June 2019
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about new beginnings
  2. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: color, index, dependence, herd, rocket. Bonus word: earthwax.
    2. Write about a new way of thinking about the same old things.
    3. Fill in the blank: “It’s different for _______.”
  3. Let the setting be as important as a character.
  4. Your setting is: mid-morning, misty, rough neighborhood, joyful atmosphere.
  5. Write about not asking important questions.
  6. Write about: living through loss.
  7. A character who thinks they are alone, but is not.
  8. Use these 5 words: icon, idiosyncrasies, ensemble, heels, altered.
  9. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: lace, inspector, growth, mood, fee.
    2. Write about developing a blister.
    3. Fill in the blank: “That is so _______ that I have to scream now.”
  10. Write about a character who is: fearless, inspirational & judgmental.
  11. Here’s how you find out about that…
  12. Use these 5 words: isolating, sailing, fish, beaches, simplicity.
  13. Write about a child who is sick.
  14. Use these 5 words: sand, lobster, oceans, message, dolphin.
  15. Write about trying to understand a cat.
  16. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: penetrate, lump, object, destruction, flourish.
    2. Write about a forgotten holiday.
    3. Fill in the blank: “I hope you have a nice _______.”
  17. Write about a significant birthday.
  18. Write about: a welcome guest.
  19. Weave a story around an improvised recipe.
  20. Write about a character who is: generous, mysterious & industrious.
  21. Write about admiring nice weather through a window.
  22. Start with this line of dialogue: “Crews are responding.”
  23. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: mist, traction, exploration, diet, whole.
    2. Write about going out just after the rain ends.
    3. Fill in the blank: “I never would have thought you were _______.”
  24. Write about a character who is: rude, aggressive & selfish.
  25. Write about visiting an abandoned building.
  26. Write about: having everything you want.
  27. Write about exploring a new website.
  28. Write about a character who is: dependable, unkind & timid.
  29. Start with “You may ask yourself…”
  30. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: reach, strange, impact, priority, wrap.
    2. Write about finding a way to do something better.
    3. Use the phrase, “This is the interesting part.”

May 2019
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. “Mayday, mayday!”
  2. Write about: an unwelcome conversation.
  3. Write about the birthday of a departed loved one.
  4. Write about: comparing notes.
  5. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  6. Start with this line of dialogue: “Thank goodness for plastic surgery!”
  7. Answer a question with “Did you mean…?”
  8. Write about: a marriage of convenience.
  9. Write about dumping information on a new person.
  10. Start with this line of dialogue: “This song is actually a cover.”
  11. Write about obsessively staring at a phone screen.
  12. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  13. Write about seeking out other native speakers of your language.
  14. Write about: an act of ecoterrorism.
  15. Having a hard time explaining something.
  16. Your setting is: mid-morning, heavy rain, city park, hostile atmosphere.
  17. Use the phrase, “Tell me that you love me.”
  18. Write about: an offensive nickname.
  19. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  20. Use these 5 words: flabbergasted, murders, cookies, dolls, psyche.
  21. Write about a new box of crayons.
  22. Your setting is: mid-morning, thick fog, on a train, gloomy atmosphere.
  23. Fill in: “On this date in ______ (year)”
  24. Use these 5 words: cabaret, hipster, synthetic, smolder, condescending.
  25. “There are only 210 shopping days til Christmas!”
  26. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
  27. Write about the 13th ad for the same product.
  28. Start with this line of dialogue: “I’m sad to see _____ go.”
  29. Write about new beginnings.
  30. Write about: a resignation letter.
  31. Write about very strange weather.

April 2019
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about an April Fools Day joke gone bad.
  2. Use these 5 words: musical, delightful, memorized, captioned, applause.
  3. Use the phrase, “What’s this thing for again?”
  4. Write about a character who is: optimistic, lonely & cruel.
  5. Write about trying to guess an acronym’s meaning
  6. Use these 5 words: wildland, dangerous, season, bear, pioneer.
  7. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: highway, terms, cultural, arena, circle.
    2. Write about borrowing something.
    3. Fill in the blank: “Can we talk about ______? Because we’re talking about it without using the word.”
  8. Your setting is: midnight, light snow falling, a desert, scary atmosphere.
  9. Write about that first birthday after a loss.
  10. Use these 5 words: scary, resort, monkey, lizard, naughty.
  11. Write about deflecting praise.
  12. Use these 5 words: poll, overseeing, representation, power, judges.
  13. Write about being distracted by conversation at the next table.
  14. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: graphic, receipt, contain, landscape, bring.
    2. Write about reversing roles.
    3. Use the phrase: “Does that ever work?”
  15. Write about anything except taxes.
  16. Use these 5 words: imagination, narrative, sparked, affected, transformed.
  17. Write about wearing the wrong thing to a gathering.
  18. Start with this line of dialogue: “You know where my head and heart are.”
  19. Write about aging ungracefully.
  20. Write about: the worst storm in a decade.
  21. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: sweet, restless, enlarge, ridge, strategic.
    2. Write about not wanting to talk about something.
    3. Fill in the blank: “But you told me _______.”
  22. Use these 5 words: grumpy, cats, fly, treats, curious.
  23. Write about arranging a complicated event.
  24. Use these 5 words: pool, poised, candid, daughter, duo.
  25. Write about getting the day of the week wrong.
  26. Write about a character who is: anxious, optimistic & conceited.
  27. Use the phrase, “What could go wrong?”
  28. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: traction, manager, reverse, creation, plan.
    2. Write about indecision.
    3. Fill in the blank: “I never thought I’d see the day when _______.”
  29. Write about going off shift at midnight.
  30. Start with this line of dialogue: “I’m scared.”

2019 Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger contest!

Gold: “An Unapparent Suicide” by Miguel A. Rueda
Silver: “Beware: A Prue Klatter Mystery” by Cayce Osborne
Bronze: “Aunt Nettie” by Charmaine Braun

The winning entries will appear in the June 2019 issue of Toasted Cheese.

We’d like to thank everyone who entered. Caesar wasn’t the only one who was mysteriously told to beware the Ides of March.

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

—The Bellman

A Midsummer Tale 2019

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

The theme of the 2019 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest is: Secrets. An event that must be kept secret. The weight of holding onto a secret. A secret long kept, now revealed. Whether your story is set at the beginning, middle or end of a secret’s lifespan, it must take place during the hot summer months.

The theme must play an integral role in the story.

Deadline for entries is June 21, 2019.

March 2019
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Use the phrase “Like a lion”
  2. Your setting is: twilight, hailstorm, countryside, romantic atmosphere.
  3. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: possibility, false, housing, glove, reduce.
    2. Write about mis-remembering something.
    3. Use the phrase, “Am I doing that just to get a reaction?”
  4. Write about: getting mixed signals.
  5. Write about a significant street address.
  6. Start with this line of dialogue: “Thousands remain without power.”
  7. Write a dialog in text messages
  8. Start with this line of dialogue: “Everything she said was a lie!”
  9. Use the phrase, “I really didn’t change anything!”
  10. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: grind, cylinder, predator, project, inspector.
    2. Write about trying to do two things at once.
    3. Use the phrase, “I hope she likes it.”
  11. Write about the after-disaster meeting.
  12. Start with this line of dialogue: “I beg to differ.”
  13. Start with “Is there coffee?”
  14. Write about a character who is: sensitive, sly & dependable.
  15. Use the phrase, “How can you drink this stuff?”
  16. Your setting is: twilight, storm brewing, airplane, electrifying atmosphere.
  17. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: hunter, jelly, association. revolutionary, paper.
    2. Write about an expected interruption.
    3. Use the phrase, “I am not a cat.”
  18. Write about a character who is: kindly, carefree & violent.
  19. Use the phrase, “I remember when…”
  20. Use these 5 words: panda, spirit, traditional, figures, skepticism.
  21. Write about a naive can-do attitude
  22. Use these 5 words: construction, challenge, logical, stunning, pitfalls.
  23. Drop everything and write a haiku.
  24. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: reptile, expand, rabbit, medium, fuel.
    2. Write about trying to wrap one’s head around a difficult concept.
    3. Use the phrase, “We could just do it the easy way.”
  25. Use the phrase, “It’s that time again…”
  26. Start with this line of dialogue: “What are you reading?”
  27. What would you do with an irony mark if English had one?
  28. Use these 5 words: expertise, blow, dueling, competition, Saturday.
  29. Use the phrase, “Just close the door and walk away.”
  30. Use these 5 words: burden, motive, briefing, freedom, proved.
  31. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: housing, revive, nest, miserable, enlarge.
    2. Write about a crowded situation.
    3. Use the phrase, “Holy smoke.”

The Spring 2019 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 24, 2019.

Write a mystery story that centers around a diary entry or social media post for March 15th that starts out with “They told me to beware.”

Word count: Between 1,350 and 1,450 words.

  • Send entries to: threecheers19@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 19:1

The March 2019 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Jerrice J. Baptiste, Teresa Blackmon, Carl Leggo, DS Maolalai, Amy Sherwood & Bill Yarrow; flash by Phebe Kirkham & Jared Levy; fiction by Louis M. Abbey and creative nonfiction by Tracy Lyall.

TC 19:1 also includes the 18th Annual Dead of Winter Writing Contest winning stories by M. Luke Yoder, Lou Nell Gerard & Maureen Rostad.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England.

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

The cover image is by jpellgen 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 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