April 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: number, architecture, alarm, bounce, shrink.
    2. Write about bailing out of a planned activity.
    3. Use the phrase “No good deed goes unpunished.”
  2. Your antagonist is named Maxim Ibarra.
  3. Cat, asleep with all 4 feet in the air.
  4. Use these words: trailblazer, bunk bed, indiscreet, grassroots, underground.
  5. That one channel you wanted to watch won’t work.
  6. Use the following phrase: even weirdos need some kindness
  7. Watching weather reports very carefully
  8. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: convenience, piano, danger, asylum, axis.
    2. Write about feeling sad for no obvious reason.
    3. Use the phrase “Was that fun?”
  9. “I’m sorry I didn’t do that when you wanted.”
  10. Use the following phrase: all that rage is a mask
  11. Asking strange questions.
  12. Start with this dialogue: “We’ve become numb to this sort of behavior.”
  13. “No good deed goes unpunished.”
  14. Use the following phrase: throwing fuel on a dying fire
  15. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: Sunday, towards, street, grunts, dress.
    2. Write about turning something in late.
    3. Use the phrase “Do what you need to do.”
  16. Use the following phrase: a gaggle of geese
  17. Life in a close-knit secret organization
  18. Write about a public shaming.
  19. Moving on to the next task.
  20. Your antagonist is a travel agent.
  21. Do it all at once? Or break it into pieces?
  22. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: daughter, rice, ordinary, implicit, compete.
    2. Write about a tool you don’t know how to use.
    3. Use the phrase “And now it’s broken.
  23. Upgrading only to find favorites broken.
  24. Use the following phrase: fired for inappropriate behavior
  25. Conversation while washing dishes together.
  26. Use these 5 words: dock, ratty, coast, obtain, military.
  27. Entering the wrong year on a form
  28. Use the following phrase: behind closed doors
  29. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: element, gate, expose, cheap, woman.
    2. Write about a security concern.
    3. Use the phrase “What I really want is a nap.”
  30. Include a character named Kedar Abbas.

2018 Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger contest!

Gold:  “Gray-Eyed Greedy Guts” by Jill Spencer
Silver: “The Mystery of the Capucine” by Zachary Turner
Bronze: “The List” by Josh Flores
Honorable Mention: “The Black Rose” by Cana Shafer

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze entries will appear in the June 2018 issue of Toasted Cheese.

We’d also like to thank everyone who entered. Some press flowers for memories, and some for murder. In any case, pressed flowers produced many intriguing mysteries.

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

Amanda (The Bellman) Marlowe

A Midsummer Tale 2018

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

The theme of the 2018 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest is: Thunderstorms. Write a story that takes place before, during, or after a summer thunderstorm. The theme must play an integral role in the story.

Deadline for entries is June 21, 2018.

March 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about a sudden change in the weather.
  2. Use the following phrase: this is something special
  3. “There’s absolutely no question.”
  4. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: despair, lodge, cutting, long, fiction.
    2. Write about someone not finding what they’re looking for.
    3. Use the phrase “Could use a facelift.”
  5. Write about a lap cat “helping”
  6. Your protagonist is named Virgil Beck.
  7. Write about family interfering with work.
  8. Use these 5 words: befitting, last, program, haircut, birthday.
  9. “If you think about it inside out…”
  10. Write about being good enough.
  11. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: side, rung, smart, margin, liability.
    2. Write about dreading a move.
    3. Fill in the blank: “If you should happen to ______.”
  12. Use these 5 words: shipwreck, biofuel, ripple, dahlia, fern.
  13. Write about a life-changing decision
  14. Start with this line of dialogue: “_____ has died.”
  15. Write about something coming due on the Ides of March
  16. Use these 5 words: short, spinster, nauseate, fail, prelude.
  17. Write about the first attempt to sail a new boat.
  18. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: clique, rational, leak, nightmare, tactic.
    2. Write about a knock at the door, with “Five minutes” spoken aloud.
    3. Fill in the blank: “Do you really want to ______?”
  19. “How do you propose to do that?”
  20. Start with this line of dialogue: “Ok, we’re in the home stretch!”
  21. Write about waiting for spring
  22. Your antagonist is named Nova Epstein.
  23. Write about an abandoned building.
  24. Use these 5 words: bear, joyous, cemetery, awesome, melted.
  25. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: dribble, evening, bring, lemon, drift.
    2. Write about unwanted automation.
    3. Use the phrase “Use the phrase.”
  26. Write about being mortified.
  27. Breakfast on the morning after.
  28. Write about mixed feelings.
  29. Write about going home early, only to find…
  30. Use these 5 words: vulgarity, doily, spirit, withdraw, inherit.
  31. Losing your sense of the passage of time

The Spring 2018 Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest is CLOSED.

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

Entries must be received by 5 PM Eastern Time, Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Write a mystery story that centers around pressed flowers in an old book.

Word count: Between 1,950 and 2,050 words.

  • Send entries to: threecheers18@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

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.