SmokeLong Quarterly

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The SmokeLong Quarterly Flash Fiction Workshops Online — July 6-Aug 23!

May 18, 2020

UPDATE! This workshop has sold out. If you’d like to be on the first-to-know mailing list for the fall workshop in September/October, please send an email to callen@smokelongcom .


In a supportive atmosphere we will address various topics focused on drafting compelling flash fiction. Participants will peer review in small groups and receive feedback on two drafts per module from the SmokeLong workshop leader. In the final week of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to receive feedback from all three workshop leaders on one final draft. The SmokeLong workshops are generative, but you are also welcome to polish works in progress drafted before the workshop. This workshop is asynchronous (all writing, no live sessions), so you can join from anywhere in the world.

The seven-week workshop is made up of three two-week modules with the seventh week devoted to editing flash fiction. Please note that the writing tasks and prompts are assigned in the first week of each module. The second week of each module is quieter and meant to give participants time to draft, discuss, edit, and breathe before the next module begins.


In Module One we’ll look at what sets flash fiction apart from other longer narrative forms but also from vignette, scene, and profound statements. We’ll analyze great flash fiction at the sentence level, discuss rhythm, pace, and compression, and of course draft several stories. During the second week, participants will submit two drafts to the workshop leader for feedback.

Module Two will be dedicated to imagery, focusing on how flash writers, while utilizing so few words, can still establish lasting images, patterns of imagery, motif, and theme. The focus will stretch to other sensory devices as well. The overall intent will be geared toward complete mastery over the presentation of details, leading to lush, vibrant narratives. During the second week, participants will submit two drafts to the workshop leader for feedback.

Module Three will focus on striking the right balance of sentiment without veering into sentimentality. As readers, we’re after feeling; we want to feel flash has worked its magic on us, shifted our temperature, left us forever changed. But we also want that emotion to feel intrinsic and not spoon-fed or contrived. When to let the line out? When is devastation best expressed in the unsaid? How do we know what’s right for our particular telling? We’ll look at flash that’s a speedball of emotion, flash in which the outward emotion is all but wrung dry; flash that walks that tightrope of precision. By experimenting with word choice, salient detail, white space, structure, dramatic irony, and syntax, we’ll maximize the emotional resonance of our stories. During the second week, participants will submit two drafts to the workshop leader for feedback.

In the seventh and final week of the workshop, we will discuss editing flash fiction, and participants will have the opportunity to submit one last draft to all three workshop leaders.

Workshop Size: Limited to 16 participants, small groups of 4 for peer review.

Price: $295 (Please send an email to callen@smokelong.com to receive payment details.)

The summer workshop leaders:

Christopher Allen is the editor of SmokeLong Quarterly and the author of the flash fiction collection Other Household Toxins. His work has appeared in Booth, Split Lip Magazine, Indiana Review, and The Best Small Fictions 2019, among others. Allen has an MA in English and has been a teacher since 1992.

Michael Czyzniejewski is the author of three collections of stories, Elephants in Our Bedroom (Dzanc Books, 2009), Chicago Stories: 40 Dramatic Fictions (Curbside Splendor, 2012), and I Will Love You For the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories (Curbside Splendor, 2015). He is an assistant professor at Missouri State University, where he edits Moon City Review and serves as both Literary and Managing Editor for Moon City Press. In 2010, he received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sara Lippmann is the author of the short story collection Doll Palace. She was awarded an artist’s fellowship in fiction from New York Foundation for the Arts, and her work has appeared in The Millions, The Washington Post, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Slice Magazine and elsewhere. Her flash has placed in  Wigleaf‘s Top [50] and is forthcoming in the Best Small Fictions anthology. She teaches creative writing at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn and cohosts the Sunday Salon in NYC. Find her on twitter @saralippmann or at https://www.saralippmann.com


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SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

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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)