Monday, February 16, 2015

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. (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 Thursday after next. 
  3. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  4. 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. 
  5. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)

Since the point system has caused a bit of confusion recently, I have decided to take a different approach.

From now on, I will host a monthly giveaway, and one winner will be announced every four weeks. 

But don't worry! You can still receive a prize from the points that you have earned up to this point. Click here for more info

Keep in mind that you are in charge of your points from now on. If you win a contest, the only way that you will receive your points is by clicking the entry below. 

Also, if you have already liked my Facebook page, followed me on Twitter, etc. then make sure to click those entries as well in order to receive your points. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


There will be one randomly-selected winner chosen from the above raffle each month. They will have the choice of receiving one of the following prizes:

  • A critique on of one of their MMC entries
  • A blog critique
  • A 300 - 600 word critique on your novel, short story, blog post, etc
  • The opportunity to judge one of the contests
  • A free ebook of PURPLE MOON
  • A special surprise sent to your mailbox (snail mail, not email)


The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system (not to be confused with the point system mentioned above!).

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: 

It had been two months since I had come to live in my late grandfather’s mansion. Six weeks since I had first seen the girl and the same length of time since I had been able to think of anything else but her.
Every morning when the last slivers of moonlight were fading I would see her, the mystery girl. Her dull brown hair always hung loose and tangled about her shoulders as she walked barefoot down the lane, swinging a lantern in her hand.
When I asked Mrs. Swanson, the housekeeper, about the girl a strange look came over her face as she fumbled to come up with an answer. “Don’t bother yourself with her, Mr. Fields.” She had said. “Tis’ only a village girl.”
And yet she stuck in my mind, unmovable. Thoughts of her seemed to sway my emotions from tears of grief over my grandfather’s death.
So I made up my mind. I would wait for her and find out for myself about this strange girl who walked the lane in the unholy hours of morn.
The next morning found me dressed warmly and leaning against the iron bars of the estate’s fence, waiting for her. I didn’t have long to wait. After a quarter of an hour I saw her. Slowly she approached, a slight smile teasing her lips.
“Hello.” I said.
She smiled. “I know you.”
“You do?” I asked, thinking she must know me by my title.
“Yes, I’ve seen your picture.”
“Picture?” She withdrew a photograph from her dress pocket and handed it to me. A face quite like mine stared back at me from the picture. I was surprised to find the girl in possession of a photograph of my grandfather as a young man.
“Where did you get this?”
Congratulations, His Princess! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 

Second place winner: 

I gripped the cool iron bars of my cage, the mist from the pond gathering near my face.

It was silent.

All that could be heard was my ragged breath caused by the fear that arose in my heart. How could I not be terrified upon being locked in a cage amidst an unknown place, without a living soul in sight, and only the silence to accompany me.

It was not a good situation to be in.

I lifted my squinting eyes above, maybe in hope that I would find something enlightening. And there, in the sky, was a moon. It was in that moment that I knew I was someplace other than my home, for I had never seen a moon shine with such brilliance about the sky. A shimmering light circled around, and small sparkles trailed off its end like tears. I dropped my gaze back to my desolate surroundings. A cold shiver went through me.

"Hello?" My voice cracked in that simple phrase I had uttered so many times in my life. The word echoed over the darkness, repeating itself dozens of times. I licked my dry lips, glancing again at the moon. I tried my best at a smile, and it shone back at me, its light never flickering.

But the silent continued on.

I clutched my hands together and sank to the damp ground beneath me, the bars as a backrest to my shaking frame. I turned my head to the left, a small flower on the ground, just outside the bars of my cell. I blinked, then, warily, reached my hand out and plucked it from the ground.

And then it was silent no more.
Congratulations, Katie GraceClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

First place winner: 

The cold moonlight shone through the bars, casting shadows on the floor. It was the only light I’d have until morning, although it was only late afternoon. The nights are darker every week and soon there might not be any light at all. Not real light, anyway. People believe they can make it on their own, but it’s fake. No one can make real light. I’ve lived a long time; I know what the world is like. No one is worthy enough, good enough to create something like that. We all stumble. We all fall. We all fail.
I squirmed, trying to get comfortable on the concrete floor. Not that I deserved it, but I was willing to try almost anything to make the waiting for the end easier. Tears didn’t help; I’d already tried that. It only made it lonelier. And loneliness led to remembering. And I never wanted to explore those memories again.
The harsh sound of metal broke the silence. I hadn’t heard any noise except the rustling of my own movements in so long, it hurt my ears. If the idea wasn’t so ludicrous, I’d have thought it was a key locking a keyhole.
Or unlocking one.
The door creaked opened, first time it’s been opened in a long, long time. A work-roughened hand was the first thing I saw and a face quickly followed; a young fellow I’ve never seen before, but I knew who it was.
He said not a word, just handed me the key that held half my freedom and whispered, “Sorry.”

I hated being falsely accused but until this moment I hadn't realized that one could be unjustly forgiven as well.
Congratulations, Elisabeth! Click here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 2 extra points:
  1. Lace
  2. Athelas
  3. FlyGirl
 Congratulations! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =)

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 2 extra points!). 
  • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
  • The deadline for the contest will be the Thursday after next. 
  • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments or on your blog, you may email it to me instead.

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: ring, arrow, snow (submitted by Katie Grace)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by FlyGirl)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  
    Was what I desired most really worth what it would cost? (submitted by Elisabeth)
*If your prompt was selected, be sure to claim your points here

Post your entry on your blog!:

If you're posting your entry on your blog (+2 points), please add your link below rather than in the comments. And don't forget to claim your points here!

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 2 points!
  • You may submit in the comments below.

Current Judge Panel:

  • Tessa Emily Hall
  • Kate Petty
  • Caroline George
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  1. Congrats to all! Here is my entry. It is 292 words long and I used the three item prompt.

    I trudge through the snow, fingering the spot where the string of the bow connects with the nock of the arrow. Glancing over my shoulder, I catch a glimpse of Jace moving through the woods, as silent as I. Tessa and Anna are counting on us to find food. The wind is chilling and snow falls heavily from the sky. I can barely make out the trees in front of me. My breath comes as a fog from my mouth. The woods are silent. I pause. 'The woods are too silent.' My instinct kicks in and I start to slowly make my way back to the cabin. Jace appears beside me. "Find anything?" He whispers.
    "No. But something isn't right." I glance from side to side, trying to find what is making me uneasy.
    "You sense it too?" Jace asks, cocking his shotgun. I nod slowly. The silence is broken by a piercing scream. Jace and I stop for a second, then make a mad dash for the cabin. "Tessa! Anna!" I scream. Another scream from the cabin. By the time we get there, it had gone silent for four minutes. The door is open, swinging freely in the wind. We run inside and find it torn apart. "They found us." I whisper. I hold my bow at the ready and go into the room that Tessa, Anna and I shared. It is empty, and there is a small drop of blood on the blanket on Anna's bed. "Darcy! Get in here!" Jace yells. I sprint into the other room, and find him holding something in his hand. It is a small, silver ring. The insignia on it: a tree crossed by a sword. "It's The Union." He says. "The Union got them."

    Here are my prompt entries:

    Items: tire swing, bubbles, notebook
    Sentence: It was at that moment that I realized what the only option is: run.


  2. My prompts are as follows
    1.child,mother friend
    3.your ignorance is measured by your suspicions and prejudices

  3. Tessa, I am not able to submit my link using the InLinkz thing you have the bottom of your post. It says that it has expired. :\

    1. Thanks for letting me know! It should work now. =)


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