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SmokeLong Quarterly’s 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominees: Round One

November 29, 2016

SmokeLong Quarterly is excited to nominate six fantastic stories for the 2017 Pushcart Prize!

Over the next three Tuesdays, we will announce our nominees by posting links to the selected stories and author interviews.

Today we are happy to announce that we have nominated Dennis Norris II’s “Daddy’s Boy” and  “Some Cool Heaven” by Emma Smith-Stevens!

Dennis Norris II by Nichole L. Knight
Dennis Norris II by Nichole L. Knight

Daddy’s Boy

Why we chose it: “‘Daddy’s Boy’ is an abuse story. You might even call it a conversion therapy story. We read a lot of abuse stories in the SmokeLong queue; and while they’re all troubling and tragic by nature, few add much new to the story. Dennis Norris II gives the reader a dialogue between a father and a son: the father teaching his boy how to be a man in the first section, the son showing his father the man he becomes in the second. The father’s voice embodies so well that damning voice church-reared gay men carry around with them: I’m hurting you because I love you. Painful and real.”  -Christopher Allen, Managing Editor


Read “Daddy’s Boy
Smoke and Mirrors: An Interview with Dennis Norris II
Read Dennis’ Guest Reader Interview “Writing is My Way of Chasing

esmithstevens-photoSome Cool Heaven

Why we chose it: “‘Some Cool Heaven’ is a linear narrative: an account of a mother taking her son to the fair for the last time. She’s dying, probably cancer. It’s one of those types of stories that we get again and again, but the difference is that Emma Smith-Stevens’ attention to detail is moving and so intelligent. This story has something to say, and it says it perfectly–in each and every line.” -Christopher Allen

Read “Some Cool Heaven
Smoke and Mirrors: An Interview with Emma Smith-Stevens

Check back with us next Tuesday for Round Two of our 2017 Pushcart Prize Nomination Announcement!


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