongs to me.”
As he walked out the door, he tossed me the object he had been playing with as we spoke. What I saw sent chills down my spine. 
Congratulations, Elisabeth! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

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.”
Congratulations, Victoria! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. S. Brightly
  2. FlyGirl
  3. Mickayla
  4. Sarah
Congratulations! Click here for your badge. =)

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

  • Submit your response in the comments below, or post it on your blog via InLink (below -- you will receive 3 extra points!). 
  • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
  • The deadline for the contest will be the Friday after next. 
  • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments or on your blog, 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 the Friday after next.

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: scissors, passport, wanted poster (submitted by TW)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Katie Grace)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  It was a place I passed every day. Who would have guessed it was a trap? (submitted by Kendra)

Post your entry on your blog!:

If you're posting your entry on your blog (+3 points), please add your link below rather than in the comments:

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


  1. Yay! I can't believe I got 2nd place! Congrats to everyone else! :D
    By the way, I LOVE the new blog design, Tessa! :)

  2. Oh wow, I absolutely cannot believe I got first place on my first try. Thanks everyone, and great job to all the other winners!

  3. My prompts:

    Quote Prompt: It feels so good to be lost in the right direction.
    Picture Prompt:
    Object Prompt: email, gun, watch

    Love the new design Tessa!! :D Congrats winners! Ya'll had awesome entries!! :)

    TW Wright

  4. I followed you on the way, I love the new blog design. Thanks for the honorable recognition!

  5. Here are my prompts!!!

    Object Prompt: rope, book, moon
    Picture Prompt:
    Phrase Prompt: I couldn't breath, and not a muscle in my body would even twitch.

  6. I love the way we can link up our blogs! That's so awesome. xD


    Object Prompt: Blanket, sword, doll.
    Picture Prompt:
    Phrase Prompt: I knew I heard something, but then why was everyone around me so relaxed?

    Congrats to the winners!
    - Katie Grace

  7. Congrats to all!
    Love the new web design, Tessa!

    Here is my entry. It is 188 words.

    It was a place I passed every day. Who would have guessed it was a trap? Certainly not me, or anyone in my dorm building, for that matter. So I guess it was understandable when I didn't question following my roommate in there. I slowly twist my hands and wrists, trying to work the ropes free. My roommate, Sarah, whimpers as she sits in the chair next to me, tied by the same ropes as me. We had gone in here because of the screaming. A girl. We knew it. What we didn’t know was that girl had a gun. We knew she was young. What we didn’t know was that she was our age. We didn’t know a lot of things, when we first went in there. But once we got strapped into those chairs, there was a lot that we learned. We learned she and her crew had been stalking us, the two best computer geniuses in the whole college. We learned that she had sources that had access to our families. We learned that if we didn’t do what she said, they would all die.

    Here are my prompts:
    Object Prompt: Swing, lake, campfire
    Picture Prompt:
    Sentence Prompt: I stood with my mouth open. In a flash, she was gone. But she had been there... hadn't she?


  8. Thanks for the compliments on my new design, everyone! (My sister made the banner and helped me with the design. =) )

  9. Picture Prompt:
    Object Prompt: typewriter, leaves, jacket
    Sentence Prompt: How could I live with myself, when all I had ever done was stop others from doing the same?

  10. Picture prompt:

    Object prompts: chair, coffee pot, blanket.

    Sentence prompt: Finally, what I had always wanted was going to happen. But would it be the fulfillment of my dream or the beginning of a nightmare?


  11. Here's mine! 206 words long and I used the phrase prompt.
    It was a place I passed every day. Who would have guessed it was a trap? I saw it coming just before it happened, the evil grin, the knife, and the flash as he hurled it at me. My father, Outlaw Jack Woods, wanted my life.
    I had seen the murder along with my best and only friends. One was John, the only one among us who actually had a home. The other was Hawk, who had been on the run from my father for the past seven years. It was Hawk who saved my life now. I had thought that he had left Côte Gelée (Frozen Hills) for good. “Until the trial,” he had said. “Then I leave.” That trial was two weeks ago, Hawk should have been miles away.
    But now he jumped down from the rafters of the roof just in time to stop the knife from hitting me. He threw his own knife just as my father’s blade sank deep into his chest. Hawk’s switchblade flew straight and true. My father cried out, gasping as he drew his last breath. Hawk’s body sank back against mine. “Hawk,” I cried.
    “I kept my promise Robin. Now go find your end of the rainbow.”

    1. Oh My gosh that is amazing i am like sobbing and i don't do that often!


  12. That is so sad!!!

    1. I liked it so much, but it's so sad I'm not sure whether I wanted to give a sad smile or cry.

  13. Picture Prompt:
    Object Prompt: Bonfire, flowers, cell phone.
    Sentence Prompt: Why, today of all days, did I choose to go horseback riding? It could've been any other day, but it had to happen today, right now.

  14. Hey Guys! It’s `Kaity` here. Here is my story called ‘Caught between the Walls of Time’. I used the picture this time.

    Unna stretched out her hand and gasped. The air around her hand bended and turned a greenish color. The burly man behind her gave an evil smile then leaning close to her ear whispered “See you in the history books.” and shoved her forward into the greenish circle of air. Unna screamed as she fell headlong into the past. Suddenly, Unna hit the ground. Not even daring to move Unna lay their eyes closed and completely still. Am I alive? Slowly Unna moved her pointer finger. Confident that she was still alive, Unna opened her eyes; moved into a sitting position and looked around at her surroundings. Where am I? She thought as her eyes moved toward a white stone bridge. This certainly wasn’t Meadow Ridge. I wonder where… her thought was cut off when she noticed the air had started to bend again and the same greenish glow began to appear. But right as Unna dived for it, the light disappeared leaving a boy her age in its place. In frustration she pounded at the ground. There goes my way home. Unna thought then an even sadder thought came to her. I’m never going to see Vicky or Granddad or anyone else ever again. Unna’s eyes began to water. Slowly, a single tear rolled down her cheek and after that there was no way she could stop the flood of tears that soon racked her whole body.

  15. Hi guys! I'm back after a break and I've really missed this. My story is 255 words long and I used the three objects.

    I took one last look back, but I knew that there was no going back now. I handed the smiling lady behind the desk my passport and as she stamped it my eyes wandered to the wanted poster only a few feet away from this lady. My non smiling face stared back at me and I breathed a sigh of relief as the lady handed me back my passport. I was lucky to have gotten away… this time. I boarded my plane and sat down by a window near the back and pulled out my scissors and knife thankful to have made it past security with them. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to do this. I had committed crimes before, but nothing this big. As the plane took off I reviewed my instructions in my head. “I need you to board this plane tomorrow,” my boss had told me yesterday pointing at a picture of the plane I was to board. “Find a way to crash the plane, and if you escape your wish will be my command.” I knew better then to defy orders from my chief in command, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the right thing. A little girl who couldn’t have been more than four years old began to run up the down the aisles of the plane and I knew that if I went through with it this little innocent girl would die along with hundreds of others, it was time to make my choice.

  16. Here are my prompts!
    Objects: arena, number 27, slingshot
    saying: How I started moving I may never know but somehow I ended up standing up in front of him.


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