July 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about forgetting to turn the calendar
  2. Write about a reconciliation.
  3. Use the phrase, “That’s been cancelled, also.”
  4. Use these five words: preach, junk, audio, risk, season.
  5. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Write about an anonymous message.
    2. Use the phrase, “Is it everybody, or just me?”
    3. Use the following five words: solid, cow, convention, dribble, invisible.
  6. Use these five words: required, slush, smoke, exchange, palette.
  7. Write about a dog who hides to avoid his/her pills.
  8. Write about a character who needs PTSD therapy.
  9. Write about sharing an anniversary with someone much younger.
  10. Write about a miscommunication when texting.
  11. Use the phrase, “What was I doing before lunch?”
  12. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Write about a new, larger, machine.
    2. Use the phrase, “the ones you love.”
    3. Use the following five words: dog, battle, integration, deficiency, priority.
  13. Write about a not-so-routine dentist visit.
  14. Write about a budget travel trip.
  15. Use the phrase, “What month is this again?”
  16. Include these 3 characters: urban planner, architect, general manager.
  17. Write about a bookshelf that collapses in the night.
  18. Set your story on a late afternoon train.
  19. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Write about a garden. ·
    2. Use the phrase, “maximum extent possible.”
    3. Use the following five words: necklace, basin, understand, bold, contract.
  20. Set your story in a hostel.
  21. Write about preparing for a storm.
  22. Use these five words: shame, finals, high-profile, catio, humor.
  23. Write about trying to fix a mistake.
  24. Write about your latest purchase.
  25. Write about a really annoying typo.
  26. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: rise, margin, sea, return, redeem.
    2. Use the phrase, “carnival atmosphere.”
    3. Write about a fancy word for a simple idea
  27. Rewrite the same scene, only in the dark.
  28. Start with this line: “Your dinner is waiting.”
  29. Write about carefully examining paper money.
  30. Write about a mentor.
  31. Answer a question with another question.

2020 A Midsummer Tale Winners

Featured

Toasted Cheese is happy to announce the winners of the 2020 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest.

First: “Staring at the Sky” by C.A. Rowland
Second: “Morning Run” by Justine Gardner
Third: “The Shave” by Emma Williamson
Honorable Mention: “Personally, I Feel Nothing” by Chelsea Wilson-Flynn

Congratulations!

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

Kudos to everyone who entered! We received 50+ entries again this year and enjoyed your varied and thoughtful explorations of the “quarantine” theme.

We hope you are all safe and well in this challenging year. Please join us for A Midsummer Tale again in 2021 and pass the contest info along to your writing friends! Next summer’s theme will be announced April 1, 2021.

Our next contest is the fall Three Cheers and a Tiger 48-hour writing contest, which runs the weekend of September 18-20. See our contest page for details.

TC recommends: Ravynscroft

Congratulations to TC editor Richard Edgar (Ana “Broker” George) on the publication of their second novel, Ravynscroft! This new story follows Ravyn as she begins her second act after splitting with her wife. Ravynscroft is the second book in the Necessary Lies series.

Broker’s Goodreads author page

Amazon link for digital or paperback version

Ravynscroft (Necessary Lies, #2) by Richard Edgar
Ravynscroft (Necessary Lies, #2) by Richard Edgar

June 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write a character talking to themselves.
  2. Include these 3 characters: family doctor, medical assistant, pharmacist.
  3. Use the phrase “Create a diversion.”
  4. Use these five words: purchase, time, hungry, commutes, jacket.
  5. Write about forgetting a weekly event.
  6. Use these five words: scorpion, talent, curly, machine, better.
  7. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: hover. shallow, precede, depressed, traction.
    2. Use the phrase, “What am I going to do about that?”
    3. Write about a sunset.
  8. Use these five words: model, insane, morning, skirt, criticizes.
  9. Write about a garden.
  10. Include these 3 characters in a story: zoologist, chemist, microbiologist.
  11. Use the phrase “Orange paisley turtleneck.”
  12. Write about elephants.
  13. Write about losing track of the day of the week.
  14. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: decade, dramatic, ambiguous, slogan, organ.
    2. Use the phrase, “Why is this so hard?”
    3. Write about working around a broken or poorly designed widget.
  15. Write about plans for an unusual birthday party.
  16. Start with this line: “Privacy is an important issue.”
  17. Write about cheating at solitaire.
  18. Write about a devastating fire.
  19. Write about someone with an unusual number of parents.
  20. Write about taking a risk.
  21. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: filter, torch, assume, reluctance, listen.
    2. Use the phrase, “I haven’t ever been there.”
    3. Write about waiting for a delivery.
  22. Start with this line: “____ isn’t having a good week.”
  23. Write about waiting impatiently by the mailbox.
  24. Include these 3 characters in a story: merchandise buyer, model, hairdresser
  25. Write a conversation with a long gone friend or family member.
  26. Set your story at a children’s playground.
  27. A character realizes they really are different.
  28. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: exile, area, soldier, dangerous, extend.
    2. Use the phrase, “Was there a sign that I missed?”
    3. Write about something that’s on sale.
  29. Write about turning in homework early.
  30. Start with this line: “One day in [year], I got an email…”

Toasted Cheese 20:2

Featured

The June 2020 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Chris Abbate, Richard Dinges Jr, Marchell Dyon, Salvatore Marici, Johann van der Walt, and Tiffany Washington; fiction by James Butt, Vidiya Dawah, Zixu Fan, Travis Inglis, and Kevin P. Keating; and creative nonfiction by Kay Marie Porterfield.

TCLJ 20:2 also includes the Spring 2020 Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Jay Bechtol, Jason Porterfield, and Jennifer Pantusa.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Rainforest in Russet by Cynthia Sharp

The cover image is by torbakhopper 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 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about Mayday used as a distress call
  2. Use these five words: joint, cracks, unpopular, boiling, looking.
  3. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: fork, hate, galaxy, purpose, affinity.
    2. Fill in the blank: “Did you think about ________?”
    3. Write about morning without coffee.
  4. Start with your protagonist slipping on ice.
  5. Celebrating the birthday of someone who has died.
  6. Start with this line: “That is a legal fiction.”
  7. Write about sharing from abundance.
  8. Write about good bacteria.
  9. Write about a dinner party gone slightly wrong.
  10. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: knock, qualification, essay, fair, galaxy.
    2. Use the phrase, “What is it you really want?”
    3. Write about tea.
  11. “Should I close the door when I leave?”
  12. Start with this line: “It’s hard not to be impressed by…”
  13. Write about the free offering of vital aid.
  14. Start with this line: “It was a battle of the sexes.”
  15. Write about the repeated “why?” question from a child.
  16. Start with this line: “This should be a priority for you.”
  17. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: release, teacher, gate, grimace, extinct.
    2. Use the phrase, “Which way is north?”
    3. Write about hearing voices without understanding words.
  18. Start with this line: “You won’t be disappointed.”
  19. “Tell me again why we’re doing this.”
  20. Use these five words: natural, press, damaged, symbol, completed.
  21. Write about working around a broken gadget.
  22. Write about granting a river legal rights.
  23. Write about seeing someone for the first time in years.
  24. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: punch, surgeon, jet, small, guitar.
    2. Use the phrase, “Are you staying for dinner?”
    3. Write about flipping a coin to make a decision.
  25. Write about the elephant in the room.
  26. Use these five words: opera, night, experimental, baby, thoughts.
  27. Use the phrase, “We could do this a whole different way.”
  28. Use these five words: hood, dismantled, vegetarian, episode, bridge.
  29. Write about solitary regrets.
  30. Write an obituary.
  31. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: black, main, aid, carve, suffer.
    2. Use the phrase, “I hear what you’re saying.”
    3. Write about the scent of whiskey.

April 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about the end of a very long month
  2. Start with this line: “The statements made by _____ are pure grade-A bunk.”
  3. Write about a census worker knocking on doors.
  4. Use these five words: cushion, leather, figure, proud, moving.
  5. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: desire, quarter, pleasant, rung, promise.
    2. Use the phrase, “Don’t try this at home.”
    3. Write about struggling to stay awake.
  6. Write about who you most admire.
  7. Write about picking out a tune on a piano.
  8. Start with this line: “Define ‘woman.'”
  9. “Shall I turn all the lights on, or not?”
  10. Include these 3 characters: event planner, cook, maintenance worker.
  11. Write about improvising a toasted cheese sandwich.
  12. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: difficulty, fist, absorb, blonde, twilight.
    2. Use the phrase, “Imagine this…”
    3. Write about an interruption.
  13. Write about making up a way to deal with stress.
  14. Set your story on a rainy night.
  15. Make up a 3rd inevitability: Death, Taxes, _______
  16. Set your story on a humid evening.
  17. Use the phrase “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.”
  18. Write about fake news.
  19. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: consolidate, disagreement, familiar, read, bear.
    2. Use the phrase, “What’s for lunch?”
    3. Write about a stuffed animal.
  20. Start your story in late afternoon.
  21. Write about trying to work around that one crucial supply.
  22. Start with this line: “It means that we survived.”
  23. Drop everything and write a haiku.
  24. Use these five words: questions, alternative, powering, art, reality.
  25. Do you write in your books? Why or why not?
  26. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: way, brain, flock, urge, convention.
    2. Fill in the blank: “It’s the best thing to do with ________.”
    3. Write about someone your character hasn’t thought about in years.
  27. Write about a parade.
  28. Start your story with a storm brewing.
  29. Use the phrase, “But before that…”
  30. Use these five words: visiting, amazing, chocolate, satellite, hourglass.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger contest!

Gold: “One of Wyeth’s Two Hundred and Forty Seven” by Jay Bechtol
Silver: “Fetch the Tuna” by Jason Porterfield
Bronze: “Small Town Magic” by Jennifer Pantusa

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

We’d like to thank everyone who entered. Mystery and magic made for an exciting set of stories. I hope you had as much fun writing the stories as I had reading them.

Amanda (The Bellman) Marlowe

A Midsummer Tale 2020

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

The theme of the 2020 A Midsummer Tale writing contest is: Quarantine. One definition of quarantine is “a state of enforced isolation.” This year, your midsummer tale must be about being quarantined—or isolated—during the hot summer months. The reason for the quarantine is up to you—a pandemic is not required.

The theme must play an integral role in the story.

Deadline for entries is June 21, 2020.

March 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: likely, powder, thick, formulate, flock.
    2. Use the phrase, “knock on the door.”
    3. Write about finding something that’s been lost for years.
  2. Use these five words: contestants, cookies, recommendation, release, toxic.
  3. Write about showing up late without your homework.
  4. Write about a TEDx talk, real or imagined.
  5. Write a more realistic version of a stress-induced dream.
  6. Use these five words: communities, debut, employees, sexy, electric.
  7. Write about trying to get a date on short notice.
  8. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: string, elephant, cream, market, misery.
    2. Use the phrase, “Does anybody want this?”
    3. Write about deciding what to do with a last hour together.
  9. Write about those last few drops of wine in the glass.
  10. Write a story about birders.
  11. Write about a discussion about money.
  12. Use these five words: zoo, target, date, mugged, variety.
  13. Write about a small child watching construction vehicles.
  14. Include these 3 characters: jewelry maker, artist, occupational therapist.
  15. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: promise, bridge, contain, fade, ivory.
    2. Use the phrase, “There’s nothing new here.”
    3. Write about forgetting to recharge a battery.
  16. Start with this line: “You are what you do, not what you say.”
  17. Fill in: “The ______ is the limit.”
  18. Use these five words: DIY, undone, block, photograph, liar.
  19. Write about being asked to leave a group.
  20. Write about applying to be an astronaut.
  21. Make up something that only happens on the Equinox.
  22. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: real, offense, hear, calm, merit.
    2. Use the phrase, “We are the stuff of other people’s nightmares.”
    3. Write about paying attention to breathing.
  23. Write about an unusually nice day with a sudden turn in the weather.
  24. Use these five words: lectured, crust, weave, cutting, introverts.
  25. Write about someone else’s holiday.
  26. Set your story in Hawaii.
  27. Write about a strange noise in the night.
  28. Set your story on a volunteer tourism trip.
  29. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: producer, bubble, accent, stamp, maximum.
    2. Use the phrase, “Pay careful attention, here.”
    3. Write about losing track of things changing.
  30. Use these five words: exchange, safety, attempt, tail, defense.
  31. Write about someone suddenly discovering they’re not alone.