Monday, September 22, 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: 50
  • Armina: 46
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 15
  • CeCe: 28
  • Elisabeth: 91
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 38
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 107
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 51
  • Kaity: 9
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 32
  • Kaity: 3
  • Katie Grace: 91
  • Kendra: 59
  • Laura: 3
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 14
  • Mary B: 118
  • Marsh: 20
  • Michael: 13
  • Mickayla: 25
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • Sofia Marie: 11
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 186
  • Victoria: 13
*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!).

The entries this week were phenomenal! I am very impressed by the amount of talent each of you possess. Unfortunately, that makes it that much harder to judge, which is why today there is a tie for third place. =)

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): 

I look around the airport. He’s not here. Good.
I walk in the opposite direction of everyone else, pushing past men and women of all ages. I clutch the passport.
Keeping my head down, I reach my destination, where my flight waits. I pass my wanted poster. I pass the flight attendant, flashing my ticket in her face.
I did it.
I’m ok.
And I still have them.
I settle into my seat, a sigh of relief escapes.
My bags wait above me.
I can only hope no one took those last tickets next to me.
People shuffled down the row.
But no one shuffled down my little row.
I sat back and relaxed, it was just a moment before we were going to take off.
That’s when a momma of two boys came up, I could see the stress pouring from her eyes.
“Um, could we go by sir?” She asked.
My whole insides were yelling no, but I couldn’t make them go somewhere else. I stood up and they sat down in the two seats.
The baby in her lap, and the at least twelve year old next to me.
“What’s your name, Mr?”
I turned to the boy.
“Jenkins.” I mumbled, pushing my hat down a little further.
“That’s like a book series my momma likes to read.” He grinned.
I tried to smile, my whole insides were screaming against this.
He stopped talking to me and soon the plane was in the air and I knew it was time. But how could I get past it with this momma and her two little boys? 

I pulled out the small scissors from my pocket and hoped for the best—but the worst for everyone on the plane.
Congratulations, TW! Click here for your badge. =)

Third place winner (tie): 
The boy stretched out his hand, tapping exactly the right spot. The green web illuminated the night forest, stretching as far as the eye could see.

“Yes, yes, yes!” I shrieked as I sprinted forward to the nearest bubble-like circle. Finally, I had my way in. “Here I come, Mom,” I whispered under my breath.

The green lines of the web grew closer and closer until they glowed right in front of me. I made the final jump. One moment, trees stretched up above my head and the sounds of the jungle filled my ears. The next: silence, complete and utter silence. And a stark whiteness. Absolutely nothing. This had to be right, though. I knew that was the portal. What else could it have been?

My heart started pounding in my chest. Forget the questions- I was floating in thin air. I had to find something, anything, to place my feet on.

Then, a field of burnt grass flashed before me, the horizon meeting with a charcoal gray sky spotted with dusty clouds. I dropped a couple feet to the ground. Having landed on my knees, I didn’t even have time to clamber to my feet before the world around me flashed away and the gravity-less whiteness returned.

What was going on?

Something green- the same shade of green that the portal was made of- flashed in front of me. I reached out, swatting at it, but it had already disappeared.

I was just about to throw my hands and shout in hopes that something would hear my frustration, when I heard a shrieking sound. I craned my neck towards it, trying to decipher the words.

“Our world is fading. We need Melody.”

Melody. My mom. 
Congratulations, Katheline! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

The man slammed his fist against a desk, emotion surging through his body. In a fit of rage he threw back his chair, pumping his hand at his angled, office ceiling. 
       “You have the wrong man? You hear me? I’m not the one you want!” 
       But no one was there to listen to his begging cries. No one was there to recognize that the man was harmless and innocent. No one understood.  
       How did he get mixed up with the thief? How did he, a humble, quiet man get taken for a dangerous criminal?      
The man picked up a stray pair of scissors from his desk, twirling them around, feeling helpless. The scissors spun off of his fingers and landed with a loud clatter on the floor. 
       Sighing, the man ran his fingers through his dark, unkempt hair. What was there to do? How could he convince them that he wasn’t the one they were looking for? He needed to get away. He needed to…go. 
      His eyes lit up. He hurled open his desk drawers, shuffling through different assorted papers and files. It wasn’t long before he found what he was looking for: A small, blue passport. 
      With his heartbeat elevating, the man strode past his desk with a mission and a plan. He would get out of his house, he would fly to a different country, and he would find a way to convince everyone that he was innocent. 
       He ran out of his office, shutting the door with a bang. Inside, a poster floated gently to the floor, big, bold text inscribing: WANTED.
Congratulations, Katie Grace! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 
The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, and a cold river of fear trickled down my spine. The air smelled wrong, and empty space crackled with tension. Girders which once seemed secure now acted as obstructing objects behind which anything could hide. Dust scattered the floor evenly, too evenly. Something here had changed. I felt death in the air. Someone followed.

A plastic sheet swayed gently in the breeze. My head automatically snapped towards the motion. I realized too late the error I just made. Red lights and alarm bells went off in my head as a blunt object contacted my cranium sharply. Tendrils of a black haze crept across my vision like the legs of a spider. Everything blurred, then I slipped out of consciousness.

Shapes shifted before me, dark shapes, unfocused shapes. I closed my eyes, trying to rid myself of the sensation that left me feeling like a drunken sailor. Gradually the world stopped spinning around me, and I found myself sitting on a chair, hands pinioned behind my back. The shapes I had seen were no more than the metal table in front of me and the gun on it.

Someone entered the room; a tall, spare man.

“Hello Mr. Holt.”

He picked up the gun. Removing the magazine, he showed me the lone bullet inside.

“You would recognize this wouldn’t you? The bullet you tried to assassinate me with. Ah, the ironies of life.”

I watched mechanically as he returned the cartridge to the gun and leveled the weapon. As my life flashed before my eyes, I was brought back to the moment when I was captured. It was a place I passed everyday. Who would have guessed it was a trap?

“Goodbye Mr. Holt.”

Complacency, a terrible mista– 

Congratulations, Michael! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Elisabeth
  2. FlyGirl
  3. Armina
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: arena, number 27, slingshot (submitted by Anonymous -- let me know if this was you!)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Mickayla)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  I knew I had heard something, but then why was everyone around me so relaxed? (submitted by Katie Grace)

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
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  1. Hi y'all! Here's mine:

    I settled into a chair at the college lounge to do my homework. Everyone else around me conversed with friends or sat with a concentrated look on their face staring at textbooks. Beeeeeeoooooobeeeeeooooo! I immediately glanced up from my studying, alarmed by the noise I had heard. It almost sounded like one of those alarms that go off if you open a fire exit door. I knew I had heard something, but then why was everyone around me so relaxed? Was I imagining things? Surely not; by why did no one else seem bothered? Stuffing my books into my backpack, I hurriedly left the lounge to see if I could find out what was going on. There!
    “Professor Karin! Did you by any chance hear a siren?”
    “Sophie, you need to go back to the lounge. Right now.”
    “But I don’t understand. What’s going on?”
    “Now, Sophie, go back right now.”
    Suddenly a man in a suit hurried in. “Professor, our job is done here.”

  2. Oh,and I used the sentence prompt.

    1. Thanks Kaity!
      BTW, I love how your name is spelled. I've never seen it spelled like that, but I really like it.

  3. Good job everyone! My prompt ideas:
    Object Prompt - journal, fence, vase
    Sentence Prompt - Her life was only seconds from fading away, and I couldn't do nothing to help her.
    Picture Prompt -

  4. Sorry Tessa. last week I put in my three things in and forgot to type my name in and then my mom called me up for dinner and...yeah. Sorry the three things are mine.

  5. Hey Guys! Here is my story this week I used the three things. It’s called “A Sling shot.”

    I felt the blood drain from my face. I closed my eyes, trying to block out the sight of the giant arena in front of me. Without even looking I knew it was my seat number they had called. Slowly I looked down praying with my whole heart that I had heard wrong. No. It was 27. I took a deep breath, steadied my voice, then turned to my two younger brothers and looking them straight in the face said “Nicky…if I don’t come back…know I am up there…” pointed upward to heaven and continued “I am going to see mommy and daddy alright. Now Nicky, when you get out of here go find Josh he’ll help you okay?” Nicky looked up at me with those big brown eyes of his and nodded tears starting to roll down his cheeks. Butterflies began to dance in my stomach as I headed down the isle to the arena. Heart pounding like drum, hands shaking like autumn leaves, I passed row after row of fellow Christian brothers and sisters. My eyes drifted to the opposite side of the arena where the man I was supposed to fight was walking down the isle triumphantly as though he had already won the fight. I gulped. This man was even bigger than any sumo wrestler I had ever seen. Suddenly a hand lightly griped mine. I looked up there in the row beside me a young man held my hand and said “I’m praying for you.” Four simple words. Four simple words that gave me courage and I answered without my voice wavering “The Lord’s will be done.” By the time I reached the arena I had made my mind up of what I was going to chose as my weapon. I chose the slingshot.

  6. Hello all! I'm using the objects prompts this week. Congrats to the winners from last week!

    Timothy Kendo walked into the arena slowly; knowing that this fight had ended many men’s lives. No, he didn’t have to fight, but he wanted to. If he didn’t, his family would surely be slaves to Master Breton, and he by all means would do anything he could for the freedom of his family. The spokesman up in his tower pulled out his slingshot, which when he fired it would start the match. Facing his competitor, Caleb Sirte, Timothy wore a look of determination despite his fear. If Caleb won and killed Timothy, the Sirte family would be safe from Master Breton, but if Timothy won than the Kendo family would be safe. 27 men had died trying to attain the best life for their family, and 27 had won, though the victories were always full of sorrow.
    “Ladies, gentlemen, children, and competitors; the battle is about to begin,” the spokesman announced.


  7. Here's my prompts:
    Sentence: I whirled around as something crunched behind me.
    Objects: Feather, flashlight, chalk stick
    -Emily S
    And Mary S. asked me to post these for her:
    Objects: leaf, pen, envelope
    Sentence: The rain pounded on the roof as I huddled in the corner of the attic.

  8. My prompt:

    Object Prompt: Blood, flag, baby
    Picture Prompt:
    Quote Prompt: "Take my hand and run."

    TW Wright

  9. I voted and here are my prompts:
    Three things: Knife, Rose, Chair
    Sentence: "I thought I could do it."

  10. I haven't posted in sooo long; it feels like coming home lol.I wrote my story around the object prompts. It is 300 words. :)

    Night found me walking along the sidewalk toward home. The heavy rain had subsided and now only a drizzle remained. The yellow-orange glow of the street lights glistened off the wet pavement beneath my feet, lending a eerie ambiance to the surrounding area.
    It seemed like a typical Tuesday night walking home from the paintball arena, nothing unusual about it. I just need to pass through one more back alley then turn left and I would be home.
    I stopped.
    Someone was standing at the end of the alleyway. I fingered the slingshot in my overcoat pocket, not that it would be any use at close range. Probably just some kid waiting out of the rain for his friends. I told myself.
    I walked down the alleyway and was about to turn the corner to my flat when the kid stuck out his arm to stop me. “Whats the password?”
    “Look, kid, I don’t have time—“ He hit me over the head and everything went black.
    I woke up sitting on a chair in what looked like a warehouse. Across a table in front of me sat a woman. “Finally, you’re up.”
    I rubbed the sore spot on the back of my head. “What is this all about?”
    “I’ll ask the questions; you answer them.” She said. “What is your name?”
    “Jason Rowe. What’s going on?”
    “What do you know about Prescott?”
    “Prescott who?”
    “Answer the question.”
    “Nothing. I don’t know anyone named that.” The questions went on in the same manner, each one not making sense to my befuddled brain.
    At last, she said, “One more question Mr. Rowe. Would you describe yourself as a risk taker?”
    “No.” I replied.
    She smiled and shoved a gun across the table at me. “Excellent. Welcome to the team, Number 27.”


  11. My story is 292 words long and used object and picture prompts:

    Just a few weeks ago she thought her world was over when her husband left her and their six month old son without so much as a word, but now the world that Tanya Jackson was on was truly about to end.

    The Enemy had attacked a massive asteroid that was in orbit around the colony. The colony had used the asteroid as a defense by placing large def gun batteries there as well as a shield generator. But now the asteroid had been knocked out of orbit by the relentless assault. It was a matter minutes before it would fall to the planet destroying the fragile atmosphere killing millions of innocent people.

    Tanya was trying to get to one of the 32 evacuation ships. She held tight to her son as she made her way with the crowds of people all heading to the ships. As she came to a space port she found that all but one ship at dock 27 had already left and that thousands of people were crowding the entrance. She didn't have a pass but before she could say any thing the soldier said, “Just get on board.” Relieved she said a prayer of thanks.
    She found a seat on board, an old woman in the seat across from her offered to hold the boy for her. As the ship launched in to orbit, she saw thousands of people gathered in a large soccer arena trying to save themselves. The ship had to slingshot itself out of the planet's gravitational field to escape. The old woman looking out the window with the boy in her arms saw the asteroid crash into the planet and the lives of millions of innocents snuffed out in a heart beat.

    Renegade saint


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