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Literary News presented by SmokeLong authors and staff

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Tara Laskowski Is 2009 Fish Fellow

This year, we received and read 97 applications for the Kathy Fish Fellowship. After long hours reading and discussing the merits of the applicants, we're hugely excited to announce that Tara Laskowski is our 2009 Fish Fellow. We'd also like to recognize the outstanding work of the other writers on our shortlist. As we did last year, I'll post their #'s here as well, as that's how we knew the applicants during the reading process (all names were stripped from the materials before staff members could read them).

Winner
55: Tara Laskowski

Shortlist
3: Sara Levine
16: Megan Mayhew Bergman
23: Douglas Bruton
29: Foust

Many other applications were excellent as well. The five above represented those who completely blew us away.

We can't wait to begin working with Tara. Here's a little more information about her:

Tara Laskowski earned an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University and recently completed a manuscript of her first novel, set in her hometown in Pennsylvania. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in several places, most recently The Rambler and Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art. Her short story "They" was published in Pindledyboz and was a storySouth Million Writers Award notable online story in 2004. Another story, "Hole to China," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Tara lives and works in a suburb of Washington, D.C., and is learning how to play the piano.

Tara is the third Fish Fellow, following Beth Thomas in 2007 and Stefanie Freele in 2008.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 3:16 PM  11 comments

Monday, January 12, 2009
Tina May Hall wins Caketrain chapbook contest
Caketrain has announced the winner of their 2008 chapbook contest, as judged by Brian Evenson. Due to the quality of the finalists, they will be publishing both the winner and the runner up this summer. Here are the results:

Winner: All the Day's Sad Stories, by Tina May Hall
Runner-up: The Collectors, by Matt Bell
Also Notable: A State of Unbelief and Hawthorn BlossomsM, by Andrew Borgstrom; Personas, by J.C. Miller; Springtime and Important Things to Remember, by Ben Stein

Congratulations to all!

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posted by Dave Clapper at 4:06 PM  0 comments

Saturday, January 10, 2009
Meg's Prompt: disturbed character w/ insect
Here are some words. Try and incorporate them.

Consider: A seemingly normal though disturbed main character. An insect buzzing, or crawling. The main character is very interested or terribly disgusted in the insect.

dentist
squint
mirror
grin
wrists
hiss
slam
falsetto
stiff
audible
furrow
emission
gesture
climate
squirt

Have fun! Always! -Meg Pokrass
posted by Meg Pokrass at 11:13 PM  0 comments

Wednesday, January 07, 2009
"Less Shiny" by Mary Miller
Less Shiny by Mary MillerThe print run on this is very short (75 copies), so it may already be too late to plug it, but... Mike Young's Magic Helicopter Press has released its first chapbook, Less Shiny by Mary Miller. Among the stories in the collection is A Blind Dog Named Killer and a Colony of Bees, first published here. Great reviews out there from Emerging Writers Network, Colin Bassett, and Matt Bell. Check it out, and buy a copy (if you still can).

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posted by Dave Clapper at 10:17 AM  0 comments

Monday, January 05, 2009
Keyhole Press announces fiction chapbook finalists
Another incredible group. Looking forward to hearing who the winner is, as judged by Michael Martone. Here are the finalists:

Jason Stout - Out Into Nothing
Thomas Cooper - Phantasmagoria
Randall Brown - Future Perfect Tense
Chauna Craig - Children, Gamblers, Drunks, and Saints
Adam Peterson - The Flasher
Stefanie Freele - Breathing Oysters
Matt Bell - The Collectors
Aaron Burch - How to Predict the Weather
Laura Loomis - Lost In Translation
Kathy Fish - It's Possible I'm Not Even Here

Congratulations to all. Keyhole's official announcement is here. Also, check out Keyhole's latest issue, their special handwritten issue. One of the coolest issues of a lit mag I've ever seen.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 2:56 PM  0 comments


Sean Lovelace wins Rose Metal Press Chapbook contest
This is an impressive list, to be sure. Many congratulations to the winner, Sean Lovelace, and all those short-listed, as chosen by judge Sherrie Flick.

Winner
Sean Lovelace for How Some People Like Their Eggs

Finalists
Aaron Burch for Birthmarks
Stefanie Freele for Breathing Oysters
Molly Gaudry for Come See the Monkey & Other Stories
Jac Jemc for This Stranger She'd Invited In
Erika Mikkalo for 26 Letters

Semi-Finalists
Lisa Buchanan for Artifacts from the American Century
Dawn Corrigan for Under the Power Lines
Roseanne Griffeth for Getting There Eventually
Tiff Holland for Straight Out of the Can
Kate McCorkle for The Last Parakeet and Other Stories

Full story, as announced by Rose Metal Press, is here. Again, congratulations to all of these excellent writers.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 2:43 PM  0 comments


Top Ten Page Views for December 2008
Well, that's a really interesting shakeup, huh? In looking at specific referrals, a ton of the traffic that propelled several of these into the top ten in page views was from StumbleUpon. Most of those were added to Stumble when we announced our Pushcart Prize nominees. One was an experiment on how to use StumbleUpon when I first set up the ShareThis links on stories. The pieces just outside the top ten had enough traffic than in any other month, they'd have fairly easily made the top ten. They're still getting the same page views, but pages that are Stumbled are getting that much more. In fact, without StumbleUpon, the top ten would have been largely comprised of stories from the December issue (which is what usually happens when a new issue is released).

All of which is to say: authors, if you want to vastly increase your number of readers, join StumbleUpon and start Stumbling your stories (and if you're published here, it's even easier—you can find a link at the end of your story that opens up abilities to share your story on several different sites). And readers, if you absolutely love a story, whether it's here or anywhere else, help spread the word about its greatness to tons of folks you've never met. The more this kind of technology evolves, the more readers will be able to control which authors are gaining the most notice (and, eventually, publishing deals). It's an exciting new world.

1. (NR) How 9) Strange by Laird Hunt (12/15/07)
2. (NR) Taco Foot by Jack Pendarvis (12/15/07)
3. (NR) Beautiful by Antonios Maltezos (10/2/08)
4. (6) Tenderoni by Kathy Fish (10/2/08)
5. (NR) Ants by David Aichenbaum (12/15/08)
6. (NR) Fatback by Jeff Landon (10/2/08)
7. (NR) Trestle by Matt Briggs (3/15/08)
8. (8) Asian Girl by W.P. Kinsella (10/2/08)
9. (3) Innocence, Briefly by Jenny Arnold (10/2/08)
10. (NR) Earthrise by Christopher Bundy (12/15/08)

All told, our page views for the month were 121,084, our highest ever, breaking the previous high of 111,740, set in October.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 12:53 PM  0 comments

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