Monday, May 25, 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. 

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 ... 

Third place winner: 

I walked slowly into my Grandfather’s workshop. I didn’t know what I expected to find there. Maybe I thought I would find him sitting there in his old rolling stool secretly eating a large bowl of ice cream. Regardless of what I thought I would find, I didn’t find it.
The workshop was deathly quiet; there wasn’t a sound, not even off the mice that lived in the walls. The wooden floor creaked as I walked over to Grandfather’s stool. I lowered myself onto the stool and spun it around. Memories of sneaking into the workshop to spin on Grandfather’s stool flooded my mind. So did the laughter than came with it. I pushed those memories away. I didn’t happiness, not now, not ever.
I spun around on the stool again, listlessly. There was no point in anything I did. When the stool stop it’s slow spin I found myself sitting, facing the work table. The wooden stakes that we were decorating for Grandma’s garden lay on the table, unfinished. My eyes burned with unshed tears, but they didn’t come. They never would.
I stood up and moved towards the small shelf that held two carpentry books, and a bunch of CDs. I pulled down the CDs one by one, looking at all the songs we used to listen too while we work. I found one that I hadn’t seen before. The cover didn’t say what album it was, it was just a white piece of paper with my name on it in bold red letters; Breanne. I opened up the case and looked to see what was inside. There wasn’t anything special inside it, just a CD that had just six words on it. ‘This is everything I didn’t say’.
Congratulations, Mary B! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 

Second place winner: 

This is everything I didn’t say.

The angry words that never stung. The brave words that never stood up for anyone. The kind words that never comforted.

This is everything no one saw.

The invisible tears. The pain that sent my insides screaming…silently. The jeering, leering faces that surrounded me day and night.

This is everything that hurt me. Tore me apart. Ripped out my soul.

Isn’t it odd to exist but be extinct? To live yet die every single, dreadful day? To be an empty shell yet crave something more?

This is everything you should know.

Take this home and listen. Listen and learn, learn to listen, listen to learn. I don’t mind repeating myself. Someone is finally listening.

This is everything that was never a part of my legacy.

Pushed down. Crushed. Broken.

That’s what I was.

Until you came along.

Until you sat down and listened.
Congratulations, AnnaMarieClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

First place winner: 

     Serena smiled and leaned back in her chair. From her seat on the porch she watched the fireflies dance. Owls hooted and stars twinkled brightly overhead. It was hot outside, but there was a cool breeze. It was nice here in the middle of nowhere.
As she leaned over to retrieve the glass of water next to her chair, a movement in the woods caught her eye. Star’s probably out again, Serena thought, rolling her eyes. That dog had escaped more times than she could count. No doubt chasing fireflies, though she usually isn’t this quiet.
She stood, stretched, and reached through the screen door to get her dad’s flashlight. “Aunt Kira, I think Star’s loose again. I’m gonna go get her.” she called, before remembering that she was at a meeting.
She slipped on her sandals and made her way across the lawn.
“Star...” Serena called softly. “Here, girl...”
She stopped at the spot where she had seen the movement. A large manilla envelope was lying on the ground. On the front, her name was written in her best friend’s handwriting. Puzzled, Serena picked it up and opened it. Something shiny slid out and tumbled to the ground, landing in the puddle of light from her flashlight.
“‘This is everything I didn’t say’?” Serena read. Despite the heat, she felt a shiver go through her at the words on the CD.
She bent to pick it up, but just as her fingers closed around the edge, she heard Dylan shout “Serena! Run! Take the disc and-”
He never finished. There was a yell, and Serena clutched the disc, running as if her life depended on it. Maybe it did. The thought ran through her head, propelling her faster.
Finally she stopped, out of breath and completely lost.
Now what?
Congratulations, Sierra! 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. Rebekah B

Thanks so much to everyone who participated! 

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: sunflowers, spoons, tears (submitted by Rebekah B)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Mary B)
  • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  
    “This,” he said, sitting straighter, “was not part of the plan.” (submitted by Maddie)
*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:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pursuing the Impossible: Interview With Young Debut Author, Rachelle Rea

If you follow my blog, you probably know that I am a huge supporter of teens who go after their dreams. I love stories about teens and young people who defeat all odds, ignore those who may try to stop them, and strive to pursue their passions. 

Because of that, I've decided to create a new segment on my blog titled Pursuing the Impossible. In this blog series, I will interview teens and young adults who have chosen to walk their own path and are either on a journey towards achieving their dreams, or have already reached a milestone. 

For the first post, I am thrilled to have Rachelle Rea--blogging friend and debut author--stop by today and share with us how she was able to land a book deal at only 22-years-old. {You can also check out a guest post she wrote on pursuing her dream to become a freelance editor here.}

Pin This!

1. When did you first decide that you wanted to be an author, as well as a freelance editor?

Welllll, I actually did that one backwards. ;) I wanted to be an author first. I wrote novels long before I edited them. I opened my editing business sort of on a whim, but I had already begun to pursue publication for Diamonds. 

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey towards achieving those dreams?

I'd love to. Research was the most important thing to me. When I decided I wanted to be a novelist, I put effort into researching how to do that well. Elements of story. Good writing. The industry. Writing blogs helped immensely. I followed much the same process with freelance editing. I peppered a friend with questions--she had hung out her shingle before I had even thought about entering that line of work. And I went back to blogs, researching how to open a business, edit well, interact with clients. Basically I read everything I could find! :)

3. Why did you choose to pursue writing and editing at a young age?

Great question! I never even really thought about my age as an impediment to my achieving those dreams--instead, I viewed being young as an asset. I figured it would be a long time before I achieved publication because I've heard that it takes years; I decided to use those years to study the craft of writing and editing. 

4. Were there any doubts or obstacles that you faced along the way?

I assumed I'd be a decade down the road, married with children or something, when first I held my book in my hands. God flipped that on me, but you'll hear no complaints here. Just surprise and gratitude. :)

The biggest obstacle came when I entered Diamonds into the Genesis and didn't semi-final. Disappointed, I sat down on the stairs that night and considered quitting.

I didn't. Instead, the next day I queried the publishing house that would later sign me. :)

5. Do you believe that teens/young adults should strive for the impossible? What advice would you give to those who do have big dreams, such as writing?

Absolutely. Dream big! But I would caution with patience. It's incredibly easy to make the impossible in this industry happen on your own now: you can self-publish. And for some that is exactly what you want to do. But if you want to be traditionally published, never be discouraged. It can happen to you, if you are willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen. Maybe it won't happen as young as you would like. I know authors who have waited ten or twenty years to hold their book in their hands. That kind of patience pays off. Don't give up on your dream. :)

~ ~ ~ 

About Rachelle:

Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she's lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. An Oreo addict, she is also a homeschool graduate and retired gymnast. She wrote The Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.

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