Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My New Column For Teen Writers, "Dear Young Scribes"

Six years ago, I began this adventure known as my writing journey. 

Six years ago, I penned what was to become the first "version" of Purple Moon

Six years ago, I enrolled in a course through Christian Writers Guild, registered this blog, emailed authors asking for writing advice, and spent countless hours in prayer, putting Matthew 7:7 into action as I placed my dream of being an author into God's hands. 

In the Prayer Garden at my first conference, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, when I was 16.
Purple Moon was published four years later. The years between starting my writing journey and seeing my book in print were spent devouring writing craft books and creating lattes so I could edit my book into the night. They were spent in writing conferences and workshops, reading every YA Christian novel that I could get my hands on, wondering if my book was good enough to get published, and wishing that I had someone -- anyone -- who had already taken the path I was on and could show me what to do, where to go, give me a few pointers along the way. 

The writing journey can become lonely at times. Especially when you don't have a friend who shares the same dream of writing books as you do, or a writing mentor to encourage and help you. 

I have a passion for helping others. I believe, as a Christian, this is what we are called to do. I want others to see the potential that they hold. I want to help them tap into the desires God has given them and pursue His calling for their lives. 

This is why I am excited to announce my new column, "Dear Young Scribes".

This column isn't for teen writers in general. It's for you. It's for the pre-teen, teen, or young adult who has a burning passion for creating and sharing stories. It's for the young person who is just beginning this maze known as the writing journey and could use a helping hand to show them the next step. 

In this column, I am going to share stories of my own journey as an aspiring teen author, teach on the craft, offer encouragement for the journey, etc. 

Think of this as a column as letters from me, written to you, and only for you. In fact, many of the posts that I write will stem from the comments I receive, so please let me know (either on my blog or on the website) if there is any topic you would like for me to cover or a question that you may have.

Ready to see the first post, How Can Teen Writers Become Published? Click here

Be sure to stop by the site again tomorrow for my second post, 5 Pieces of Advice For Teen Writers.

What is Almost An Author?

Today is the official launch of Almost An Author! It'd be awesome if you could show your support by liking the Facebook group and following the Twitter account. =)
"At A3 we strive to help aspiring writers improve their craft and become published authors. The site launches officially on July 1st, 2015. A3 consists of over 30 writer/author columnists posting on a monthly basis to encourage and equip aspiring writers. We will host two annual writing contests and feature a different bestselling author each month."

You can join us in this adventure by joining our launch teamFind out more at"

PS: I hope everyone's having a happy summer! =D
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Monday, June 8, 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 entries were very tough to judge this week! Good job to everyone who entered.

Also, it's time for another giveaway! This month's winner is ...


Congratulations, Samantha! Send an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know which prize you would prefer. (See the list above.)

Important Update - 6/22/15: 
This writing prompt will extend for another week since there were not enough entries to judge. 

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: 

The moon rises full in the dark night sky, not a star is out. Or a creature. I don’t blame them for not coming out, not when my people were out. We moved in packs just like wolves. We talking in words that sounded like barks and howls, like wolves. We sang to the moon, as if was a precious diamond, like wolves. We were like wolves, trapped in human bodies.
I moved my head upward, filling my mind with the sight of the moon. My peoples singing filled my mind, and I opened my mouth. A melody flowed from my mouth, matching and mixing with my peoples voices, creating a beautiful harmony. The world was filled with fear and awe at the sound. A shiver slide down my back, and I too was filled with awe at the sound that we made.
As the song ended a young man walked silently over to my side.
“Where do we go now, my Queen.” He said in a barley audible voice.
I sighed and looked out over the sea. I dreamed of one day going to the lands over the sea, but my people were not ready yet. I turned my head and looked at the young man.
“Back into the safety of the woods.” I said slowly.
The man nodded and made his way back down into the people. The last person disappeared into the woods before I pulled my eyes away from the sea and followed them.
Congratulations, Mary B! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 

Second place winner: 

Silver spoons reflect a tear-stained face
Sunflower-covered dress fringed with lace
Elegant step lost all of its grace
Fleeting glimpse; a figure running to that secret place
Lightning flashes brightly overhead
Rumbling thunder wakes a little boy from his bed
The figure falls and vision flashes red
No energy left to move, curls up instead
Crimson stains stain the sunflowers on the dress
A hunter’s arrow left its bow and in the figure it rests
Cries out; worn hand scrabbles and grasps
Figure rolls over and grips the arrow in its chest
Baying hounds run, leading flickering torchlight
He had promised her everything would be alright
Lids droop shut over tears; eyes losing their sight
Then over her crumpled body he stands, ready to fight
Sword flashing, glinting with torchlight and fire
Many fall to the blade, but he starts to tire
More press in, and the situation grows dire
Down he goes with his final foe in flame and fire

She uncurls and lies back; she’s run the race
Arrow falls from the sunflower dress fringed with lace
Her hand grabs his as her eyes see his ashen face
Together they died in their secret place
Congratulations, MichaelClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

First place winner: 

She barely felt the cold touch of the spoon on her hand or the hot steam rising up from her bowl of soup.  What she did feel were tears gathering in her eyes, tears that felt as hot as the soup itself. In vain, she blinked them back, keeping her head down. She couldn’t let him see them. Nor could she look at the bright, happy sunflowers in the vase between them. They made her angry, although she could not explain why.
She heard him clear his throat, willing her to look at him. She ignored him, reveling in the thought of his discomfort.
Finally, after a long silence broken only by the rise and fall of muffled voices, she raised her eyes to meet his. “This is your fault,” she accused, bitterness coloring her tones. “You-“
“But this…accident,,” he said, sitting up straighter, “was not part of the plan.”
“That’s not the point,” she retorted, her voice rising. “The point is, it happened. And now, my sister’s dying in there.” Her gaze drifted towards the closed door to their right.
“And you never even told us. You let us think you were someone you were not. How could you? I trusted you. I cared about you. I…” she stopped short of finishing her sentence. How could she tell him that she had thought she loved him? “I hate you.”
He blinked, and she could see the pain spreading over his face. “Tory, I’m so sorry.” His voice broke. “I never meant to hurt you or Mary.”
“What you intended is not relevant right now,” she said coldly, looking him square in the eye. “What happened is that you caused Mary’s death.”

She could hold back the tears no longer, and burying her face in her arms, she gave into the storm.
Congratulations, Christine! 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. Elisabeth
  2. Rebekah
  3. Sierra

    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: cape, ribbon, clay (submitted by Elisabeth)
    • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Leah)
    • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  
      She was like a rose, deceptively beautiful, until someone got close enough to be pricked. (submitted by Christine)
    *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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