18th Annual Dead of Winter short fiction contest

Featured

Stories submitted to the 18th Annual Dead of Winter contest (December 2018) will use one or both of the following themes: THE PODCAST or THE AWARD. Your entry must follow guidelines linked below.

This year’s themes are inspired by the contest judges. In 2018, both have been nominated for and/or won an award. Plus, we like podcasts and want to read about them. We couldn’t decide so, as we did ten years ago, we decided to offer multiple themes to choose from.

SPECIAL:

Your entry will not only follow one or both themes but will also use them in a central way, not as a peripheral or “dropped in” detail. For example, the award may be a physical object or a title (like a knighthood or an honorary degree). It could be a heavy object used as a weapon or a medal in an old trunk. Keep in mind that “podcast award” will likely be an often-used theme and that you want your story to stand out. Of course, you’re welcome to go that route.

Please give your story a unique title, not “The Podcast” or “The Award.”

EVERY YEAR:

  • Stories MUST be based on the theme provided.
  • Stories MUST be set in winter.
  • Stories MUST fall in the horror genre
  • The word count range for DOW2018 is 3000–5000 words.

HOW TO ENTER:

The contest opens October 1, 2018 and the deadline for submission is 11:59 PM ET December 21, 2018.

Email entries to dow2018[at]toasted-cheese.com with the subject line:
Dead of Winter Contest Entry

Follow general contest guidelines and general Dead of Winter guidelines

Toasted Cheese 18:3

Featured

The September 2018 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Clara Burghelea, John Grey, Erren Kelly, K.M. Lighthouse, D.W. Moody, Jared Pearce, Donna Pucciani & Diane Webster; flash by Olga Dermott-Bond, Mike Dillon, Amie E. Reilly & Alicia Zhang; fiction by Hayley N. Jones, Mark Joseph Kevlock, Gwenda Major, Thaddeus Rutkowski & Dana Verdino and creative nonfiction by Marsa Laird.

TC 18:3 also includes the 2018 A Midsummer Tale Writing Contest winning stories by Sarah Evans, Mike Wang & Lou Nell Gerard.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Ms. Anna by Bill Lockwood and Tony Press reviews New Micro: Exceptionally Short Stories edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Theryn “Beaver” Fleming.

The cover image is by Nakeva Corothers on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

November 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about improvising when you haven’t done your homework.
  2. Use these 5 words: quality, recoil, cellular, marginal, electron.
  3. Use the phrase, “What is wrong with us?”
  4. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: string, bride, dictionary, happen, enlarge.
    2. Write about being surprised by one’s own feelings.
    3. Fill in the blank: “He/she is very ________, for one thing.”
  5. “Isn’t that usually out by now?”
  6. Start with this line of dialogue: “It’s not something we’ve seen before.”
  7. Watching a friend fall for the wrong person.
  8. Your antagonist is a fourth grade math teacher.
  9. Write about approaching burnout.
  10. Use the following phrase: little girls who want to grow up to be president
  11. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  12. Write about what makes a marriage last.
  13. Write about an interrupted meditation.
  14. Start with this line of dialogue: “This is going to be great!”
  15. “Wait, what year is it again?”
  16. Use these 5 words: worried, grade, entertaining, spill, mend.
  17. Dreading tomorrow for no obvious reason.
  18. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  19. Clumsy-fingered typing accidents
  20. Use these 5 words: trauma, take, stain, mouthwatering, unbeatable.
  21. Being called for supper at an awkward moment.
  22. Use these 5 words: mote, substantial, woozy, nomenclature, thrall.
  23. Write about someone who hates being photographed.
  24. Write about puppy therapy.
  25. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  26. Start with this line of dialogue: “The neighbor’s daughter ran over my cat.”
  27. “How many colors are there in this rainbow?”
  28. Write about a sanctuary.
  29. Fill in: “If life gives you ______, make _____”
  30. Include a character named Zaina Velasquez.

Fall 2018 Three Cheers and a Tiger Winners!

Boots and Broker are happy to announce the winners of the Autumn 2018 Three Cheers and a Tiger writing contest:

Gold: “Business as Usual” by Michelle LaValley & Jon Meaders
Silver: “Gift of the Gods” by Caitlin Cacciatore
Bronze: “Trapped in a Box” by Karen Davis

Thanks to everyone who submitted a story, and congratulations to the winners!

🎉🎉🎉

The winning stories will appear in the December issue of Toasted Cheese.

October 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

  1. A Pen In Each Hand“The weather’s never like this.”
  2. Use these 5 words: nondescript, polo shirt, webmaster, yonder, agonize.
  3. Write about improvising a recipe
  4. Use the following phrase: refugees are at risk
  5. Write about making a video backwards
  6. Use these 5 words: faithful, cluttered, brush, measure, poke.
  7. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: powder, accountant, record, spirit, guest.
    2. Use the phrase: “Not that, either.”
    3. Write about weeds.
  8. Use the following phrase: a May wedding
  9. Looking up scores long after the game.
  10. Use the following phrase: named after prominent locals
  11. One culture’s hero is another culture’s villain
  12. Use these 5 words: disinterest, excessive, lucid, husbandry, station.
  13. Going on a trip without underwear
  14. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: history, syndrome, movie, rough, fog.
    2. Describe the room or surroundings in detail.
    3. Fill in the blank: “I’ve never seen a ________ like that.”
  15. Use the phrase, “No, do this first.”
  16. Write about encountering a doppelganger.
  17. Write about strangely colored leaves.
  18. Use the following phrase: has lost its soul
  19. “Your crabgrass has crabgrass.”
  20. Use these 5 words: brick, wheel, heat, lush, animated.
  21. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  22. Use these 5 words: acoustics, zonked, discreet, hungry, quince.
  23. You disagree with your main character about something important.
  24. Your antagonist is named Paramesh Pandya.
  25. Write about what the robot rover does while out of touch.
  26. Use these 5 words: bathrobe, issue, paramedic, harebrained, prose.
  27. Use the phrase, “It’s getting late.”
  28. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: excess, astonishing, memory, thumb, measure.
    2. Write about telling someone how to do something.
    3. Fill in the blank: ” ________ runs in the family.”
  29. An argument about power bills for decorations
  30. Use these 5 words: ultimate, badass, saffron, attempt, pyrotechnic.
  31. “It got here early.”

September 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about an unfortunate bruise.
  2. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: bell, greeting, fastidious, mild, tongue.
    2. Use the phrase: “Lunchtime, tomorrow.”
    3. Write about unwittingly doing something the same every time.
  3. Write about faint remnants of something that was erased.
  4. Use these 5 words: nice, support, shop, bleach, quirky.
  5. Narrator contemplates their reflection in a shiny ball.
  6. Your antagonist is named Lianna Acosta.
  7. Use the phrase “You’re safe here with me.”
  8. Your antagonist is a funeral director.
  9. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: drawing, win, posture, half, resource.
    2. Use the phrase: “That looks ominous.”
    3. Write about someone who hasn’t been seen in a long time.
  10. Use these 5 words: squirrel, quill, earthquake, space, question.
  11. Write about doing something with the other hand.
  12. Write about not receiving an apology.
  13. Answer a question with another question.
  14. Use these 5 words: hunting, brainstorm, secondary, vetted, calamity.
  15. Write about being barefoot in the office.
  16. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: dragon, research, diplomat, carrot, strap.
    2. Use the phrase: “Good luck with the dog [or other animal].”
    3. Write about an unnecessary goodbye.
  17. Write about counting down to the last time something happens.
  18. Start with this line of dialogue: “Remember how I hugged you?”
  19. Write about finishing up chores to make time for…
  20. Write about why you love yourself.
  21. Write about a blank book.
  22. Write about a stolen victory.
  23. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: housing, bench, publicity, recover, clay.
    2. Use the phrase: “It’s remarkably quiet.”
    3. Write about getting confused by some numbers.
  24. Use these 5 words: novel, creativity, venture, pannier, excavate.
  25. Write about accidental harassment.
  26. Your protagonist is a cinematographer.
  27. Use the phrase “Blue envy.”
  28. Start with this line of dialogue: “Smell the water.”
  29. Use the phrase, “Didn’t I just do that?”
  30. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: wisecrack, occasion, turn, snow, border.
    2. Use the phrase: “The end of the month.”
    3. Write about discarding old things.

Three Cheers and a Tiger Fall 2018 is CLOSED

This fall’s topic is: A Contest!

Write a fantasy or science fiction story between 3500 and 4500 words about a contest! Your contest can be winner take all; win, place, show; or first, second, third. Whatever the outcome, there must be a contest must be heavily featured in your story.

Be sure to read both the Three Cheers and a Tiger contest rules and the general contest guidelines before submitting your entry.

Your 48 hours start now. Good luck!

August 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about a civic holiday or commemoration.
  2. Include a character who is a model.
  3. An unorthodox way of doing calculations
  4. Write about an origin story.
  5. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: cheese, grace, qualification, peak, rider.
    2. Use the phrase: “long tail feathers.”
    3. Write about struggling to stay awake.
  6. Start with this line of dialogue: “It’s not perfect, but…”
  7. What to do when the internet is down.
  8. Use the following phrase: the largest in history
  9. “They’re all odd numbers.”
  10. Use these 5 words: conjunctivitis, metropolis, leviathan, gnash, slippery.
  11. “This doesn’t look very random to me.”
  12. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: irony, apathy, ceiling, sandwich, process.
    2. Use the phrase: “That’s not what we expected.”
    3. Write about very strange or extreme weather.
  13. “You need to learn to lie with sincerity.”
  14. Use the following phrase: according to multiple sources
  15. “Last question: Where shall we have lunch?”
  16. Your protagonist is an architect.
  17. Write about an afternoon nap.
  18. Write about denying the truth.
  19. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: candle, countryside, bring, copy, prize.
    2. Use the phrase: “That’s pretty strong.”
    3. Write about a stuffed animal.
  20. Use the following phrase: tricky questions
  21. Write about pulling the plug for the last time.
  22. Use the following phrase: police find arm at sea
  23. “What’s it like, driving a behemoth?”
  24. Use these 5 words: bump, warm, deliver, misty, probable.
  25. “Remind me why we’re doing this?”
  26. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: section, calendar, note, beautiful, exact.
    2. Use the phrase: “We’re not late, yet.”
    3. Write about watching someone sleep.
  27. Include a character who’s neither male nor female.
  28. Start with this line of dialogue: “What the f–k just happened?”
  29. Write about trying to understand someone on a noisy connection.
  30. Write about what scares you most.
  31. “How many days is it since he left?”

July 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: inspire, sister, wall, relationship, breed.
    2. Use the phrase: “A riddle wrapped in a mystery.”
    3. Write about an idea with the potential to change everything.
  2. Start with this line of dialogue: “I don’t ask for much.”
  3. “We were not expecting that.”
  4. Use these 5 words: quotidian, percussive, Freudian slip, toque, outshine.
  5. Write about an unfortunate anniversary
  6. Use the following phrase: an undercover sting
  7. “I just did it. It’s not my turn.”
  8. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: crude, wife, dictate, training, attract.
    2. Use the phrase: “You have to unlock it.”
    3. Write about calling people names.
  9. Write about wondering what the instructions mean.
  10. Use these 5 words: side step, chocolatier, flibbertigibbet, tromp, brute.
  11. Discuss spelling of nonsense sounds.
  12. Use these 5 words: tub, scrawny, cough, room, disapprove.
  13. Write about Friday the 13th.
  14. Write about a quick decision.
  15. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: point, sketch, ignite, suffering, short circuit.
    2. Use the phrase: “It’s no trouble at all.”
    3. Write about sloshing liquid.
  16. Your protagonist is a general practitioner.
  17. Your character cusses creatively
  18. Include a character who is a bookmaker.
  19. Start with “Next year at this time…”
  20. Start with this line of dialogue: “I miss everyone already.”
  21. “You’d think we’d know how to do this by now.”
  22. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: train, dump, useful, sustain, total.
    2. Use the phrase: “All the towels are wet.”
    3. Write about waiting for somebody who’s late.
  23. “Even numbers, odd numbers, and the rest of them.”
  24. Use the following phrase: people camping in their backyard
  25. “I did the whole thing in one sitting.”
  26. Use the following phrase: standing room only
  27. Use the phrase, “Only one mistake.”
  28. Write about taking a chance.
  29. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: buffet, neck, overlook, aware, conscience.
    2. Use the phrase: “Crunching on the gravel.”
    3. Write about borrowing something from a neighbor or friend.
  30. Use the following phrase: thirty days of heart opening
  31. “There isn’t room for all the digits.”

2018 A Midsummer Tale Winners

Toasted Cheese is happy to announce the winners of the 2018 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest.

1st: “Seven Disconnected Facts About the Human Heart” by Sarah Evans
2nd: “10 O’Clock” by Mike Wang
3rd: “Derecho” by Lou Nell Gerard

Congratulations!

First place receives a $50 Amazon gift card, second place a $15 Amazon gift card, and third place a $10 Amazon gift card. The top three stories will appear in the September issue of Toasted Cheese.

Kudos to everyone who entered! We received more than 60 entries this year and enjoyed reading your creative takes on the theme of “thunderstorms.” We hope you’ll join us for A Midsummer Tale again in 2019 and that you’ll pass the contest info along to your writing friends! Next summer’s theme will be announced April 1, 2019.

Our next contest is the fall Three Cheers and a Tiger writing contest, which runs the weekend of September 21-23. See our contest page for details.