June 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Begin with “Starting today…”
  2. Your protagonist is named Najla Mahmood.
  3. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: formulate, outfit, ensure, rear, rabbit.
    2. Fill in the blank: “It seems a little _______ for this time of year.”
    3. Write about two friends of your character who don’t get along.
  4. Use the following phrase: egg-free scrambled eggs
  5. Write about a friend in trouble.
  6. Use these 5 words: kiss, morning, live, zipper, material.
  7. “Is that a threat? Or a promise?”
  8. Your antagonist is named Channary Chanthavong.
  9. Use the phrase “They presumably know that.”
  10. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: press, false, yard, exposure, damage.
    2. Fill in the blank: “I learned a lot about being human from _______ .”
    3. Write about a rite of passage.
  11. Use the phrase “Tell me more lies.”
  12. Include a character who is a software engineer.
  13. Use the phrase “What was I thinking?”
  14. Your antagonist is a bus driver.
  15. “You’ve confused me with someone else.”
  16. Your antagonist is a janitor.
  17. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: jury, wash, worker, ambiguous, latest.
    2. Answer an either/or question with “yes” or “no.”
    3. Write about not celebrating a holiday.
  18. Start with this line of dialogue: “Look at these pies!”
  19. Use the phrase, “What are you talking about?”
  20. Use these 5 words: sunken, raspberry, ampersand, zombify, temerity.
  21. Write about changing seasons.
  22. Your protagonist is a psychologist.
  23. “This is like a maze… I’m lost.”
  24. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: outside, available, national, heel, contrast.
    2. Use the phrase: “culture seems foreign.”
    3. Write about a flower.
  25. “You’re up early…”
  26. Start with this line of dialogue: “I believe the allegations are true.”
  27. Write about a gathering storm.
  28. Start with this line of dialogue: “Look at this nice letter!”
  29. A long-deferred vacation
  30. Use the following phrase: a major advancement in technology

Toasted Cheese 18:2

Featured

The June 2018 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Devon Balwit, Emile Benoit, Katherine Davis, Kenneth Pobo, Kurt Rasmussen, Susan Richardson, Alex Stolis, Rodd Whelpley, Christine Wright & Margaret Young; flash by Erica Plouffe Lazure, Kimberly Lee, Rolf Samuels, Jamie L. Sawyers, John Carr Walker & Becca Yenser; fiction by Penny Frances & Joseph McGrail and creative nonfiction by Zixu Fan.

TC 18:2 also includes the Spring 2018 Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Jill Spencer, Zachary Turner & Josh Flores.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Necessary Lies by Richard Edgar, Bill Gaythwaite reviews Mr. Neutron by Joe Ponepinto, and Bill Lockwood reviews Laughter and Early Sorrow and Other Stories by Brett Busang.

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

The cover image is by RichardBH 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 2018
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. “Mayday! Mayday!”
  2. Start with this line of dialogue: “Look no further!”
  3. “There will be a price to pay.”
  4. Write about sharing war stories.
  5. “Be quiet, both of you, and work together.”
  6. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: applied, orchestra, hang, recognize, penalty.
    2. Write about a picture of home.
    3. Use the phrase “any time now.”
  7. “It’s chilly in the cave.”
  8. Use the following phrase: thunderbolts and lightning
  9. Write about using the wind to advantage.
  10. Use the following phrase: already has my heart
  11. A new building, without windows.
  12. Your protagonist is named Prashansa Iyer.
  13. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: common, noble, threshold, glance, jelly.
    2. Write about doing something another person doesn’t approve of.
    3. Use the phrase, “Are you my mother?”
  14. Use the following phrase: a monarchy with racist baggage
  15. Write about a character who’s illiterate.
  16. Your protagonist is a criminal.
  17. Alone, after the memorial service.
  18. Use these 5 words: repent, colleague, siphon, weeping willow, wholesale.
  19. Use the phrase “Let me handle this.”
  20. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: discover, shift, snack, orthodox, magnitude.
    2. Fill in the blank: “I’m too _______ for this kind of thing.”
    3. Use the phrase, “Quickly. It’s starting to rain.”
  21. An unfortunate anniversary.
  22. Use these 5 words: keelhaul, vigorous, uncivilized, topnotch, avatar.
  23. “Stay tuned, you’ll see.”
  24. Your antagonist is a sailboat captain.
  25. Write about a poor translation.
  26. Use the following phrase: as far as Mars–and beyond
  27. Get today’s prompts on Twitter.
    1. Use the following five words: provincial, load, market, gene, conclusion.
    2. Fill in the blank: “I like this so much I could just _______.”
    3. Write about making contact with a long-lost friend or family member.
  28. Use these 5 words: popcorn, voyage, dashing, mature, symptomatic.
  29. Write a ten-minute play.
  30. Start with this line of dialogue: “You may know her from…”
  31. “Last person out, please turn out the lights.”

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.