SmokeLong Quarterly

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Letter from the Editor (82)

Story by Christopher Allen December 18, 2023

I have so much to tell you. We have winners! Lots of them. Over the last few months, we’ve been reading for The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition, The SmokeLong Workshop Prize, and The SmokeLong Fellowship for Emerging Writers. You’ve been busy, and so have we.

The winners of The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition (The Mikey) are in this issue, and they are all such grand examples of how much can be accomplished in fewer than 400 words. Some of them have been previously published, and of course we have indicated—celebrated—the journals where they originally appeared. Our next Mikey competition will be in 2025. We made the decision to consider previously published micros in this competition because we believe in second chances. That sounds sentimental. Sue us. We have a squirrel as our mascot.

Over the last 4 years, our workshop participants have shared their successes on social media, which is great and we love love love this, but we wanted to take it to the next level by initiating The SmokeLong Workshop Prize. If you have participated in a SmokeLong workshop and subsequently publish a narrative you began in the workshop, you can enter it in The SmokeLong Workshop Prize competition and possibly win $500; the next competition will be in 2025, so make sure you keep good records. This competition is of course free to enter. You can read the finalists in The SmokeLong Workshop Prize HERE.

We have also chosen our four SmokeLong Fellows for January to June 2024. Please keep an eye on our social media channels for this announcement. We can’t wait to share the news, and we can’t wait to get started with our new fellows. In a few days, we’ll be saying good-bye to our July-December fellows. Thank you to Dawn Tasaka Steffler, Sharon Lin, Jenny Stalter, and Elissa Field for all your hard work, your words, and your enthusiasm. We wish all of you much success with your writing. You are stars.

In addition to the 8 Mikey micros in Issue 82, we are thrilled to feature work by Joy Castro, Maureen Langloss, E.A. Aymar, Mara Aguilar-Erdman, and Amy Bobeda—five very different interpretations of the flash space. This is what we love again and again. We are continually amazed by how talented writers use the word count. Thank you for pressing the limits of the form.

Go read Issue 82! But hey! Also. Go sign up for The Smokey Winter Fête! Have you been thinking about signing up for SmokeLong Fitness but have been apprehensive because you didn’t know exactly what the hurly-burly is about? Well. We’re throwing a party so you can see behind the curtain. The Smokey Winter Fête ($49) is a series of events celebrating The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (The Smokey) and includes two months of SmokeLong Fitness. You also get two webinars, up to four entries in The Smokey, and Christopher will come to your home and clean your grout*.

All the best,



*humor, though Christopher does appreciate clean grout (Christopher is also writing this post, but this should not sound creepy).

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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The March Micro Marathon

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In March, we’re hosting a prompt-a-day marathon March 1-24! The March Micro Marathon is much more than a daily prompt event; it’s a peer-review workshop and three competitions. Book anytime in February. We can’t wait to write with you!