SmokeLong Quarterly

Share This f l Translate this page

Thank you to SmokeLong Fellow Dawn Miller

June 16, 2024

First, thank you so much for all the work you’ve done during your fellowship. You’ve read nearly 500 submissions, which is a ton of words. What have you learned from reading the SmokeLong submissions queue?

Thank you, Christopher! I was over the moon when I found out I’d been accepted as a SmokeLong Fellow. Reading the queue has been an amazing experience. I’ve learned so much about what it takes to grab a reader’s attention, how voice/tension/urgency/precision/compression all work together to create that “wow” piece. I’ve also learned that many stories are declined not because they aren’t good, but because something else fits SmokeLong Quarterly better. Taking the time to read a magazine/journal is imperative before submitting—each publication truly has their own vibe and aesthetic.

SmokeLong fellows commit to sending two drafts each month for feedback from our senior editors. Were you able to keep up with this pace? How has your writing life changed during the fellowship?

Absolutely! The pacing was perfect, although I must admit I have a number of “in revision” pieces languishing on my computer—it’s a good thing, though, as I’ll be able to read my words and the senior editors’ feedback with fresh eyes. So often having that distance from a piece is what makes me see what needs to change.

I’d like to think my writing has become sharper, and I’ve become more aware of how to employ the elements of flash to create a dynamic and emotionally resonant story. My writing continues to evolve, and being a SmokeLong Fellow has given it a boost that I’m so very grateful for!

What good things have happened to you as a writer since you began the fellowship?

It’s been wonderful to be a part of the SmokeLong Quarterly community—one of the kindest, smartest, and most generous writing communities! I’ve deepened friendships, made new ones, and had the opportunity to attend all of the webinars and readings, which has been a true gift! Regardless of the topic, every webinar I’ve attended has taught me something new, inspired me to try new things as a writer, and deepened my understanding of the complexity of flash.

Thank you for your enthusiastic engagement in SmokeLong Fitness during the fellowship. Your energy really benefitted the workshop. Can you share a bit about your time in SmokeLong Fitness?

So many drafts! I’m always surprised when I look back and see how much writing I did, writing I wouldn’t have done were it not for SmokeLong Fitness. Having the weekly writing tasks to kick-start my brain (plus the push to post something to my group) helped me to muscle through some moments when I thought I didn’t have anything new to write out…but then I did!

There’s magic in the workshops. I’ve learned as much about writing through giving feedback as receiving feedback!

As your fellowship nears its end, what are your plans?

To stay in Fitness! I can’t imagine not having SmokeLong Fitness and SmokeLong Summer in my life as a writer. Being part of this community has been one of the best decisions I ever made, and the effect on my writing has been transformative. I’ll continue to write flash, short stories, and I’m currently querying my upmarket novel to literary agents. Huge thank you to SmokeLong Quarterly for this amazing opportunity!


Dawn Miller is a 2024 recipient of The SmokeLong Quarterly Fellowship for Emerging Writers and the winner of the 2024 Toronto Star Short Story Contest. Her work appears in The Cincinnati Review, The Forge Literary Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, Fractured Lit, Vestal Review, Atticus Review and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Picton, Ontario, Canada with her writing helper, Maizie the Goldendoodle.


Christopher Allen is the publisher and EIC of SmokeLong Quarterly.


Support SmokeLong Quarterly

Your donation helps writers and artists get paid for their work. If you’re enjoying what you read here, please consider donating to SmokeLong Quarterly today.

SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

Book Now!

Included in the price of SmokeLong Fitness:

The Community Workshop in small groups
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)