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Friday, November 30, 2007
2008 Writer Profile Project
The Writer Profile Project wants new voices! If you'd like to participate in the project, please send the following information to

--a 10-20 page writing sample. Any genre is acceptable. Multiple works are fine, but if possible, send complete works. They do not need to be published, but if the work has been published online, you can opt to send me 2-3 links instead. Bottom line: it's all about the writing.

--a brief statement about what you're currently working on in your writerly time

If you are a publisher, editor, literary blogger, and so on, let me know about your work in these areas, too.

--a short writer's bio is optional


Not all slots will be filled by applicants. I do solicit writers to take part.

The Important Stuff:

Please allow me 1 month to review the material you send. If you do not hear back from me after that time period has elapsed, please query! Email does get lost, and I will respond to everybody.

Samples and statements will be read in the order received. There are 15 slots available. Once they are filled, I will cease reading.

If you are chosen, you will need to be available for approximately two weeks prior to the date your profile is schedule to go live. That means you will need to check in, via email, at least once a day. If you cannot commit to this, this isn't for you. If you are uncertain about scheduling a profile many months, and up to a year, in advance, this isn't for you either.

If you are chosen, and need to change the date which we agreed upon at the time, please let me know a minimum of three weeks in advance so I can ask someone to switch with you. After this time, you forfeit your slot. If I need to change the date of your profile because it no longer works with my schedule, rest assured, I will work to get your profile up as soon as possible.


I'm looking for diversity. That said, it's still all about the writing.

What is the Writer Profile Project?

It's an interview series I run on my website. Head there to check it out. You can browse every interview conducted by going to Literary Land/The Writer Profile Project.

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posted by Kelly Spitzer at 12:35 PM  0 comments

Katherine Taylor
Dan Wickett discusses "Rules for Saying Goodbye," (a book I loved) and writing in general with Katherine.

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posted by katrina at 5:27 AM  0 comments

Thursday, November 29, 2007
NYCIP Book Fair
The 20th Annual Independent and Small Press Book Fair takes place on Saturday, December 1st and Sunday, December 2nd, at the New York Center for Independent Publishing (an educational program of The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen), at 20 West 44th Street in New York City. With over 100 cutting-edge presses from the U.S. and abroad, exhibiting some of the most innovative books in contemporary literature, the Book Fair is classified amongst the most notable independent publishing events of the year. Admission to the Fair is FREE and open to the public, although a suggested donation of $1 is encouraged. More info here and here.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 10:14 AM  0 comments

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Word Riot
The latest issue is live with work from SLQ's past editor and interviewer Randall Brown, an interview by SLQ's past guest editor and contributor, Joe Young, an interview by past SLQ contributor Blake Butlerand many more...

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posted by katrina at 11:33 AM  0 comments

Make a Scene!
Writers: run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and get yourself a copy of this fabulous new book by the one and only, Jordan RosenfeldMake a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time:
You've felt the pulse-pounding drama of a good story, turning pages at a furious clip, caught up in a book so real, you feel as though it is happening to you. What makes that story, book or essay come to life? Strong, powerful scenes. Make A Scene is a guide for writers on how to write a strong narrative—story or novel—one scene at a time.


posted by Myfanwy Collins at 10:58 AM  0 comments

Curtis Smith completes the 2007 Writer Profile Project
Curtis Smith, whose story "Neighbors" appeared in issue 18 of SmokeLong, wraps up the 2007 Writer Profile Project. View his interview here.

Curtis Smith is the author of The Species Crown, An Unadorned Life, and two short story collections published by March Street Press. His most recent novel, Sound and Noise, is forthcoming from Casperian Books in the fall of 2008. Curtis’ stories and essays have appeared in over fifty literary journals, including American Literary Review, Mid-American Review, Hobart, Greensboro Review, West Branch, Bellingham Review, and Passages North, among others. His work has also been included in a number of anthologies and has been cited by The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, and The Best American Spiritual Writing.

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posted by Kelly Spitzer at 6:36 AM  2 comments

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Pecha Kucha Seattle
I'm going to be presenting a sneak preview of the next issue on December 11 at an event in Seattle called Pecha Kucha. The organizer of the event just told me that two presenters had to bow out and she's looking for folks to jump in. Pecha Kucha started as a format in which architects could present their designs quickly to an inebriated audience. It's expanded substantially from its original discipline, and the Seattle Pecha Kucha is especially focused on a broad range of arts.

Each presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each, during which (s)he can offer whatever commentary, performance, music, etc. (s)he deems appropriate. For more about Pecha Kucha, check out

If anyone might be interested in appearing at a very presentational (and fun--with drinks!) event, or if anyone knows of someone who might be interested in this, shoot me an email at and I'll email back with more details on how it all works.


(I'll post a full line-up, location, time, and other details as more info is finalized.)

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posted by Dave Clapper at 3:03 PM  1 comments

The 2008 Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize
The Willesden Herald and pretend genius present the 2008 Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize, adjudicated by Zadie Smith. Open to all. Free to enter. 1st Prize: £5,000.

The forthcoming anthology "New Short Stories 2" (pretend genius [press], 2008) will feature the 10 short listed stories (optional), which includes the winning story, together with a selection of other stories commended by the editorial team.

Find the Submissions Guidelines here.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 9:40 AM  0 comments

Opium's 250 word contest
Polish up those 250 word pieces! Opium's having a bookmark contest judged by Aimee Bender. Details here.

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posted by katrina at 4:17 AM  0 comments

Monday, November 26, 2007
2008 Selected Shorts Writing Contest

The 2008 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize
with guest judge Amy Hempel

The winning submission, selected by Amy Hempel, will be read as part of the Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space on May 21, 2008. The story will be recorded for possible later broadcast as part of the public radio series. The winner will receive $1000.

Full details at

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posted by Dave Clapper at 6:21 PM  0 comments

Glimmertrain Now Allows Sim Subs
so says the good folks at

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posted by katrina at 3:51 PM  0 comments

Publishing Talk
Just stumbled across Publishing Talk while looking at groups on Facebook. Looks like an excellent source of publishing news.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 12:35 PM  0 comments

Word Riot November Issue Live

In this month's issue of Word Riot:
  • Fiction by Chuck Augello, Randall Brown, Lawrence Buentello, Andrew Coburn, Maria Deira, David Gianatasio, Drew Lackovic, Mathias Nelson, John Nyman, Mitch Omar, Nick Ostdick, Philip Oyok, Sean Ruane and Corey Zeller
  • Experimental writing by Christopher Higgs
  • Poetry by Adetokunbo Adetuyi, Zoe Alexandra, Harold Bowes, Doug Cornett, Michael Estabrook, Annmarie O'Connor, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Alaina Schneider and James Ray Scott
  • Creative non-fiction by Ryan Michael Commins
  • An interview with Jen Michalski by Joseph Young
  • Reviews of We Swallow(ed) Spiders In Our Sleep by Zachary C. Bush; ABUSE ART. not children by Robert Pomerhn; and CELEBRATION OF SAMATHA by t. kilgore splake

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posted by Dave Clapper at 11:09 AM  0 comments

Sunday, November 25, 2007
Jami Attenberg Readings
Jami Attenberg, who will appear in our December 15 issue, will be touring in support of her new book, The Kept Man. Here are the dates and locations:

January 9 - New York, NY
Barnes and Noble, Chelsea, 7 PM

January 10 - Brookline, MA
Brookline Booksmith, 7 PM

January 11 - Chicago, IL
Book Cellar, 7 PM

January 12 - Mount Prospect, IL
Borders, 2 PM

January 13 - Los Angeles, CA
Book Soup, 4 PM

January 13 - Los Angeles, CA
Vermin on the Mount Reading Series @ The Mountain, 8 PM

January 16 - Seattle, WA
Elliott Bay Book Co, 7:30 PM

January 17 - Portland, OR
Powell's Books, 7:30 PM

January 18 - Corte Madera, CA
Book Passage, 7 PM

January 19 - San Francisco, CA
Progressive Reading Series @ The Make-out Room, 7 PM

February 7 - Providence, RI
Symposium Books, 6 PM

February 10 - New York, NY
KGB Bar Sunday Night Fiction, 7 PM

February 27 - Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Book Court, 7 PM

March 13 - Washington DC
Cheryl's Gone series @ Big Bear Cafe, 8 PM


posted by Dave Clapper at 10:21 AM  0 comments

the book quiz
hmmmm, not quite sure this describes me...

You're The Things They Carried!

by Tim O'Brien

Harsh and bitter, you tell it like it is. This usually comes in short,dramatic spurts of spilling your guts in various ways. You carry a heavy load, and this has weighed you down with all the horrors that humanity has to offer. Having seen and done a great deal that you aren't proud of, you have no choice but to walk forward, trudging slowly through ongoing mud. In the next life, you will come back as a water buffalo.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

posted by Myfanwy Collins at 6:31 AM  2 comments

notable books of 2007
How many of the NYT 100 notable books have you read?

Me: I'm reading Bridge of Sighs, I've read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, next up I will read Out Stealing Horses: A Novel.

My own notable books of the year list includes: Famous Fathers and Other Stories and God Is Dead.

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posted by Myfanwy Collins at 6:21 AM  0 comments

Saturday, November 24, 2007
SmokeLong Quarterly on Facebook
SmokeLong is now on Facebook. Membership in this group is open to all, and may be just the place to "meet" one of your favorite writers from SLQ issues past.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 4:08 PM  0 comments

Thursday, November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving.

In my personal life, most of the things I'm thankful for are people, and I'm fortunate enough that I'll be able to spend the day with a few of those people. In my work as an editor, I am also thankful for a number of people: writers, readers, staff... I am so thankful for all of them. But there is something I take for granted that is the basis for having known these people at all: literacy. For those of us who can read, it's easy to forget that there are a number of people who can't. And it's easy to forget that our lives would be vastly different if we couldn't read. Think for a bit about what your life would be like if you couldn't read. Financially, it'd be disastrous—what jobs would be available to you? And in general quality of life, how much different would it be? You'd have to rely on television and word of mouth for knowledge of current events. You wouldn't have the pleasure of reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee in the morning, or reading another chapter of a novel in bed before turning off the light. Think of how many things you read during the day without a second thought: street signs, menus, emails. We possess a great gift, one that we (or at least I) rarely consider.

In light of that, I wanted to take a moment today to highlight some charities that focus on literacy. Each of the charities cited below has a four-star rating on Charity Navigator. I'm not going to twist arms to suggest a gift—each of us knows what he or she can afford to give each year, and many of us have our own favorite charities to whom we give. I just wanted to make this list available, in case anyone reading is looking for worthy organizations for his or her gifts.

Teaching Matters
475 Riverside Drive
Suite 1270
New York, NY 10115
tel: (212) 870-3505
fax: (212) 870-3516
Mission: Teaching Matters is a professional development organization that partners with educators to improve public schools. We use technology in the classroom to prepare teachers and their students for 21st Century learning and achievement. Founded in 1994 by teachers, technology experts, and business leaders, Teaching Matters provides teachers and principals with hands-on professional development in the classroom, in group workshops, and online. From the arts and literacy to science and social studies, we design programs that support your school's curriculum and make learning more relevant and engaging.
Rating: 66.04

Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation
One Penn Plaza
250 West 34th Street, 36th Floor
New York, NY 10119
tel: (212) 849-6830
fax: (212) 835-1505
Mission: Reading Excellence and Discovery (READ) Foundation was established in 1999 to address the high proportion of low-income students demonstrating below grade level reading skills. READ's founders sought a research-based educational approach, which would yield measurable results for students and address reading difficulties before they became barriers to learning. READ employs one-on-one research-based reading instruction to prepare at-risk children to become proficient readers. READ recruits, trains and employs teens to teach reading skills to their younger peers who are struggling with learning to read. READ targets economically disadvantaged students and teens.
Rating: 65.62

United Through Reading
11555 Sorrento Valley Road
Suite 203
San Diego, CA 92121
tel: (858) 481-7323
fax: (858) 481-9489
Mission: The mission of United Through Reading is to facilitate supportive relationships for children through families and friends reading aloud with them. Our vision is that all children will feel the security of caring adult relationships and develop a love of reading through the read-aloud experience. Founded in 1989 as Family Literacy Foundation, we provide programs that encourage parents and other community members to read aloud with young children (ages 0-5) for the educational and emotional benefits to all involved.
Rating: 63.09

Children's Literacy Initiative
2314 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
tel: (215) 561-4676
fax: (215) 561-4677
Mission: Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI) was founded in 1988 to enhance the opportunity for children from low-income families to enter school ready to learn and, once in school, to be successful in learning to read. CLI works to increase children's literacy skills and to foster a love of reading by providing professional development for teachers of pre-kindergarten through third grade students. Our programs are designed to provide training in the most effective literacy practices and include quality books and materials for creating a literacy-rich classroom environment. CLI is involved in large projects in the public school systems of Philadelphia, Newark (NJ), Camden, Baltimore, and Boston, as well as training in several school districts in Pennsylvania.
Rating: 62.30

First Book
1319 F Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004
tel: (866) 732-3669
fax: (202) 628-1258
Mission: Founded in 1992, First Book is a national organization that gives children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. We provide an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs. First Book's model is national in scope and local in impact. In our first year, First Book distributed approximately 12,000 books in three communities. Since that time, First Book has distributed more than 50 million books to children in over 1,300 communities around the country. First Book now is poised to enter a new stage of development that includes new national initiatives and international expansion.
Rating: 62.27

Reach Out and Read
56 Roland Street
Suite 100D
Boston, MA 02129
tel: (617) 455-0600
fax: (617) 455-0601
Mission: Founded in 1989, Reach Out and Read (ROR) promotes early literacy by making books a routine part of pediatric care. ROR trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at pediatric check-ups from six months to five years of age, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty. By building on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers, Reach Out and Read helps families and communities encourage early literacy skills so children enter school prepared for success in reading. Currently, there are over 3,100 ROR programs based on the ROR model, all located at clinics, hospitals, and health centers. ROR serves 2.6 million children annually and distributes over 4.3 million books each year.
Rating: 61.38

Literacy Assistance Center
32 Broadway
10th Floor
New York, NY 10004
tel: (212) 803-3351
fax: (212) 785-3685
Mission: The Literacy Assistance Center is dedicated to supporting and promoting the expansion of quality literacy services in New York. We provide services for: adult students who want to find free classes in reading, writing, and speaking English or information on getting their GED; literacy instructors who want to become more effective teachers; program managers who want to build a stronger literacy program; parents who want to help their children become better learners; policymakers who need information from the literacy field to inform their decisions; and all New Yorkers who want to participate in building a more vibrant, prosperous community. Over 800 programs across the state provide free and low-cost programs in English for speakers of other languages, adult basic education, and GED preparation.
Rating: 61.09

Reading Reform Foundation of New York
333 West 57th Street
Suite 1L
New York, NY 10019
tel: (212) 307-7320
fax: (212) 307-0449
Mission: Founded in 1981, Reading Reform Foundation of New York is a literacy organization whose experience has shown that almost every child, regardless of social and economic background, can learn to read, write and spell if taught by effective methods. We help teachers learn effective methods to teach reading, writing and spelling in three ways: by offering graduate and non-credit courses; by offering direct classroom training and; and by holding an annual fall conference attended by educators from New York City and the surrounding area.
Rating: 60.84

Or, if you'd rather volunteer your time helping kids with reading and writing, I can't strongly enough endorse the mission and work of 826, the organization started in Valencia by Dave Eggers. With several chapters nationally, there may be a center near you. And if there's not, contact them to see if there's a way you can help nationally or work toward establishing a new chapter in your area.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. And thank you so much to the organizations that help people read.
posted by Dave Clapper at 11:30 AM  0 comments

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
New Reading Series from Tuesday Shorts

Friends of Tuesday Shorts are now appearing monthly at the Boxcar Lounge. Their first reading is November 28, 2007, 168 Avenue B, East Village NYC.

Hosted by Shelly Rae Rich, writer and co-editor of Tuesday Shorts, the series kicks off with an eclectic group of talent.

And here they are...

Rusty Barnes grew up in rural northern Appalachia. He received his B.A. from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. from Emerson College. His fiction, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in journals like SmokeLong Quarterly, Pindeldyboz, Post Road, and Red Rock Review. After editing fiction for the Beacon Street Review (now Redivider) and Zoetrope All-Story Extra, he co-founded Night Train, a recently reinvented literary journal, which has been featured in the Boston Globe, The New York Times, and on National Public Radio. Sunnyoutside Press published a collection of his flash fiction, Breaking it Down, in November 2007. Read Rusty's work here, here, here, and here.

Linda DiGusta is a freelance writer and artist. Active in the NYC theatre for more than a decade as a director, designer and performer, the inventiveness of acting and collaboration on a screenplay re-kindled her early interest in fiction, and she has had several short stories published in print and online. In the fine art world, she currently has 2 still-life drawings in the exhibition "Lineal Investigations" at the Housatonic Museum of Art, and her assemblages and drawings have been seen in group exhibitions in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including at Art Gotham in Chelsea this month. Integrating art and writing, Linda also writes for and serves as Executive Editor of, an online publication created by artists in 2005 to present the art world from a fresh point of view. She lives in midtown Manhattan with artist Mark Wiener and their multi-species family. More at and

Anne Elliott has performed her poetry, with and without ukulele, at the Whitney Museum (with the Beats show), PS122, Lincoln Center, The Poetry Project at St. Mark's, Woodstock '94, and other venues in and out of NYC. Her poems have appeared in Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe, Verses that Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the Poemfone Poets, and other anthologies. Her fiction has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, Pindeldyboz, FRiGG, Ars Medica, and others, and she blogs on the writing life and feral cat management at Read Anne's work here.

Carol Novack, a former criminal defense lawyer and Australian government grant recipient, is the author of a chapbook of poetry, play, collaborative CD and two collaborative films. Writings may or will be found in many publications, including SmokeLong Quarterly, American Letters & Commentary, Action Yes, Del Sol Review, Diagram, 5_trope, Gargoyle, Journal of Experimental Fiction, La Petite Zine, LIT, Notre Dame Review, and the Star*Vigate anthology of best online writings. Carol publishes the multi-media e-journal Mad Hatters' Review, curates a reading series at the KGB Bar, and runs lyrical fiction writing workshops. She'll be a resident at The Vermont Studio Center next year. For additional details, see her blog. Read Carols' work here.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 11:51 AM  0 comments

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
snow day
First snow of the season today--got me musing about my favorite snow beginning and my favorite snow ending (which are within two of my favorite stories of all time).

First, there's Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales, which begins:
One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
And then there's The Dead by James Joyce, which ends:
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
posted by Myfanwy Collins at 2:16 PM  0 comments

Hobart #8 Available to Order
Hobart #8 is available to order. This issue is another "flip-style" issue, similar to #3, when Hobart shared issues with Monkeybicycle. This time around, they are sharing it with their friends in the north—one half of the issue features writers from Canada and is guest-edited by Pasha Malla.

On the U.S. of A. side, authors Benjamin Percy, Ryan Call, Matthew Kirkpatrick, Ira Sukrungruang, Chris Bachelder, William Donnelly,Cedric Yamanaka, Catherine Zeidler, and Tod Goldberg.

Representing the Maple Leaf, authors Lee Henderson, Julia Tausch, David Bergen, Mark Anthony Jarman, John Goldbach, Craig Davidson, Heather Birrell, Zsuzsi Gartner, Dimitri Nasrallah, Sheila Heti, and Stephany Aulenback.

And is that cover cool or what?

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posted by Dave Clapper at 9:33 AM  0 comments

Monday, November 19, 2007
Vanessa Gebbie Takes 2nd in Bridport
Vanessa GebbieVanessa Gebbie, whose Bones was published here in issue four, has taken second prize and £1000 in the 2007 Bridport Prize for her story, "I Can Squash the King, Tommo...."

Huge congratulations to Vanessa, whose collection, "Latest... Words from a Glass Bubble" will be published by Salt Publishing in March 2008.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 3:19 PM  1 comments

SLQ Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2007
With huge thanks to our guest editors Matt Bell, Alicia Gifford, Bob Arter, and Mary Miller for helping us to narrow down our choices, and to all the brilliant authors we've published over the last year for making it such a difficult decision, we're wildly proud to announce our nominees for the 2007 Pushcart Prize:

"Nailed" by Robert J. Bradley
"Ten Very Short Stories" by John Leary
"I Am Waiting for My Dogs to Die" by Davin Malasarn
"Selective Memory" by Mary McCluskey
"Copenhagen" by Fred Spears
"Deep in the Heart of Texas" by Robert Travieso
posted by Dave Clapper at 2:41 PM  2 comments

The Short Review
Check out The Short Review, "where short story collections step into the spotlight."

Founder and editor Tania Hershman says:

I love short stories. I love writing them and I love reading them. But it's not so easy to find reviews of short story collections, especially ones published by small presses. They just don't get the column inches that novels receive. It's no wonder they don't sell as well as novels - or that publishers think readers don't want to read short stories. So I thought I would create a space just for short story collections and anthologies, to give them their turn in the spotlight.

In the current issue of The Short Review you will find the following collections reviewed, among others:

HeavyGlow Flash Fiction
McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories
No One Belongs Here More than You by Miranda July

Also, be sure to stop by their blog.

This is a much needed resource. Keep up the good work, Tania!
posted by Kelly Spitzer at 2:07 PM  2 comments

StoryGlossia Issue 24
STORYGLOSSIA Issue 24 is out with ten new stories by Jamey Genna, Barry Graham, Donna Vitucci, Janet Freeman, Patricia Abbott, Mikael Covey, Joseph Kim, Aimee Marcucilli, Jessica Colomb, and Bruce Overby.
posted by Dave Clapper at 9:40 AM  0 comments

Friday, November 16, 2007

The latest issue is live with pieces by Claudia Smith, Aaron Burch, Elizabeth Ellen and more.
posted by katrina at 4:39 PM  0 comments

NOÖ Journal Readings
NOÖ JournalNOÖ Journal will have bicoastal readings in December:

East Coast:
Amherst Books
December 12th / 8PM
Amherst, MA

Featuring Heather Christle, Elisa Gabbert, Aaron Hellem, and Tao Lin.

West Coast:
Los Angeles
posted by Dave Clapper at 11:23 AM  0 comments

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Elizabeth Ellen interview at 3am
Before You, She Was a Pit BullThere's a terrific interview with Elizabeth Ellen conducted by our very own Kelly Spitzer at 3am Magazine today. My favorite quote: "Maybe I should rely more on my imagination, but something compels me to write about the truth, or the truth as I know it."
posted by Dave Clapper at 10:21 AM  2 comments

writers on writers
To celebrate its 2006 National Magazine Award in Fiction, VQR has published a special writers on writers supplement (available online because the issue sold out!).
posted by Myfanwy Collins at 6:32 AM  0 comments

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Your Messages
Sarah Salway and Lynne Rees are up to something interesting. Every day, they post a 300-word message from a book published in the UK in 2006. Visitors are encouraged to post their own 300-word responses in the comments within the next day. Sarah's and Lynne's favorite responses will be published in an accompanying booklet to be sold for charity. Definitely worth checking out: Your Messages.
posted by Dave Clapper at 3:50 PM  0 comments

Rusty Barnes Readings
Rusty Barnes will be reading from his new collection, Breaking it Down, at the following locations:

November 28th, 2007, 8 PM—Reading, Boxcar Lounge, 168 Avenue B New York, NY (East Village)

December 6th, 2007, 7 PM—Words & Music, Tufts Freeform Radio, with Leslie Lombino

January 4th, 2008, 8 PM—Dire Reader Series, Out of the Blue Gallery, Cambridge, MA
posted by Dave Clapper at 1:28 PM  0 comments

Monday, November 12, 2007
Book Sites
Looks like another slow news day for flash fiction, so I thought I'd mention a couple book sites where you can share your thoughts on books with others. I've been modestly addicted to Goodreads for some time now. It seems like a healthy number of writers, particularly from Zoetrope, have found their way over there. Here's a little widget they offer:


And today I joined Shelfari after receiving an invite from a high school friend. The ability to link up with friends doesn't seem quite as obvious as it is on Goodreads—I haven't even yet been able to link up with the friend who invited me&mdaash;but otherwise, it looks like a pretty good place to discuss books. Here's a widget from them:

posted by Dave Clapper at 4:28 PM  0 comments

Friday, November 09, 2007
Wordstock is already underway in Portland. If you're in the Pacific Northwest and haven't already made plans for the weekend, you really owe it to yourself to attend. Among my favorites appearing are Steve Almond, Lauren Weedman, and Ron Carlson. Check out the lineup and I'm sure you'll find some of your own favorites.
posted by Dave Clapper at 3:50 PM  3 comments

Thursday, November 08, 2007
Margaret Atwood's LongPen
As it appears to be a slow news day here, I did a little surfing of other lit blogs and came across this tidbit over at The Kenyon Review's Blog. It's an interesting write-up about a pen that allows writers to sign books via an internet connection, but I wonder a bit about the author's speculation on celebrity as a reason to want to see writers/authors in person. I think that's a fairly easy opinion in our celebrity-driven culture, but then I think about the writers I most want to see when they come through town. Yes, some of them are "names," but the ones that most interest me are the ones with whom I've had some interaction already, regardless of their level of fame. And let's face it: the number of people who attend readings/signings doesn't begin to approach the level of rock concerts—a gathering of 100 in the audience for a successful band would be a massive disappointment, but a similar gathering for a successful writer would be a very solid turn-out indeed (when Oates read at Elliot Bay Books a few years ago, I'd estimate there were maybe 75 of us there, tops).

The blogger hints at the reason I think we want to see our favorite writers in person (and why they might want to meet us) in this bit: "a writer is the person who spends those long hours in the chair getting the words onto paper." Writing, let's face it, is a profoundly lonely occupation. To really get the work done, we simply can't be interacting with others during the actual work. And, if you think about it in an historical sense, that's truly bizarre—writing is story-telling, after all, which is one of the oldest social occupations known to man. Readings give us (both as writers and as audience) the change to engage in the primitive act of sitting around a fire hearing a narrative. And they allow us to connect in a way that is different than the very solitary interaction with words on a page (whether as writer or reader).

Which, of course, says nothing of Atwood's invention. As an advocate of green policies, I have to admit to being intrigued by the idea. I work for an architectural firm that does its damnedest to incorporate green ideas into every design every day—green, in my daily life, is the shouted intital in the name Roy G!!! Biv. And that's one of the greatest appeals in working here. But... as a writer and reader, the value that comes from signatures at readings isn't in the ink, whether distributed on-scene or from afar, nor even in the hand that wields the pen. The signing period at these events is merely the time following the readings during which we can lock eyes and say, "Hi" and, "Thanks"—the time during which we can briefly slow down from our McDonald's lives and connect with our story-tellers, with our audiences, with our humanity.
posted by Dave Clapper at 4:08 PM  0 comments

Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Opium Bookmark Contest
Opium Magazine is running a bookmark contest for its "Go Green!" issue. Stories of up to 250 words will be considered for publication on a bookmark to be inserted into each copy of the issue. Entry fee is ten bucks, grand prize is (appropriately) a grand, and the judge is Aimee Bender. Deadline is February 8. For the official info, go here.
posted by Dave Clapper at 4:48 PM  0 comments

Heidi W. Durrow Readings in NYC
Heidi W. DurrowHeidi W. Durrow, whose Ethnic Lego Girls Carry Spears appeared here in our most recent issue, has two readings in New York in November:

November 13, 2007, Tuesday, at Noon:
"Voices of the Rainbow: Celebrating the Oral Tradition with authors Monique Truong and Heidi W. Durrow."
Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus (Flatbush & DeKalb Avenues). Free and open to the public.

November 14, 2007, Wednesday, at 6:30pm:
"Mixed Chicks: Growing Up Biracial with Heidi W. Durrow and Kym Ragusa."
New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Branch, 455 5 th Ave. (5 th & 40 th St.), 6 th Floor. Free and open to the public.
posted by Dave Clapper at 9:41 AM  0 comments

Pia Z. Ehrhardt at litpark
Great interview with Pia over at litpark today:
All of life's possibilities for messing up are still there, but the daughter's on her way home, the tempted wife's touching her husband's hand, the mistress says a wordless goodbye to her lover from a payphone. Things have changed, but not necessarily ended, which, I hope, gives the stories a tension that continues beyond the last page.
posted by Myfanwy Collins at 5:46 AM  0 comments

StoryQuarterly -- Fiction Contest Reminder
The SQ Fiction Contest deadline for submission is November 30.

The contest offers a First Prize of $2,500, a Second Prize of $1,500, and a Third Prize of $750. Additionally, ten Finalists will each receive $100.

Winners will be announced by December 31.

Log in and enter at
posted by Myfanwy Collins at 4:54 AM  0 comments

Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Kathy Fish interview at Quick Fiction
Kathy FishKathy Fish is very dear to us here at SmokeLong. Though no longer on staff, Kathy's legacy lives on through the annual Kathy Fish Fellowship Award. It was my pleasure to interview her about her chapbook Laughter, Applause, Laughter, Music, Applause, forthcoming from Rose Metal Press in January. Kathy's manuscript was a finalist in Rose Metal's first annual short-short chapbook competition, judged by Ron Carlson. Read the entire interview here.
posted by Kelly Spitzer at 7:49 AM  1 comments

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
Oh boy, is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao an interesting, challenging, illuminating book. At first, I wondered if I would be at a disadvantage as I do not get most of the allusions to comic books (though the Tolkien, etc, is not lost on me)—still knowing these things is not necessary to find what you need in this book. I also initially worried over the footnotes—would they be a chore? Would I end up skipping them? Nope and nope. From the beginning, I looked forward to them and what they had to teach me—about the history of the Dominican Republic, about life.

So what about the story? Well, since two of the main characters (Yunior and Oscar) are writers, I'm tempted to call it at least partly a Künstlerroman—but if so, who is Diaz? Perhaps they both are—different sides of him, making one whole or who he was and who he might have become? Really, it is silly to speculate this way about fiction, but when a character in a book is a writer, it's tempting. Still, this is not only a story about an awkward boy's coming of age—it is also a story of family and survival and, most importantly, love. Big love. The biggest. The love which you risk everything for—the love you are willing to die for. The love that conquers all (perhaps even fuku).

Oscar is a poignant, painful, and lovable character—I felt for his awkwardness, his desire for love, his attempts at fitting in (the scene when he attempts to start the sci fi club when he is teaching was scorchingly painful to me), and his self-awareness which is in constant battle with his delusions. Equally impressive, are the female characters—specifically Oscar's mother and sister. Their own brutal histories and sacrifices and survival are breathtaking, heartbreaking.

It's a beautiful, luminous, and often humorous book told in only the way Diaz can—straight up and with no bullshit. Read it and you will learn something you likely did not know before.
posted by Myfanwy Collins at 5:59 AM  0 comments

Monday, November 05, 2007
Juked editor J.W. Wang at the Writer Profile Project
J.W. Wang was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he attends Florida State University as a Ph.D. student in creative writing. His work has appeared in Backwards City Review, Poet Lore, Hobart, Pindeldyboz, Wandering Amy, and more, though most of it is unpublished and awaits revision, and some of it he'd rather forget ever existed. He is the founding editor of Juked and a recovering corporate suit.

Read the full interview here.
posted by Kelly Spitzer at 8:19 AM  1 comments

Sunday, November 04, 2007
Roy Kesey Review Roundup

Besides my review, SmokeLong contributor Roy Kesey's debut collection All Over has been reviewed at January Magazine, The Believer, and as of this morning, The Los Angeles Times. There's also a commentary and interview with Roy at Biblio Buffet, and publisher Dzanc Books has also been featured in an article entitled From Old to New Media at Wired. Dzanc and Roy are getting a lot of press lately, and everything I've seen's been very positive. Roy's still somewhere out in America reading to the masses-- Hopefully they're just as receptive as his readers have been.

posted by Matt Bell at 6:52 AM  0 comments

Saturday, November 03, 2007
SLQ Issue 18 Reviewed In NewPages
New PagesIssue 18 of SmokeLong has been reviewed in NewPages by Stefani Nellen. Many other lit mags are also reviewed.

From the review: "Reading a new issue is strangely addictive, a bit like opening a box of chocolates and trying to eat only a few: before you know it, you've eaten (or rather read) it all, the box is empty, and each chocolate tasted perfect in its own way."
posted by Dave Clapper at 12:35 PM  15 comments

Thursday, November 01, 2007
Daily Kos Highlighting Literary News
If you're a bleeding heart pinko like me, chances are you love Daily Kos. Imagine my delight to find that they're now featuring Literary News. Imagine my further delight to find that SmokeLong was recently cited as a "great flash fiction magazine." I'll definitely be checking back in.
posted by Dave Clapper at 5:07 PM  2 comments

Contest Alert: River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Fiction Contest
The literary journal River Styx is holding a Micro-Fiction Contest.

Their contest page states:

A prize of $1500, two cases of Schlafly beer, and publication in River Styx is given annually for the best micro-fiction story. The editors of River Styx will judge. 500 words maximum per story, up to three stories per entry. $20 entry fee.

All entrants receive a one-year subscription to River Styx.

Send entries and fee by December 31st to:River Styx Poetry Contest3547 Olive Street, Suite 107St. Louis, MO 63103

Visit their Website to order a copy of their journal and discover what River Styx is all about.
posted by Kelly Spitzer at 1:47 PM  2 comments

Word Riot
The latest issue of Word Riot is live, with new flash pieces, experimental pieces, stories, book reviews, and more cool stuff!
posted by katrina at 1:32 PM  0 comments

Top Ten Page Views for October
Except for the juggernaut of "Pornography" and another strong showing by John Leary, the top ten is comprised entirely of flashes from the September 15 issue. And for the second month in a row, the five fat men are gone, but Landon retains a spot with "Starfish."

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

The News page, incidentally, seems to be quite popular thus far, notching nearly 800 page views in less than a week.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 9:57 AM  0 comments

New Hot Metal Bridge Online

I'd never heard of Hot Metal Bridge until about an hour ago when I saw it mentioned on Tod Goldberg's blog, but I'm excited to read their newest issue-- Among others, it's got a new Tod Goldberg story, essays by Brian Evenson and Roy Kesey, and a (38-minute!) video of George Saunders reading. It's like they published an issue just for me, and I can't wait to read it.

posted by Matt Bell at 6:31 AM  2 comments

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