Monday, March 30, 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 entries this week were very impressive! It was difficult to select the winners, so congratulations to everyone who entered. =)

Also, I have a question: Do you like the contest aspect of this challenge? Or would you be more interested in entering the challenge if a contest was not held? I would love to hear your thoughts and any ideas you may have!

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 were the most intriguing (based on rule #4) are ... 

Third place winner: 

I was so eager for adventure. So ready for a change. I didn't regret what I'd done, I was just scared of what would happen next.
"What have I done to deserve this?" My voice echoed through the valley. Here I was. A fifteen-year-old me, lost in the mountains of North Carolina. I had no food, no phone, and most importantly, no boat.
I glanced at the shattered remains of the canoe strewn over the rocks jutting out of the river. It was beyond repair. I had saved up my money so long for that craft. But now it was gone. I had ran away. Ran away from everything I once knew. But I couldn't go back. There were too many memories.
We were going to make this trip together, my dad and me. It was going to be a survival trip, like the shows you watched on Tv and longed to be a part of. But now it was a mission. The mission- I don't know. But it was a mission nonetheless.
I slung my backpack over my shoulder, filled with everything I owned. A change of clothing, a notepad and pencil, my mother's Bible, and most importantly, my father's rifle. I had to keep moving, I couldn't afford to stop. Or could I? I wasn't going anywhere in particular, just away. But I had to keep moving. If I didn't, the memories would come back. I checked to make sure that my knife and hatchet were still securely hooked to my belt, and kept walking.
Congratulations, Joanna! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 

Second place winner: 

The key dangled before my eyes, swinging gently. They were trying to get some fun out of me. I wouldn’t give it to them, no matter how bad I wanted what they were tempting me with. My freedom. Basically my life. I wouldn’t bring myself lower by begging.
“If you can grab it, it’s yours. It’s right here. You can get it.” The leader wheedled while the rest of the gang cackled and waited for me to make a move. Why did it have to be so tempting? They’re lying to you. Even if you did touch it, they wouldn’t give it to you. They would never give it to you.
    The key came closer. Maybe…
    Don’t do it! They’re trying to break you down, make you look like a fool! If you value the only worthwhile thing you have left, don’t throw away your dignity!
    My head instantaneously jerked forward and bumped my scrap of metal. The roars of laughter that exploded from my captors caused me to duck my head away to hide my fury from their eyes. If they knew, they would only mock me more. After a few moments with no more response from me than they would get from a dead man, they wandered away to settle down for the night. The moon rose in the sky, but it wasn’t so bright as to stop the stars from shining. Jade green light could be seen as if through a window into another universe.
    A tear slid down my cheek.
"What have I done to deserve this?" 
You were born.
That lie caused him more pain than it ever would have before. 
Congratulations, ElisabethClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

First place winner: 

The moonlight slips in and all is still. Even the squirrels pause to turn, the leaves crunching and catching their attention. I shush them. Now is not the time to listen! Now is not the time to respond! Life is worth so much more than is given, so much more than is received.
Even as I draw closer, I know that tonight is the night. Tonight is the night that it shall come true, that the purposes shall be revealed. It draws me in, the enchanting light of sunlight hiding intentions, hiding darkness. Everything must wait for me, everything must honour my decision.
Even the birds know to steal away from the light, know to steal away from all that is happening. They know more than we think, the ancient secrets long gone resonating in their every bone. Stopping, listening. Fear is there, the deep scent a treat to my nostrils. Yes, you are right to be afraid. Right to understand the true meaning of what this is.
I move on, every muscle slinking with ease. Now is the time to be silent, now is the time to understand. Not tomorrow, not later. Now.
The well’s light in growing, a testament to the rising power within. Enough power. Enough power for us to rise. The light seems to be beckoning but warning. The messenger with intent. I hope that you know the power you hold.

Even as I lean in and call to the pack I know what power I hold. Exactly what power.
Congratulations, Samantha! 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. Maddie
  2. Anna
  3. Lace

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: dress, scissors, light bulb (submitted by Lace)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Sofia)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  
    I slammed the door of my car. What was I doing here? (submitted by His Princess)
*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
post signature


  1. Congrats to all!

    Here is my entry, it is 251 words long, and I used the sentence prompt. Although I changed the verbs to present tense. I hope that was okay.

    I slam the door of my car. What am I doing here? Why am I standing on his front steps, about to ask for forgiveness? My black hair brushes my jaw as I adjust my purse strap on my shoulder. I shouldn't do this. I should turn around, never come back. I don't deserve his forgiveness. My fist pauses inches from the wood door, poised to knock. But the door moves away and I stand there awkwardly, my fist as though it were going to knock and my brown almond shaped eyes staring at the person who opened the door. "Kat?" The man asks. His blonde hair is mussed, and he smells like fresh paint. I give him a small smile, moving my hand it my purse strap. "Hi, Landon." I say, quietly. He studies my face.
    "Why are you here?"
    "I just... I just wanted to say hi." I answer meekly.
    "Oh. Well, hi. How are you?"
    "I'm okay, I mean..." I look back at my car. The car that I've been living in for three weeks. A tear slips down my cheek.
    "Kat, are you crying?" I hear Landon say. Slowly, I turn my head, forcing myself to look at him. I sniff and wipe the tear away, plastering a smile on my face. But it doesn't stay for long. I start sobbing and without thinking, I throw myself into his arms. His arms wrap around me. "Landon, I messed up. Please. You're all I have left. Help me."


    1. Great job, FlyGirl! The ending made me sad for some reason. :(

  2. Hi Tessa! This is not related to this post, but I didn't know anywhere else to put this. I have tagged you for the Book Lover's Questionnairre over at my blog: It is not the top post, so you will have to scroll down a little bit. Thanks! I am excited to hear your feedback!

  3. Everyone did a really great job with their entries last week! I'm impressed.

    Here is my entry, using all three prompts.

    Beautiful yet foreboding. Rose-tinged clouds hung tensely above her head, moving restlessly and uneasily into each other, forewarning of the coming storm- as it always was, beauty bringing warning of destruction.

    She slammed the door of her car. What was she doing here? Her chest compressed as she leaned against the rusting frame. Too many memories. Horrors she tried to forget. Yet no matter how far or how fast she ran, she was always brought back here. As if she were meant to end here. Blinking, she narrowed her eyes against the wind and moved forward, her feet crunching against the rocky, overgrown ground. Yes, it was all still here; scattered bits of what used to be lives and loves and happiness everywhere, lying on the ground in a cruel, mocking display.

    Her feet moved forward, her eyes unwillingly observing each ravaged item. There was a dress lying on the ground, shredded and torn. Elements had faded the once cheery pattern, and it was impossible to tell if it had belonged to a child or woman. On her right was a moldy, decomposing book. On the front she could just make out the shape of a horse and rider. Probably it had belonged to Mrs. Kohl; she'd always had an affinity for Westerns. And there was a pair of rusting sewing scissors- probably Myra's. Shattered lightbulbs lay in the remains of a dog dish.

    She stopped short. Right in front of her, beyond the remains of Mr. Krauswitz's pottery. The piano. Her piano. It was mostly still intact, but being slowly swallowed by the overgrowth. She stared. Fighting the memories. She hadn't touched a piano in years. She wouldn't touch it now. To touch it would make it all frighteningly real again... this nightmare that she wished had stayed only in her dreams.

    1. This is beautiful! It really pulls me in, and I want to know all of the back-story. Very intriguing and gorgeously written too!

  4. Story:: Corruption
    Words:: 300
    Prompt: 3 things and sentence

    I slammed the door of my car. What was I doing here? Making a giant mistake? ‘No, giving my sister fair punishment,’ I reminded myself. That was it. She deserved this.

    I stormed into our apartment and headed straight for her work room. I knew no one was home, but at this point I really wouldn’t have cared. Whatever I did now wasn’t guided by any sort of logic or reason.

    The scissors jabbed at my leg through the pocket so I took them out and wielded them like a knife. Once I flipped on the light on it was easy to see their target: Kimmy’s prom dress. It was displayed proudly on a dress form for her to add the finishing touches of alterations. She always did that part herself with a piece she loved. $400 and 8 hours of work. Was I really doing this?

    It didn’t matter how many hours she had spent perfecting it, what mattered was how many hours I spent telling her that I liked Mark; I did. And sisters didn’t do that. They didn’t act all flirty and practiacally beg to be asked by your crush… then go together.

    With each thought I slashed the scissors into the delicate fabric. Took a sleeve off, cut through the bodice, tore at the skirt.

    The lightbulb overhead fizzed, mirroring my darkness. Footsteps sounded then it went out altogether.

    She came in.

    With the light out it was too dark to see her enter. It was too dark to see the look on her face… but in the silence I could hear. I could hear the sobs. And the lightless room was not so dark that I could not see my wrong. With her invisible sobs, an anvil of guilt fell and sank into my stomach.


    1. Prompt submissions::
      1. Fancy hat, needle, teapot
      3. My eyes were open…so why couldn’t I see anything?

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  6. I am using the picture prompt. It is 298 words.

    She glided softly across the field, making not a sound. When she came to the forest, she ducked inside and peered behind her, assuring herself that she was not being followed. Certain now, she made her way through the trees and underbrush as silently as before. She smiled when she pushed back the curling leaves of ivy and saw it. Home.

    Quickly, she made her way to the northeast corner of her little clearing and knelt to make a fire in the broken little fireplace that someone had wastefully thrown away. It was not for warmth that she did this, but for the sound. Pleased to hear its merry crackle, she took the chair from the table and placed it at the piano that was standing nearby. Pencil and paper went from her pocket to the music rack, and, breathing deeply, she slid into her seat and began to play the melody.

    Soon, a pretty bird came out of the little house which she’d made for it and began to sing along. The fire, the robin, and the piano: all made such lovely music together. The piano playing softly the music, the little bird singing the harmony, and the fire giving off its calm crackle would have been a welcome sound to the ears of any who could have heard it. But it was not to be. They had long since left this strange young woman to herself and to the woods. ‘Twas a pity. Not for her sake, but for theirs.

    As she played the last of the sweet music, the woman smiled to herself. With her pencil, she made the finishing touch to her music notes. Now, at the top of the paper, it read “The Sound of Silence”, as the last word was her name.

  7. My prompts are:
    2) Clouds, letter, train
    3) "My dear, here you are."

  8. Hi. I used all three prompts (I also changed the sentence prompt to present tense).
    It is 297 words.

    I slam the door of my car. What am I doing here?
    Trying to bring him back. I think. Even though I never could.
    I’m standing in front of his family’s barn, working up the nerve to walk inside. Eventually, I slide the door open and squint into the darkness. I slowly walk to the center of the barn, where I know I will find the lone light bulb. I pull the cord and it flickers to life.
    The barn has been abandoned, his family no longer using it. It was our hiding place. We would come here when we wanted to get away, which was often.
    I walk towards the back of the barn, blinking tears from my eyes. Why did he have to die?
    When I reach the back wall, I find what I came here for. The old piano covered with a dirty sheet.
    I laughed when he showed it to me. But he said that he wanted me to play for him and he knew I wouldn’t do it when we were in his house. So he dragged the piano into the barn one night and surprised me the next day.
    I was wearing a dress that day and he took my picture while I played.
    I haven’t played since his death, I didn’t even play at his funeral like he asked. It was too painful. But I’m going to play for him now.
    I cut the sheet from the piano with scissors I found on the ground. I brush the grime off the uneven keys and sit down to play.
    I start crying as my fingers move across the piano. I pour all my sadness and anger into the music. I’m playing for him.
    Knowing that I will probably never play again.


  9. My prompts:

    The picture:

    The objects: Veil, candle, silver ring

    The phrase: I staggered under the heavy load placed suddenly on my shoulders.

    And to answer your question, Tessa, I do like the contest aspect of it. To me, it adds an element of fun that wouldn't be there otherwise. :)

  10. I'd prefer to keep the contest, too. I like the challenge, and the fun that goes with it:)

  11. Hi, I’m Ro Hawking. Here is my story, “Cinder Ella.” I used the three things and it is exactly 300 words long.

    Ella snipped the cloth with her scissors. She sighed.
    Just one more. One more and you can go to sleep.
    She glanced at the wooden, barred, door. She couldn’t remember a time that she had been anywhere but this tiny tower room.
    “I wish I could be free.”
    At that moment the light around her became a dazzling light. As bright as a brand new lightbulb.
    Out of the glittering sensation, stepped a young looking woman with hair the color of the clouds and a smile like a rainbow. Ella startled back in awe and wonder and fear.
    “I am the Blue Fairy. Your wish is my command.”
    Ella stood open mouthed. She glanced at the door then back to the Blue Fairy. “I wish to be free.”
    In a sensation of sparkling light, Ella stepped into a beautiful garden. The trees bended in toward her.
    The Blue Fairy smiled at her. “What else?”
    Ella looked at her torn and patched many times over, dress. “I wish to have a new dress.”
    Sparkles began to swirl around her. Ella felt a tingling feeling go through her and….there she was. Standing in the middle of the enchanted garden in a gorgeous gleaming blue ball gown.
    “Now,” the Blue Fairy declared, “With such a dress as that you need to go to a ball.”
    Ella seemed ready to burst with joy.
    “But how am I to get there? I have no carriage or means to ride?” she asked.
    The Blue Fairy clapped her hands. A man riding on a carpet offered his hand to Ella. She took a deep breath, took his hand, and they were off.
    Thrill pounded in Ella’s veins as she flew higher and higher into the clouds.
    The only thing that could stop her now was the ball.

  12. I put my entry on my blog, these are my prompt submissions :)

    2. A boat, a phone, and a dolphin
    3. In unison, everyone lifted their glasses and drank... except me.

  13. Here are my prompts.
    Saying: The past is the past. But what if someone changed it?
    Objects: glove, school books, hover board

    Ro Hawking


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