Monday, January 25, 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.

This month's giveaway winner is ... Maddie! Congratulations! Be sure to respond to my email and let me know which prize you'd prefer.

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.”
Congratulations, Ariel! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 

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.

Congratulations, FaithClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

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?"
Congratulations, S. Brightly! 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. Olivia
  3. Savannah P.

    Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

    Pin this!

    • 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: ring, old cabin, bunk bed (submitted by Olivia)
    • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by S. Brightly)
    • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  

      "Now do you think it was a good idea?" (submitted by Faith)
    Pin this!

    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.  
    post signature


    1. Hello! I used the item prompt and my entry is exactly 300 words long.


      My display flickers to life. "Hello, Wren." The cursor flashes at the end of the sentence, as though someone will be sending me even more words to read. "You may be wondering what happened to you." I was right. "Don’t worry, we won’t hurt you. Once you get used to your new body, we will leave you alone. Write what you want to say on a piece of paper, then look at it. We can see what you see.” I swing my legs to the floor, as I had done many times with my prosthetics. I fall to the floor. "Yes, you may want to take it slow, darling. It can be difficult to use your legs at first." I pause. My legs… are these just new prosthetics? I look down, seeing a pair of shiny legs laying on the floor, attached to me at the mid-thigh. Scar tissue rings the edge of the metallic limbs where they meet my skin. I scan my room in the old cabin. The bunk bed is still here, and my paper is still in the same spot. I pull myself over. Reaching my left arm up I see more metal - connecting to me at the elbow. My fingers are bare, my beloved ring gone.
      I grab a pen and paper. "What happened to me?" I scrawl.
      "You were caught in an explosion at the ward. We had to give you new legs, a new arm, and we added some new circuitry to your brain."
      I pause. ”So I’m a cyborg now?"
      "No you’re a mechanically modified citizen (MMC)."
      "So a cyborg?"
      The cursor blinks a few more times, as if the person is hesitating on what to say. Then I finally get an answer-three letters that send me into panic.


      Here are my prompt submissions:
      Item: mask, wings, cage
      Sentence: She wanted the prince, whereas I settled for the books.

      1. Okay, I just have to say I really loved this. You did so good, Olivia!

    2. Here's my entry ...

      My footsteps barely make any sound on the polished floors of the castle halls as I run. Where are the servants, the royals? Everything feels deserted. The silence is eerie, and I’m reminded once again that I’m not supposed to be in here.
      I stop at a corner and glance around, trying to recall which way to go. I used to know this palace so well, but being banished for nine years has dimmed my remembrance of it.
      Biting the inside of my cheek, I choose to trust my instincts and dash right. Hurrying up a spiraling staircase, I begin to recognize things. Yes, this is the right way, a little higher and I would be near the princess’ chambers. I just have to get there undetected, or I would be one of the ones with my head in a noose at the execution tomorrow.
      I climb up the last steps and run left, not caring to quiet my footsteps, there doesn’t seem to be anyone to hear me.
      Then I stop, panting, in front of the door to my destination. My fingers hover just above the doorknob. I really shouldn’t be doing this. But if I don’t Asher would be hanged tomorrow. My best friend would die.
      Gritting my teeth, I fling the door open. And freeze.
      Three guards stand in the room. Three guards I recognize well. Three guards that I had been so close to before I was banished.
      The nearest one turns to me. “Calvin.” His voice is without emotion. “Now do you think that was a good idea? Sneaking into the princess’ chambers unaware …” he tsked. “Did you really think that would happen?”
      No. I just had to try. But now it looks like both Asher and I will be meeting our Maker tomorrow.

    3. My prompts:
      2) She said, "Why can't you stay here with me?" He said, "Because I love you."
      3) click, feather, field

      Thank you so much for hosting and for having the giveaway, Tessa! I was so excited when I found out that I won!

    4. Okay, I have 269 words for the sentence and picture prompt:

      Ink filled pen, stroking paper
      From it children dance and caper,
      Stranded on a moonlit beach
      Sea, as far as the eye can reach
      Floating from the ebbing tide
      Or catching in a windy stride
      The writings flow and dance and sway
      Then fly off, far far away.

      “Don’t worry, we’re almost there.” Adelaide had repeated, with more than a little sarcasm in her voice. “Really, Hal? You said that an hour ago! When can I stand up?!”
      “When I say so, that’s when. Now shut up, and crawl.” Hal called over his shoulder.
      Adelaide huffed and contented herself to creating more poetry. She had seen a picture in an antique shop, and couldn’t get it out of her mind. It was beautiful. A woman, sitting on a beach writing something on paper, but what? Letters? Stories? Adelaide prefered to think they were poems. Maybe she was cursed, or something, and lived on that island for all eternity! The thought gave Adelaide goose bumps, or maybe it was the draft from up ahead. This brought her to reality, as well as the sharp pain in her knees and hands, which were protesting to this climb greatly.
      “Well I protest too.” She said aloud. “Come on, Hal! Are we there yet?” There was no response at first, and that was when she noticed, they were out of the tunnel. Adelaide blinked in the moonlight, which was not all that bright, but compared to the tunnel was blinding.
      “Woah.” She whispered. Hal took her hand and pointed to the sky
      “Now do you think it was a good idea?” He said.

      Next order of business, I have:
      Items: lightbulb, zipper, blanket
      Sentence: 'Sun? In July? You've got to be kidding me!'
      (Sorry, I couldn't think of anything else)

    5. I know I'm technically late but oh well.

      Maria sat on the bunk bed crying. A mountain of tissues was on the ground below her and she tossed another one off. It floated pathetically to the ground. She felt pathetic too, like a soggy towel, completely useless. Emilie knocked on the cabin door and stepped in.
      “Camp activities start in ten minutes. Everyone is wondering where you are.” Emilie said, catching the tissue she tossed down and throwing it in the wastebasket. She gave a half smile before climbing the ladder and sitting on the thin foam mattress. “I told them you were sick…” A long pause followed where Emilie hoped Maria would say something. “Do you want to talk about it?”
      Maria shook her head and let her eyes wander into the distance again. She twirled a ring around her pinky finger, for it had lost its all important place on her ring finger. It bore a miniature cross and a couple stones. She could never where it again, not after last night. She could never get back what she gave away last night.
      “Why do my mistakes always have to be the ones you can’t turn back from?” she asked, turning to Emilie. “Why can’t I ever just call someone stupid and have to apologize?”
      “Maria, what happened yesterday?”
      Maria lost her voice, all her words. The two weeks at camp and they were great friends, but she couldn’t share her shame. Not now.
      Emilie sighed and shook her head. “Whatever it is, I know you’re wrong. You can always come back from a mistake. You always get a second chance. I promise you.”
      Maria sniffled. She wanted to believe Emilie was right, she just couldn’t believe it. Not yet. Maybe soon she might accept it. For now she just cried and tossed another tissue down.


    Thanks for stopping by my blog!