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SmokeLong Quarterly

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What You Need to Know

SmokeLong publishes flash narratives up to 1000 words. We do not consider poetry. We consider essays on craft and teaching flash for the blog.

Include a print-ready, third-person bio with your cover letter.

Please include no identifying information on your document, the filename, or the title on Submittable. Our editors read submissions blind.

Please send ONE previously unpublished piece at a time and wait until you hear our decision before sending another.

Please allow us up to four weeks to inform you if we have accepted your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner.

Simultaneous submissions are considered but please take into consideration response times when submitting to multiple journals. Please inform us immediately if your work has been accepted somewhere else for publication.

We pay $50/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 and excites
  • narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist
  • pieces that add up to something, often (but not necessarily always) something profound or emotionally resonant
  • 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–with the exception of the Grand Micro competition which is open to previously published work. Pieces published only on your personal web site or blog will be considered as long as they are removed before publication in SmokeLong; please inform us of this in your cover letter. Translated work must also be previously unpublished in the original language.

We are all writers at SLQ and sensitive to the nature of submitting work—which we realize is often your very private and important selves—to strangers. We will treat your story with respect. 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, which means you might receive a rejection one or two days after submitting. Please know that we gave your submission careful consideration. If we are considering your work longer than two weeks, this is a great sign. (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 Editing Process

Your work is assigned to two submissions editors. If both editors pass on your story, that’s the end of the line; if even one votes MAYBE, your work is put forward to the senior editors and the quarterly guest editor.

We regret that we are unable to provide unsolicited, unpaid feedback. If you would like feedback on your work, please use the appropriate forms on Submittable. 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.

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Support SmokeLong Quarterly

Your donation helps writers and artists get paid for their work. If you’re enjoying what you read here, please consider donating to SmokeLong Quarterly today.

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction

Deadline November 15!

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (The Smokey) is a biennial competition that celebrates and compensates excellence in flash. The grand prize winner of The Smokey is automatically nominated for The Best Small Fictions, The Pushcart, Best of the Net, and any other prize we deem appropriate. In addition to all this love, we will also pay the grand prize winner $2500. Second place: $1000. Third place $500. Finalists: $100. All finalists and placers will be published in the special competition issue in December 2022.