What You Need to Know
SmokeLong publishes flash fiction up to 1000 words. We do not consider poetry or non-fiction.
Include a print-ready, third-person bio with your cover letter.
Please include no identifying information on your story’s document.
Please send ONE previously unpublished story at a time and wait until you hear our decision before sending another.
Please allow us up to six weeks to inform you if we have accepted your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please inform us immediately if your work has been accepted somewhere else for publication.
We pay $25/story, upon publication in the quarterly issue. Payment will be issued via PayPal, and the writer may be responsible for any associated fees if applicable.
Info to Help Increase Your Chances of Publication
The SLQ aesthetic remains an ever-changing, ever-elusive set of principles, but it most likely has to do with these kinds of things:
- language that surprises
- narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist
- pieces that add up to something, oftentimes (but not necessarily always) meaning or emotional resonance
- honest work that feels as if it has far more purpose than a writer wanting to write a story
We are not interested in works previously published in online magazines. We do not consider pieces published only on your personal web site or blog to have been previously published, so we will consider those, but inform us of this in your cover letter and know we may ask you to temporarily take the story down if we accept it. We are interested in pieces that have only previously appeared in print, but only by solicitation.
We have a special place in our hearts, more often than not, for narratives we haven’t seen before. For the more familiar stories—such as relationship break-ups, bar scenarios, terminal illnesses—we tend to need something original and urgent in the writer’s presentation.
We are all writers at SLQ, and we try to be sensitive to the nature of submitting your work—which we realize is often your very private and important selves—to strangers. We so appreciate your entrusting us with your submissions, and although author names and bios are available to us, the staff rarely, if ever, accesses this information before reading each piece.
We want what all readers want from you—something sincerely and uniquely yours, something that stands up to rereading and lingers in our consciousness long after.
Our intent is to respond as quickly as possible. (Note: Our emails sometimes get caught by spam filters, so please add “smokelong.com” to your allow list. We also can’t respond to any third-party spam filter programs, so please don’t submit to us with an email address that has that kind of security set up.)
Online Rights: If we publish your work, we require exclusive electronic rights to it for 3 months and non-exclusive rights indefinitely so we can include it in our online archives.
Print Rights: We require non-exclusive print rights, for potential annual anthologies and promotional materials. All other rights remain yours.
About Our Guest Editing Process
We publish one story each week as a SmokeLong Weekly, chosen by guest editors. We also publish spring, summer, fall and winter quarterly issues. The quarterly issue includes the weekly stories as well as bonus stories and interviews.
Even though our weekly stories are chosen by different editors, you may NOT submit the same story with each new week. Our staff does manage the submission process, and we will — unfortunately — have to disqualify these stories from consideration.
Our staff reviews all stories, including those not chosen by the guest editor of the week. We try to respond with personal comments as time permits and especially if the story and/or writer show promise or advanced far into our reading process, but even if you receive a form rejection from us (or several!) know that we value your time and work and are cheering you on for success.