Toasted Cheese 17:3

Featured

The September 2017 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Miki Byrne, Matthew Heston, Simon Perchik, Sarah Valeika & John Zedolik; flash by Helen Coats, Izabella Grace, Malka Herman & Merran Jones; fiction by Natasha Cabot, Tara Kaprowy & Alex Shishin; and creative non-fiction by Laura Marostica & Mary Street.

TC 17:3 also includes the A Midsummer Tale Writing Contest winning stories by LS Bassen, Vanessa Levin-Pompetzki & SK Elliot.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Megan of the Mists by Bill Lockwood.

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

The cover image is by wwny 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!

The 17th Annual “Dead of Winter” Writing Contest

Stories submitted to the 17th Annual Dead of Winter contest (December 2017) must use the theme NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED (your entry must follow guidelines below).

This year’s theme is inspired by women and their resilience.

SPECIAL:

Horror has long given us female protagonists and antagonists, both in literature and film. Your entry will not only follow the theme NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED but also give us strong female characters facing and/or creating horrors in original ways.

We want them to be challenged by forces within and/or without; they might not make it to the end of your story. The threat your main character faces might be female or she may be female herself (or both). Your story may feature one woman or one girl or several females but at least one major character in your story should be a female who is persistent.

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 DOW2017 is 3000–5000 words.

HOW TO ENTER:

The contest opens October 1, 2017 and the deadline for submission is 11:59 PM ET December 21, 2017.

Email entries to dow2017[at]toasted-cheese.com with the subject line:
Dead of Winter Contest Entry

Follow general contest guidelines and general Dead of Winter guidelines

 

Three Cheers and a Tiger Fall 2017 — CLOSED

Stories submitted to the 2017 Fall “Three Cheers and a Tiger” short fiction contest must follow the theme: “the  de-escalation of a potentially violent situation.” Your entry must also follow guidelines below.

Entries must be received by 5 PM Eastern Time, Sunday, September 24, 2017. The challenge is to write and submit a complete story in 48 hours. There is no registration and no entry fee.

SPECIAL:

Conflict has long been an inspiration to spec fic writers. In choosing this year’s theme, we’re inspired by real world events and are eager to see how SFF writers interpret not only the theme but the world in which we find ourselves. What world will you create and what will it say about our own?

EVERY YEAR:

Stories MUST be based on the theme provided.

Stories MUST be speculative fiction (sci fi or fantasy entries are welcome; read past winners to get an idea of what subgenres judges prefer).

Stories MUST fall within word count parameters. The word count range for 3CFall 2017 is 3000–4000 words.

HOW TO ENTER:

The contest opens September 22, 2017 at 5 PM ET and the deadline for submission is 5:00 PM ET September 24, 2017.

Email entries to threecheers17[@]toasted-cheese.com with the subject line:
Three Cheers Contest Entry

Paste your story directly into your email. No attachments please.

Follow general Three Cheers and a Tiger guidelines and general contest rules:

Three Cheers and a Tiger Guidelines

General Contest Rules

 

2017 A Midsummer Tale Winners

Toasted Cheese is happy to announce the winners of the 2017 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest.

1st: “The Formula for Skipping Stones” by LS Bassen
2nd: “A Pot of Tea” by Vanessa Levin-Pompetzki
3rd: “I Ask You for a Cigarette” by SK Elliot
Honorable Mention: “Summer of Love” by Gretchen Rose

Congratulations!

First place will receive a $35 Amazon gift card and second place a $10 Amazon gift card. The first, second, and third place stories will appear in the September issue of Toasted Cheese.

Kudos to everyone who entered! We received nearly 50 entries this year and enjoyed reading your creative takes on the theme. We hope you’ll join us for A Midsummer Tale again in 2018 and that you’ll pass the contest info along to your writing friends! Next summer’s theme will be announced April 1, 2018.

Our next contest is the fall Three Cheers and a Tiger writing contest, which runs the weekend of September 22-24.

July 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Every single day.
  2. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  3. Write about the weather 6 months ago.
  4. Use these 5 words: sloppy, book, carpenter, macabre, tomatoes.
  5. Everything has to work at the same time.
  6. Use this line of dialogue: “Explain what the letters mean.”
  7. Write about a former friend’s birthday.
  8. Include a brainy and frazzled woman who is at the end of her wits.
  9. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  10. Use these 5 words: collect, approval, narrow, brush, tasteful.
  11. “I don’t need to do that just yet.”
  12. Use this line of dialogue: “Well, no. I’m not doing that.”
  13. Accidentally helping the cat catch a bird.
  14. Scenario: a character almost gets hit by a cabbage.
  15. “Is it my turn again already?”
  16. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  17. “You’re odder than odd.”
  18. Use these 5 words: tiger, fold, order, parched, wet.
  19. “If we try, we can finish by lunchtime.”
  20. Use this line of dialogue: “Oh, God, it’s Monday.”
  21. Use this: “All it takes is an hour and a 5-gallon bucket.”
  22. Include a character who wants to do good things & to feel loved.
  23. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  24. Use these 5 words: ugliest, old, scientific, advise, energetic.
  25. Missing the most obvious questions on a test.
  26. Use this line of dialogue: “How have we come to such ruin?”
  27. A surprise party that isn’t surprising.
  28. Real isn’t always the same as interesting.
  29. Practicing while the group/team is on break.
  30. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  31. “So hot the pets act like they’re melting.”

June 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. “You’re still missing her, aren’t you?”
  2. Use these 5 words: disagreeable, kind, check, resonant, shut.
  3. An elaborate excuse
  4. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: windy, observe, synthesis, corner, floors.
    2. Write about an unsent letter.
    3. Use the phrase, “It seems like that’s a wise decision.”
  5. “I’ve done my part. It’s your turn now.”
  6. Use this line of dialogue: “It’s just hard to know what to do with her.”
  7. “This really is about me, isn’t it?”
  8. Scenario: three sons who tend to ruin family events.
  9. Last day of school, years ago now.
  10. Use these 5 words: modern, match, unbiased, stamp, willing.
  11. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  12. Use this line of dialogue: “Now please leave.”
  13. Smother them in kindness.
  14. Include a character who chugs booze like water & weeps like a broken faucet.
  15. Don’t want to celebrate a birthday
  16. Use these 5 words: humdrum, plane, form, reminiscent, lame.
  17. What to cook, with what’s in the cupboard
  18. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: unrequited, attempted, all, fading, dismantle.
    2. Write about a chipped stone.
    3. Use the phrase, “I know I shouldn’t, but…”
  19. Long ago, on this date…
  20. Use this line of dialogue: “Let’s be nice to the old man.”
  21. An astronomical coincidence.
  22. Scenario: a blood-soaked patch of ground.
  23. I once knew how to do this.
  24. Use these 5 words: tax, books, coal, deserted, learned.
  25. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: open, gaunt, beats, sweep, public.
    2. Write about a party.
    3. Fill in the blank: “Counting down the seconds until _______.”
  26. Use this line: “Just because they’re dead doesn’t mean they’re not here.”
  27. “I understood this, before we traded places.”
  28. A CYOA where no matter which path your MC chooses someone always dies.
  29. It always ends in tears.
  30. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt.

Toasted Cheese 17:2

The June 2017 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Deborah Bacharach, Marchell Dyon, Donna Pucciani, David Sermersheim, Spencer Smith, Judith Taylor & Jim Zola; flash by Sabrina Hicks, Fran Laniado & Tomas Marcantonio; and fiction by Lanny Durbin & Bonnie Thompson.

TC 17:2 also includes the Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Erin McDougall, R.J. Snowberger & Meredith Lindgren.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Stephanie “Baker” Lenz.

The cover image is by David/rnddave 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!

May 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. “Mayday! Mayday!”
  2. Use these 5 words: nice, apparatus, need, lunch, private.
  3. The person who used to do that is gone now.
  4. Use this line of dialogue: “Who wants to have some fun?”
  5. Birthday of a departed loved one.
  6. Include a character who thinks pigeons are spying on them.
  7. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: whispering, madman, attempted, boxes, ourselves.
    2. Write about getting something free.
    3. Use the phrase, “spectacular failure.”
  8. Use these 5 words: acid, garrulous, scorch, lowly, ducks.
  9. “No, it’s still not dinnertime.”
  10. Use this line of dialogue: “It’s just hard to know what to do with her.”
  11. The roar of the lawn mower
  12. Scenario: death, from raccoon.
  13. Distinction turns on a missing diacritical mark
  14. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: border, husband, boxes, confession, prisoners.
    2. Write about the big one that got away.
    3. Use the phrase, “We shouldn’t.”
  15. Hot flashes and chills.
  16. Use these 5 words: amused, squeamish, whispering, thank, live.
  17. “How long have we been doing this?”
  18. Use this line of dialogue: “Well, this is silly. I feel fine.”
  19. Write about autocorrect gone wrong
  20. Include a character who is unkempt but cheerful.
  21. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: walls, degradation, understand, where, sights.
    2. Write about paying too much for something that’s not useful.
    3. Use the phrase, “half past July.”
  22. Use these 5 words: little, hose, animal, reply, gamy.
  23. “Latch the door when you leave.”
  24. Use this line of dialogue: “Oh, your dad’s so cool.”
  25. It looks like a good thing, but it’s really not.
  26. Get nose to nose with your pet and talk to them.
  27. A chance meeting
  28. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: rhapsody, wheel, nothing, stiff, marry.
    2. Write about that first, unexpected, sunburn of the season.
    3. Use the phrase, “Not fooling around.”
  29. “You checked that they’re getting there, right?”
  30. She never looked nice; she looked like art.
  31. Counting down to… what, exactly?

April 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Fill in: “April snowshowers bring May _____”
  2. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: pool, unrequited, silent, casting, spring.
    2. Write about a mnemonic device that doesn’t work.
    3. Use the phrase, “Reminiscent of Belgians.”
  3. An unusual snack.
  4. Use these 5 words: mysterious, mature, north, melted, plant.
  5. An unfortunate auto-correction.
  6. Use this line of dialogue: “This tastes like fresh dirt.”
  7. Bureaucratic runaround
  8. Scenario: an odd, welcome intruder in your MC’s brain.
  9. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: downstairs, sign, lashed, sale, orange.
    2. Write about recovering from an illness or injury.
    3. Use the phrase, “perfect record.”
  10. Use these 5 words: nest, remarkable, smash, skinny, carve.
  11. “What are you adding to the process?”
  12. Use this line of dialogue: “Can I just tell you guys all my secrets?”
  13. A book that hasn’t been opened in 100 years.
  14. Include a character whose veneer briefly cracks to reveal loneliness & fear.
  15. Person always makes the same arithmetic mistake.
  16. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: Sunday, mouse, plum, watch, stamp.
    2. Write about a flash of mercy.
    3. Use the phrase, “Already with four …”
  17. Misheard song lyrics
  18. Use these 5 words: hurt, grass, capricious, supply, painstaking.
  19. A very subtle hint.
  20. Use this line of dialogue: “That’s not how any of this works.”
  21. “That happened in March last year.”
  22. Scenario: most of the time, everything is perfectly normal. But sometimes…
  23. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: agony, moves, persons, forever, juicy.
    2. Write about landscaping or yard work.
    3. Use the phrase, “how quaint.”
  24. Use these 5 words: jump, nostalgic, safe, purring, appreciate.
  25. Strange circumstances seem normal to one character.
  26. Use this line of dialogue: “Just throw everything away.”
  27. A dog’s “You gonna eat that?” look.
  28. Avoid a happy ending.
  29. What should the “no clue” button do?
  30. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: feet, famine, sooner, poems, neglected.
    2. Write about the third time not being charming at all.
    3. Use the phrase, “That’s a place I never want to go.”

Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger contest!

Gold:  “Special Warranty Activated” by Erin McDougall
Silver: “The Ginger Box” by R.J. Snowberger
Bronze: “Union” by Meredith Lindgren

The winning entries will appear in the June 2017 issue of Toasted Cheese.

We’d also like to thank everyone who entered. Some very creative secrets were hiding in the crossword puzzles in the stories we received.

We hope you had as much fun writing the stories as I had reading them.

Amanda (The Bellman) Marlowe