Monday, October 6, 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: 53
  • Armina: 49
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 15
  • CeCe: 28
  • Elisabeth: 101
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 38
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 112
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 51
  • Kaity: 9
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 32
  • Kaity: 3
  • Katie Grace: 91
  • Kendra: 59
  • Laura: 6
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 14
  • Mary B: 124
  • Marsh: 20
  • Michael: 13
  • Mickayla: 28
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • Sofia Marie: 11
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 196
  • Victoria: 19
*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: 

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

Second place winner: 

I knew I had heard something, but then why was everyone around me so relaxed?
Chitter chatter still floated around. Laughing went on as usual. No one fidgeted. No one looked the least bit suspicious.
I stood and walked down to the hall.
No one was in the hall.
What was going on?
I trotted down the hall and into the foyer.
Mrs. Kilendy was at her desk.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“What do you mean, Scarlett?” She glanced up at me with the most innocent eyes ever.
“Something is going on, I know it.” My stomach tied itself into knots.
“You can come look out the window if you’d like,” She smiled.
I nodded and looked out her window.
Oh. My. Gosh.
I jerked towards her, “Why this? Why now?”
“You knew Christians were going under ground sooner or later, girl.” All innocence was gone from this woman’s face.
I breathed hard.
She grabbed my wrist and jerked it behind me.
I winced with the pain.
She grabbed a walkie talkie of some sort, “I’ve got one. Get her out of my office as soon as you can.”
The only thing that flew through my mind was why.
Why would God allow something like this? Doesn’t He want the world to know just Who He is?
I jerked away from the woman, “Deep down, you all already know the truth.”
I raced down the hallway and into several different classrooms, declaring my statement, even if none were in the room.
It would be recorded.
It would be listened to.

But I knew all too well how soon my words would be forgotten.
Congratulations, TW! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

Slipping to the ground, I buried my face in hands. Has it always been this way? Have you always looked after me, helped me, loved me? My thoughts tumble around my mind like the fallen leaves swirling in the wind; my scarred hands slowly slide from my face into my wet, tangled hair. I dig my bleeding fingers into it and knot it round my hands.
He did it... for me? Why would anyone care for me enough? Love me enough?
I thought I was alone, but he had always been there. He had never left. And now when I finally realized his presence, he was gone.
Dress soaked, feet cut wide open from running for so long, tears streaming down my face, I probably looked ridiculous. But I didn't care. In fact, I didn't think I would care about anything again.
I pressed my fingers against my temples, trying to keep the memories at bay. Every detail flashed before my eyes: he was standing in the middle of the arena, his hands his only weapon. His strong, capable, work-roughened hands; who would believe there to be such gentleness in such strength?
I was one of the many people shouting for his death. Chanting with the thousands of people, I stopped abruptly when he looked at me. He didn't just look straight at me, he looked straight through me. His eyes weren't full of rage and hate, as I expected. It was something I hadn't felt since Mother died.
Love. He loved me, and every other person who was waiting expectantly for him to die.
“Number 27!” cried the announcer, shooting his miniature slingshot at the over-sized gong.
“No! Wait!” my shrieks were drowned out by the chanting mob.
He died… for me…
Could I ever feel again?
Congratulations, Elisabeth! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Mary
  2. Laura
  3. Mickayla
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: leaf, pen, envelope (submitted by Anonymous -- let me know if this was you!)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by TW)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  It was a lie I forced myself to believe all my life -- until today.  (submitted by Victoria)

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. How do you have time to write? I'm in a house full of boys and have most of the housework and I have very little free time.- by the time I do school, housework, laundry, dishes, I'm falling asleep. How do you do it.

    1. I usually do it on the weekends or I stay up late. I try to get my homework and housework done right when I get home from school, then I do it.

      Hope this helps!


    2. I guess I just make time for writing. but I also have a journal that I like to write in if I find spare time when I am in the car or something.

    3. Hi Anonymous,

      I try to get my writing done in the mornings before I do anything else. When I was a senior in high school, I would wake up a couple hours early so I could get in my writing time before school started. If you still can't seem to find a time to write, I'd suggest writing during the small blocks of time that you do have--such as when you're in the car (on your phone), after finishing your chores, etc. And if you ever watch TV or get on the computer, remember that you can always use that time to write instead. Five minutes a day is still better than nothing. =)

      Hope I helped!


  2. Here's my entry... (I used the sentence prompt)

    It was a lie I forced myself to believe all my life--until today.
    I am not alone in my lie though. It has been religiously believed ever since the beginning of our nation.
    It’s acceptable to own men who are a different color than you are. They aren’t oppressed by protected and looked after. It is just for the superior race to mind the minorities.
    If owning another is just, than is this a just war? I cannot fathom that. Maybe it is because I am a farmer’s son. If you asked me what West Point was, I couldn’t tell you. If you asked me to show you how to pitch a crude tent, I wouldn’t know what goes where. And if you instructed me to shoot at my brother just because he is wearing a different color than I and speaks with a Yankee wheeze, I don’t think I could. At least, I didn’t think I could.
    Lies change people. I am living proof of that because here I am ten feet from my brother, rifle aimed high, trigger pulled back… *click.*
    Lies are painted red. I never knew what color they were -- until today.

    -This entry is from the point of view of a young Southern soldier during the Civil War. I really love history and I hope you will enjoy it too!

    1. A few minor corrections: by in the third sentence should be but and for historical accuracy, the narrator is a plantation owner's son so soon he will inherit a plantation because he is Southern

    2. That is amazing! Great job! I am glad I am not the only one who loves the civil war.

    3. I am a giant history fan (thanks you my dad.) I was inspired to write after reading
      Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara
      Annie, Between the States by L.M. Elliot
      and The Best Little Stories from the Civil War by C. Brian Kelly

  3. Congrats to all! Here is my entry, it is 300 words long. I used the picture prompt.

    I walked sat down at the table, glancing around the cafe. “Nikki, calm down.” Jace said, sipping his coffee and looking at me through the steam.
    “How can I?” I whispered. “We are being targeted, Jace. Our pictures are plastered all over the news.”
    “Because of your stunt.”
    “It was your idea I fake my death.”
 “It was your idea to disappear into the river. When they didn’t find your body, they knew you were alive.” I leaned back and took a sip of my coffee. Jace was right. I had nothing to worry about. We had dyed our hair, we had faked our deaths. We were fine. Then why did I feel like I was being watched? I glanced around again. A guy in the corner booth was watching the TV. His waitress came by and he stopped her. “Can you turn this up? I have been following this story and trying to find the people it is about.” The waitress raised her eyebrow. “I am a reporter.” I looked at the TV. It was Jace and me. The man’s words sank into me, and I finally understood them. Reporter. I nearly choked on the coffee I was sipping. A reporter was way worse than an agent. I nudged Jace’s leg under the table with my foot. “I heard.” He mumbled. I swiveled in my seat, looking at the TV. On the screen was an old picture of us. Back when I had dyed my hair red and Jace’s hair was black. The guy was taking notes on our story. He got up and walked over. I kicked Jace’s leg.
    “Hi. You seem to be interested in the story of the two missing people. Mind if I ask you a few questions?” I swallowed hard. No backing out now.


  4. Here are my prompt ideas:
    Sentence Prompt - Would someone really betray me like that, even though I was innocent?
    Picture Prompt -
    Object Prompt - mirror, water, comb

  5. Hey Guys! It’s me `Kaity`. Here is my story ‘Armed with faith’. I’m building off of my last story. And this one is exactly 300 words long.

    When I saw who my opponent was, I almost burst out laughing. A girl! Even with her ‘god’ she had no chance. Million dollars here I come! As I walked down the isle, my fellow fighters patted me on my back. They acted like I had all ready won. Truthfully, I felt that way too. I knew that with all of my size and strength I would certainly win the fight. Nearing the steps to the arena I watched the girl chose her weapon; a slingshot. I smirked. Either the girl was welcoming death or she was plumb crazy! I grabbed a sword. Then she turned around…

    I picked up a slingshot, took a deep breath and let it out. A feeling of peace swept over me. I closed my eyes. “Dear God.” I prayed “If you wish to bring me home today please do it without much pain. And please take care of Nicky and Ben. Cover their eyes from the things that men do to Christians like us.”

    The moment I saw her face I wanted to run and hide. Behind the girl stood a towering man clothed in pure white. He was welding a sword made of fire. All my thoughts of fame and riches went up in smoke; fear overtook me.

    When I opened my eyes I noticed my opponent had lost all of the color in his cheeks. His hands were shaking so bad that his sword looked like it was ready to clatter to the floor. Seeing that I knew God was protecting me.

    Something was protecting her. “Angels!” A voice seemed to whisper in my ear. A lump rose in my throat. I had always thought that angels were a figment of someone’s imagination, now I am not so sure.

  6. Here are my prompts!
    Saying: Scenes from the past swirled around me. Pain and sorrow started to overwhelm me.
    Objects: marbles, attic, mother

  7. Here's mine. It uses the three words: leaf, pen, envelope. 174 words. Hope you like it. :)

    I stand at the summit, looking down at the crimson and gold valley. This was where we had met. Any minute now he’ll come bounding up behind me telling me to “keep an even pace, won’t you Angie?” And then he’ll grin that smile that let me know I meant something to him. He’ll wrap me in a big hug and I’ll just stay there. Yes. That’s how it should be. I sit on a rock and take out a leaf of paper and a pen. Looking over the world, I pour my heart out to the one who should be here with me. The final words are “I miss you. Come back.” Is there anything more to say, are there words that can portray this better? I stand up and for a minute close my eyes. “God…” I pray. “Help me”. Then I open them, let go of the letter and let the wind carry it. There’s no need for an envelope; there’s no need for a stamp. Because war has its victims.

  8. My prompts:
    Picture Prompt:
    Quote Prompt: "I'm sorry everything changed."
    Object Prompt: hoodie, brother, hair dye

  9. Object prompts: knitting needles, spoon, crank.

    Sentence prompt: I flipped the knife over in my hand and took a deep breath. What other options did I have?

    Picture prompts:


  10. Thanks for the Third Place! This is 293 words and a continuation to the one I did this last week. I used the object prompts.

    I stared in astonishment at the gun she’d thrust toward me. “What am I supposed to do with this?” I asked confused as to whether she was intending me to shoot her or myself.

    “Use it obviously.” She was up from the table now, shrugging on a trench coat. She pulled a slip of paper from the pocket and gave it to me. I unfolded it and read down the list of five or six names and addresses.

    “What is this?” I asked.

    “A list of your customers.”

    “Customers? What am I selling?”

    She chuckled amusedly and shrugged. “A bullet, real-estate six feet under. Call it what you want.” It slowly dawned on me what I held: a hit man’s list. I threw the list at her feet. “I won’t be part of this.”

    Her face no longer held a look of amusement. She tapped a pen in her hand as an angry cap would flick its tail. “Oh no?” Returning to the table she retrieved a manila envelope and withdrew a picture from it. She handed the photograph to me. “Do you know who this is?”

    “My mother."

    “Exactly. Do as you are told and don’t ask questions unless you want her name on your list.” I swallowed hard.

    Outside, the rain came down in sheets, blown by the driving wind. Water ran down the street in front of me into a storm drain half-clogged with leaves. I could feel the cold metal of the gun touch my fingers as I buried my hands in my pockets to protect them from the cold.

    As much as everything in me cried out against what I was about to do, I found myself heading in the direction of the first name on my list.


  11. My prompts:
    Sentence: I was tired of trying to not break down.
    Objects: garage, snail, smile


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