Monday, November 10, 2014

Go Teen Writers Writing Prompt Contest!


by Stephanie Morrill

Stephanie writes young adult contemporary novels and is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com. Her novels include The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series (Revell) and the Ellie Sweet books (Playlist). You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and check out samples of her work on her author website.

Contest time!

Your prompt sentence is: (Character name/I) would need a lot of luck to make it out of this alive.

Here's how the game is played:

1. The prompt sentence must be the first sentence of your paragraph. It cannot be altered. You cannot insert words or change the punctuation. The parentheses are there because I wanted to let you pick your own character name. Or if you're a first person writer, you may use "I" instead. For example, you could write: Charles Bartholomew Hugginsworth III would need a lot of luck to make it out of this alive. (Though I don't recommend it.) or you could simply write, I would need a lot of luck to make it out of this alive. Or Joe Campbell would need a lot of luck to make it out of this alive.

2. Your paragraph must be NO MORE THAN 115 words (the prompt sentence + 100 words.) That means your entry can be 105 words or 99 words or 87 words, but not 116 or 243.

3. Your paragraph should read like the opening of a story, which means it should do the same things you want the first paragraph of a novel to do.

4. You must be 21 or younger to enter. One entry per person. Your entry needs to be in English, but writers from all countries are welcome to participate.

5. Your paragraph must be turned in by Wednesday, November 19th. (We wanted to provide extra time due to NaNo.)

How will the entries be judged?

Entries will be judged using this form.

Finalists will (hopefully) be announced Tuesday, November 25th , and then the three winners will be announced in December. Those in the top three will have their entries published on the blog (if they want).

Something special about how this contest will be judged is that it'll be like a reader's choice award. Shannon Dittemore is mentoring a group of junior high and high school writers. Together they've been studying the craft of fiction writing and will now be using those skills to judge our contest.

You enter by using the below form. Important: Entries are anonymous. The judges will not see names on any of the entries they read. We only use your name and email address to return your feedback to you and, if you final, to list your name on the website. Yes, you may use a pen name.
 

47 comments:

  1. Thanks! I REALLY enjoyed writing that one. :-)

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  2. Thanks a lot! I submitted the form. This was my first writing prompt, so I'm really excited. I'm Jonathan Fay, you should have received mine. Thanks again!! :) :)

    GTW rocks!

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  3. Thanks so much, Mrs. Morrill! I've been looking forward to this since you announced it. :)

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  4. This sounds like a lot of fun. *starts thinking up what she'll write*

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  5. Awesome prompt! I'm hitting a block with my NaNoWriMo today, so I think I'll use this for today. :D

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  6. I have a quick question. I use two em-dashes in my entry, and according to the word count on Google Drive, that adds up to 115 words. But on a different program, the word count is 117. Do you count the words on either side of an em-dash as one word, or two?

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    1. They've said in the past that the way the MS Word counts words is how they judge it, and Word doesn't count the em dash as two words, or even one.

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    2. Are we talking about em-dashes or en-dashes? Like is it a hyphenated word or are the dashes working like parentheses? Hyphenated words are counted as one word in Microsoft Word. Because that's the industry standard, it's what we use. Em-dashes shouldn't be counted at all.

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    3. I figured it out. ;) I was referring em-dashes, working as parentheses. For some reason, I think Google was counting the em-dash as a hyphen...
      I actually ended up editing it some more, and then opened it in Word, and got 114 words. *fistpump*

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  7. I entered! Last time I missed out...but I was waiting this time ;)

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  8. I will be on vacation, but I hope to write this before the deadline :D This will be really fun. I'm pretty sure my mum will let me do it :)

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  9. Coolness! Can't wait to try thinking up something for this one... :) It'll be good for procrastinating on NaNo. I mean, uh, it'll be good as a reward after I've hit my wordcount for the day for NaNo. Of course. :)

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  10. Just Entered! Good "Luck" to everyone who entered!

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  11. Hope I'll have an idea in time to enter! One question: when you say entries will be judged using the form, does that mean we will receive feedback with the form, or is that just a list of criteria for the judges?
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you'll receive feedback with the form as well.

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  12. This sounds like so much fun, and certainly a nice break for anyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo. (I'm not, but everyone who is I hope you are doing great!) Good luck everybody :)

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  13. I've never done this before, can't wait!

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  14. Ahahaha, I am SO excited for this. XD

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  15. Hello! I just entered this morning and then realized I made a really stupid mistake. Is there anyway I could re-enter? or remove my entry?
    Thanks so much!

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    Replies
    1. Yes. When you re-submit, can you please write "ERROR IN MY FIRST SUBMISSION" and then your paragraph? Thank you!

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  16. Awesome, a writing contest! After 9 days of don’t-look-back NaNo fast drafting, I’m positively clamoring to edit and edit a paragraph. :D

    Quick question: Does the first line have to be from the perspective of the narrator/main character, or could she be talking about somebody else?

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    1. Ooh, good one. Your choice as the author :)

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  17. Can we write will instead of would in the prompt?
    Thanks,
    Rebecca

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    Replies
    1. I'm not Stephanie, but probably not. Sorry.

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    2. We don't allow alterations to wording or it starts to mess with the "apples to apples" comparison. Thanks for understanding!

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    3. I reread the rules after posting that. Thanks for answering my question though.
      Rebecca

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  18. Wahoo! Another contest :)

    This first line was awesome! In fact, I had to tweak my entry about a millions times because I had so many ideas running through my head :D Thanks for another great, fun contest!

    Best of luck to all who enter! You're all winners!!!

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  19. Hi there! I submitted an entry as Jade Y but is it possible to change it to Jade Yeung? If not, that's fine :) This is my first writing prompt and it was surprisingly fun to do!

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  20. Looks like a fun prompt! Is it okay to use a pronoun like "he, she, or it" in the prompt sentence?


    Alexa S. Winters
    thessalexa.blogspot.com

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  21. I really want to do this, hopefully I will get the chance to do it sometime this week. :D

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  22. HOORAY! My class is so looking forward to this! HAPPY WRITING, EVERYONE!

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  23. I entered. Thank you for holding this contest! I've been hoping you would do one soon; I so enjoyed it!

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  24. Okay, the other night I stayed up a little too late and I don't exactly remember whether or not I submitted my entry. Would it be possible to A.) (Re)submit my entry, or B.) Get confirmation that I did submit my entry (I would've done so under Hadley Grace).

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  25. Oh, hey -- it says "21 or younger." I turn twenty-one in about six months, and had thought that would make me ineligible (turning twenty-one, I mean). Does this mean I can keep participating for another year?

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  26. Submitted! You forget how long 115 words can actually be!

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  28. Thank you for posting on facebook about this, otherwise I wouldn't have seen it XD

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