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The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction — The Long List

May 6, 2024

Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition. We had 1134 entries, so we, 14 judges from six countries, have been busy. Our decision-making process is similar to our general submissions process: two editors are assigned your work initially. If at least one editor voted maybe this time, your work was sent along to one senior editor. If this editor also voted maybe, your work was assigned to all the senior editors. We have been discussing the top entries for weeks and continue to discuss them as many came in during the last days of the reading period.

The list below reflects the top 40 entries in the competition. This number–a particularly pleasing number–is entirely coincidental. It could have been 39 or 46; we have simply included work we fell in love with. We read a lot of stunning work that didn’t make it to the top 40, so please don’t be discouraged if you don’t see your title(s) below. We wish you lots of success with your writing. Update: one entry has been withdrawn, so we have now 39 on the long list.

Please note that if you sent us 4 entries there was a coupon code for $25 off A SmokeLong Summer 24 in the response to your entry.

If the title of your entry appears on the list below, please feel free to rejoice on social media, but refrain from identifying your work by name/title. Anonymous judging is ongoing. We plan to have a shortlist shortly, but we are far from reaching a consensus.

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction Long List (names added May 26, 2024)

A story about queers and moths by Jay Jellicoe
Ambrosia by H.J. Shepard
American Monster by Natalie Warther
And at Christmas I’ll Visit the Nursing Home, Pretend An Elderly Couple Are My Grandparents by Jo Withers
At Nite by Liza Jones
Baby Goat on the Roof by Sara Hills
Beauty Queen in the Hive by Barbara Diggs
Bird Watching by Sara Kaplan-Cunningham
But We Live in Tampa by Andrea Speedie
Cake by Tara Isabel Zambrano
Dad Left Us During a Mast Year for Acorns by Tara Van De Mark
Do You Have a Family? by Latifa Ayad
Dress Blues by Dhyanna Raffi-David
Flight by Betsy Boyd
Grocery Store Mama by Shayla Frandsen
Hair on My Chest by Caroline Bock
He Loves Me Not by Sudha Balagopal
Illusion Museum by SL Syarief
In My Daydreams, I Taste Pistachios by Christine Roland
In Our Father’s Absence by Melanie Maggard
JFK’s Brain by Maureen Aitken
June by Nancy Stohlman
Like a Man by Shane Larkin
Lover Boy by Sara Kaplan-Cunningham
Mom gets me a dog for my ninth birthday because she says all kids should have a dog by Dawn Tasaka Steffler
Octopus Heart by Latifa Ayad
Older Girls by Liza Jones
Pompeii by Sandra Khalil
Sarah draws little moustaches by Brendan Todt
Sick Day by Kalpita Pathak
Strong Female Character Goes by Her Last Name Only by Stephanie Yu
The Art of Making Perfect Rice and Other Secrets of Home Cooks by Srilatha Rajagopal
The Family Business by Lily Lalios
The hot priest told me to say a prayer for the repose of your soul by Katherine Plumhoff
The human spirit is not mathematical by Will Bindloss
The Maze by Denise Napoli
The 7-11 That Exists in Every Reality by Lynne Beckenstein
The Touch Forecast by Claudia Monpere
The Yellow Greenhouse by Janelle Bassett


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