Monday, December 1, 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!)
  • 5 points: If your writing prompt is selected for Monday's Minute Challenge.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • Ana I.: 22
  • Angela: 29
  • Anna S.: 59
  • AnnaMarie: 17
  • Armina: 52
  • Ashley: 7
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 20
  • CeCe: 28
  • Christine: 22
  • Elisabeth: 127
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 49
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 121
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 51
  • Kaity: 15
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 32
  • Kaity: 9
  • Katie Grace: 91
  • Kendra: 59
  • Laura: 9
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 20
  • Mary B: 127
  • Marsh: 20
  • Michael: 26
  • Mickayla: 34
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Samantha: 8
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • SK Lupu: 25
  • Sofia Marie: 16
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 202
  • Victoria: 35
*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 are 2 second place winners today. 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: 

Sometimes I was sure I was confused or delusional. But there was no doubt today. 3 blinks told me the same thing. We had found it.
Isaac next to me seemed almost in shock- as if his brain had suddenly stopped working and there was no one to rescue it, no one to shock him awake. No one to shock him from his slumber that he lived in, trapped inside his head by the true reality of the moment. We had done it.
All those months of searching, all those months that we spent looking for everything and anything worked out. It worked out and provided. We were safe, safe from harm, at least for now. Safe within the thing that we had been searching for, safe within the very thing that had ruined us so many years before.
We were safe. Safe from all that we were running from, running from with fear coursing in our veins. We could pause now, feel the oxygen return to our lungs from the last sprint, the last mad dash to the finish.
And we had made it. We had lost everything but we had made it and that was all that mattered in the second. For we had found our safe house.
The sinking city.
Congratulations, Samantha! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner (#1): 
I swing myself morosely on the swing and gaze out at the lake. A light mist hangs over it, and a couple vultures circle sleepily up in the sky. I smell the homey scent of smoke from a cozy fire in someone’s home. There is no wind to play with the mist today as it usually does. It is probably staying home as if avoiding my bitterness.
Yes, it had been five years ago. So what? That doesn’t mean I have forgiven them yet. I still hate them. Hate them for their carelessness. For their stupidity. The campfire, it had been right there, near the lake, and we had sung songs into the warm night. Until some of them decided to wade into the water. And of course, he wanted to go in with them. As the older and therefore wiser sister I should have realized that it was not safe. But I saw no danger. Actually, I simply didn’t want to take care of him.
I close my eyes as the swing I am on slows to a stop. He had lost his foothold. And hadn’t come back up again. And they had gotten him out.
I shake my head violently, trying to get rid of the memory. It was all their fault. I know it.
Suddenly, I feel someone’s hand on my shoulder. I quickly open my eyes and look up. Our new pastor, he’s standing next to me. He’s a young man, strong and always there for anyone.
I wipe my tears. I have forgotten that he is visiting my family today.
Kneeling next to me, he asks me what is wrong. I look into his eyes, and I see that he cares.

With nothing left to do in my bitterness, I tell him the story.
Congratulations, Victoria! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner (#2): 
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.
Congratulations, Ashley! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 
“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.
Congratulations, Ana I.! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Elisabeth
  2. FlyGirl
  3. Anna S. 
  4. SK Lupu
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.

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: winter hat, old house, skeleton key (submitted by FlyGirl)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by AnnaMarie)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase: Fairytales usually end well. Mine almost did. (submitted by Ana)

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. Here is my entry! It's been a while since I've done Monday Minutes but I decided to give it a go this week. I'm using the picture and sentence prompt. It is 238 words.

    Fairytales usually end well. Mine almost did. Black birds-ravens-circled the winter sky. I heard breathing behind me. The green dragon was getting closer, maybe if I waded a little farther his injured wing would prevent him from following me. I looked up at the grey sky. Was I desperate enough yet? If the fairy tales I had read were any indication Prince Charming usually waited till the last minute to save the day. But I knew that Prince Charming wouldn't be coming for me. This time I would have to find my own way out. I just needed to find my copy of, "The Blue Book of Fairy Tales" so I could travel back to my world. At least. that's what I hoped would happen when I opened the book. Right now I had more desperate things to worry about. The breathing grew louder, I was floundering through the water but had little more time. He seemed to be moving faster, or me slower. Then I remembered. According to ancient myths Tageris was a water dragon. The water was healing him! With a burst of speed he caught me. His claws scratched my skin and I shuddered to see a trickle of blood. Darkness. The world spirled around me. Then I might have died, but I was not there to write the rest of the story, you must write the end for me. You must find my destiny.

    Here are my prompts ideas:
    Word: Glass, snowflake, tear
    Sentence: A scream startled me. Then I realized that I was the one screaming.

  2. Based on the picture prompt:

    I believe she drowned because of them.

    They whispered behind her back and stared at her pale, gaunt figure as she passed them in the school halls. They said she was a raven-freak, a witch, a serious nutcase. To them, she was nothing more than the ravens’ carrion. They despised her.

    She had no parents, and I never knew her true name. The others shouted at her, calling her Morwenna or Raven Girl, but no one ever bothered to truly discover who, or what, she was. Except for me.

    After the school bell rang, I would find her near the swamp, her long, dark locks flowing in the autumn air and her piercing eyes turned to the morose sky. Tears would trickle down her white cheeks and drip onto the black plumage of the raven resting on her hand.

    One day, as usual, I followed her. Storm clouds, thick and heavy with the threat of rain, gathered above us as I made my way through the spindly pine trees leading to the swamp’s edge. Raven Girl stood in her usual place, the ravens circling around her head, their cries piercing the crisp air.

    Tears cascading down her face, she took a step forward.

    Her foot plunged into the icy, black water.

    A few more steps and the water swirled around her torso.

    Her black hair spread out on the water’s surface like exotic seaweed. Then, she was gone.

    The ravens screamed, and I screamed, racing home to the warmth of my parents.

    I told everyone. I said that it was their fault she drowned, but they only laughed and gave me the name Raven-Lover.

    They never understood hate kills.

  3. I did one, but it's a little longer then 300 words. Is that ok?

  4. Fairytales usually end well. Mine almost did. He'd swept me off my feet, acted like the perfect gentleman. With his dashing good looks and sympathetic smile who could blame me?

    I'd gazed into his eyes on more than one occasion. Studying them. Sure there was pain, and a hunted look, buried deep within his sea blue eyes, but that was an echo! Long before he'd met me. Long before my smile had pierced his heart.

    Of course, then I hadn't thought of the fact that he might only want to pursue me because I was a princess. But he loved me! And with all the fervor of my heart, I loved him.

    The dragon had seemed a minor inconvenience when I saw him. My rescuer at last. Never mind that I'd already practically escaped. I didn't mind him taking the credit. Any girl would be honored to be rescued by such a handsome prince—even if he really hadn't been needed.

    I should have noticed the occasional warnings. Like his insistence that I was a damsel in distress. His inability to accept that I wasn't inapt with weapons. And I shouldn't have ignored my maid's quiet caution.

    But now I cried kneeling over the body on the snow covered ground. With the prince's sword in her heart, she had no chance; her blood already stained the alabaster snow. I wished I'd listened to her cautions, but pride and blind love had betrayed me. And it had cost my maid's life.

  5. Okay. So this is my first time doing something like this. Honestly it was a struggle not to write more then 300 words. But I am pretty happy about how this one turned out. Hope you enjoy it. It is 196 words.

    Fairytales aren't suppose to be real, but they are. Fairytales usually end well. Mine almost did.

    My life was perfect, as perfect as ones could be. Everyone in Springtime lived lovely lives. We fairies worked hard to make spring a beautiful season.

    I was engaged to my best friend, Fox. While I worked with flowers he worked with animals.

    We had a fantastic relationship, it was everything one could want and more. Yet something was off. We were distant when we should've been close.

    I could remember all the wonderful times we had together, but those times were all when we were just friends.

    The day came when the bliss and happiness of our relationship faded away. Almost as if one saw all the color fade out of the world.

    We stood before each other, silver tears running down our faces. There was no way we could be together. It just wasn't meant to be. We said our farewells and left the alter. Neither of us looked back.
    Years past and we see each other time and time again. He left me a letter. With three simple words that mended my broken heart. Let's be friends.

    ~Olivia Dianne

  6. I'm back! It's 159 words long, I think.

    There are too many secrets.
    First Emiley's disappearance, then Trinity's letter. Both of them. Gone.

    Too many dreams.
    Dad says that this is what you get living in a houseful of women. "Don't you be running off like your sisters next," he always says. "Foolish, foolish girls."

    I tug my pale pink winter hat over my ears.

    Too much power.
    When was the last time Mom had talked in Dad's presence? And when she does talk to me, she never says anything like she used too. "Wounded male pride," she'd said when I was young and twelve. "Testosterone around estrogen. It's how nature is."

    The skeleton key slips into my hand from where Emiley left it for me, its rough edges threatening to cut my fingers. But I hold onto it--that, and Trinity's words. "If we ever run away, look for us at the old Granger house in Woodston."

    That's where I'm going.
    To figure this whole mess out.

  7. Congrats to all!
    I used the three word prompt. My entry is 296 words long.

    I tugged my black winter hat over my ears. The snow was blinding, and in the dark I could barely make out an old abandoned house that was at the top of the hill. It was there, just like Ms. Keller said it would be. I brushed a stray strand of my hair our of my face and tucked it into my hat. I slipped my hands into the pockets of my black coat and felt my hand hit something cold and metal. I pulled out the rusted skeleton key and held it tightly. If Francis Keller was right, this would let me in. I pulled my coat tighter as I found myself in front of the old door. Ivy wrapped around it, creating a net that held the door closed. I ripped it off and inserted the key into the lock. “What am I doing?” I muttered. This was in my blood. Stopping killers, solving mysteries. But this seemed too real. Too much like what my great-great grandpa went through. Besides, I am from London. America is not my soil. I backed away from the door, looking up at the dark windows. Something flickered in one of them. I stepped back a little more and saw a figure. My heart sped up and adrenaline pumped through my veins. My phone vibrated and I answered it. Jessamine’s voice filled my ears. “Mag, you in?”
    “Not yet.”
    “Uh, oh. Did the key not work?”
    “I don’t know. Someone’s here.” A flashlight shined out the window.
    “You got this, Maggie. Just go for it.” I sighed. “Think of your great-great grandpa.” She hung up and my ancestor’s name rang in my head. I am Magdalena Holmes. Great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes. I can do this.

    Prompt Entries:
    Three Things: ransom note, pink bow,
    Sentence: I blinked, sure I was imagining this. But she was still here. This could not be happening.


    1. Sorry! I missed one.

      Three Items: ransom note, pink bow, teddy bear


    2. Nice! I love Sherlock Holmes. :)


  8. Hello! Im new here, my friend Armina keyed me into this and it sounds wonderful! Im going to give it a try. You can call me, the story weaver.
    My entry: Fairytale Endings
    prompts: three items, phrase.
    Words: 300! Eek!

    Blonde curls slipped through the framework as a loud creak echoed from the door. Its decrepit wood produced a dull thud followed by a small, metallic crash. The skeleton key that had unlocked this mystery fell to the pavement steps outside.
    "Idiot!" Lace scolded herself. She ran her slender fingers through her curls until they were fingering the scratchy wool of her hat. They traced their way down and nervously twirled the braided string "Nowhere to go but in then..."
    She scanned the room with catlike eyes. The whole house seemed as old as the creaking door. Rose patterned wallpaper peeled; gray paint chipped. The girl in worn jeans and a bright winter parka felt extremely out of place, like she had stepped into another century. Everything matched the age of antiquity. Everything falling apart- everything covered in a layer of undisturbed dust. Except one thing...
    Lace walked over to the massive leather bound book. Her fingers brushed over its deep ridges. Though heavily engraved with intricate designs, it bore no title. Tenderly, she turned the cover. Phrases shot out at her from the book. On each page- a quote. Below- the author's name.
    "Whatever happened to happy endings?" -Liam Burston
    She turned the page.
    "There are no more stars to wish upon." -Aliyah Jacobs
    She turned the page.
    "Fear kills everything." -Jordan Wright
    Each was a phrase of despair, hopelessness. She turned the page. Her fingers froze before they trembled.
    "Fairy tales usually end well, mine almost did..." Lace gasped as she read the phrase. She rehearsed it over and over in her brain and closed her eyes before daring to open them and look again. The letters, written in her own perfect handwriting burned their image into her mind. Signed below in ink black as death... -Lace Anders

    -The Story Weaver

    Prompt submissions:
    2. Feather, leather boots, teacup.
    3. "What happens when there are no more stars to wish on?"

  9. My prompt entries:

    Sentence prompt: They say when your life falls apart it is up to you to pick up the pieces, but how does one repair a puzzle if the pieces are broken?

    Object prompt: cat, slipper, party

    Picture prompt:


  10. I'm testing to see if this comment goes through, I tried to post but not sure what happened.
    -the story weaver

  11. I posted my entry in the link up.

    Here are my three prompts.
    Picture prompt:
    Object prompt: star, snowflake, barbed wire
    Sentence: I slammed the door shut for the last time.

    I also voted.

  12. Hey Guys! It is me, `Kaity`, again. This time I used the saying. It is called “A Story-less Princess”. Hope you like it!

    Fairytales usually end well. Mine almost did. It would have been perfect except for now every time I walk by, my older sister, Snow-White, gives me dirty looks. She doesn’t like it when I piece the right fairytale stories together. I always seem to be helping others find their own stories.
    Missy-Muffet keeps telling me that I shouldn’t interfere with other people’s stories. I have to keep reminding her that I was the one who introduced her to Spencer the spider.
    Please excuse the absence of my manners; I am Princess-Maria-Koriana-Carlotta-Lorena-Serena. Wow, what a name. In a way, my name is almost as incredible as my story.
    My father is the king of Eugonia, the land where all of the storybook characters from all the books live, and discover the stories that authors write. My oldest sister, Rapunzel, has an amazing story of how she was taken away by an evil old witch, lived in a tower, a handsome young prince rescued her, and they rode off into the sunset. A cool story, but not true.
    Then there is my mother, Belle. She has a whole story about how she and daddy met. Daddy was never a beast. But that was how the story was written.
    Everyone in Eugonia has a story. Everyone…except me. Even Jack-Be’Nimble has a story. Moreover, his story was an accident, which I caused, while he was in the candle store!
    I decided when I was little, that I would find my story. Just like everyone else did. Finally, I did.
    Once upon a time…
    The horse’s galloping drowned out any other sounds as I leaned forward in the saddle. Suddenly, a rope was hurled at me. Jerked off balance, I fell off my horse. A man’s hand grabbed me; and everything went black.

  13. I also voted

    The Story Weaver


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