Monday, January 3, 2011

Writing Prompts

Today is our first ever writing prompt!

During 2011, every other Monday I'll be posting a writing prompt. Think of the prompt as an opening line to a novel. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write the next 100 words.

After you've written your 100 words, send me an e-mail with the following information:

Your full name
Your e-mail address
Your 100 words

I will then send your prompt on to our judges (more about them in a bit). You'll have one week to send me your prompt, then our judges will have a week to judge (unless there's way more entries than I anticipate, in which case, I'll give them longer). Each judge gets a vote on who the think wrote the best entry. Some weeks they might be unanimous, other weeks they won't.

I will post the winner(s) name on the site and keep a running tally through the year. Our first, second, and third place winners will all get some kind of writer's prize pack. And bragging rights. Bragging rights are good.

Here are some questions you might have:

1. Does it have to be exactly 100 words?

No. It can't be any more than 100 words, but it can be less.

2. How do I tally word count?

Type your entry in a word document, and it will tally it for you. My version of Word keeps a running total at the bottom left hand corner. Previous versions I've had required that I select "Word count" from the Tools menu.

3. Will you ever judge?

No, because I've developed relationships with many of you, and I don't want to be swayed at all. And when I e-mail your entries to the judges, none of them will see your names either.

4. How old do I have to be?

Anyone under 25 is welcome to participate. Feel free to tell your friends.

If you have any other questions or comments, please post them, but DON'T POST YOUR 100 WORDS TO THE BLOG, okay? E-mail those to me.

Now that we've got all that out of the way...

This week's prompt is: We knew one thing for sure - Jamie's dad would kill us.

Send me your 100 words by Monday, January 10th.

This week's judges are:

Roseanna M. White, author of A Stray Drop of Blood, makes her home in the mountains of Western Maryland with her husband, two small children, and the colony of dust bunnies living under her couch. Her second biblical fiction, Jewel of Persia, just released. After graduating from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, she and her husband founded the Christian Review of Books, where she is the editor. She is a member of ACFW, HisWriters, and HEWN Marketing.

Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers . Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories. Look for her recently contracted YA novel in January 2012!


  1. I'm so honored to be one of your first judges! (And feeling very old, that I'm not longer under 25 . . . LOL.)

    I can't wait to see what all you fabulous GTWers come up with!!

  2. This sounds really cool! I'm so excited that it's started now (I've been waiting for this since you mentioned doing this:). Thanks so much for doing it!

  3. Do we have to submit to every prompt to be part of the contest?

  4. Great! Do you want them sent in a word doc?

  5. This is awesome, Stephanie! I am certainly going to participate in this! :-) Can't wait to get started - that starter sentence can go in SO many awesome directions! :-)

    ~ Katy

  6. The link is to the contact form on my site. So you can just paste your entry there.

    Excited to see what you guys come up with!

  7. Stephanie, I just had a question! :-) Does the 100 have to be a complete story/thought, or can it leave the reader hanging just a bit? Like, it doesn't end completely, there is still an event that continues on after the scene ends...but it ends okay, enough for the reader to be satisfied?

  8. Great question, Katy!

    Think of it as the opening paragraph of a story. You should leave the reader wanting more, leave them asking questions. Like you said, you should leave them hanging.

    Finish your sentence, certainly, and make me wish I could read that next scene!

  9. Okay! I just started writing and hit a hundred words - I so have to tighten up a few things. I didn't realize 100 words could count up so quickly! lol

    This is fun! :-) Thanks for hosting!

    ~ Katy

  10. Writing short is very difficult! Nothing wrong with writing long and then cutting 'er down.

  11. I ended up with the same problem... no clue how that ended up being so short lol.
    If anybody has ever written a 400 page book and you look at the word count its really impressive...
    Its like over 100,000 words lol

  12. Wooo! So excited! And what cool judges. Though I have to confess, I've never read any of their books. Heard a lot about Melanie lately...and I know who Roseanna is though, since she's your most dedicated commenter and everything:D
    Checking out Betsy's website right now -- it's so cool:D
    Starting right now.. like I said, wooo. I love having something to start me off. It helps SO much!!!

  13. Do we have to use the prompt sentence in our 100 words?
    If so, does it have to be the first sentence?

  14. Yes, the prompt sentence is the springboard for everything else. So think of it as the opening line of a novel, and then your job is to write what would come next, like an opening paragraph. Make sense?

  15. Got it!
    Everyone, I was just on my kindle looking through books & saw judge Melanie Dickerson's book is free this week! Even if you don't have a kindle you can download it to your comp if you set up an account :)

  16. I'm so glad you mentioned that Tonya. YES, Melanie's book is free this week and you should definitely take advantage.

  17. I knew before I started writing that I'd have to cut down some things, because 100 words isn't a lot. The funny thing is that I landed at exactly 100 when I finished. :p

    Thanks for hosting, by the way.

    God bless,

  18. I'm so glad to be a judge :) Thanks for having me Stephanie, and good luck everyone! Happy writing!!!

  19. Ooh, the prompt is part of our word count? Better get rid of a sentence:P

  20. Leave the sentence, Emii! Technically, you'll wind up with 112 words. The prompt sentence doesn't count toward your word count.

  21. Ohh. Well that's good. Thanks for telling me before I hit that backspace button:D

  22. This sounds really fun! I found out about it on Emii's blog. Can we have Christian content? Oh, and does the prompt have to be the first sentence? Thanks!!

  23. Hi Talia!

    You can have any kind of content you want. No restrictions on that! And yes, the prompt should be the first sentence. Good question!

  24. Hi my name is Mary and i really want to enter the contest but i couldn't find the email to send it to once i am finished. Could you post it or just tell me? Thanks!

    God Bless,


  25. Mary- if you look on this blog post the words that say "send me an email" or something like that they are higlighted orange, if you click on that it'll take you too her email. =D

  26. Thanks, Jazmine! Way to be a team player :)

  27. Thanks Jazmine! Your SUPER helpful!!!!!

  28. Thank you!!! And everybody else, good luck on your writing!

  29. This sounds super fun! :D *runs off to write*

  30. Hey Stephanie, I don't know if you remember me, but I interviewed you last year(thanks so much by the way!) and I just heard about this.This sounds so fun!It's a little late this week so I'm going to enter next week.
    I can't wait.I just start my book.I'm using a notebook and having a lot of fun!

  31. Yes, of course I remember you, Sierra! Nice to see you on here. We'll be doing these every other week for the rest of 2011, so you'll have plenty of chances!

  32. im new to this place but i love it i cant wait to try this out.