Monday, January 11, 2016

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. A new prompt is posted, and winners are announced, every other Monday.

  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.
  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. =)


The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system. Keep in mind that the judges are not aware of which entry belongs to which participant until after the judging is complete.

*Since there were only two submissions in the last challenge, there are no winners today. However, those two entries will be included in this week's prompt contest instead. The writers of those entries will still be able to write an additional entry based on this week's prompt.  

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  • Submit your response in the comments below, or post it on your blog via InLink (below).
  • 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: book, pocket knife, blanket (submitted by Shelby)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Maddie)
  • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  

    "You have three seconds to make your final decision." (submitted by Savannah P)

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Post your entry on your blog!:

If you're posting your entry on your blog, please add your link below:

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.
  • You must only submit prompt ideas if you have participated in this week's contest. Otherwise, your prompts will not be considered.  

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  1. Hello! Sorry I haven’t been participating much… life has been busy.

    I used the sentence prompt and my entry is 300 words long.
    "You have three seconds to make your final decision."


    The woman smiles across from me. Sweat drips from my brow, onto the concrete floor below. I lift my head. She laughs. “Harper, dear. I can’t believe you actually think you can beat me.”
    “I may not be able to but I sure as heck will try.” My wrists struggle against the restraints. The duct tape pulls on the little hairs of my arms. Her fist draws back and slams down on my face. I yell out in pain, and I watch as blood drips to the floor. My lip is split open and I lick up the blood, to keep it from dripping down my chin.
    “I really wish I didn’t have to do this.” She sighs and rubs her forehead.
    “Why?” I spit. She looks down at me.
    “I can’t believe it. Ten years, and you don’t recognize me.” Her words are clipped. She genuinely thinks I know her. But I don’t… right? “Honey, I’m insulted.” She’s serious. Who is this woman?
    “Who are you?” I ask slowly.
    “You really don’t know me, do you?” Genuine sadness is evident in her voice. She pulls up a chair and sits down in front of me. “Teplyy letniy veterok , ob"yatiye ot vas ko mne, eto to, chto delayet menya schastlivym , eto chast' nashey sem’i.” She sings softly in Russian, her eyelids fluttering closed. I feel like my heart splits in half.
    “Mama?” My voice cracks. Her eyes open and she gives me a soft smile.
    “So you do remember me.”
    “What happened to you?” My voice cracks.
    “That doesn’t matter, sweetheart.” She gently caresses my face before taking a step back and taking out a gun. “What matters, is that you have three seconds to make your final decision. Make the right one. I don’t want to kill you.”

  2. So is there no longer a point submission for a bigger prize? also was there a rafflecopter winner from last month? Can't wait to enter this week. :)

    1. Hi, Lace! The giveaway winner will be announced in the next MMC post. I am also considering adding something similar to a point system. It'll be announced in the next post as well! =)

  3. So, I wrote something for this, but it ended up being just over 600 words... Oops. xP

    1. No problem, Faith! You can cut the prompt in half and submit the first part this week, and the second part next time.

    2. Well, I'm not sure it would do well cut in half... xP I think I'll submit the first half, but post all of it so you guys can see the full story. xP Would that be okay?

  4. “You have three seconds to make your final decision.”
    “Three seconds?” I twirl my sword and glance lazily up at the sky. “It’s early yet, you know.”
    The man in front of me glares and repeats. “You have three seconds to make your final decision. Give me the sword, or she dies.”
    “Ah …” I wait until three seconds have just passed. “… No.”
    The young lady squeaks, and I gaze at them coolly. Of all the annoyances I had run into while searching for the Dragon, this had to be the worst.
    “But let’s be honest, I don’t need the sword,” I fling it carelessly to the side and let a wild grin slide over my face. “I much prefer my knives.”
    Flinging aside my cloak, I yank my double knives from their sheaths. It doesn’t take long to rescue the girl, her would-be assassin is terribly inept.
    “Not very intelligent, is he?” I growl as he runs away. Coward.
    “N-no, sir,” the girl stammers, “t-thank you, sir.”
    I fling my cloak back on with great flourish, still peeved about the fight. “He was barely able to hold up his own sword! But no matter, it’s over and done. I must continue on my way and find the Dragon. Goodbye.” I began to stride away.
    “Oh, sir, I know someone who tells tales of the Dragon!”
    I pause. I hated depending on others, but … “Bring me to them. And be quick.”
    She nods and hurries off ahead of me. I finger the hilt of my knife. Oh yes, she best be quick, or there would be complications. It’s best to know that I am not a patient person. Or an altogether nice one, as a matter of fact.
    For I am Cerulean Kane, and I am entirely unpredictable.

  5. It's a bit over 300 words... sorry. :/ I used the sentence and picture prompts.

    The man looked at him, his face an impentrable mask. "You have three seconds to make your final decision."
    John laughed, crossing his hands behind his head. "Oh, look at you! Joining the noble cause, eh? Assisting the last of the infamous Wire clan, and negotiating with me to aid your cause? Are you mad?" He leaned forward suddenly, placing his hands on top of the desk and looking intently at the man. "Not only am I not going to help you, I am going to be the one to stop you."
    The man's expression did not change, and his eyes did not leave John's face.
    John raised his eyebrows amusedly. "Are you trying to intimidate me?"
    The man's accents were slow and deliberate. "Has anyone ever told you, Mr. Smith, that the key to a successful refusal is ensuring there are no playing cards at the disposal of the other side?"
    The barest hint of foreboding crept into John's chest. "Meaning?"
    The man lifted the corner of his mouth. "Exhibit A."
    No. Iciness gripped his heart. It couldn't be. They couldn't have known where she was. He'd made sure she was safe. But it was her jacket lying on the desk between them. He'd seen her in it this morning. He could even detect a trace of her scent mingling with the air in the room.
    Rage boiled in his throat. His lips quivered. "Where is she?"
    The man stood from his chair.
    John slammed his hand down. "I said, WHERE IS SHE?"
    The man walked over to the television. Turned it on.
    John's heart stopped.
    There, inside the screen, was Rose. His Rose, her hand slapping desperately against the glass. Trapped. Trapped. But he would get her out. She knew he would.
    But- could he?
    The man cleared his throat. " The question, Mr. Smith, is not simply, will you assist us. It is, will you save her?"

    1. This is so good! I really want to know what happens XD I love the names - simple yet classic :)

  6. Items prompt: cabin, lady, dagger
    Sentence prompt: Oh, that's what you presume, is it? And why would you claim to know my mind?

  7. Ooookay. This ended up way longer than I intended... Only the first half is being submitted, but I'm posting the whole thing so that it doesn't stop in the middle. xP I'm not sure where this idea came from... It's sort of a fantasy thing set in a distopian world... I used all three prompts. :-)
    Anyways. Without further ado, my submission!

    A headache pounded in a steady rhythm behind Emerson's temples. She pressed her forehead onto the pages of the book on her lap, ignoring the flashing lights which shone through the thin window curtain.
    They were here to make another arrest, but as long as she stayed inside where she belonged, it was almost certain that they would not bother her.
    Shouts worked their way through the window. Emerson straightened, her hand automatically moving toward the pocket knife on the floor beside her. The book tumbled onto the floor, and she snatched it, holding it against her chest. Her heart pounded against the hard cover, and she did not move for several seconds.
    After a moment, she relaxed a bit and carefully set the book onto the thin cot beside her, and then stood, brushing dirt off the knees of her jeans.
    An abrupt scream made her start. She stepped over to the window and pushed aside the edge of the curtain, pressing her hand against the cool glass.
    It was dark outside, making the red lights too bright to look at.
    Emerson used her foot to switch off the flashlight at her feet, making the room dark enough to see outside.
    One of the uniformed men was guiding a less-than-compliant young woman toward the car parked beside her house.
    It was difficult to tell the color of his uniform in the odd light, but if Emerson were to guess, he was low-ranking. A common soldier.
    Her gaze slid across the ranks of men, and she slowly let her breath out. They were all soldiers. No high ranking officials or Hunters.
    Emerson let the curtain fall closed, then tucked it around the odd contours of the window.
    The frame and gritty glass were from an old box television which had been hollowed out to make a window.
    It was only by sheer luck that Emerson had been able to find an apartment this good that did not require an ID.
    She turned around, using her foot to nudge the edge of her blanket back over the pocket knife.
    Someone pounded on the door, and she tensed, reaching for the knife.
    The door burst open.
    She froze, then straightened, meeting the man's gaze and sliding the knife under her sleeve.
    He was dressed like a soldier, but she knew it was a Hunter as soon as she saw the pinpoint of red light from the scanner in his hand.
    “Brilliant.” she hissed.
    Hunters were known to travel with the drafters, and she still had not been ready.
    The Hunter stepped into the room, and the lights threw colored shadows over his dark eyes. “Emerson McCree, you are under arrest by order of Commander Maravalle. Will you come in peace?”
    She clenched her hands into fists, her gaze darting behind him. There were no soldiers behind him, but she knew for certain that a Hunter could outrun her.
    “You have three seconds to make your final decision, McCree.”
    Emerson bit the side of her cheek, feeling the cold pocket knife against her skin.
    “I'll come in peace.” she said, tilting her head a bit. “On one condition.”
    He waited silently.
    “No handcuffs.”
    There was a moment of silence, and then the Hunter nodded. “So be it, fairy.”
    Emerson allowed a grim smile. The Hunter did not need to know that she was one of the few fairies not burned by metal.
    He did not need to know that she had a knife in her sleeve and was prepared to use it.
    She stepped toward him, tilting her head downward and hunching her shoulders to portray submission.
    The Hunter only needed to know that she was a helpless fairy child who had been caught. Never mind the fact that she had trained to use human tactics should a Hunter nullify her Gifts.
    Never mind that.

    1. Good job, Faith! My stories tend to go way over too, and it takes FOREVER to narrow them down :D.

    2. Thanks! xD
      *nods* When I try to write a short snippet, it ends up longer than I want it, and when I try to write a novel, I can't make it long enough. xP

  8. And my suggested prompts:
    Item prompt: Glove, moonlight, young child. (Not entirely sure those all count as objects...)
    Sentence prompt: "Now do you think it was a good idea?"
    Picture prompt:

  9. My prompt suggestions:
    Items: ring, old cabin, bunk bed
    Sentence: I didn't have to turn around to know who was behind me - their voice was enough.

  10. Hey, Tessa! I'm using the object prompt, and Savannah's sentence prompt....

    My heart nearly stopped. I had thought I was alone. But the strange sound of crackling flames I hadn't lit told me I had company. I pulled my rough blanket closer to my chin, and groped for my pocket knife. One I found it, I flicked it open, and peered anxiously around in the darkness for the intruder. A crash and scuffling in the dead foliage told me that whatever it was had fled.
    Or so I thought.
    I grabbed a book from my satchel beside me, and put it in the nearest patch of moonlight. Leaning as close to the words as I could, I tried to figure out what is was that I just heard. Goblins, fairie, elves, giants, phoenixes-wait. I flipped back to the phoenix page, and my heart raced as I tried to read the words in what little light was left.
    “Grab your book and follow me.”
    I nearly passed out. I glanced around furtively for the owner of the voice...and then I looked down. What looked like a little ball of flames peered back at me. It should have been cute, but its bright green eyes stared into mine with an intimidating gaze. Snapping its beak impatiently, it repeated,” Grab your book and follow me.”
    I was speechless. I had never seen a phoenix before; from what I had heard, they were rarely seen anymore, and those who had claimed to have seen one never had proof of their sighting.
    “You have three seconds to make your final decision.”


  11. Here are my prompts:

    Objects: Radio, dagger, rope

    Sentence: "There is no power on earth that could stop me now."


  12. My prompts:

    2) nickel, bike pedal, ice cream
    3) "You've become so used to following your dreams that you might not ever wake up again."

  13. I think this is 104 words, I've been wanting to do a poem for a long time, and finally did it!

    Three seconds, that was all there was,
    To decide a fate?
    Not even the cause,
    The glorious freedom they fought for
    Could prepare them for this…
    This agony.
    He is coming here,
    He will be here soon,
    The endless tapping, he is near.

    Two seconds, not much left,
    To keep, or lose
    One’s life bereft,
    Of everything that love is worth
    What agony
    Or joyous mirth

    Just one, now
    One precious second,
    Can I? Should I? Why? How?
    Ticking, tocking,
    Life is stopping
    Just one more,
    One more, please!

    Tap, tap tap.
    Hear his fingers.
    Hear their pleading.
    No more.
    He has come...

    Items: violing case, snow, wrapping paper
    Sentence: 'Ït makes you wonder where the world would be without it'

  14. Hey Tessa, I'm sorry, my entry is probbaly late! I didn't even realize till aofter I sent it, you don't have to post this comment either, since it's just for you.


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