What a year we’ve had at SmokeLong. We conducted our first superworkshop, A SmokeLong Summer, with just under 300 participants. We’ll be doing SmokeLong Summer in 2023, registration beginning in January! We kicked off our ongoing community workshop, SmokeLong Fitness, where every single day since September 1 over 100 writers have been sharing drafts written to writing tasks created by the senior editors of SmokeLong. We began holding monthly webinars, and we continued our quarterly intensive workshops. We’ve been busy on the workshop front, and we love what we do.
In 2022 we also launched The SmokeLong Mentorship program. Our goal with this is to offer a personalized program focused on the writer’s individual goals. We understand that becoming a mentee is a big commitment, so please feel free to contact us with your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2022 we published an unusually high number of writers due to our special A SmokeLong Summer issue. From over 11,000 submissions, we published 54 narratives in English and 12 in Spanish. We need more Spanish submissions. If you write in Spanish, or if you know someone who does, we would love to see more Spanish-language stories in our queue.
Now for some big news. In 2018 we became a paying market. At that time, we had just begun considering business models, so we started with a nominal $25 per story. With the success of our first competition, The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction, we were able to increase our honorarium to $50, which we’ve paid since 2019.
Beginning January 1, 2023 we will begin paying $100 per narrative.
Submitting to and reading SmokeLong will always be free. We have now developed a business model that enables SmokeLong to pay contributors, editors, and workshop leaders while also giving back to the community. The tip jar on Submittable is an important part of this model, so please consider occasionally hitting that button. Donating directly to SmokeLong on the website is also a way to help, especially for readers who don’t necessarily submit work to the journal. Signing up for a workshop or webinar is a fantastic way to make sure we are able to pay writers, editors, and workshop leaders more and more.
We’re all looking forward to 2023, our 20th year online. We’ll be celebrating at AWP, so please stop by our booth and say hello. We’ll also be sharing our off-site event news later in January. It will be a big show with some flash greats.
In 2023 we are offering our first Emerging Writer Fellowships. Our first fellows are Daniel Garcia, Erin Vachon, Fiona McKay, and Oyinkansola Sofela. We are excited to be working with these talented writers from January to June. The next opportunity to become a SmokeLong Emerging Writer Fellow will be in May later this year.
As I mentioned above, we’ll also be doing A SmokeLong Summer 2023, so please do reach out with questions. For many participants of A SmokeLong Summer 2022, it was a frenzied time of writing that resulted in breakthrough work. We’re busy planning our next summer superworkshop, taking into consideration the lessons learned from 2022.
The main lesson I’ve learned personally from 2022 is that I need to nap more. I’ve learned that I don’t have to do everything right now, that a nap might be in order. I’ve learned that I can’t please everyone and that I will definitely piss a few off–but I will be asleep when it happens. Or I might just have long COVID.
Also on a personal note: I’m judging the flash portion of The Bridport Prize 2023, the 50th anniversary of the prize–so send your very tight, gemlike stories. I’ll also be on panels for Writers’ HQ (Jan 19) and Literary Cleveland’s Flash Fiction Festival (Feb 25).
Wishing you a productive 2023,
Christopher Allen is the author of the flash fiction collection Other Household Toxins (Matter Press, 2018). His work has appeared widely and is forthcoming in The Best Small Fictions 2022 and Flash Fiction America (Norton) in February 2023. Allen has judged The Bath Flash Fiction Award, Micro Madness, the Cambridge Flash Fiction Award, and is the 2023 flash fiction judge for the Bridport Prize. He has a BA in music business from Belmont University and an MA in English from Middle Tennessee State University. Allen is a nomad.