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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Carla's Big Chance


Carla answered her cell phone after the second line of ‘Nobody Weird like Me’, Travis’s favorite song. “Hi, Travis. What’s up?”

“Hey kiddo, nothing much. Just wanted to see how my baby sister was doin’.”

“Oh… fine I guess. Just wish Dad would ease up on me.”

Travis chuckled. “Still skipping classes, aye?”

“You know I hate school, Travis. Why do I need an education to be in movies? It’s”… Carla’s voice trailed off.

“I know, Sis. You just wanna hit the big time now.”

“Yeah, as if that’s going to happen.”

“I gotta go iron my uniform… you know.”

It was Carla’s turn to chuckle. “OK, have fun at boot camp. Don’t let them catch you with your cell phone.”

Carla rested back on her pillows and sighed. She missed Travis, missed his loud music and after school visits to the game parlor when they were supposed to be doing homework.

Her cell phone buzzed. “Hello,” she answered dreamily.

“Hey Carla, you up to some fun?”

It was Toni, a girl she’d met a few weeks ago at the game parlor. Toni wanted to be a model and Carla liked her right off.

“What kind of fun?” Carla answered half-heartedly.

“Remember Kevin?”

“Yeah, he’s the camera nerd at the parlor. Goes to that snooty school off Main Street.”

“Yep, that’s him.” Toni sounded excited. “He’s making a video for school. His Dad is on the school board, has heaps of money and some neat video equipment. He likes Kevin’s script and wants to enter him in a junior film maker’s competition in Hollywood… Kevin needs some girls to do some acting for him.”

Carla sprang from her bed. “When?”

“We’re meeting them at the parlor in half an hour.

“I’m on my way.” Carla ended the call quickly.

This could be the break I’m looking for. If Kevin wins the competition, Toni and I could be on our way to Hollywood, too.

She entered the noisy parlor and saw Toni talking to Kevin. They were with another guy who was leaning against a soda machine.

Carla smiled at the handsome young man. He reached out to shake her hand. She was mesmerized by his presence. “Hi.”

Kevin broke the spell. “Dad’s waiting for us at home. We’re doing the video there.”

Kevin’s house was a few blocks from the game parlor and on the way Kevin explained his script. “It’s a film I’m doing for my photography and visual effects class. Dad’s helping me with his equipment.” He laughed. “He doesn’t trust me with his precious stuff.”

They arrived at a huge two-story house surrounded by an immaculate garden. The group climbed the stairs and Kevin unlocked the door.

Carla was elated as she stepped into the impressive entry. She looked beyond an archway where two video cameras and a still life camera were set up on tripods facing a sofa… a sofa covered with cushions and satin sheets. Toni grinned at her and winked.

The boys stepped in front of the girls and headed to one of the cameras and began to adjust some dials.

What’s going on, Toni? Where’s Kevin’s father?” Carla began to panic.

“Who needs his father? We have the equipment. We have the opportunity of a lifetime here, Carla.”

“Where’s his father, Toni?” She persisted.

Steve returned to Carla’s side and skimmed his index finger down her cheek and flicked her hair. “Hey Carla, don’t fret. Isn’t this what you wanted? Glamour! Fame! It’s worth a hundred bucks.”

Carla’s heart raced and her breathing quickened. With one sudden movement, she turned and ducked through the still open front door. She raced up the path and onto the street. She turned to see the three of them standing outside. They were laughing at her. Carla gasped and began to run.

When Carla was sure she hadn’t been followed, she slowed her pace. Tears and sweat streamed down her face. She drew in deep breaths and swallowed repeatedly, trying to regain control before returning home.

“I’m home,” Carla called from the front room. “I’ve got an assignment due. I’ll be in my room.”

“OK,” her mother called back from the kitchen. “We’ll be eating at seven. I’m running late.”

Carla entered her bedroom and closed the door. She took her cell phone from her pocket and hit Travis’ speed-dial. Taking a deep breath she struggled to fight back more tears.

“Hey Sis, you just caught me. What’s up?”

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This article has been read 819 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 01/31/08
Nice story. This would be a great story for young teens. Good job staying on topic! Very good storytelling! Great writing!
Joanne Sher 01/31/08
Great details especially. I could picture the action very clearly.
Marita Vandertogt02/01/08
Great dialogue... kept the story moving along and interesting. Good job and right on topic!
Kristen Hester02/02/08
Great story. I felt attached to your MC and I was so proud of her for running. You had me right there. Good description of the house. Bravo!
Debbie Wistrom02/04/08
Good for Carla, like the fast pace.
Laurie Walker02/04/08
Oh. Oh! OH! I got so nervous for this young lady! I'm so glad she ran. I know the word limit didn't let you take it where it needs to go, but I see great things for this story. Great job.
Catrina Bradley 02/04/08
Nicely done on the challenge topic. I could see the story through your descriptions. I love how you end it with her calling her big brother.
Jan Ackerson 02/05/08
Wonderful dialogue, and a really pleasing mix of dialogue and action. I liked this one a lot, and the framework of the brotherly conversations works for me, too.
Pam Carlson-Hetland02/05/08
So very well done and so realistic for the girls of today and their fastasies of stardom. Perfect example of the topic. Good action. Great writing.
LauraLee Shaw02/05/08
I hope this makes it into the public spotlight. SO many could be ministered to, and it would hopefully decrease the smut on the internet that I have to work hard to 'block' from my kids. The Lord is in this. Thank you!
Holly Westefeld02/06/08
I'm so glad she got away, and also liked the ending.
Sara Harricharan 02/06/08
Wow. I sure didn't see that end coming. I thought that Kevin would overheard that she'd called him a camera nerd. Nice job with the different characters, I'm glad that Carla' came to her senses in time to get out from the situation. ^_^
Hanne Moon 02/06/08
Glad she got out of that one! Good job on giving us the picture without the details. You hit the topic well.
Dee Yoder 02/06/08
I agree that leaving the details to the imagination of the reader about what exactly was going to happen made the tension more realistic. The MC is very true to life and I like the way you leave the reader thinking about could have happened.
Joy Faire Stewart02/06/08
Excellent dialogue and vivid discriptions. I was happy the MC made the right decision.
Loren T. Lowery02/06/08
Yea Carla, run like the wind. Your story held me all the way through and I honestly wasn't expecting that ending. I guess I'm a bit naive, but was glad to see Carla's inner strength help her to take the right course.
Beckie Stewart02/06/08
Good story, but it left me wondering if the friend picked up what was happening or if the "friend" was in on such an awful scheme. This is only too real, but glad she was a fortunate one to get away.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/06/08
Great story for the topic. I like the intro and wrap with the brother on the phone.
william price02/06/08
Oh, so so good. Great pace and energy and I am so glad she beat feet away from that situation. Very smooth presentation. I hope thhis inspires many teens to do the right thing as well. God bless.
Laury Hubrich 02/08/08
Chrissy, congratulations on placing 9th in your level and 22nd overall. Great job!