June 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write a character talking to themselves.
  2. Include these 3 characters: family doctor, medical assistant, pharmacist.
  3. Use the phrase “Create a diversion.”
  4. Use these five words: purchase, time, hungry, commutes, jacket.
  5. Write about forgetting a weekly event.
  6. Use these five words: scorpion, talent, curly, machine, better.
  7. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: hover. shallow, precede, depressed, traction.
    2. Use the phrase, “What am I going to do about that?”
    3. Write about a sunset.
  8. Use these five words: model, insane, morning, skirt, criticizes.
  9. Write about a garden.
  10. Include these 3 characters in a story: zoologist, chemist, microbiologist.
  11. Use the phrase “Orange paisley turtleneck.”
  12. Write about elephants.
  13. Write about losing track of the day of the week.
  14. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: decade, dramatic, ambiguous, slogan, organ.
    2. Use the phrase, “Why is this so hard?”
    3. Write about working around a broken or poorly designed widget.
  15. Write about plans for an unusual birthday party.
  16. Start with this line: “Privacy is an important issue.”
  17. Write about cheating at solitaire.
  18. Write about a devastating fire.
  19. Write about someone with an unusual number of parents.
  20. Write about taking a risk.
  21. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: filter, torch, assume, reluctance, listen.
    2. Use the phrase, “I haven’t ever been there.”
    3. Write about waiting for a delivery.
  22. Start with this line: “____ isn’t having a good week.”
  23. Write about waiting impatiently by the mailbox.
  24. Include these 3 characters in a story: merchandise buyer, model, hairdresser
  25. Write a conversation with a long gone friend or family member.
  26. Set your story at a children’s playground.
  27. A character realizes they really are different.
  28. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: exile, area, soldier, dangerous, extend.
    2. Use the phrase, “Was there a sign that I missed?”
    3. Write about something that’s on sale.
  29. Write about turning in homework early.
  30. Start with this line: “One day in [year], I got an email…”

May 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about Mayday used as a distress call
  2. Use these five words: joint, cracks, unpopular, boiling, looking.
  3. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: fork, hate, galaxy, purpose, affinity.
    2. Fill in the blank: “Did you think about ________?”
    3. Write about morning without coffee.
  4. Start with your protagonist slipping on ice.
  5. Celebrating the birthday of someone who has died.
  6. Start with this line: “That is a legal fiction.”
  7. Write about sharing from abundance.
  8. Write about good bacteria.
  9. Write about a dinner party gone slightly wrong.
  10. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: knock, qualification, essay, fair, galaxy.
    2. Use the phrase, “What is it you really want?”
    3. Write about tea.
  11. “Should I close the door when I leave?”
  12. Start with this line: “It’s hard not to be impressed by…”
  13. Write about the free offering of vital aid.
  14. Start with this line: “It was a battle of the sexes.”
  15. Write about the repeated “why?” question from a child.
  16. Start with this line: “This should be a priority for you.”
  17. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: release, teacher, gate, grimace, extinct.
    2. Use the phrase, “Which way is north?”
    3. Write about hearing voices without understanding words.
  18. Start with this line: “You won’t be disappointed.”
  19. “Tell me again why we’re doing this.”
  20. Use these five words: natural, press, damaged, symbol, completed.
  21. Write about working around a broken gadget.
  22. Write about granting a river legal rights.
  23. Write about seeing someone for the first time in years.
  24. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: punch, surgeon, jet, small, guitar.
    2. Use the phrase, “Are you staying for dinner?”
    3. Write about flipping a coin to make a decision.
  25. Write about the elephant in the room.
  26. Use these five words: opera, night, experimental, baby, thoughts.
  27. Use the phrase, “We could do this a whole different way.”
  28. Use these five words: hood, dismantled, vegetarian, episode, bridge.
  29. Write about solitary regrets.
  30. Write an obituary.
  31. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: black, main, aid, carve, suffer.
    2. Use the phrase, “I hear what you’re saying.”
    3. Write about the scent of whiskey.

April 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about the end of a very long month
  2. Start with this line: “The statements made by _____ are pure grade-A bunk.”
  3. Write about a census worker knocking on doors.
  4. Use these five words: cushion, leather, figure, proud, moving.
  5. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: desire, quarter, pleasant, rung, promise.
    2. Use the phrase, “Don’t try this at home.”
    3. Write about struggling to stay awake.
  6. Write about who you most admire.
  7. Write about picking out a tune on a piano.
  8. Start with this line: “Define ‘woman.'”
  9. “Shall I turn all the lights on, or not?”
  10. Include these 3 characters: event planner, cook, maintenance worker.
  11. Write about improvising a toasted cheese sandwich.
  12. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: difficulty, fist, absorb, blonde, twilight.
    2. Use the phrase, “Imagine this…”
    3. Write about an interruption.
  13. Write about making up a way to deal with stress.
  14. Set your story on a rainy night.
  15. Make up a 3rd inevitability: Death, Taxes, _______
  16. Set your story on a humid evening.
  17. Use the phrase “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.”
  18. Write about fake news.
  19. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: consolidate, disagreement, familiar, read, bear.
    2. Use the phrase, “What’s for lunch?”
    3. Write about a stuffed animal.
  20. Start your story in late afternoon.
  21. Write about trying to work around that one crucial supply.
  22. Start with this line: “It means that we survived.”
  23. Drop everything and write a haiku.
  24. Use these five words: questions, alternative, powering, art, reality.
  25. Do you write in your books? Why or why not?
  26. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: way, brain, flock, urge, convention.
    2. Fill in the blank: “It’s the best thing to do with ________.”
    3. Write about someone your character hasn’t thought about in years.
  27. Write about a parade.
  28. Start your story with a storm brewing.
  29. Use the phrase, “But before that…”
  30. Use these five words: visiting, amazing, chocolate, satellite, hourglass.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger contest!

Gold: “One of Wyeth’s Two Hundred and Forty Seven” by Jay Bechtol
Silver: “Fetch the Tuna” by Jason Porterfield
Bronze: “Small Town Magic” by Jennifer Pantusa

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

We’d like to thank everyone who entered. Mystery and magic made for an exciting set of stories. I hope you had as much fun writing the stories as I had reading them.

Amanda (The Bellman) Marlowe

A Midsummer Tale 2020

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

The theme of the 2020 A Midsummer Tale writing contest is: Quarantine. One definition of quarantine is “a state of enforced isolation.” This year, your midsummer tale must be about being quarantined—or isolated—during the hot summer months. The reason for the quarantine is up to you—a pandemic is not required.

The theme must play an integral role in the story.

Deadline for entries is June 21, 2020.

Posted in Uncategorized

March 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: likely, powder, thick, formulate, flock.
    2. Use the phrase, “knock on the door.”
    3. Write about finding something that’s been lost for years.
  2. Use these five words: contestants, cookies, recommendation, release, toxic.
  3. Write about showing up late without your homework.
  4. Write about a TEDx talk, real or imagined.
  5. Write a more realistic version of a stress-induced dream.
  6. Use these five words: communities, debut, employees, sexy, electric.
  7. Write about trying to get a date on short notice.
  8. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: string, elephant, cream, market, misery.
    2. Use the phrase, “Does anybody want this?”
    3. Write about deciding what to do with a last hour together.
  9. Write about those last few drops of wine in the glass.
  10. Write a story about birders.
  11. Write about a discussion about money.
  12. Use these five words: zoo, target, date, mugged, variety.
  13. Write about a small child watching construction vehicles.
  14. Include these 3 characters: jewelry maker, artist, occupational therapist.
  15. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: promise, bridge, contain, fade, ivory.
    2. Use the phrase, “There’s nothing new here.”
    3. Write about forgetting to recharge a battery.
  16. Start with this line: “You are what you do, not what you say.”
  17. Fill in: “The ______ is the limit.”
  18. Use these five words: DIY, undone, block, photograph, liar.
  19. Write about being asked to leave a group.
  20. Write about applying to be an astronaut.
  21. Make up something that only happens on the Equinox.
  22. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: real, offense, hear, calm, merit.
    2. Use the phrase, “We are the stuff of other people’s nightmares.”
    3. Write about paying attention to breathing.
  23. Write about an unusually nice day with a sudden turn in the weather.
  24. Use these five words: lectured, crust, weave, cutting, introverts.
  25. Write about someone else’s holiday.
  26. Set your story in Hawaii.
  27. Write about a strange noise in the night.
  28. Set your story on a volunteer tourism trip.
  29. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: producer, bubble, accent, stamp, maximum.
    2. Use the phrase, “Pay careful attention, here.”
    3. Write about losing track of things changing.
  30. Use these five words: exchange, safety, attempt, tail, defense.
  31. Write about someone suddenly discovering they’re not alone.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Spring 2020 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 22, 2020.

Write a mystery story that centers around a magic trick.

Word count: Between 2,300 and 2,600 words.

  • Send entries to: threecheers20@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

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Toasted Cheese 20:1

The March issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Melissa Evans & Diane Webster; flash by Jerri Jerreat and fiction by JG Alderisio, L.M. Brown & Jim Ray Daniels.

TC 20:1 also includes the 19th Annual Dead of Winter Writing Contest winning stories by Alex Grey & DJ Tyrer.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Neighbours & Tourists by Ewa Mazierska.

The cover image is by Alpha 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!

Posted in Uncategorized

February 2020
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Get that story out of the drawer and work on it.
  2. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: picture, elegant, graze, cooperation, waist.
    2. Use the phrase, “I don’t know who that is.”
    3. Write about not participating in a popular activity.
  3. “I see the problem. How am I going to fix it?”
  4. Write about the power of story.
  5. Write about a pet animal’s revenge.
  6. Include these 3 characters in a story: landscape architect, editor, nanny.
  7. Write about waiting for a storm.
  8. Start your story in a chilly room.
  9. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: decline, bland, marble, flower, crevice.
    2. Use the phrase, “You can’t get there in a car.”
    3. Write about a bird with attitude.
  10. Use these five words: flights, nefarious, highlights, cinnamon, bullying.
  11. Write about explaining technology to an older person
  12. Start your story with your MC surrounded by thick fog.
  13. Invent a holiday celebrating something strange.
  14. Use these five words: violins, modern, fixing, vase, premiere.
  15. Write about dropping out of an activity.
  16. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
    1. Use the following five words: substitute, drag, acceptable, import, possible.
    2. Use the phrase, “People have other things to do.”
    3. Write about feeding an animal.
  17. Fill in: “I’m a _________ and proud of it.”
  18. Write about a life or death struggle.
  19. Write about a premature thaw.
  20. Use these five words: synopsis, mimics, easy, beginner, biggest.
  21. Rewrite that story from someone else’s point of view.
  22. Use these five words: authentic, magic, slipped, influencer, travel.
  23. Join us for a live Writing Chat every Sunday!
  24. Set your story in the suburbs.
  25. Use the phrase, “There’s just one more thing…”
  26. Start with this line: “Roughly twenty years ago…”
  27. Write about pretending to understand what a bird is saying.
  28. Include these 3 characters: roofer, real estate agent, construction manager.
  29. Your character gets a birthday only every fourth year.

Posted in Uncategorized

Dead of Winter 2019 Winners

The winning stories in our 2019 “Dead of Winter” short fiction contest are “The Silver Wrens” by Alex Grey (first place) and “Answers” by DJ Tyrer (second place). The theme was “Family Tree” and both stories used the theme in literal and figurative ways. You’ll be able to read them in TCLJ 20.1.

Our next contest is “Three Cheers & A Tiger: Spring,” which is a 48-hour mystery contest. Dead of Winter 2020, our twentieth annual, opens October 1, 2020. Toasted Cheese’s contest info is here.

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