SmokeLong Quarterly

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Letter from the Editor (75)

Story by Christopher Allen March 21, 2022

I have so much to tell you. First, we have nine gems to share with you in issue 75, and I’m sending out of big hug to the ‘we’: the 26 readers/editors who give so much of their time to make sure SmokeLong runs smoothly, the interviewers, the artists, and the web designer who is always there to tweak things (you might have noticed we’ve done some tweaking). We read 2536 submissions to arrive at our nine stories. Each of the stories in issue 75 does something fascinating with familial relationships, death, loss, the body and body image. I’m always amazed how a skilled writer can take a well-worn subject and make it new. It’s like when a chef takes the simplest ingredients to make exquisite art. I’m inspired by each of the authors in Issue 75. Our cover art is by Jolene Casko.

Have you heard about A SmokeLong Summer? No worries if you haven’t. It is barely spring. As you’re reading this I’m probably braving the chilly air of Philadelphia or meeting up with SLQ editors in blustery Manhattan. But summer is coming. You can spend May 30 to August 28 workshopping your stories with the flash community; attending live Zoom readings, open-mic parties, and SLQ-editor panels; and winning (maybe!) some quite large money in our A SmokeLong Summer competitions open only to workshop participants. We’ll also be publishing a special issue of SmokeLong Quarterly with the best workshop stories. Also–and you’re the first people to read this–we will be awarding a monetary prize to the best workshopper. As if this is not enough, there will be surprises along the way. It’s going to be wild, and I can’t wait.

Thank you so much to our guest editor for Issue 75, Hananah Zaheer. SmokeLong is such a big fan. Those of you attending AWP can meet Hananah and get a signed copy of her collection, Lovebirds, at T1350 on Friday from 11am to noon. If you’re not going to be at AWP, it’s on sale from Bull City Press. Gwen E. Kirby will be signing books on Thursday at 3pm, and Victoria Buitron will be signing books on Saturday at 11am. T1350.

In this issue, on the blog, Frannie McMillan has reviewed Michelle Ross’s collection They Kept Running.

In 2023, SmokeLong will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Well, we’ve already begun celebrating. A SmokeLong Summer is the beginning of a year-long party. We have lots planned. Stay tuned. Some of our plans will be game-changing. I’m excited and just a tiny bit exhausted, scared, and mostly excited.

See you at AWP? T1350

Enjoy Issue Seventy-Five! 



About the Author

Christopher Allen is the author of the flash fiction collection Other Household Toxins (Matter Press, 2018). His work has appeared in Flash Fiction America (Norton, 2023), The Best Small Fictions 2019 and 2022, Split Lip, Booth, PANK, and Indiana Review, among other very nice places. Allen has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of SmokeLong Quarterly since January 2020 and was the 2023 judge of the Bridport Prize for flash fiction. He and his husband are nomads.


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A SmokeLong Summer 24! 

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