Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday's Minute Challenge: Writing prompt contest for teens and 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. 
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 were the most intriguing (based on rule #4) are ... 

 place winner: 

The biting October wind whistled through the broken window of my gray Honda Civic. I shivered and pulled my coat up around my shoulders, glancing nervously in the rearview mirror to insure I wasn’t being followed, and pulled slowly into the parking lot of Starbucks. Turning off the engine, I slid out of the car, careful to lock it behind me before pocketing the key.  Nervously, I strode towards the building, keeping an eye out for the tall, dark haired man I had been warned about. I pulled the door open and slipped into the cozy coffee shop.
It took me only a few seconds to locate the pair I was to meet. The woman, who possessed blonde hair and chocolate brown eyes, looked up and saw me, offering a nod in confirmation. Trying to appear as though I was casually meeting up with some friends, I approached the couple, sliding into the seat across from them.
“Burkett, is it?” responded the man. “We got you a coffee. Hope you like mochas.”
I nodded my thanks, although coffee didn’t seem very important to me at the moment.
The woman leaned forward confidentially. “So, what do you know?”
Speaking as quietly as I could, I filled them in.
“And that’s all I know,” I concluded eventually.
“Thank you, Burkett,” said the woman sweetly. “You’ve been most helpful. We should be going now. Enjoy your coffee.”
Together, she and her companion slid out of the booth, leaving me to finish my drink. I was feeling pretty good about myself, having accomplished my mission, until I drained the white cup of the liquid it held and beheld the message at the bottom.
You’ve been poisoned.
"They can’t do that," I told myself. But they could. Of course they could...and they did.
Congratulations, Christine! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 

Second place winner: 

They had imprisoned me here in King Lithestuous's palace. They had been kind enough to give me a room, but I was continually checking for traps. Under the lace comforter, in the mahogany wardrobe. The bread, too, needed to be checked for poison. That was how they got me here: with poison. Now, that I was sure that they meant no harm, I needed to figure out why I was here. 
That was when I remembered the locked room. The key was still in the lock, but they had told me to never enter it. Without thinking, I slid off the bed, only to trip over my silk dress and almost break my ankle. That was something else they had given me. I hurried on tiptoe to the locked room where I found the key still in its place. 
What horrid thing could they be hiding? I thought.
Slowly I opened the creaky door and slid inside. What I saw almost made me faint; however, it was not from fear, but from the beautiful enchantment of it all. In the room, and surrounding me were swarms of blue morpho butterflies. They twirled and fluttered around me like huge cyclone of soft sapphires. I meandered through the azure field to a large marble pedestal in the center of the room. There on a silk pillow lay a lemon yellow caterpillar. It had black prints in large circles, and bright red horns flanked its sides. As I watched, it started to shake and tremble as if it were dying. I reached out my hand and picked it up, but when I opened my hand, there was no caterpillar. Only a pearl.
Congratulations, ElizabethClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

First place winner: 

Innocent. Innocent is what described the baby. Eyes that had never seen anything. Ears that hadn't heard anything. Fingers that had never touched anything. 
She held the baby in her arms as if it were porcelain. She bent her head and kissed the baby's forehead. 
The baby had been left on a hospital bed; found because of his crying. Evalyn hadn't ever held a baby before. Not before that day. And there was no feeling on earth like holding a newborn baby. 
"His mother can't do that." She told herself. But his mother could. Of course she could. And she had done it. 
Evalyn walked slowly, carefully, to the kitchens. But they were deserted. The only thing that showed that anyone had been there recently was a lukewarm mug. From the smell, she thought that it must be a peach tea and there was a lipstick stain on one side. The tea was so clear that she could see the bottom, and the words written there.
You've been posioned.
The mug slipped from her hand; the handle broke off as it hit the cement floor and the tea spilled out. Now there was another smell that she had not smelled earlier. Laudnum. 
"Someone tried to poison you. And you just ruined the evidence." A familiar voice said from behind her. She turned sharply, his name on her lips and relief flooding her soul.
Congratulations, Mia! 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. Esther
  2. Maddie
  3. Natalie

    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: sawdust, note, stairs (submitted by Christine)
    • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Maddie)
    • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  
      I turned around to get a better look and immediately wished I hadn't. (submitted by Natalie)
    *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:

    post signature


    1. Just so you know, I think I submitted the sentence prompt for this week. :)

      1. Thanks for correcting me! Sorry about that. It's fixed now. =)

    2. Does it have to be exactly 300 at the most, or can I enter something that is about 310 words long?

    3. Item prompts: mirror, envelope, rose petal.
      Picture prompt:
      Sentence prompt: She looked up, and couldn't believe just what she saw!

    4. Item promt: gold, white wine, glass shards

      Image promt:

      Sentence prompt: He was wrong, I was not like them, I would never be like them.

    5. Item prompts: rosemary, lace, stone

      Image prompt:

      Sentence prompt: He was more afraid of what was in his own company than whatever terror might be lurking elsewhere.

    6. Sentence prompt: Perhaps what he said really was true and not a lie as I had suspected. Either way, I wasn't about to stick around and find out.

      Item prompt: peaches, blouse, Japanese maple.

      Picture prompt:


    7. Items: magnet, marble, magnolia

      Sentence. " Because I'm the only one who can get us out."


    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. Sorry, it's 307 words, but I couldn't shorten it any more! :)
      “Are you sure we can?” Haley whispered
      “of course!” Kenna replied
      “but it isn’t…” she shivered, “illegal?” I turned back to her and shook her arm.
      “Haley!” Kenna whispered loudly. “Are you with me or not?” Haley looked frightened. She looked back at the dark attic we had just climbed through, and at the tiny patch of light which seeped in from the window through which we had crawled.
      “I’m coming.” she said resolutely. Kenna smiled,
      “then come on!” They snuck down the ladder. Kenna sneezed, and we froze, listening.
      “Does Mr. Green eat kids like Alf said?” whispered Haley. Kenna froze. She had forgotten about him. He owned this house. Before Kenna could answer she heard Haley gasp.
      “What?! Haley, what is it?” She hissed.
      “Sorry, just a suitcase.” the girl replied. Kenna frowned,
      “But there is nothing up here!” she said with frustration.
      “Except this.” returned Haley. She shone her flashlight on a dust covered suitcase. Kenna slid it across, and opened it.
      “Look!” She whispered. Inside were at least a dozen pictures. Mostly babies, but one of a boy and a girl sitting together.
      “Who are they?” Haley whispered
      “I don’t know.” Beneath and around the pictures were rolls of lace. Haley lifted a picture, and a slip of paper fell out from behind it.
      “ Mr. Lowell Green,
      These are pictures of your family that you requested. Their graves are still not found. We will send word as soon as possible.
      Yours Respectfully,
      Ms. Deloris Scott”
      Haley looked at Kenna thoughtfully. Kenna thought about the rocks they had thrown at Mr. Green’s house. She looked at the boy in the picture. He looked so happy. His eyes were not like that of old Mr. Green. Not so sad. She carefully laid the pictures in their places, and closed the lid.

    10. This is really cool, I decided to do a response to the third prompt. :)

      Something was going on outside, the noise was muffled but from inside my room it sounded like someone had just crashed their car. I rolled my eyes, it had been my dad’s idea to soundproof our house as much as possible. I gave the window behind my desk a brief glance, then I turned around to get a better look and immediately wished I hadn't.
      “Holy crap!” I shouted, throwing down my pencil and running out of my room. I raced out of the house to car where my grandmother was struggling to get out.
      “Granny! Are you okay?” I got to her side by the time I said this, catching her before she fell to the road.
      “Baby-” She said her pet name for me before she fainted. There was blood everywhere, soaked on her clothes, running done from a cut on her forehead, I grabbed my phone from the pocket in my sweats and dialed 911.
      The call didn’t last more than a minute, I was still holding my grandmother. Her face was pale, curlers still her in her hair, she looked like she had gone straight from bed to here.
      “It’s going to be okay Granny.” I said. I looked at the front of her car, and the back of the neighbor's, surprised she wasn’t hurt more than she was.
      And then that’s when I saw what was on the seat next to her.

    11. "Nice to see you too." He smiled, hands in his pockets "So. Laudanum. Not exactly a deadly poison. Though it could be. Wouldn't even take a full-"
      "James! It wasn't for me...I don't know who drank out of it."
      "It was for you." He replied, his smile fading into a frown "and I am so sorry that someone else drank it. But we don't have time for that." He put the suitcase he had been carrying on a nearby table and opened it up.
      Evalyn held the sleeping baby tighter. The only thing that she could think of was page one of the Chicago Daily Tribune.
      "Not right now. I need you to look at these." She walked over, he opened the suitcase and was sorting through the pictures and lace.
      "What happend to that job in the newspaper. Didn't it go through?"
      "I moved on." He looked up, "that baby's yours now, sister. So will you please look at these?"
      "Who are you working for now? Be honest about this, please." He didn't answer for a moment.
      "It's more important to deal with this baby right now. We can deal wih that later."


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