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Literary News presented by SmokeLong authors and staff

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Flash Fiction Flash Sneak Preview
If you're still not subscribed to Pamelyn Casto's flash fiction newsletter, what are you waiting for? In its sixth year of publishing, the latest issue will be out soon and you should be getting it. In this issue:
  • Online Four-Week Flash Fiction Course—January 2008

  • Pam Casto's Flash Fiction Blog

  • Editor's 'Net Pick:
    Pamela Painter's "Family Therapy"

  • Favorite Flash Fiction Writer Collections
    Lawrence Greenberg's Recommendations

  • Featured Fellowship
    SmokeLong Quarterly's 2008 Kathy Fish Fellowship

  • Flash Literature Markets

  • Flash Literature Contests

  • Flash Literature Publishing News

  • Articles & Interviews On Flash Fiction Writing

  • Online (Free) Flash Literature Workshops Info

  • How to Send Your Flash Fiction/Flash Literature News
To subscribe, send a blank email message to You'll be glad you did.
posted by Dave Clapper at 4:18 PM  0 comments

October Flash Roundup
The following publications have new flash published online this month:

FRiGG Magazine: Season Harper-Fox and Patricia Parkinson

Hobart: Amy Abrams, Kevin Grauke, Glen Pourciau, and David Valin

Night Train Magazine: Michael Reid Busk, Kim Chinquee, Rachel Torrance, and Lydia Williams

Vestal Review: Roberta Allen, Charles Lennox, Billy Middleton, and Bryan Wang

This list is far from complete. In light of that, editors: if you don't see your publication listed here, send your publishing schedule to and we'll make sure to include you in future roundups.
posted by Dave Clapper at 9:28 AM  0 comments

New Barrelhouse Online

Barrelhouse has updated it's website with a new online issue, including work by Jared Ward, Tyler Stoddard Smith, Scott Garson, Dave Housley, Mary Crockett-Hill, and Josh Maday. In true Barrelhouse fashion, topics include Wonder Woman, Tom Cruise, and the (previously unknown to me) reality TV show Man Vs. Beast.

posted by Matt Bell at 8:02 AM  0 comments

"The Essentials of Micro-Fiction" by Camille Renshaw
I came across this article at pif. I liked seeing the edits on her piece--generous of her to show us.
posted by katrina at 7:52 AM  0 comments

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Yemassee Journal
I don't know if they take flash yet (I'll write to the editors and let you know) but they look interesting:

They do take micro fiction and flash submissions. Here's what Darien Cavanaugh, the co-editor, said:

"Yes, we do accept micro and flash fiction. We have no minimum word requirement. However, I wouldn't suggest submitting micro or flash for the fiction contest (if you were considering it). In the past, judges have tended to shy away from it for the contests. But absolutely for general submissions. We usually have one or two flash fiction or prose poetry pieces in each issue."

Yemassee, the literary journal of the University of South Carolina's MFA creative writing program, is currently seeking submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. We are a relatively small journal and are very interested in finding fresh, new voices to publish alongside those of established authors.

Yemassee was founded in 1993 and has published writing by James Dickey, Susan Ludvigson, Robert Coover, Virgil Suarez, William Price Fox, Kwame Dawes, Ron Rash, Nikky Finney, and many others, as well as interviews with writers such as Derek Walcott, Robert Olen Butler, Kazuo Ishiguro, George Singleton, Leah Stewart, Vona Groarke, and Percival Everett. Our upcoming issue will feature a short story by Chris Offutt and an interview with him.

In addition to general submissions, which we read year round, we also accept submissions for our annual William Richey Short Story Contest and Pocataligo Poetry Contest.

For more information, please visit our website at Yemassee Journal
We look forward to reading your work.


Darien Cavanaugh & Jonathan Maricle
posted by katrina at 3:21 PM  0 comments

Submission Tool
Here's a nifty tool to help you determine how much postage you need to send your submissions:

Fiction on Demand.
posted by katrina at 6:50 AM  2 comments

Monday, October 29, 2007
"Breaking it Down" by Rusty Barnes Available for Pre-Order
Breaking it Down, a collection of flash fiction by Rusty Barnes published by sunnyoutside is now available for pre-order through Amazon. Included in the collection are two pieces first published by SmokeLong, Certitude (Issue 4) and No One Left to Care About the Fat Man (Issue 11).

Of the collection, Steve Almond says, "The stories of Rusty Barnes are short, sharp, and shocking in their humanity. His characters are like sad love songs, sweet and full of hurt." I believe it. Pre-order your copy now.
posted by Dave Clapper at 1:15 PM  0 comments

The Writer Profile Project greets Vestal Review publisher Mark Budman
Mark Budman's works have appeared in such magazines as Mississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, Iowa Review, McSweeney's, Turnrow, Connecticut Review, Swink, WW Norton anthology "Flash Fiction Forward," Chizine, Talebones and elsewhere. He is the publisher of the flash fiction magazine Vestal Review, the interview editor for Web Del Sol, and a book reviewer for The Bloomsbury Review and the American Book Review. His novel My Life at First Try is forthcoming from Counterpoint in the fall of 2008, and the anthology he has co-edited is coming out in November 2007 from Ooligan Press (Portland University).

Read the full interview at the Writer Profile Project.
posted by Kelly Spitzer at 11:27 AM  0 comments

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Read about this site in P&W (The Democratic Approach to Slush). On the one hand, I think, eh, why not? I like democracy. On the other hand, it's not something I would ever choose to do with one of my manuscripts--for many reasons, not the least of which is that I know (from personal experience) about how nutty/competitive people can get in any peer-based voting situation.

Speaking of slush piles... if you've ever read for one, you know how wacky and off the mark some of the submissions can be. Check out what they have to say about this at the VQR blog: Bad Submissions: The X Factor
posted by Myfanwy Collins at 6:25 AM  0 comments

Friday, October 26, 2007
News You Can (Hopefully) Use
SmokeLong News is back again, as you can see. With three staff members (Kelly Spitzer, Thomas White, and Dave Clapper) and three lit bloggers with SLQ history (Matt Bell, Myfanwy Collins, and Katrina Denza) posting the latest and greatest flash and lit news, we hope to keep you apprised of all the latest publications, readings, and any other news that may be of interest to the cognoscenti of the flash world. If you know of flash news that we're not covering, email it to us at and we'll try to get it posted as quickly as possible. We hope you'll enjoy this resurrected and greatly expanded feature of SmokeLong.

(PS: Some links may look and behave a little oddly as we're making this functional throughout the site. We apologize for this and beg your patience. Thanks!)
posted by Dave Clapper at 2:39 PM  0 comments

2008 Fish Fellowship
We're now accepting applications for the 2008 Fish Fellowship. Application is free, and the prize is $500. The fellowship is open to any writer previously unpublished in SmokeLong. For full details, please check out the article at

To learn more about Kath, read interviews with her by Kelly Spitzer and Randall Brown. Or read her amazing work. Here are links to just a few pieces in her incredible body of work (special thanks to Kelly Spitzer for the links):

What Kind of Person Gives Secrets to the Sky
published by Night Train, nominated for a Pushcart Prize

published by NOO Journal, nominated for a Pushcart Prize

Wild Yellow Dog, Giant Red Fox, Coffee, Laundry, Dry Cleaners: A Conversation with a Child, A Monkey's Wedding , Bread
published by FRiGG

Florida, Daffodil
published by SmokeLong Quarterly

published by juked

published by Per Contra

published by elimae
posted by Dave Clapper at 1:40 PM  0 comments

Thursday, October 25, 2007
keep it free (or free of ads anyway)
Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry marketsDuotrope is in the red zone for donations this month. I know you use their services, you know you use their services, so please consider sending buck or two their way.

posted by Myfanwy Collins at 3:34 PM  0 comments

Claudia Smith in Poets & Writers
While browsing through the November /December 2007 issue of Poets and Writers, I spied the Rose Metal Press logo in the Small Press Points section. Rose Metal published Claudia Smith's chapbook The Sky Is A Well and Other Shorts earlier this year, after Claudia was named the winner of their first annual short-short chapbook competition. And sure enough, Claudia and her chapbook were mentioned as well. To see for yourself, click here.

Claudia has been published in SmokeLong four times, and two of the stories in her chapbook first appeared on its website. Read "The Sky is a Well" from issue 11, and "Her Lips" from issue 13.

To purchase The Sky Is A Well and Other Shorts act soon! Claudia recently told me that her chapbook is nearly sold out! Order from Rose Metal Press, or Powell's Books.

Congratultions, Rose Metal and Claudia!
posted by Kelly Spitzer at 2:15 PM  0 comments

Kevin C. Stewart Reading
I had the opportunity to hear Kevin C. Stewart read from his debut short story collection on Friday, October 5th 2007. Mr. Stewart read the title story from the collection, THE WAY THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN HERE. It is the heart-breaking story of teenage lovers separated by events both in and out of their control and the place from which they both try to break free.

The desire to escape one's circumstances and place are a common theme in the collection. Mr. Stewart presents well-realized characters firmly grounded in fictional Oak County West Virginia. The setting is fictional, but it is populated with very real people; they are often the person standing just next to us if not ourselves. Many of the characters drawn seek to escape from their surroundings, but are prevented from doing so by the circumstances of their own lives. They are often defeated by their own hope in the end.

Several of the stories feature a failed relationship between a father and his son. This occurs in the opening story, "One Mississippi", in which a son takes both a figurative and literal leap of faith by joining the armed forces. The gut-wrenching and poignant "June Hay" also explores the same difficult relationship between father and son pointing to the consequences of choice and instruction from parent to child.

The story, "Debts", was my favorite from the collection. It involves the relationship between a son who has decided to take his life in a direction different from that planned by his father. The conflict in the story is both subtle and up-front as both father and son assist in restoring hope and livelihood to a mutual friend unbeknownst to each other.

Discussion following the reading centered on how Mr. Stewart's work embodies real stories, and not an academic style of prose common in many of today's MFA programs. I agree with this assessment as I very much enjoyed reading each story in the collection. The stories worked well on every level for me. This was confirmed in Mr. Stewart's reading. Many times, when a modern short story is read by its creator, one realizes that something is different. The characters and setting are not the same as one imagined when first reading the story. It is as if something has been lost. This was not the case in hearing "The Way Things Always Happen Here" read aloud. It rang true for me in exactly the same way I had imagined it when I first read the story. Mr. Stewart also interjected comments into the story on how he arrived at certain elements by pulling from his past experience and what he had observed in the world around him. This confirms that the story has to be at the heart of writing, that human experience and emotion must spring clearly from the page, or we're left with flat writing that won't be remembered in a year.

Mr. Stewart is from Princeton, West Virginia. He won the Texas Review Novella Prize for MARGOT, as well as numerous other awards. He holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arkansas, along with degrees in English, architecture, and civil engineering. Mr. Stewart is a professor of English and creative writing at Potomac State College, a branch campus of West Virginia University. He advised that he is currently working on another collection of inter-related short stories to be published in early 2008.

Thomas White
posted by Thomas White at 10:48 AM  0 comments

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Dzanc Books Featured in Wired
Dzanc Books, publisher of Roy Kesey's All Over and Nothing in the World, is featured in this excellent article in Wired. Kudos to Dan and Steve.
posted by Dave Clapper at 12:48 PM  0 comments

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
"All Over" by Roy Kesey Published
Roy Kesey's short story collection All Over is now in print. If you're unfamiliar with Roy's work, read Drop, published here in Issue 5, or read Randall Brown's interview with him here. Pick up this book asap. You won't be disappointed. Don't believe me? Ask George Saunders: "A beautiful, powerful book: mythic, vivid, heart-rending. Kesey reminds us anew of how much power there is in an open heart and the simple declarative sentence. He also reminds us that war is a viral madness, infecting everyone it touches." Kudos to Dzanc Books and to Roy.
posted by Dave Clapper at 12:56 PM  0 comments

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Top Ten Page Views for September

And, once again, I'm incredibly late in posting stats for last month. Almond moves not only back into the top spot, but into the #2 spot as well. The man's a powerhouse. And if y'all haven't checked out his latest yet, (Not That You Asked) is worth the cover price for the piece on Vonnegut alone.

1. (2) Pornography by Steve Almond (6/15/05)
2. (NR) When the Toasts Stopped Being Funny by Steve Almond (9/15/07)
3. (NR) Raymond Carver by Dan Chaon (9/15/07)
4. (1) 8x10 by Elizabeth Ellen (12/15/06)
5. (NR) Mole Man by Stuart Dybek (9/15/07)
6. (NR) Nailed by Robert J. Bradley (9/15/07)
7. (NR) Ten Very Short Stories by John Leary (3/15/07)
8. (NR) Ethnic Lego Girls Carry Spears by Heidi W. Durrow (9/15/07)
9. (NR) The Sound of Success by Terry DeHart (9/15/07)
10. (NR) Starfish by Jeff Landon (9/15/07)

On a personal note, my tardiness is largely due to having been hitting the bricks to find a new gig after my contract at Microsoft ended. And I'm really excited to have accepted a position at the largest architectural firm in Seattle. Very, very cool place, and I can't wait to get to work there.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 1:11 PM  0 comments

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Writers, Editors, Publishers, Agents, etc.: If you have Flash-related news (readings, publications, etc.), please email us at We'll try to get your news posted as quickly as possible.
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