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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Letter from the Editor (45)

Story by Tara Laskowski September 22, 2014

Art by Marty D. Ison

So here you are, watching your favorite show on PBS and suddenly they interrupt it. An earnest-looking person, standing in front of several rows of folks answering phones, proceeds to tell you why you should donate money to the station to keep your favorite programming alive.

I’m that earnest person, standing between you and the newest issue of SmokeLong Quarterly. I won’t take up too much of your time, but I will ask, if you’ll excuse me, to please consider donating to our Kickstarter campaign to redesign this very site you’re hanging out in right now. SLQ started publishing in 2003, and it’s time for a fresh new look and a more secure and stable content managing system. We want to continue bringing you the best in flash fiction, but we need help to do that. From now until October 12, you can donate as little as $1 to help us out. Check out our campaign for more information on the redesign as well as all the nifty backer rewards you can snag for your gift to us—including, ahem, a starring role in an original piece of flash fiction, a copy of our anthology, baked goods, or a pen pal for six months!

Thank you for all you do.

Now, on to the show you’ve all been waiting for. Issue 45 is awesomesauce. There was so much goodness in our submission system this time around that we have 20 new stories for you—from the novel-in-flash by E.S. Bumas to Margot Taylor’s fleeting moment story that reminds long-married couple why they fell in love. We’ve got “Any Other Name” by Nick Sansone, the winner of our Brattleboro Literary Festival flash contest (and you can see Nick reading that story in person at the festival, October 4, if you are in or near Vermont). Plus many other stories on photographs, pain, near-death experiences, Iceland, and fear.

I want to thank our long-time senior editor Nancy Stebbins for all the work that she’s done with SmokeLong over the years. Nancy is stepping down from her position to take on some wonderful new life adventures, and we will miss her dearly. Nancy’s work with our guest editors will be taken up by Megan Giddings as executive editor. And please join me in welcoming our new managing editor, Christopher Allen! Check out our masthead here.

Thank you once again for supporting SmokeLong!

Tara Laskowski
Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly

September 22, 2014

About the Author

Tara Laskowski

Tara Laskowski has been editor at SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010. Her short story collection Bystanders was hailed by Jennifer Egan as “a bold, riveting mash-up of Hitchcockian suspense and campfire-tale chills.” She is also the author of Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons, tales of dark etiquette. Her fiction has been published in the Norton anthology Flash Fiction International, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and numerous other journals, magazines, and anthologies. Tara lives and works in a suburb of Washington, D.C.

About the Artist

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison’s work here.

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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.