Monday, November 17, 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
  • AnnaMarie: 10
  • Armina: 52
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 20
  • CeCe: 28
  • Christine: 8
  • Elisabeth: 121
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 41
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 121
  • 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: 19
  • Sofia Marie: 16
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 202
  • 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!).

There will be no Honorable Recognitions today since there were only 7 entries. Thanks to everyone who participated!

(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: 

The wailing winds of the dark forest fueled his inner turmoil. How could he have done this to those who had only ever loved him? Why hadn’t he trusted the man and woman who had taken him in when no one else would? He had taken the word of a woman over theirs. Simply because she was pretty. She had left him, and even then he had not gone back. He was too ashamed. And now…now it was too late. An hour ago the messenger had arrived, breathlessly banging on the door.

Your mother is dying, he said. You must go to her.

The horse seemed to be flying, it so rarely touched the ground. But it was not fast enough for the anxious man who sat upon it.

“Please, God, don’t let it be too late. Forgive me, Mama. I love you.


One small, white hand he held in his own. On the other side of the bed his father held the other. Though his mother’s breath was labored, she appeared peaceful.

“I’m so sorry, Papa, Mama,” he was crying. “I should never have left you. You were right, Alice never loved me. I know because…you do. That’s real love. And I found a woman who truly cares for me too. Oh, Mama!”

“It’s alright, Robbie,” whispered the woman in the bed. “You were forgiven long ago, when we first read the note. You are our son, and no matter what you do, that won’t change.”

He squeezed her hand tighter as the burden of guilt rolled away. “I know.”
Congratulations, Christine! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

I ran from the parlor, throwing a cap on my disheveled mop of hair.
“God, please help me to get there on time!" I murmured, pounding to the barn.
“Come on, girl! Come on!” Polly nickered to my urging. Racing through woods in wintry weather was not what I had in mind when I said fun. Sometimes I just knew Andrew needed a brain replacement.
As we hurried on, a girl garbed in red sprinted into our path. Seeing us coming, she froze; I could never forget her face. Terror would be better than the dull apathy and acceptance in her glowing dark eyes.
“Polly!” I cried in a near scream. “Whoa, Polly!”
My horse veered to the right almost in time to save the girl, but almost wasn’t good enough. She noiselessly sunk to the ground. I jumped off of Polly and dashed to her aid; she hardly seemed stunned. It was as though it never happened except that she wouldn’t raise her gaze.
“Excuse me,” I began, concerned. “Are you all right?”
She seemed startled at my voice, but nodded her head decisively. She blinked and the realization struck me that she wasn’t looking away to be rude. She was afraid to look.
“Are you sure?” I asked again.
She nodded, still staring at the ground. I think she only hurt her ankle.
“Well…” I stood up slowly. “OK.”
Making my way back to Polly, I left the girl in the woods.

She bit her lip to calm herself, her breath coming in short gasps. It was bizarre. It was unbelievable. It was the last thing she had imagined of, but always contemplated on.
Someone… had seen her. The idea that she had always accepted as sure now seemed a little less certain, a little more dubious.
Congratulations, Elisabeth! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 
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.
Congratulations, AnnaMarie! 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.

There were no entries for prompts this week, so these were chosen based on previous posts.
(Please make sure to send in your prompt ideas!) 
  • (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: swing, lake, campfire (submitted by FlyGirl)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by TW)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase: 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? (submitted by His Princess)

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. Hello! I will write an entry soon, but for now I wanted to let you know that I liked your FB page and became a fan on good reads. Also, if you hadn't figured this out already, I joined this site with google friend connect and joined your Purple Moon publicity group (you probably already knew the last two since I did them last week. )
    This is all an awesome idea!.

  2. Here is my entry, but I also posted it on my blog and linked up above.
    “Water,” I croaked, pointing to a shiny mass in the distance. I licked the raw sores at the top of my dry mouth and thought about clear, cool water flowing down my throat and soothing the sores. “Run!” I shouted as I grabbed my brother Jayden’s hand. We bounded across the ground, feet pounding, hair whipping about in the wind, breath heavy and dripping with exhaustion. By the time we finally reached what I had seen we had slowed down to a walk.

    There it was: the ruins of a flooded city. I peered closer and stepped into the water, closely examining the suspiciously familiar buildings. Most of them were torn down, but the ones that weren’t looked shabby and warped. It was then I realized with a chill that this was the city in which we had once lived. But why had we stumbled upon it once again? I shook my head, trying to clear the vision from my mind. I had no energy to contemplate the meaning of this now; it could wait. Instead, I focused on the water. I knelt down and brought my mouth to the cool, glorious water. I sucked up a mouthful, and-the city and the water disappeared! I sputtered, coughing up a mouthful of gritty, hot sand. The wind laughed in my face and stole my breath away as I gasped, “Jayden! “Where did the water go?” I saw him open his mouth to answer, but before he could, he, too, vanished.

    Then, it all rushed back to me. My city had been destroyed. My family was gone. And here I was, trudging through the desert trying to find out if other people actually existed. But so far I had only discovered the piercing wind and this sandy, barren wasteland of illusions.

    I also became a fan of you on Goodreads.

    1. And here are my prompts:
      Picture prompt:
      Object prompt: hourglass, barbed wire, rose
      Phrase prompt: Fairytales usually end well. Mine *almost* did.
      PS. The asterisks mean "almost" should be italicized.

    2. I followed this blog via Google Friend Connect.

    3. This is so amazing Ana!


    4. Thank you so much, FlyGirl!

  3. My entry, based on the photo prompt. It is exactly (and no more than) 299 words. Asterisks (*) indicate italics.

    “Another band of rebels launched an attack on the citizens of Durham today at fourteen hundred hours, seventeen minutes. The casualties were great, few survivors–”
    Jolene reached over and shut off the radio transceiver. She let out a long sigh, pulling her legs to her chest and burying her head in her folded arms to ward off the early morning cold. She tried to shut her aching eyes, but one thought, a thought that had never given her peace, continued to circle through her mind.

    *“All that exists now is darkness and pain. The world is crumbling apart.” Her elder brother had hissed this to her the night they had escaped.*

    Jolene remembered that fateful night well… too well.

    *The surging water, cold as death, filling their third-story apartment. The heart-stopping noise of the militia firing machine guns at citizens. The screams echoing through the air laden with smoke. They were, and always would be, painful memories, burned in her mind and leaving a permanent scar.*

    She raised her head, hastily wiping away a brief tear. From the hilltop, she could see the collapsed skyscrapers silhouetted against the rising sun, some resembling the stumps of broken trees, others barely visible above the black waterline that covered the entire city. Damaged car parts, electric lines and poles, tree limbs, and more remains of the city’s previous life floated through the skyscrapers’ smashed windows and swirled down the flooded streets.

    Streets flooded by fifteen feet of river water.

    Jolene glanced up at the sound of booted feet treading on the crisp grass. Her brother, Damon, collapsed next to her, out of breath from running through the surrounding woods.
    “They’ve finally done it,” he gasped, an expression of horror and disgust flickering across his face. “The rebels…they’ve flooded Cary.”

    1. Prompt ideas!

      3-word prompt: curtain, spring, sunrise
      photo prompt:
      phrase prompt: "Call someone. Now. Tell them it's an emergency. That's all."

    2. I also became a fan of you on Goodreads!

  4. Congrats to all the winners!

    My entry prompts:
    Object: winter hat, old house, skeleton key
    Sentence: I knew it would happen sometime... I just didn't know this is how it would happen.

    Here is my entry. I used the sentence prompt. It is 152 words long.

    I stared at the screen, reading the email again and again. It couldn't be. I had no idea I was good enough to get into this school. It was incredibly prestigious, and costed $35,000 a month. How on earth will I be able to pay for it? It terrified me. The fact that it is in Virginia, that I have to leave Wyoming and my family for 3 years. But the part that terrified me what that it was run by the CIA. I bit my lip, the cursor circling the “accept” button. This decided everything. My career, my identity… whether I’d live or not. I took a deep breath and clicked the “accept” button. That was it. My life as an operative was about to begin. 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?


    1. I misspelled... meant to say "But the part that terrified me the most was that it was run by the CIA"


    2. A school run by the CIA? I would definitely read on! Good job!

  5. Please can I join in?

  6. Anyone can join in!

  7. I just stand there, looking at her. Finley's wispy brown hair blows across her face, twisting in the cold breeze. Solemn green eyes peek between the strands. She sniffs and swipes at the grime on her cheek with the back of her hand. Somehow she's even more beautiful dirt-streaked and beautiful--if that's even possible. Something else shines through her exhaustion-- in her wide, solid stance, in the anger hardening her eyes, in the whitened knuckles of her clenched fists. She's not defeated--no. She's fighting inside, building to the climax, the final battle, the deepest kind of strength bleeding through the outer wounds.
    "All right, Adrian?"
    She's caught me staring. Again. I smirk, beyond caring by now. Hoping that maybe she doesn't mind--maybe hoping for more than that. No, not hoping-- aching.
    "I guess." I shrug, lifting one shoulder and letting it drop again.
    She sighs and shakes her head. "Of course you're not. I'm so stupid."
    "No you're not." I want to say more than that. Do more than that. Want to run my fingers through that flyaway hair. But I won't, because I'm afraid I'll scare her away. If she runs, I'll die, burn inside. Be reduced to a twisted mess of ashes and smoke, just like our city.
    She's all I have left.

  8. That's a really good story, I would definitely want to read more. ;)

  9. Hey Guys! It’s `Kaity` again. Here is my story I used the three things and the picture. It is called “Is this the price?”
    Sara sat on her swing with her feet dangling. She had been sitting there for over ten minutes. The northern lights were dancing in the night sky over the lake. In the distance she could see her grandparent’s campfire burning brightly against the night sky.
    Suddenly, the image of the city she had lived in popped into her mind. Everything was ruins. Whatever the earthquake had left standing the gangs had set on fire. The streets were flooded, cars smashed by rowdy people. Telephone lines were down. Their wires still active with live electricity.
    Tears began to roll down Sara’s cheeks.
    “Ma…Da…” she thought sadly. Taking a deep breath Sara wiped her eyes. “No tears! No tears!” Sara scolded herself but still they came.
    Sara looked miserably toward her grandparent’s house. “Amish…they are Amish.” Sara sniffled, “it is no wonder that they weren’t affected by the flare. They have no electronics.”
    One abnormally large flare had affected Earth, burning up all of the things that needed electricity to run, and changed Sara’s life forever. “I have always wanted to live like Grandma and Grandpa…but is this the price I have to pay to achieve that goal? Did it really have to cost my parents?”


Thanks for stopping by my blog!