18th Annual Dead of Winter short fiction contest

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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

Three Cheers and a Tiger Fall 2018 is CLOSED

This fall’s topic is: A Contest!

Write a fantasy or science fiction story between 3500 and 4500 words about a contest! Your contest can be winner take all; win, place, show; or first, second, third. Whatever the outcome, there must be a contest must be heavily featured in your story.

Be sure to read both the Three Cheers and a Tiger contest rules and the general contest guidelines before submitting your entry.

Your 48 hours start now. Good luck!

2018 A Midsummer Tale Winners

Toasted Cheese is happy to announce the winners of the 2018 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest.

1st: “Seven Disconnected Facts About the Human Heart” by Sarah Evans
2nd: “10 O’Clock” by Mike Wang
3rd: “Derecho” by Lou Nell Gerard

Congratulations!

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

Kudos to everyone who entered! We received more than 60 entries this year and enjoyed reading your creative takes on the theme of “thunderstorms.” We hope you’ll join us for A Midsummer Tale again in 2019 and that you’ll pass the contest info along to your writing friends! Next summer’s theme will be announced April 1, 2019.

Our next contest is the fall Three Cheers and a Tiger writing contest, which runs the weekend of September 21-23. See our contest page for details.

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.

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

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.

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

 

Three Cheers and a Tiger Fall 2017 — CLOSED

Stories submitted to the 2017 Fall “Three Cheers and a Tiger” short fiction contest must follow the theme: “the  de-escalation of a potentially violent situation.” Your entry must also follow guidelines below.

Entries must be received by 5 PM Eastern Time, Sunday, September 24, 2017. The challenge is to write and submit a complete story in 48 hours. There is no registration and no entry fee.

SPECIAL:

Conflict has long been an inspiration to spec fic writers. In choosing this year’s theme, we’re inspired by real world events and are eager to see how SFF writers interpret not only the theme but the world in which we find ourselves. What world will you create and what will it say about our own?

EVERY YEAR:

Stories MUST be based on the theme provided.

Stories MUST be speculative fiction (sci fi or fantasy entries are welcome; read past winners to get an idea of what subgenres judges prefer).

Stories MUST fall within word count parameters. The word count range for 3CFall 2017 is 3000–4000 words.

HOW TO ENTER:

The contest opens September 22, 2017 at 5 PM ET and the deadline for submission is 5:00 PM ET September 24, 2017.

Email entries to threecheers17[@]toasted-cheese.com with the subject line:
Three Cheers Contest Entry

Paste your story directly into your email. No attachments please.

Follow general Three Cheers and a Tiger guidelines and general contest rules:

Three Cheers and a Tiger Guidelines

General Contest Rules

 

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.