Letter from the Editor (15)

by Dave Clapper December 15, 2006

One of the “it” presents for Christmas this year has the advantage of having a name that sounds remarkably similar to what I want to run around yelling in celebration of this issue. Wii! We’ve been looking forward to this day for quite a while now. Besides the rush that comes with publishing a new issue, especially one as jam-packed with rich, savory goodness as this one, we also get to announce the winner of the Kathy Fish Fellowship. If you don’t want to click over to the announcement just yet, I’ll tell ya: Beth Thomas. Wii! I can’t wait to start working with her.

But what about this issue? Well, Matt Bell has one serious eye for talent (his great eye makes Marty Ison’s beautiful cover seem oddly apt). He also has a taste for one of my favorite genres. Staffers of old will remember my bemoaning the lack of magic realism in the magazine. Well, this issue addresses that in a major way. Joanne Comito, Fred Spears (whose work reminds me of what I’d like to write myself if I had the skills), John Sperling, and Catherine Zeidler all take us to magical places. If you’re a long-time reader of SLQ, you’ll also notice something about all those names—none of them had appeared here prior to this issue. It seems somehow appropriate that on the day we announce the Fish award, not only are we publishing Kathy Fish, we’re also publishing a lot of voices new to us. Fifteen of the 20 pieces in this issue are by writers never before seen in these pages. One of these, in fact, is the youngest writer we’ve ever published: Hailey Sowden. Our own Randall Brown teaches at the Highland Park Literary Festival, a writing workshop for high school students in Dallas. As part of that, we opened up for special submissions from students in that program. Hailey, a freshman, is the first student to have work chosen for SLQ from that program, and we’re delighted to have her here. Wii!

Among the new authors are also many I’ve itched to publish for some time. Elizabeth Ellen was the first author we reviewed here, and her “8×10” packs a wallop. Stephen Elliott has been the darling of The Stranger here in Seattle, and seeing his name come across our desk freaked me out a bit (in a very, very good way). All told, this issue is a phenomenal mix of new voices and returning favorite like Joe Young and Nadine Darling. It’s hard to ask for a better issue, and I’m profoundly grateful for the tremendous work Matt did in bringing these authors first to us, and now to you. It’s the best Christmas present I could have asked for, even better than that crazy game with the motion-sensitive remotes.

Wii!

Dave Clapper
Founding Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly

December 15, 2006

About the Author:

Dave Clapper is the founding editor of SmokeLong Quarterly.