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SmokeLong Quarterly

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The SmokeLong Winter Workshop

November 15, 2021

Our next 7-week workshop will be January 3 – February 20, and it looks like it’s going to be a great way to kick your writing into gear for 2022.

Here are the particulars:

Dates: January 3 — February 20 (2022 – no time travel involved, sorry)

Price: $390 (Book this workshop is the SmokeLong Shop!)

Workshop Leaders: Hananah Zaheer, Helen Rye, Christopher Allen

Participants: Limited to 20 (giving peer critique in groups of around 5)

Workshop format: Asynchronous

Workshop Description:

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 2 drafts per module from the SmokeLong workshop leader. In the final week of the workshop (week 7), participants will have the opportunity to receive feedback from all three workshop leaders on one final draft–for a total of 9 drafts. 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 and participate in discussions when it’s right for you.

Each of the three modules lasts 2 weeks. In the first week you’ll receive a writing task each weekday–which might at first seem strenuous but remember that you have time. The second week is designed to give the participants time to write, peer critique, and–very important–breathe. We do ask that you give your small-group compadres feedback within 2 days.

The workshop environment is a dedicated website that we’ve used many times, but we understand that sometimes new things cause stress. This is why we ask everyone to show up 2 days early to play around and get comfortable with maneuvers like changing between your small group and the main area where large-group discussion happens, or how/where to post your stories for critique. If you’re comfortable with social media sites, you shouldn’t have any worries. And of course we’ll be here to help you find your way around.

The Modules:

Module One (Jan 3-16) — Drafting Flash: Five Techniques (Christopher Allen)

In this module we’ll experiment with five techniques, each a unique way to approach the flash narrative. We’ll disrupt the way we draft and the way we think about writing the form.

Module Two (Jan 17-30) — The Heart of the Matter (Helen Rye)

Are you looking to find that extra layer that takes stories deeper? Conscious that there’s something missing, but not sure what? You have interesting concepts, interesting sentences, and yet…? We’ll work on developing stories with that elusive element: heart.

Module Three (Jan 31-Feb 13) — Playing with Time (Hananah Zaheer)

In this module we will play with time—condensing stories into seconds, or stretching between weeks and months, perhaps a lifetime. We will experiment with form to disrupt forward movement and travel back and forth through time, using pace, rhythm, speed to maintain the urgency and energy necessary for flash.

Final Week (Feb 14-20) — Editing Flash (All three workshop leaders)

Book this workshop in the SmokeLong Shop!

Workshop Leaders:

Christopher Allen is the author of the flash fiction collection Other Household Toxins (Matter Press, 2018). His work has appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2019, Booth, and Gone Lawn as well as in over one hundred journals and anthologies. A teacher for more than three decades, Allen is a nomad and the publisher of SmokeLong Quarterly.

Helen Rye lives in Norwich, UK. She has won the Bath Flash Fiction Award, the Reflex Fiction contest and third place in the Bristol Short Story Prize. Her stories appear in The Best Small Fictions 2020 and have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, nominated for The Pushcart Prize and published in many journals and anthologies. She is currently studying part time for an MA in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia, where she is the 2019/20 Annabel Abbs Scholar.

Hananah Zaheer is a writer, editor, improvisor and photographer. She serves as a Fiction Editor for Los Angeles Review, and as senior editor for SAAG: a dissident literary anthology—a project that seeks to not only lay claim to revolutionary ideas and avant-garde traditions, but to make space for radical and experimental South Asian art and writing in the literary world. She is the founder of the Dubai Literary Salon, an international prose-reading series.

She is the author of Lovebirds (Bull City Press, 2021). Other writing has appeared or is forthcoming in places such as Kenyon Review, Best Small Fictions 2021, Waxwing, AGNI, Pithead Chapel, Smokelong (Pushcart nomination), Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, South West Review, Alaska Quarterly Review (with a Notable Story mention in Best American Short Stories 2019) and Michigan Quarterly Review, where she won the Lawrence Foundation Prize for Fiction. She was awarded a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in Fiction at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference for 2019, was a finalist for the Smoke Long Fellowship 2019, the Doris Betts’ Fiction prize 2014 and a recipient of residencies and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Rivendell Writers’ Colony and the Ragdale Foundation. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart prize.

You can find her at www.hananahzaheer.com or on Twitter @hananahzaheer

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Important

The SmokeLong Quarterly Comedy Prize 2021!

This competition is no longer accepting entries. The long- and shortlists have been published on the blog. The four winners of the competition will be featured in Issue 74 of SmokeLong Quarterly coming out near the end of December.