Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#WhyIWrite Contest Winners!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the #WhyIWrite contest! I really enjoyed reading through your entries and being reminded of all the reasons why I like to write as well. 

Unfortunately, I could only choose 3 winners. And while I loved them all, these were the entries that stood out to me the most. 

However, if you didn't win (or enter), no worries! I will host a similar contest in February that you can participate in as well. =)

And the winners are . . . 
Third Place:
Olivia! (Click here for her entry.)

Congratulations, Olivia! 

Please send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your prize sent to you. =)

Second Place:
Naomi! (Click here for her entry.)

Congratulations, Naomi! I was intrigued by how you were able to explain the main reason you love to write in such few words, along with a powerful picture.

Please send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your prize sent to you. =)

First Place:
Ashley! (Click here for her entry.)

Congratulations, Ashley! I was very enlightened by your unique perspective to write stories that uplift rather than discourage. And I completely agree: Although writers should write an accurate portrayal of life, that does not mean we should only focus on the negative--because by doing this, as you mentioned, we're acting as if the good things in life aren't noteworthy (and that they don't occur, which is far from the truth). Again, I really enjoyed reading this, so thank you for sharing it with us!

Please send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com so I can have your prize sent to you. =)

♡ ♡ 

For another chance to win PURPLE MOON, be sure to enter the Goodreads giveaway by clicking here. {Hurry, it ends at midnight!}

Thanks to everyone who participated! =)

{PS: Do you live on the Southeast? Mark your calendars for a free teen writing workshop on Sat., Feb. 7th hosted by Author Caroline George and me! Click here for more details.}

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Monday, December 15, 2014

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. Otherwise, your entry will not be accepted. (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 Friday after next. 
  3. You do not have to be a teen to enter the contest.
  4. The same person cannot win first place two weeks in a row. 
  5. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  6. 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. 
  7. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)


More prizes to come!
  • 30 points: You will be able to create your own prompt that will be used in Monday's Minute Challenge!
  • 40 points: You will receive a critique based on your current week's entry.
  • 50 points: You will receive a free blog critique and helpful suggestions.
  • 70 points: You will receive an 700 word critique on your novel, short story, article, etc.
  • 80 points: You can help judge one of the contests!
  • 100 points: You will receive a free ebook of PURPLE MOON. =)
  • 150 points: You will receive a personalized handmade notepad. 
Earning Points:
  • 20 points: If you sign up for a month of my Write Now Mentoring Program!
  • 5 points: If you post a review of Purple Moon on Amazon and/or Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 5 points: If you join the Purple Moon Publicity Group on Facebook. (You will have the chance to participate in monthly giveaways!)
  • 5 points: If your writing prompt is selected for Monday's Minute Challenge.
  • 3 points: If you cast your vote! (See the end of this post.)
  • 3 points: If you post your entry on your blog via ILink, linking back to this post.
  • 2 points: If you post a tweet about Monday's Minute Challenge, with hashtag #MondaysMinute (You may tweet more than once in a week, however the points will only count for one tweet.)
  • 2 points: If you follow this blog via Google Friend Connect. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you "like" my Facebook page. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you follow my Twitter account. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Become a "fan" of me on Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Follow me on Pinterest. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 10 points: If you win 1st place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 7 points: If you win 2nd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 5 points: If you win 3rd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 3 points: You receive an Honorable Recognition. 
Points Tracker:
  • Ana I.: 35
  • Angela: 29
  • Anna S.: 59
  • AnnaMarie: 22
  • Armina: 52
  • Ashley: 7
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 20
  • CeCe: 28
  • Christine: 22
  • Elisabeth: 127
  • Emily F: 45
  • Emily S: 6
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 54
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 121
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 58
  • Kaity: 15
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 32
  • Kaity: 9
  • Katie Grace: 91
  • Kendra: 67
  • Lace: 3
  • Laura: 9
  • Lottie Le: 39
  • Naomi: 10
  • Maddie Jay: 20
  • Mary B: 127
  • Marsh: 20
  • Michael: 26
  • Mickayla: 34
  • Rcubed: 75
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Samantha: 11
  • Sarah: 126
  • S. Brightly: 113
  • SK Lupu: 35
  • Sofia Marie: 16
  • Story Weaver: 3
  • Tara T: 104
  • TW Wright: 202
  • Victoria: 35
*Points are updated every other Monday.
*When you request to use your points for a prize, the points you use will be taken away from your total. In other words, when you reach 30 points, you can claim the prize for 30 points--but it will cost you all of your points. Or you can continue to try and earn points so you can claim a bigger prize.


If you have entered at least 3 contests and have yet to win, please send me an email and I will be happy to give you a critique of your last entry.

The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system (not to be confused with the point system mentioned above!).

Every entry was incredible this week! It was really difficult to judge. Because of that, there are 2 third place winners today. 

**We will be taking a break and will not post another writing prompt until January 5th. It will be our 1 year anniversary of Monday's Minute Challenge, so you will not want to miss it!**

Also, don't forget to share your love for writing by entering the #WhyIWrite contest! Click here for details.

(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 was the most intriguing (based on rule #4) is ... 

Third place winner (#1): 

I raced through the woods, my footsteps pounding to the beat of my rapidly thumping heart. I frantically slapped at the thorny branches that sprang across the path to block my way. They tore at my face and ripped my clothes, but I just kept on running. Visions of the locket poured through my mind. The silver glinting so beautifully in the moonlight. The taste of victory. The relief that my town would finally be saved. And then the ravens came. They snatched the locket from my hands and swooped up high into the sky, only flapping their wings wildly in response to my desperate pleas.
I knew where they hid: the swamp that us kids had grown up playing in. We were pesky little kids, playing where we weren’t supposed to. But now it had given me an advantage, because I knew the nuances of the swamp just as well as the ravens. All I had to do was catch them before they made it past the swamp, because once they made it past there, they would be in their home territory.
Finally, I arrived at the swamp, frantically searching for any sign of the ravens and the locket. Then, I heard a distant call. My heart plummeted as I slowly looked up towards the sky. It was the ravens, flying away, and if I squinted closely I could almost see the locket dangling from the lead raven’s claws. I heard their cacaws as they flew away, nasty mocking calls. They were in home territory, but the fight wasn’t over yet. I would follow them there. It would be  a long journey, but I would make it through. I would make it through for my town.
Congratulations, Ana! Click here for your badge. =)
Third place winner (#2): 

I believe she drowned because of them.

They whispered behind her back and stared at her pale, gaunt figure as she passed them in the school halls. They said she was a raven-freak, a witch, a serious nutcase. To them, she was nothing more than the ravens’ carrion. They despised her.

She had no parents, and I never knew her true name. The others shouted at her, calling her Morwenna or Raven Girl, but no one ever bothered to truly discover who, or what, she was. Except for me.

After the school bell rang, I would find her near the swamp, her long, dark locks flowing in the autumn air and her piercing eyes turned to the morose sky. Tears would trickle down her white cheeks and drip onto the black plumage of the raven resting on her hand.

One day, as usual, I followed her. Storm clouds, thick and heavy with the threat of rain, gathered above us as I made my way through the spindly pine trees leading to the swamp’s edge. Raven Girl stood in her usual place, the ravens circling around her head, their cries piercing the crisp air.

Tears cascading down her face, she took a step forward.

Her foot plunged into the icy, black water.

A few more steps and the water swirled around her torso. 

Her black hair spread out on the water’s surface like exotic seaweed. Then, she was gone.

The ravens screamed, and I screamed, racing home to the warmth of my parents.

I told everyone. I said that it was their fault she drowned, but they only laughed and gave me the name Raven-Lover.

They never understood hate kills.
Congratulations, AnnaMarie! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

Fairytales usually end well. Mine almost did. He'd swept me off my feet, acted like the perfect gentleman. With his dashing good looks and sympathetic smile who could blame me?

I'd gazed into his eyes on more than one occasion. Studying them. Sure there was pain, and a hunted look, buried deep within his sea blue eyes, but that was an echo! Long before he'd met me. Long before my smile had pierced his heart.

Of course, then I hadn't thought of the fact that he might only want to pursue me because I was a princess. But he loved me! And with all the fervor of my heart, I loved him.

The dragon had seemed a minor inconvenience when I saw him. My rescuer at last. Never mind that I'd already practically escaped. I didn't mind him taking the credit. Any girl would be honored to be rescued by such a handsome prince—even if he really hadn't been needed. 

I should have noticed the occasional warnings. Like his insistence that I was a damsel in distress. His inability to accept that I wasn't inapt with weapons. And I shouldn't have ignored my maid's quiet caution.

But now I cried kneeling over the body on the snow covered ground. With the prince's sword in her heart, she had no chance; her blood already stained the alabaster snow. I wished I'd listened to her cautions, but pride and blind love had betrayed me. And it had cost my maid's life. 
Congratulations, Kaira! Click here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

There are words left better unsaid, secrets that should remain hidden, and ghosts of the past that should not be revisited.  Those were the rules which governed Holly’s entire life, although she was coming dangerously close to breaking the third one.
“Just a short trip,” she muttered to herself, approaching the old house where she had spent her childhood.  “Go up, hide it, and leave.  That’s all.”
It was nothing but a remote wooden cabin laden with snow and twinkling Christmas lights.  Nothing that would intimidate anyone, especially someone like her.  So why was she nervous?  Taking a deep breath, she scaled the side of the cabin, easily finding every familiar foothold until she reached the attic window.  With nimble fingers, she picked the lock and slipped inside.  No one had noticed her yet.  Good.
Using the light of her flashlight, she tiptoed over to the closet and pulled out the long skeleton key. There are ghosts of the past that should not be revisited.  No.  This was necessary.  Ignoring her urge to run away, she turned the key.  Click.  The closet door swung open, revealing a small collection of memories.  Dusty supplies, Rudy’s kite, even her old winter hat…
Swallowing the lump in her throat, Holly grabbed a small box in the corner and hid an object inside.  There.  No one would find it now.
“Holly?” a voice asked from behind.  Oh, no.  She turned to find Rudy standing in the doorway, a look of disbelief on his face.  “What are you doing here?”
Holly desperately tried to think of a response, something that would explain why she couldn’t stay.  “I…”
“You came home!”  He rushed forward to give her a hug.

“Yes,” she finally answered.  Because there are words left better unsaid and secrets that should remain hidden.
Congratulations, SK Lupu.! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Samantha
  2. RCubed
  3. Kendra
  4. Lace
Congratulations! Click here for your badge. =)

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 3 extra points!). 
  • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
  • The deadline for the contest will be the Friday after next. 
  • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments or on your blog, you may email it to me instead.


1) Your response should range between 150 - 300 words, otherwise it will not be accepted. (Copy and paste your entry here to count the words, or you could write it on Microsoft Word.)
2) The deadline for the contest is the Friday after next.

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: star, snowflake, barbed wire (submitted by Ana)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Kendra)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase:  I blinked, sure I was imagining this. But she was still here. This could not be happening.  (submitted by FlyGirl)

Post your entry on your blog!:

If you're posting your entry on your blog (+3 points), please add your link below rather than in the comments:

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 5 points!
  • You may submit in the comments below, Monday through Sunday.

Cast Your Vote!

Here's how it works:
  • You can vote for 3 entries per week, but you may not vote for yourself.
  • You can only click "submit" once per week, so be sure to wait until you have selected your top 3 entries before casting your vote.
  • Please do not vote until at least 7 entries have been submitted. (If you do before then, your vote will not count.)
  • Only the participants of Monday's Minute Challenge may vote.
  • Voting will only take place from Monday - Thursday.
  • We will choose the 3 people with the highest amount of votes, then select another 3 or 4 that we think deserve to win as well.
  • From those 6 or 7 entries, we will then select the winners (including the Honorable Recognitions.)

You will also receive 3 points for voting. So when you are done, please post a comment below saying that you have casted your vote.  

To vote, please enter the names of the 1 - 3 writers you are voting for below (or click here instead):

Current Judge Panel:

  • Tessa Emily Hall (me)
  • Kate Petty
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