The 2021 Savage Science Fiction / Fantasy Writing Contest is CLOSED

Your challenge for the 2021 Savage Science Fiction / Fantasy Writing Contest:

Write a fantasy or science fiction story under 4,000 words about trying to regain a power, sense, or technology lost to an act of nature or a widespread disease.

Be sure to read both the Savage Writing Contest rules and the general contest guidelines before submitting your entry.

Your 48 hours start now. Good luck!

Toasted Cheese 21:3

Featured

The September 2021 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Jenny Hockey, Joanne Holdridge, Vicki Mandell-King, Timothy Pilgrim & Russell Rowland; flash by Natalie Schriefer; fiction by Omid Fallahazad, Minh Tam T. Le & Ann Zhang; and creative nonfiction by Elizabeth Bernays & Kolton Knapp.

TC 21:3 also includes the 2021 A Midsummer Tale Writing Contest winning stories by April Vázquez, Robin Kirby & Christina Hoag.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews The Shot by Anne Greenawalt.

The cover image is by Anna Fox 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!

August 2021
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: place, digital, iron, pumpkin, peanut.
    2. Use the phrase, “Expect heavy precipitation.”
    3. Write about merging cuisines from different places.
  2. Start with this line: The apocalypse is coming.
  3. Write about recovering from illness or injury.
  4. Set your story at a closed border
  5. Write about apologizing for being late.
  6. Write about a personal attack
  7. Write about watching a plume of smoke.
  8. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: plaster, perfume, argument, swell, conscious.
    2. Use the phrase, “That won’t work.”
    3. Write about trying to stay awake.
  9. Write about not apologizing for being late.
  10. Use these five words: stars, missing, nuclear, powerful, accident
  11. Write about missing deadlines.
  12. Use these five words: outage, classic, concert, trial, exchange
  13. Set your story on Friday the 13th.
  14. Set your story during a snowstorm
  15. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: island, density, general, copy, sister.
    2. Use the phrase, “If it were reliable, it wouldn’t be magic.”
    3. Write about almost missing a deadline.
  16. Start with this line: She wants to be seen as something other than a mother.
  17. Write about a doctored recording.
  18. Write about something kept in cages
  19. Answer a child’s “That’s not fair!” complaint.
  20. Use these five words: superfans, behavioral, journalist, debate, airport
  21. Use “How does this thing work again?”
  22. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: waiter, chew, magnitude, joint, population.
    2. Use the phrase, “It seems less noisy.”
    3. Write about an inconvenient modern technology.
  23. Write about a bad case of the Mondays
  24. Write about a well-deserved bath
  25. Write an incident in your character’s childhood.
  26. Use these five words: grifters, gravesite, befitting, defeat, network
  27. Write about not being able to come up with the right word.
  28. Use these five words: flashpoint, shortage, packing, cheers, fight
  29. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: half, release, jewel, X-ray, double.
    2. Use the phrase, “How do we clean that?”
    3. Write about disobeying rules.
  30. Write about a great mystery
  31. Write about clay on a potter’s wheel.

 

2021 A Midsummer Tale Writing Contest Winners

Toasted Cheese is happy to announce the winners of the 2021 A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest.

First: “My Virginity and Other Losses” by April Vázquez
Second: “Boys Will Be Boys” by Robin Kirby
Third: “The Night on the Rock” by Christina Hoag
Honorable Mention: “Invincible” by Bari Lynn Hein

Congratulations!

First place receives a $50 Amazon gift card, second place a $15 Amazon gift card, and third place a $10 Amazon gift card. All three stories will appear in the September issue of Toasted Cheese. We enjoyed your creative and poignant takes on the “coming of age” theme.

Kudos to everyone who entered! We enjoyed your creative and poignant takes on the “coming of age” theme.

Please join us for A Midsummer Tale again in 2022 and pass the contest info along to your writing friends! Next summer’s theme will be announced April 1, 2022.

Our next contest is the Savage Science Fiction / Fantasy 48-hour writing contest, which runs the weekend of September 17-19. See our contest page for details.

July 2021
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write four paragraphs of description of the setting of your story.
  2. Use these five words: wondering, assessment, hidden, evidence, tracking
  3. Use the phrase “battled to a scoreless tie.”
  4. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: reader, theory, pause, drawer, reaction. Bonus word: earwax.
    2. Fill in the blank: “Where did I put my _______?”
    3. Write about studying a map.
  5. Write about a freaked-out dog.
  6. Use these five words: bloomers, rundown, transformed, starry, photos
  7. Write about the sound of an appliance running.
  8. Set your story in a courtroom
  9. Write about eating out with a family member.
  10. Use these five words: influx, security, breach, reborn, bleed
  11. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: case, version, leave, tourist, precedent.
    2. Use the phrase, “where did that come from?”
    3. Write about correcting someone.
  12. Use these five words: stalled, joint, win, gems, forcibly
  13. Write about being confused by a calendar.
  14. Set your story at a poetry reading
  15. Write about rushing to open a restaurant.
  16. Start with this line: What did you miss most while you were away?
  17. Write a child’s bedtime story.
  18. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: cylinder, fairy, straight, temperature, warm.
    2. Use the phrase, “As far away as possible.”
    3. Write about a large animal.
  19. Write about a health worry.
  20. Write about being scared
  21. Write about settling in a different country.
  22. Write about a sexual assault accusation
  23. Write about summer snow.
  24. Set your story in space
  25. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: transport, throat, impound, suppress, hang.
    2. Use the phrase, “I’m not sure what happens now.”
    3. Write about giving up trying to explain something.
  26. Set your story at an awards show
  27. Drop everything and write a Haiku.
  28. Start with this line: I’m not sure why I put myself through this.
  29. Write about cleaning out the refrigerator.
  30. Use these five words: cliffhanger, poet, buckle, hero, twist
  31. Make up a name for a day of the week.

 

June 2021
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about poison.
  2. Set your story in a traffic jam
  3. Write about getting the cold shoulder.
  4. Use these five words: calling, double, lifetime, policy, treason
  5. Write about being disappointed after a major accomplishment.
  6. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
  7. Write about a favorite place to sit.
  8. Set your story at a funeral
  9. Write about tasting something special.
  10. Use these five words: watch, crow, parity, coffee, justice
  11. Write about staying up very late to finish a book.
  12. Start with this line: He said he meant it as a compliment.
  13. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: inappropriate, arrange, projection, plead, update.
    2. Use the phrase, “It looks the same to me.”
    3. Write about craving a stimulant.
  14. Start with this line: Two lucky winners will receive…
  15. Write about waiting for quitting time.
  16. Write about a character wearing robes
  17. Write about a misremembered quotation.
  18. Start with this line: The stakes just got higher.
  19. Write about discovering a surprising shared interest.
  20. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: ceremony, scheme, prey, charm, hesitate.
    2. Use the phrase, “Repeat after me.”
    3. Write about uncooked food.
  21. Use the phrase, “Was I daydreaming?”
  22. Use these five words: fastidiously, patience, director, zero, imminent
  23. Write about unconventional clothes.
  24. Use these five words: imaginative, intersect, genius, false, analysis
  25. Use the phrase, “It’s just six months til Christmas.”
  26. Write about a complicated threat
  27. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: paralyzed, claim, formation, positive, fail.
    2. Fill in the blank: “Not enough room in the _______.”
    3. Write about being unable to hear.
  28. Start with this line: Where are they now?
  29. Use this phrase: “Why isn’t it red?”
  30. Set your story in a wildfire

 

Toasted Cheese 21:2

The June 2021 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Kathleen Bryson & Marchell Dyon; flash by Carla Scarano D’Antonio, Laura Gavin & Terri Mullholland; fiction by Sarah Clayville, Linda Griffin, Caleb Martin-Rosenthal, Laura Mazzenga & DRC Wright; and creative nonfiction by Kimberly Cullen & David Sapp.

TC 21:2 also includes the 2021 Savage Mystery Writing Contest winning stories by Cara Brezina, Morgan-McKay Hoppmann & Jay Bechtol.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Celeste Blue by Lou Nell Gerard and Triggers by Alexa Recio de Fitch.

The cover image is by A. Currell 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!

May 2021
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Use the phrase, “Mayday! Mayday!”
  2. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: trait, earthquake, wire, laborer, suburb.
    2. Use the phrase, “Wait, don’t do that.”
    3. Write about trying not to laugh.
  3. Write about a late-season storm.
  4. Use these five words: married, tomorrow, founder, gala, surprise
  5. Write about making up a holiday.
  6. Start with this line: Please drive with caution.
  7. Use “What day is it?”
  8. Use these five words: ceremony, personal, legacy, lobster, swans
  9. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: hardship, sour, provincial, miss, banner.
    2. Use the phrase, “Is it morning again already?”
    3. Write about doing habitual things in the wrong order.
  10. Start with this line: It wasn’t something we focused on.
  11. Write about using sign language in a noisy bar.
  12. Start with this line: You should’ve cut him when you had the chance.
  13. Write about a cat’s hunting habits.
  14. Use these five words: superheroes, millions, human, poet, baseball
  15. Use the phrase “And here it is mid-May already.”
  16. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: recommend, class, abnormal, gravity, city.
    2. Use the phrase, “scratching people off the list.”
    3. Write about hoping not to encounter anybody you know.
  17. Write about recreating a very old recipe.
  18. Set your story at a movie premiere
  19. Make up a child’s bedtime story.
  20. Set your story in an airport
  21. Write about a lesson learned during the pandemic.
  22. Set your story at a protest
  23. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: bind, corruption, distinct, deficit, passion.
    2. Use the phrase, “There was a time when I believed…”
    3. Write about putting on fancy clothes.
  24. Write about receiving a diploma
  25. Write about the limits of a can-do attitude.
  26. Write about a musical collaboration
  27. Start with “Why am I here?”
  28. Use these five words: meet-cute, scrapbooking, arrest, envelope, neglected
  29. Use “That’s not fair!”
  30. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: institution, pest, lecture, nursery, pie.
    2. Use the phrase, “It’s almost time to go.”
    3. Write about troubleshooting.
  31. Discuss the phrase “once upon a time.”

 

April 2021
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about why April fools get their own day.
  2. Write about winning
  3. Write about an animal mascot.
  4. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: jump, extension, waterfall, pile, monopoly.
    2. Use the phrase, “Can we afford that?”
    3. Write about an auction.
  5. Write about figuring out a weird calendar.
  6. Use these five words: groups, masks, doctor, refused, office
  7. Write about an unlucky number.
  8. Start with this line: This rhetoric is inciting violence.
  9. Write about introducing old and new partners.
  10. Write about an intense class
  11. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: defeat, growth, ask, highlight, grace.
    2. Use the phrase, “I don’t know what’s in it.”
    3. Write about interruptions.
  12. Write about a shooting
  13. Write about struggling to read fine print.
  14. Set your story under the surface of the ocean
  15. Write about a last-minute reprieve.
  16. Write about an important vote
  17. Write about a lazy Saturday spent with a friend.
  18. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: claim, velvet, acquit, argument, loose.
    2. Use the phrase, “It’s better not to ask.”
    3. Write about a moth drawn to a flame.
  19. Write about a formal tea ceremony.
  20. Start with this line: Do you think he will leave peacefully?
  21. Write about tedious repetition.
  22. Use these five words: discovery, collaboration, hug, plant, voice
  23. Write about confusion over an acronym.
  24. Use these five words: staffing, rock, recipients, counted, author
  25. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: chord, chain, exercise, smart, album.
    2. Use the phrase, “Here’s the plan.”
    3. Write about waiting for dinnertime.
  26. Write about dancing in the rain
  27. Write about a recurring nightmare.
  28. Start with this line: What are you most looking forward to?
  29. Write about the last of its kind.
  30. Use these five words: outlandish, shattering, accident, syndrome, modicum

2021 Savage Mystery Writing Results

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Savage Mystery Writing Contest!

First Place: “Off Your Block” by Cara Brezina
Second Place: “Mystery at the Museum by Morgan-McKay Hoppmann
Third Place: “Memories from Franklin County, Missouri” by Jay Bechtol

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

We’d like to thank everyone who entered. The unexpected uprooting of trees revealed a variety of mysteries. I hope you had as much fun writing the stories as I had reading them.

Amanda (The Bellman) Marlowe