SmokeLong Quarterly

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Letter from the Editor, 77

Story by Christopher Allen September 12, 2022

I have so much to tell you. I know I always say that, but I always do. So much is happening at SmokeLong, and there are so many people to thank for making it happen. Our submissions editors read 2800 submissions this quarter. I’m so grateful to each of them for giving so much time and energy to making sure submissions are handled with respect and speed. Our senior editors gave feedback to over 100 writers this quarter. SmokeLong subsidizes this service, so the editors make more than you pay. We are committed to providing work for talented editors while keeping feedback reasonable for writers. Our mentorship program began recently as well.

In addition to our usual business of preparing for Issue 77, we have been workshopping all summer with just under 300 writers. A SmokeLong Summer generated more than 1500 drafts, some of which have already found homes in various journals. On September 19 we’ll be publishing the special “A SmokeLong Summer” issue with selected narratives from the workshop.

SmokeLong Fitness, the Community Workshop of SmokeLong Quarterly, is off to a great start with more than 100 writers. You can join at the beginning of any month. If you’ve participated in a SmokeLong workshop before, you are eligible for a discount if you book annually. It’s all in the shop.

We are now reading applications for The SmokeLong Quarterly Fellowship for Emerging Writers. If you’re interested in reading for a lively journal while receiving regular feedback on your writing from SmokeLong’s senior editors, apply. It’s free.

And finally, you might have noticed that we are closed for general submissions until November 15 while we read entries for The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (The Smokey). The grand prize winner of The Smokey this year will receive $2500. Second place: $1000. Third place: $500. Finalists: $100. All placers and finalists will be published in our December issue. Guidelines.

So those are the numbers. Now for the words.

Issue 77 is an odd little otter, my favorite animal in the whole world. We have always appreciated the weird, and Issue 77 is no exception. Each of the eight narratives stretches the limits of language with humor and pathos and heart. And each interview feels like a mini masterclass. As always. Preparing these stories and interviews for publication is so fulfilling. I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Issue 77.


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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Included in the price of SmokeLong Fitness:

One live Zoom webinar each month with killer workshop leaders (recorded for participants unable to attend).

One open-mic party each month (or other live Zoom events)

Discounts on intensive workshops

Discounts on senior editor feedback

Surprises (good ones)