FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SmokeLong Quarterly is no more. The online flash fiction journal with the problematic name has changed its official name to SipLong Quarterly, in response to pressure from readers.
The change is effective April 1, 2016. A new logo is also in the works.
SmokeLong‘s former name comes from the Chinese, who noted that reading a piece of flash takes about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette. “Our name spoke more to the length of our stories rather than trying to encourage cancer-inducing activities, but I can understand how some folks, especially if they’ve never read SmokeLong Quarterly or know what flash fiction is, could have interpreted that wrong,” says Tara Laskowski, editor of SLQ.
When SmokeLong underwent an extensive web site redesign last year, the new look raised suspicions from random Twitter users who saw the name of the publication flicking through their newsfeed. “The new design looks slick—maybe too slick,” Laskowski says. “One or two people thought we were sponsored by the tobacco industry, and that’s when we realized we had to do something about it.”
SipLong Quarterly keeps the same spirit as SmokeLong—readers can enjoy a story on the site in the time that it takes to delight in a small cup of tea—but without the nicotine-stained implications of the former name. “We considered naming it SipOfGreenTeaLong Quarterly, because green tea has less caffeine in it than other types, but the logo design was too tricky,” Laskowski adds.
She does, however, warn of the dangers of too much caffeine, and suggests that readers who are really enjoying the latest issue of SLQ should maybe switch to water about halfway through.
Founding Editor Dave Clapper could not be reached for comment. He was last seen face down in a pile of submissions covered in cocaine, conducting quality assurance for a possible name change to SnortLong Quarterly.