Monday, November 3, 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: 29
  • Anna: 53
  • Armina: 52
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 20
  • CeCe: 28
  • Elisabeth: 111
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 38
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 118
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 51
  • Kaity: 12
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 32
  • Kaity: 9
  • Katie Grace: 91
  • Kendra: 59
  • Laura: 9
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 20
  • Mary B: 124
  • Marsh: 20
  • Michael: 26
  • Mickayla: 34
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • SK Lupu: 13
  • Sofia Marie: 16
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 199
  • Victoria: 25
*Points are updated every other 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 flipped the knife over in my hand and took a deep breath. What other options did I have? I brought the knife down and started slicing the onions. If I wanted to keep my job I needed to make the dish. My heart pounded as I cut up the different ingredients. I knew it might happen, and it had. I shouldn't have gotten a job at the Indian restaurant. 

Omar floated into my mind. He and his little girl had been so good to me. Tears started building as I smelt the familiar dish. It had been our favorite. 
Why hadn't I said yes? I loved him and I loved her. What about my stupid degree? 
I swiped at the tears that were ready to fall into the meal. Omar's brown eyes begged me to return to India, to him.
Suddenly I knew. I turned to James. "Finish this dish, will you?"
I ran to my manager. "I'm leaving. Tomorrow, I won't be returning. I'll send a friend over to help until you hire someone else."
I packed up all of my few belongings when I got home. I tossed and turned in bed that night. Did he still love me? What if he had already moved on?
I walked in the restaurant. "One mom... Ashley?" Omar's eyes widened.
"I am so, so sorry. Can I have a second chance?"
"Did God give Nineveh a second chance?" He scooped me into his arms. He then kissed away my tears.
Congratulations, Brooke! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

The plane did a nosedive and began plummeting downwards. The buildings, the stores, the homethat would be destroyed… all my fault.
As it neared the streets of New York, tried to use my power against it; surely the strength of hundreds was enough!
Yet it was not. The massive destruction had but one purpose: to kill me.
The wings smashed into skyscrapers while crashing cars built up on the roads. Smoke… everywhere. Everyone ran for their lives. The pain of so many people only determined to make me weaker, more feeble. A car flipped into the air over my head. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move.

Jennifer woke up, her eyes wet with tears. Yes, she knew it was only a dream, but it would also be her future if she didn’t change. She knew that now.
She flipped the knife over in her hand and took a deep breath. What other options did she have? Grasping it tightly, she slashed off her long, beautiful locks; Tyler used to love her hair.
“Jen,” he’d say. “You are the loveliest girl I’ve ever met.”
Jennifer blinked back tears. Sentiment was entirely unneeded. She washed her cropped hair over the sink, using lavender-scented soap. The drizzling rain outside only darkened her future.
After dying her hair mink brown and adding contacts to change her eye color, she felt ready to enter the world safely again. No one would recognize her now… would they?
The door slammed; Ethan arrived sooner than she expected. He entered the room and stood frozen with shock.
“I thought you said you wouldn’t change.” he murmured.
“Circumstances have changed; we have to change with them now.” Jennifer replied quietly but firmly.

Sentiment was entirely unneeded.
Congratulations, Elisabeth! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 
I kept my eyes squeezed shut as tightly as I could, partly to keep the tears from spilling over and partly because I couldn’t bear to face the world when I opened them. It wasn’t very effective. A tear still trickled down my cheek and the image before me was etched in my memory, burning in my mind no matter how hard I tried to chase it away. Finally, I forced my eyes open. My horse’s head lay in my lap, his body painfully heaving with every breath. I took in the ink black main, the soft grey muzzle, and the deep chestnut fur, memorizing every feature. If only it wasn’t for the mangled leg, unnaturally twisted so that my best friend could never walk again.

“I don’t want to do this,” I whispered. My voice quivered like a violinist’s hand, pain hanging on every note. The horse turned his head so his familiar dark eyes stared straight into mine. If those eyes could speak, they would have begged. Begged me to do what I must. I flipped the knife over in my hand and took a deep breath. What other options did I have? I squeezed my eyes shut again and gritted my teeth. One.

The day I first got my horse. How we bonded instantly. How for once, I felt like the happiest person in the world.

Riding through the fields, feeling free, the feel of the wind blowing in my face. How it was my way to escape. How my horse was the only one who was always there for me.
Before I could lose my resolve, I brought the knife down straight into his heart.
Congratulations, SK Lupu! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Kaity
  2. Angela
  3. Maddie Jay
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: horse, runaway, parlor (submitted by Katy)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Angela)
  • Write a passage incorporating this piece of dialogue:  "God, please help me to get there on time!" (submitted by Armina)

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. Congratulations to all the winners!

  2. Here is my entry. It is 297 words and I used the picture prompt. Thank you for the honorable recognition every one! Happy writing!

    (I’ll only be gone for a few months.

    You and I both know that that is not true.

    But I will be home.

    I pray you will. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to pray for your safety.

    Would you rather I not go?

    You have to go and you will even, if I said, “Yes. I’d like it better if you stayed.”

    Don’t be angry with me. I have to do my duty. I can’t just sit around.

    And I can?
    I’m sorry. It’s difficult.

    It’s more difficult for the slaves down South.

    You’re right. I’m being selfish.

    You are never selfish. I love you so much.

    I love you too.

    I’ll be home soon.

    I’ll write you every day you’re gone.)

    “Stay still, folks. Don’t move.” The flash blinded the couple only for a moment. “Perfect,” the photographer remarked, “Simply elegant.” He smiled and helped the two out the door. Outside it was raining. A brooding sky enveloped a weak sun while rain drops, fat as piglets, fell from the clouds.
    “Thank you for coming, Annie.” The man said, cupping her hand in his. The woman, Annie, briefly lifted both sides of her mouth in an attempt to smile. She slipped her arms from his grasp and gently pushed him towards the state house, “Go…before it starts to thunder.” Now, he smiled, turned, and slowly walked to join a line of men and boys. Annie too turned and began to leave the square before she blindly dragged Jeremiah away from the state house… away from the call to arms… away from the war. She was almost to the corner of Liberty and Main when she heard a familiar voice whoop, “Anne Cummins I love you! And I will come home!” In response, Annie ran.

    *The parentheses substitutes for the use of italics. It's an inner dialogue between the man and woman.

  3. This is my first entry ever! I wrote my story based on the final prompt, and it is 259 words. Thank you for reading!

    The line went dead, the phone’s beeping stunning me into silence. Liam’s deep voice echoed through my head–
    “You need to come. He’s slipping away fast.” He had paused. “He wants to see you before…” Liam had hung up before the tears could began to trickle down my flushed cheeks.
    I clutched my car’s steering wheel until my hands went numb and white, staring through my clouded eyes at the red rear lights of the traffic. Choking up a sob, I found myself finally excepting reality.

    Dad was dying.

    Dad was dying, and if the traffic didn’t clear up, I wasn’t going to be at his side when he passed on. I bowed my head, struggling to find the words on my heavy tongue. There was only one thing I could think to pray.
    “God, please help me get there in time,” I whispered. “If–if it be your will, please.” I let out a heavy breath, and tears cascaded down my face, the teardrops dripping onto my denim jeans. “Oh, God, please.”
    A car horn woke me from my despair. I glanced up at the road to see that the cars were moving on and I was the one holding up the cars in the lane behind me. I began to cry for joy and pressed my foot on the gas pedal. Praise the Lord.

    Dad died that night.

    It was a peaceful, painless death. My family encircled the hospital bed like protective angels, and I grasped his callused, cold hand in mine, never wanting to let go.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This is amazing, AnnaMarie!


    3. I'm crying. Literally. That is so beautiful.

    4. AnnaMarie, I promise I didn't read your entry before making mine. :) If you scroll down, mine is the one with the brother dying. Great minds think alike, I guess. :) And, hey, we both have a 'Marie' in our name. Anyway, welcome and I hope you enjoy doing this as much as the rest of us do. Blessings!

    5. Thanks ya'll for reading! @Sofia Marie: Thank you for the warm welcome, and I hope to become a regular participant.

    6. "Began" should be "begin" in the 1st paragraph.

  4. I used the picture prompt and my entry was 286 words long.

    I walked down the hall, past the portrait that I had seen a billion times. The portrait of Jennifer and Harlow Jennings, the original founders of the school. I carried my mom’s old trunk down the hall, the old wood thumping against my legs with every step. I tossed my head, trying to flip the wet hair of my face so I could see. The old trunk’s handles were slick with water and sweat. “Lana!” Helen called from the end of the hall behind me. I kept walking like I didn’t hear her. “Lana, wait up!” I stopped, but before I could turn around she slammed into me. The trunk flew out of my hands and skidded across the floor. I spun on her, my black dress fanning out around me. “What did you do that for?” I yelled.
    “Ooh… sorry. Here, I’ll help you clean it up.” She ran past me, pushing her sunglasses farther back on her head. She began gathering the papers and handing them to me. She held one out, then took it back. “What is this?” She stood up and walked to the portrait on the wall. “Wait,” Helen said when I reached for the photo. “Look at this.” She pointed between the photo in her hand and the portrait on the wall. I snatched the picture from her. “Wait, are…” The people in the picture were the same as the ones in the portrait. I flipped it over. “Helen, this says ‘Great Grandma and Grandpa Jennings’.” Her mouth fell open.
    “Wait, you are the great-great grandchild of the Jennings’? The Jennings, who were two of the most famous spies in the Civil War Era?”
    I turned to her. “Apparently.”


  5. Hey Guys! It’s `Kaity` again. This time I am using the three things. Hope you like it! I call it…“Nightmare of the Past…Vision of tomorrow.”

    “Cleaning in the parlor. Men ridding up the drive. Guns. They had guns. Coming into the house… “Go into the kitchen, Mariah, and out the back door. Starlight is waiting for you.” Running. Hurrying to Starlight. Galloping away. Gun shots. “Papa!!!” Tears. Trees racing by. “Must get away! Must run away!” Men running to their horses. Following. “Keep going! Get to safety!” Bang! Bang! More gun shots. Riding. Riding. Rain, sleet, snow. “Mariah…Mariah…Mari…””
    I jerked out of a nightmare. “I’m a runaway.” I thought to myself grimacing at the thought. “Mariah!” Someone really was calling my name. I threw off the bed covers and hurried over to the window. Looking down I could just make out Clide standing right outside my window.
    “Hey, Mariah! Are you coming down? The wagon is all ready. If you want to come with you will have to hurry.”
    I smiled.
    “Coming!” I yelled out the window.
    Jerking on my dark brown skirt and throwing a shawl over my shoulders I raced down the stairs.
    I leaped into the wagon and we began our long ride to town.
    After what seemed like forever, we were in town. The rumble of carriages and farm wagons reached my ears. Nothing out of the ordinary was happening. So why did I feel so anxious to get home? Then I caught sight of a stranger that had his back to me.
    All of the sudden he turned. His eyes…I remembered them full of hatred. Yes. That was why I felt so odd today. I felt the presence of my dead father’s enemy.
    Hoping to cover my blond curls I threw my shawl over my head. But I knew he had seen me and on his belt I noticed a gun.

  6. Here's mine. I used the dialogue prompt, though I changed it ever so slightly by deleting the "to". Hope you don't mind. If I'm not mistaken, it's 199 words. Hope you enjoy!

    "Come as soon as you can," the doctor urges. I sit up in bed and clutch the phone. "Yeah. I'll be there. Give me twenty minutes." "I don't know if I can." I hang up and dash for the bathroom. After a quick splash of water on my face, I put my hair into a high ponytail. It's five in the morning. As I pull on my clothes I consider what the doctor said. Surely this can't be happening. I run down the stairs and into the garage. Diving into the driver's seat of my Prius, I realize I forgot the keys in my room. I rush back, grab them, and dart downstairs again. I slide into the seat and turn the ignition. God, please help me get there on time! The streets are almost empty and I speed as fast as I dare to. Thank You. Thank You, God. Pulling into the parking lot, I picture my brother as I remember him best: leaning forward in his seat at church, eyes sparking, mouth smiling, laughing. I race into the hospital and jog up the stairs to the second floor. I open his door. "Am I too late?"

    1. Wow, I can see the similarities in both of our stories. Very nicely done! I too switched up the dialogue, but forgot to mention it in my original post.

  7. I posted mine on my blog. Here's the link. I know it's not great, but it's good practice for me. I haven't been writing much lately so this is great for me. It's just what I need to improve. :)

  8. Here's mine!

    1. I love it, Christine! So glad you decided to participate! :D

  9. Thank you for the award!!! I'm very honored. :) I didn't have time for a story this week, but I did like your Facebook page, become a fan of you on Goodreads, and followed this blog.


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