Toasted Cheese 18:1

The March 2018 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Rachel Burns, Abigail George, Bibhu Padhi, Roger Singer & Don Thompson; flash by Amanda Breen, Michael Crane, Catherine Fearns, Erica Hoffmeister, Lynn Mundell & Michael Sams; and fiction by Amanda DeNatale & Mary Ann McSweeny.

TC 18:1 also includes the 2017 Dead of Winter Writing Contest winning stories by Meredith Lindgren & Vanessa Levin-Pompetzki.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews A Fire Without Light by Darren C. Demaree.

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

The cover image is by H.C. (la-oc-foodventures) 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!

February 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about a loss of confidence
  2. Start with this line of dialogue: “My new obsession is…”
  3. Use the phrase, “It’s different for me.”
  4. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: goggles, blubber, citizen, category, crackpot.
    2. Write about a strange hairstyle.
    3. Use the phrase “You are amazing.”
  5. Write about mindless activities before breakfast.
  6. Write about a false belief.
  7. Write about unintended consequences.
  8. Write about finding envelopes filled with money.
  9. Use the phrase “What year is it again?”
  10. Use these 5 words: drawing board, wraparound, piquant, cornmeal, swathe.
  11. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: misshapen, highway, committee, beak, grainy.
    2. Write about being in someone’s way.
    3. Use the phrase “Don’t try this at home, kids.”
  12. Write about family.
  13. Write about a great party.
  14. Use these 5 words: penalize, vacate, witch, insidious, lookup.
  15. Write about the morning after the party
  16. Write about a path to redemption.
  17. Write about finishing a dreaded task.
  18. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: designer, instill, empirical, angel, incident.
    2. Write about a slip in the schedule.
    3. Use the phrase “Forty-five, at last count.”
  19. Write about a street pothole.
  20. Start with this line of dialogue: “It looks like you covered this up.”
  21. “How are we going to pay for that?”
  22. Write about a routine.
  23. Invent a legend for a past hero
  24. Use these 5 words: soprano, trash talk, polymath, femme fatale, server.
  25. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: missile, cotton, catalogue. craft, nest.
    2. Write about waiting for a reply.
    3. Use the phrase “How would you like to pay?”
  26. Your protagonist is named Hyun-Shik Chai.
  27. Use the phrase “Papers, please.”
  28. Use these 5 words: synopsis, boldfaced, variation, pedestal, upstart.

January 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write out a set of writing goals for 2018
  2. Use the following phrase: secret door-locking button
  3. Write about a confusing user interface
  4. Start with this line of dialogue: “_____ has been fired.”
  5. Write about going through the checkbook, writing “2018” in the date blanks.
  6. Your protagonist is a historian.
  7. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  8. Use these 5 words: synonymous, force, acidic, heat, joke.
  9. Use the phrase, “It’s twice as hot as it was!”
  10. Use these 5 words: furry, awake, lumber, vagabond, nappy.
  11. Write about unfamiliar aches and pains.
  12. Write about asking for a pardon.
  13. “Friday the 13th is a Saturday.”
  14. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: cast, twelve, bauble, bomber, absurdly.
    2. Write about working on a holiday.
    3. Write about mirthless laughter.
  15. Write about an extra day in solitude.
  16. Write about what you’re grateful for.
  17. “If I talk about that, everyone will think…”
  18. Use these 5 words: Ursa Major, arbitrary, snag, knock out, wizardry.
  19. Use the phrase, “Hurry, it’s cold outside.”
  20. Include a character named Bao-Yu Liu.
  21. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: enter, cosmetic, gigantic, collectible, condo.
    2. Write about fixing things around the house.
    3. Use the phrase “OK, we went to the pub.”
  22. Start with this line of dialogue: “Millions could die.”
  23. Write about losing your glasses.
  24. Use the following phrase: found not guilty of murder
  25. Use the phrase, “Only 31 shopping days since Christmas!”
  26. Use the following phrase: a North Pole postmark
  27. Write about watching someone settle down for sleep.
  28. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: beat, suntan, verdict, swell, fish.
    2. Write about something misfiled or miscategorized.
    3. Use the phrase “So say we all.”
  29. “Was there a deadline I missed?”
  30. Write about robots.
  31. Use the phrase, “We have another lamp.”

Dead of Winter 2017 Winners

The winning story in our Dead of Winter 2017 contest is “Us, Alone” by Meredith Lindgren and the runner-up is “Rotten Fruit” by Vanessa Levin-Pompetzki. These stories will be published in our March 2018 issue.

We enjoyed reading every entry and thank the entrants for sharing their creativity with us.

Dead of Winter 2018 opens October 1 and we invite you to enter. Our next contest is the 48-hour challenge “Three Cheers and a Tiger,” which runs March 23-25, 2018.

Keep writing! Persevere!

December 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about saying “Rabbit, Rabbit” first thing on the first of the month.
  2. Use these 5 words: dashing, announce, punishment, kick, charge.
  3. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: flaming, hat, republic, believing, finite.
    2. Write about unintended consequences.
    3. Use the phrase, “Honey, I’m home.”
  4. Use this line of dialogue: “The future is hopeless.”
  5. Write about someone being braver than they thought possible.
  6. Include a character who spends an impressive amount of time asleep.
  7. Exchanging loving glances with an animal.
  8. Use these 5 words: redundant, stiff, smoggy, mark, complete.
  9. Waiting for the first storm of the season to begin
  10. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: Fog, hands, crossing, every, corner.
    2. Write about expecting something that’s late.
    3. Use the phrase, “I feel much better now.”
  11. Use the phrase “Over my dead body.”
  12. Use this line of dialogue: “Just a pain in the ass, basically.”
  13. Write about re-examining the most basic assumptions.
  14. Scenario: a famous kidnapping.
  15. Waking up after a medical procedure
  16. Use these 5 words: airport, hard-to-find, fireman, gorgeous, dead.
  17. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: comrade, mighty, morsel, crawling, expansion.
    2. Write about making an introduction.
    3. Use the phrase, “preaching to the choir.”
  18. Use this line of dialogue: “Try getting more sleep.”
  19. Use the phrase “This is not what it looks like.”
  20. Include a character drowning in alcohol, snack food, and regret.
  21. How to spend the longest night of the year.
  22. Use these 5 words: racial, seal, labored, frame, selective.
  23. Write about beginning a long retreat in solitude.
  24. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  25. Write about something awesomely wonderful.
  26. Use this line: “You have to be grown up & responsible. You have to.”
  27. “On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”
  28. Include a character who is desperately trying.
  29. Waiting for breakfast to be served.
  30. Use this line: “A donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund.”
  31. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.

Toasted Cheese 17:4

The December 2017 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Cassie Creley, David Polochanin & Wern Hao See; flash by Lauren Dennis, Michelle Dotter & Gaynor Jones; and fiction by Bim Angst, Christopher Heffernan, Gwenda Major & Phillip Mitchell.

TC 17:4 also includes the Fall Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Gail A. Webber, Erin McDougall & Anila Syed.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Fermentations by Salvatore Marici and Bill Lockwood reviews Nikolai Delov by James Dante.

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

The cover image is by Kathy Maister 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 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

  1. A Pen In Each HandTrying not to notice the ex’s birthday
  2. Use these 5 words: drain, smelly, girl, road, onerous.
  3. Use the phrase “Tell me some lies”
  4. Use this line of dialogue: “Try to lose the idea that you are cursed.”
  5. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: derelict, complete, empathic, barnburner, flytrap.
    2. Fill in the blanks: “_______ without ______ is like a day without sunshine.”
    3. Use the phrase, “Sorry I hung up on you.”
  6. Include a character who has a very hard time making decisions.
  7. Write about the one that got away.
  8. Use these 5 words: invention, train, fearless, note, cherries.
  9. Bus passenger wearing pajamas.
  10. Use this line: “This is probably so pretentious & self-indulgent…”
  11. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month
  12. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: disrupt, loser, horses, loyal, belongings.
    2. Write about waiting for the clock to strike.
    3. Use the phrase, “obviously it’s left-handed.”
  13. Doing improper things in public.
  14. Scenario: someone yells profanities at your MC and runs away.
  15. Character gets a vanity license plate for their car.
  16. Use these 5 words: mitten, existence, fair, yielding, absorbed.
  17. Use the phrase “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
  18. Use this line: “I have a fairly thin grip on reality to begin with.”
  19. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: honorary, ash, coincidence, collapsing, gutter.
    2. Write about a windy day.
    3. Use the phrase, “It was fun, I guess.”
  20. Include a character who writes as badly as she dresses.
  21. Invent some teenage slang for your dialog
  22. Use these 5 words: side, apparel, railway, visit, dynamic.
  23. “Everybody knows that. It’s not true.”
  24. Use this line of dialogue: “It’s hard to know what babies think.”
  25. Contemplating dropping out, running away
  26. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: drill, riot, expose, swarm, blinding.
    2. Write about humor based on someone’s name.
    3. Use the phrase, “I never would have thought of that.”
  27. Waking up to a strange noise
  28. Include a character who dreams of becoming a horse.
  29. Write about a crowded airport waiting room.
  30. Use this line of dialogue: “I shared too much. I want all my secrets back.”

Fall 2017 Three Cheers and a Tiger Winners!

Judges Boots & Broker have chosen the following stories as winners of the Fall 2017 Three Cheers and a Tiger contest:

  • Gold: “Not If We Lie” by Gail A. Webber
  • Silver: “Project Savant” by Erin McDougall
  • Bronze: “Mars” by Anila Syed

Congratulations! 🎉🎉🎉

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

October 2017
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: unrequited, knees, battle, roads, grunts.
    2. Write about a dreaded and frustrating task.
    3. Write about a question that cannot be answered truthfully.
  2. Use these 5 words: bubble, seat, walk, innate, ambiguous.
  3. What happens in October, stays in October.
  4. Use this line of dialogue: “Honey, you’ll handle it.”
  5. Write about an unhappy dog.
  6. Scenario: a planet of teenage girls, and they’re the only people there.
  7. Use the phrase “How swiftly we forget.”
  8. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: meanness, start, scribbling, stairs, shame.
    2. Write about a clerk remembering your character’s name.
    3. Use the phrase, “Tell me some lies.”
  9. A typo gives a profound insight
  10. Use these 5 words: comfortable, afford, inject, common, gun.
  11. A holiday happens unexpectedly
  12. Use this line of dialogue: “People are worried about me.”
  13. Include a character who’s lucky on Friday the 13th.
  14. Include a character whose friends are all stupid.
  15. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: floors, boxes, confession, corner, twisted.
    2. Write about finding something extra or unintended.
    3. Fill in the blank, “Coming soon, to a _______ near you.”
  16. Use these 5 words: grin, trees, cloudy, arrive, sister.
  17. Doing that one little thing before lunch.
  18. Use this line of dialogue: “Look, there are cows!”
  19. Feeling the sleep coming for you.
  20. Scenario: a short time is left, and there’s still so much to do.
  21. Write about mud.
  22. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: marry, gaunt, rest, really, private.
    2. Write about missing a holiday celebration.
    3. Fill in the blank, “Do you really want to _______?”
  23. Showing up at the wrong time for a meeting.
  24. Use these 5 words: flat, concerned, elastic, downtown, materialistic.
  25. A group experience without timepieces.
  26. Use this line of dialogue: “It doesn’t go away.”
  27. Hearing snow shovels in the summer
  28. It’s not strangers who are scary; it’s the people you think you know.
  29. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: object, crazy, wealthy, bait, grim.
    2. Fill in the blank: “_______ o’clock and all’s well.”
    3. Use the phrase, “Tell me a story.”
  30. Use this line of dialogue: “Breathe. You’re going to be ok.”
  31. Disagreement over holiday activities

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