February 2019
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Use the phrase, “You promised me cookies!”
  2. Use these 5 words: country, lake, caravan, historic, grave.
  3. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: assembly, comfort, serious, tough, series.
    2. Write about something that only other people seem to care about.
    3. Use the phrase, “What is all this stuff?”
  4. Write about: giving away the ending.
  5. Waiting while traveling
  6. Start with this line of dialogue: “This is not ok.”
  7. Coming home to an empty house.
  8. Use these 5 words: bashes, bodies, wins, bell, practice.
  9. Doing the same arithmetic and getting different answers.
  10. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: church, recruit, sip, joy, buy.
    2. Write about doing something because everybody assumes you always will.
    3. Fill in the blank, “These are not the ______ you’re looking for.”
  11. Frustrating delays.
  12. Write about: a landslide victory.
  13. Something trivial to one person hits another one hard.
  14. Start with this line of dialogue: “You remind me of…”
  15. Use the phrase “That wasn’t one of the options.”
  16. Write about: a canceled sailing.
  17. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: dominate, concede, mastermind, resource, job.
    2. Write about finding a letter from a long-ago loved one.
    3. Fill in the blank, ” ______ is down there, too.”
  18. Write about: things going too far.
  19. Mixing up the legends for several holidays.
  20. Start with this line of dialogue: “All I want is you.”
  21. Use the phrase “Am I the only one?”
  22. Write about: the earth shrinking.
  23. “This is not like the movies.”
  24. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: upset, astonishing, sand, agreement, gown.
    2. Write about filling an unexpectedly unscheduled time.
    3. Fill in the blank, ” ______ deserves applause.”
  25. Write about unwelcome corrections.
  26. Use these 5 words: cascades, mountain, provisions, beasts, epic.
  27. One thing ends without another beginning.
  28. Write about: a girls’ night out.

Dead of Winter 2018 Winners

The winning stories in our 2018 “Dead of Winter” short horror fiction contest are:

  • First place: “The Grave of Samuel Seymore James” by M. Luke Yoder
  • Second place: “Eidolon” by Lou Nell Gerard
  • Third place: “99 Words of Sorrow” by Maureen Rostad

Our next contest is “Three Cheers & A Tiger: Spring,” which is a 48-hour mystery contest. Dead of Winter 2019 opens October 1, 2019. We look forward to your entries. These stories will be published in the March 2019 issue.

Our contest info is here.http://tclj.toasted-cheese.com/contest.htm

January 2019
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Waking up to the after-party cleanup
  2. Use these 5 words: stickers, graffiti, memories, suitcases, map.
  3. Describe the fading of a dream.
  4. Your setting is: evening, thunderstorm, in a forest, lonely atmosphere.
  5. That last look around before departing.
  6. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: march, tick, abolish, unrest, constant.
    2. Write about having too much stuff.
    3. Use the phrase, “Next in line.”
  7. Expectations that are partially fulfilled.
  8. Start with this line of dialogue: “Strange and warm.”
  9. Explaining something wrong to somebody who knows the answer.
  10. Write about: seeing through a new pair of eyes.
  11. A Big Round Number birthday
  12. Use these 5 words: kindness, doctors, deceased, kiss, night.
  13. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: summary, budge, judgment, leg, bang.
    2. Write about a seeming coincidence that isn’t.
    3. Use the phrase, “I don’t think that’s right.”
  14. Use these 5 words: interfering, credentials, stateless, violence, historic.
  15. Beware the Ides of… January?
  16. Use these 5 words: perfect, body, bondage, invisible, lost.
  17. Cheering while somebody does something amazing.
  18. Your setting is: mid-afternoon, heavy rain, a village, neglected atmosphere.
  19. Writing a letter that won’t be sent.
  20. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: glacier, burial, cabinet, realize, rib.
    2. Write about a failure of something that’s usually reliable.
    3. Use the phrase, “I really should learn that.”
  21. Words of comfort fall flat.
  22. Use these 5 words: collections, adventure, struggling, fake, enemy.
  23. Missing an important engagement.
  24. Write about a character who is: industrious, fun-loving & depressed.
  25. Transferring all contacts but that one to a new device.
  26. Start with this line of dialogue: “This is what he lives for.”
  27. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: window, crash, bulb, skin, repeat.
    2. Write a confusing set of instructions.
    3. Use the phrase, “That’s not what we expected.”
  28. Start with this line of dialogue: “It’s for science!”
  29. Moving on from a situation that once was wonderful.
  30. Start with this line of dialogue: “I don’t believe her for one second.”
  31. Coin a new word and use it.

December 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. “Create a diversion!”
  2. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: relieve, attract, tire, occasion, feminine.
    2. Write about a nearly forgotten place.
    3. Use the phrase “tell me that you love me,” in an ironic way.
  3. “Ask yourself if you want the prize.”
  4. Use the following phrase: canceled due to weather conditions
  5. Write about unexpectedly nice weather.
  6. Use the following phrase: cleared of charges
  7. Write about a date that will live in infamy.
  8. Your protagonist is named Mayu Kawasaki.
  9. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: consolidate, pipe, tablet, sound, lion.
    2. Write about an odd way of saying something.
    3. Use the phrase “Is that real? Or did I make it up?”
  10. Your protagonist is named Terrell Holley.
  11. “Tell me again why we’re doing this?”
  12. Use the following phrase: a boys’ club
  13. Write about unintended consequences.
  14. Start w/ this line of dialogue: “A former student of mine emailed me today.”
  15. Characters playing the “What’s the next number in the sequence” game.
  16. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: chain, glance, mark, shine, consultation.
    2. Write about deciding not to care.
    3. Use the phrase, “Two generations ago.”
  17. Write about a birthday celebration gone wrong.
  18. Include a character who is a preschool teacher.
  19. Write about skipping a day of the week.
  20. Include a character named Ava Morrison.
  21. The universe holds its breath.
  22. Include a character named Naoto Kaeshiro.
  23. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: color-blind, know, commemorate, hunter, manage.
    2. Write about cooking.
    3. Fill in the blank: “Eat, drink, and be _________.”
  24. Start with this line of dialogue: “That was definitely an earthquake.”
  25. Write about someone who doesn’t celebrate holidays.
  26. Use the following phrase: we are survivors
  27. Sum up your year in writing.
  28. Include a character who is a veterinarian.
  29. Start with “They call it Boxing Day because…”
  30. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: consultation, convenience, loan, frog, lunch.
    2. Write about the second Thursday.
    3. Use the phrase, “That was a mistake.”
  31. Write about the First Annual _________.

Toasted Cheese 18:4

The December 2018 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Holly Day & Mandy Haggith; flash by Ona Gritz & Shani Naylor; fiction by Marcie McCauley & Charles Rafferty and creative nonfiction by Fiona Chai.

TC 18:4 also includes the Fall 2018 Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Michelle LaValley & Jon Meaders, Caitlin Cacciatore, and Karen Davis.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Two Towns Over by Darren C. Demaree.

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

The cover image is by Hotel du Vin & Bistro 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.
    1. Use the following five words: mutter, post, accident, tropical, frame.
    2. Write about doing something fun in serious circumstances.
    3. Fill in the blank: “Didn’t I tell you about ________ ?”
  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.
    1. Use the following five words: determine, chalk, negotiation, pump, old.
    2. Write about an interior monologue.
    3. Fill in the blank: “I was connected to a different ________.”
  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.
    1. Use the following five words: left, accumulation, tool, proof, zero.
    2. Write about doing something, knowing it’ll be regretted.
    3. Fill in the blank: ” ________ so thick you can taste it.”
  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.”

18th Annual Dead of Winter short fiction contest

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