Toasted Cheese 17:2

Featured

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!

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.

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

A Midsummer Tale 2017

A Midsummer Tale is a summer-themed narrative writing contest open to non-genre fiction and creative nonfiction.

The theme of the 2017 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest is: Summer Love. Some loves last a lifetime, while others are transient. Write a story—fiction or nonfiction—about the love of someone or something that only lasts the length of a summer.

Deadline for entries is June 21, 2017.

March 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

  1. A Pen In Each HandWrite about a stand-up desk.
  2. Use these 5 words: unadvised, cross, tick, equable, groovy.
  3. Write about talking past each other.
  4. Use this line of dialogue: “People in _____ don’t know anything.”
  5. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: appear, author, really, smooth, workings.
    2. Write about watching someone in the morning sun.
    3. Use the phrase, “That’s not what they told me should happen next.”
  6. Include a character with no friends and no money.
  7. Choosing to ignore sound advice.
  8. Use these 5 words: lovely, cooing, tart, queue, absurd.
  9. “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood.”
  10. Use this line of dialogue: “Grown-ups ruin everything.”
  11. Trying not to whine, and failing.
  12. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: pledge, fatalistic, screams, chair, poem.
    2. Write about being awakened at midnight.
    3. Use the phrase, “It’s been a day.”
  13. Negotiating a working schedule
  14. Scenario: the moon explodes and the dead return to life.
  15. Beware the Ides of March!
  16. Use these 5 words: zealous, bow, slimy, unequaled, please.
  17. Something embarrassing from your MC’s past is discovered.
  18. Use this line of dialogue: “I have to ask: what is the point?”
  19. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: observe, invent, broken, done, eating.
    2. Write about deciding what to leave behind.
    3. Use the phrase, “That’ll be inconvenient.”
  20. Include a character who is only going through the motions of being alive.
  21. Make up something that only happens on the equinox.
  22. Use these 5 words: jumbled, truculent, dust, trace, loaf.
  23. “Sorry; I had to take a work break.”
  24. Use this line of dialogue: “Will you please go and study?”
  25. Where a message goes when you press “send”
  26. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: telephone, which, sailors, thought, burst.
    2. Write about running out of coffee.
    3. Use the phrase, “I never know what I want.”
  27. “There’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.”
  28. Start with: Here are a few things to argue about…
  29. What happens after you walk away.
  30. Use this line of dialogue: “She doesn’t know when to stop giving.”
  31. Why do April fools get their own special day?

Three Cheers Spring 2017 is OPEN

The Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest is now open.

Entries must be received by 5 PM Eastern Time, Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Write a mystery story that centers around a message hidden in a crossword puzzle.

Word count: Between 2250 and 2350 words.

  • Send entries to: threecheers17@toasted-cheese.com
  • Your subject line must read: Three Cheers and a Tiger Contest Entry
  • Paste your story directly into your email. No attachments please.

For complete rules:
Three Cheers and a Tiger Guidelines
General Contest Rules