Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday's Minute Challenge: Writing prompt contest for teens & up!

A quick writing prompt challenge (and contest) for teens to get their 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 ... 

She looked into the mirror and faked a smile; practice for her presentation. But through the false display of happiness on her lips, she could not conceal the tears that formed in her eyes. Her glance fell on her papers - the items that held the dreaded words she would have to propose - and she stuffed them back into the manila envelope where they belonged, resisting the desire to put them through the shredder. Just as she had begun to forget and move on, something had come up again. As though losing her own daughter was not enough, she now had to give a presentation about what could be done to help missing children, leaving her emotions out of the picture.

Her hand touched the cold knob of the dresser drawer. There was the usual option. Always, she hated doing it, but for the sake of her job and her husband, it seemed the best thing to do. She would only use the smallest amount, and the effects would wear off by the end of the day. She pulled out the little bottle, and studied the label on it, though she knew from past times that it read:


The woman followed the instructions, breathing deeply. A calm came over her, and when she glanced at the bottle in her hand, she couldn't remember why she had used it. Sighing, she put it away and took out a rose petal scented perfume, putting the finishing touches to her outfit. Not long after, she heard the apartment door burst open, and David was soon in the room. "Emily, they have a lead!" His eyes were wild with joy. "They think they've found Margaret."

The woman blinked in confusion. "I'm sorry..." she said. "Who is Margaret?"
Congratulations, Maddie! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 

My eyes began to water as I stared at the bold label: SPRAY TO FORGET. SHAKE WELL. It had such a sense of finality to it... there was no going back from this moment. Swiping at the beads of perspiration on my forehead, I took another gulp of water; I always yawned and guzzled water whenever I was nervous. And right now, I was absolutely terrified. What if I did something wrong? If the plan went awry, there would be nothing anyone could do. The thought made me cringe.
The bottle uncapped in my fingers and the automatic way I set it upon the cracked table made me shudder. What was I doing? I couldn't let go of my life! I would never get it back! And who was to say Andre would get things right? Right then, I decided not to think about it too much; I would never finish my final task if I didn't. 
"Callie." There he stood in the doorway with his face such a dreadful pallor, I was surprised he was still conscious. "Why?"
"Because I'm the only one who can get us out."
"I'm not going to let you do this."
All of a sudden, my face was wet with tears. "You won't have a choice." His stricken gaze of terror smote my heart. "Andre, I love you."
My fingered pressed the nozzle.

Andre's mouth was dry. There she stood, the same girl who had been speaking to him so softly a moment before. The same tears were on her face, but the blank confusion in her eyes made the pain so, so much worse.

"Are you all right? Do - do I know you?"
He swallowed hard and turned away. "No. No, you don't."
Congratulations, ElisabethClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

Kathleen sat swaying gently in a rocking chair by her snug cabin’s small berth, watching the flames rise and swirl and listening to the logs crackle.  She normally felt peaceful in moments such as these, but worries now weighed heavily upon her mind.  She sighed and ceased rocking, allowing her gaze to travel nervously towards the window.  She reached over and retrieved a leather bound journal and dipping quill in ink, began to write.

I am frightened.  When will John return?  I sense the natives growing restless and I fear they are no longer our friends.

She closed her eyes and let herself drift into slumber.  She dreamt of John and picnics by the sparkling river and gentle kisses against the setting sun.
So safe.
She was jarred awake by a rustling sound near the door.  
John!  Kathleen thought excitedly and rising quickly, rushed to the door.  “John!  I thought you would never return! I-” She felt her stomach sink as she beheld dark faces of men—unfriendly men.  Blood colored paint was etched on their visages and their dark eyes held a murderous glint.
Kathleen trembled but attempted as best she could to appear friendly.  “C-can I help you?”
“No.” The tallest brave answered hostilely.  “We have what we need.” 
Kathleen felt chills run through her as she recognized the face from which the voice emanated. “John?”  
He pointed a finger her direction.  “Take her and burn the house.”  
She stood back slowly, and then darted towards the end of the cabin.  “Help!” She screamed. “Please help!”  But too many miles stood between her and salvation.  She sank to the floor moaning.  “Why?  Oh, John…” 
Hot breath warmed the back of her neck and she heard him whisper gently: “Because I’m the only one who can get us out.”
Congratulations, Natalie! 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. Simi
  2. Mary B
  3. Esther

    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: handkerchief, ink, ice (submitted by Esther)
    • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Shelby)
    • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  
      "Once past this point, things will never be the same again." (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.

    Would you like to participate in several new writing prompt
    challenges throughout the week?

    Now you can!

    First, be sure to you like my Facebook page. Throughout the week, I will post several new writing prompts that YOU have previously sent in for Monday's Minute Challenge. 

    Feel free to participate! You may do so by leaving a comment on the post, and/or by sharing the post to your own Facebook page. 

    (Keep in mind that these entries will not be judged, nor will you receive points if your prompt is chosen.)

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    1. Everyone did an awesome job last week! Tessa, by the way, I think that Natalie also submitted the picture.

      1. So sorry about that! I included the wrong picture link. It's fixed now!

        And I completely agree. Everyone did a really great job last week! =)


    2. Item propmts: key, bobby pin, pearl
      Picture prompt:
      Sentence prompt: 'All those people are alive right now - beacuse of her!

    3. Story:
      Ira took the ink blotted handkerchief from his fingers.
      “Now Sammy, what have you been doing to yourself?” she asked, taking his chubby hand in hers. He poured out his tale of woe, sniffing and hiccuping the whole time. She put on her most motherly air, at least the most she could at the age of six, and gave him a new handkerchief
      “I jus’ couldn’t find daddy! An’ de ink was gettin’ eveywhere, an’ all I had was a hanky, so I used it. But de ink’s still on de couch, and I can’t get it off, and daddy’s gonna be mad!” he finished.
      Ira wiped a tear from his cheek.
      “Don’t cry, Sammy.” she said, sweeping a stained blonde curl away from his forehead.
      “But I’m so scared of daddy! He get’s awful mad!” his big gray eyes clouded over with the thought of his father.
      “Don’t be worrying your little head over that, darling.” She cooed. “ I’ll explain!” The boy’s face brightened visibly.
      “You will?”
      “Course, silly!” she smiled. He laid his head on her lap, with a fond sigh. Ira laid a hand on his head, and stroked it.
      “I love you, Ira.” he murmured presently
      “I love you too, Sammy.” She patted his back, and then stood up.
      “How ‘bout you an’ me’s go on over to my house fer some cookies?” she asked, forgetting to use good grammar.
      “Gee, what a swell idea!” He beamed. She whisked up his hand, and they tore off down the street to the little antique shop on the corner of Graham, and 111th street.

      Items: pen, glass, lamp
      Sentence: The fog lifted for a moment, just long enough to see.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Items prompt: paint, ginger, handle.
      Picture prompt:
      Sentence prompt: "I refuse to make myself a fool in order to please a fool."

    6. Hey, it's Rowen Hawking here! Here is my story.

      Ice curled in dramatic swirls on the window pane. A figure turned his collar up tighter around his neck. He coughed into his handkerchief.
      Hurry up, Alec! Hurry up and finish it!
      Time was of the essence. Once past this point, things will never be the same again. That was something he knew.
      I have to get this to Lucy!
      Hacking into his handkerchief again, he picked up the paper he had been writing on and fanned it to help dry the ink. Black letters coiled together making the address.
      I just hope it gets there in time. He thought. Or Lu is as good as gone.
      Closing the mail box, Lucy sifted through the electric, water and other bills. Black spiraling letters caught her eye.
      Alec! So you finally decided to write to me. It’s only been five months.
      Lucy smiled to herself and tore it open. The message was short but it made her heart stop in mid beat.
      Lu, they are on to you. Get out of there. Now!

    7. Here's my story:

      I hadn’t seen Xavier since the day he disappeared into this forest. I couldn’t understand why he had left. But I was worried. And I was going to find him. Even if it meant searching these haunted woods.
      I tried to walk quietly, but I was no hunter. I felt a sudden, cold shiver run down my spine.
      Someone was watching me.
      Turning a slow circle, I could see nothing but darkness closing in.
      A twig snapped.
      I spun in the other direction, my dress rustling leaves. But it didn’t matter. Whoever was watching already knew I was here.
      And without any warning, it sprang. Quicker than a cat, silent as a shadow. It knocked me to the ground, I would have screamed if its hand hadn’t covered my mouth.
      It was a boy. A dozen thoughts ran through my mind when I saw his face. Hazel eyes bored into me, and his hand felt painfully tight. My heart beat at a frantic pace as my breath came out in agitated puffs.
      I knew who he was.
      And the knowledge hurt.
      As the boy slowly withdrew his hand, I whispered, “Xavier?”
      “Be quiet,” he roughly pulling me to my feet. “Follow me.”
      “Why didn’t you come back?” My pained voice was choked. “You promised me. You said everything would be alright.”
      He just kept walking.
      “Xavier.” I said. “Xavier, unless you tell me what’s going on, I’m not following you anywhere.”
      He whirled to face me, and held my gaze for a moment. “They’re here, Rebecca. They found us. After all these years … I tried to protect you, but … ” He shook his head, striding forward once more. “God help us, they’ve returned.”

      ~ Savannah P.

    8. 1)
      2) subway, Tokyo, faces
      3) They say there's a first for everything. I guess for me, it's my first and last time.

    9. Items Prompt: sword, lily, key.
      Picture Prompt:
      Sentence Prompt: It was made all the more terrifying because she still wanted to do it.

      ~Savannah P.


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