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The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition 2023

This competition is in the bag! Look for The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition again in 2025!

The SmokeLong Grand Micro Competition (The Mikey) is a biennial competition that celebrates and compensates the best micro fiction and nonfiction online.

The grand prize winner of The Mikey is automatically nominated for The Best Small Fictions and any other prize we deem appropriate. In addition, we will also pay the grand prize winner $1500. Second place: $500. Third place $300. Finalists: $100. All finalists and placers will be published in the winter ’23 issue of SmokeLong Quarterly.

This year we are discounting the fall Afterglow webinars (live or recorded) for entrants in The Mikey. If you are planning to do both, consider taking advantage of this discount.







The Guidelines

  • Word Count: 400 words or fewer for each micro (excluding the title). Put both/all micros in the same document.
  • Languages: English or any other language accompanied by an English translation. The story will be judged on the English text. Exceptionally this year, we are considering previously published work, so please feel free, if you are a translator, to seek out those exceptional micros from around the world–with the author’s permission of course. Translator and author will split the prize money equally.
  • Previously published as well as previously unpublished work will be considered. Please do not indicate where the micro was published if you are entering a published micro. We do our best to read blind though we understand that previously published work might be immediately recognized. If judges know who wrote the piece, those judges will recuse themselves.
  • The competition is open to anyone 18 years of age or older.
  • Fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid narratives are considered.
  • The line between prose and poetry is often blurry, but please take into consideration that SmokeLong does not consider poetry.
  • Please use a legible, dark font. Single-spacing is fine.
  • Simultaneous submissions are considered, but we ask that you withdraw a single entry immediately if it has been accepted elsewhere. If you have entered two or more narratives, please send a message to us indicating which micro is no longer available. We will see this message only at the end of the judging process, but at least we will have been informed.
  • Micros published in SmokeLong are not eligible.
  • Deadline: November 10, 2023

The Judging

All entries are read blind by a team of 15 SmokeLong editors from around the world. You must remove all identifying information from the story document itself. Please make sure you remove your name from the page number heading and the filename as well. Your name should appear ONLY in your cover letter, which the judges will not see.

We make every effort to reply as quickly as possible, even during competitions. This means you will probably receive a reply within two weeks if we have decided to pass on your entries. If we are taking longer than two weeks, be encouraged. This means that at least one of your stories has made it through the first round of judging. Due to the blind nature of the judging process we are not able to communicate regarding which micro we are still considering.

The Prizes

Grand Prize: $1500
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $300
Finalists: $100
All the above will be published in the December 2023 issue of SmokeLong Quarterly. A long list and a shortlist will be announced. All entrants will receive a response.

The Entry Fees

Up to 2 Micros: $13
Up to 4 Micros: $19
Up to 4 Micros with 1 Afterglow webinar (attendance only): $30
Up to 4 Micros with 3 Afterglow webinars (attendance only): $48 (best value)




If you can’t afford to enter this competition, please send us an email for one free entry: editor@smokelong.com. This offer ends November 1, 2023.


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From sentence-level craft concerns to questions of overall approach, this 90-minute webinar will explore strategies for adding shape, intensity, and depth to your flash creative nonfiction.

Steve Edwards is author of the memoir BREAKING INTO THE BACKCOUNTRY, the story of his seven months as caretaker of a 95-acre backcountry homestead along federally protected Wild and Scenic Rogue River in Oregon. His work has appeared in Orion MagazineThe Sun MagazineLiterary HubElectric LiteratureThe Rumpus, and elsewhere. He lives outside Boston with his wife and son.