Deadline: November 15, 2021

SmokeLong is an online literary magazine dedicated to flash narrative. It publishes narratives that are 1,000 words or fewer. The term “smoke-long” comes from a tongue-in-cheek Chinese anecdote that reading a piece of flash writing takes about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette.

Here’s what they say about the competition

This fall we are hosting our first annual prize for comedy in flash. We want to feel your razor-sharp wit, share your sideways view of the world, hear your irresistibly bizarre voice. We want to laugh out loud and snort our coffee through our noses. Yes, we want this. All at the same time. Make us smile.

While there is no specific theme for this competition, your work should interpret the idea of comedy in some (in)appropriate way. Comedy can be dark or slapstick, burlesque or deadpan, a parody or even a mockumentary. It’s up to you. Give us your satire, your surrealism, or your absurdism. Or all four.


  • Word Limit: 782 Words (not including the title, no minimum length requirement)
  • Open to anyone 18 years of age and/or older in the world who is not actively on staff at SmokeLong Quarterly.
  • Open to fiction, non-fiction, and anything in between. No poetry, please.
  • Open to works previously unpublished as well as those previously published as long as the author has retained copyright. Narratives previously published by SmokeLong Quarterly are not eligible.
  • Open to narratives in any language as long as accompanied by an English translation. Judging will be based on the English translation. The prize will be split evenly between author and translator.
  • All entries are read blind. Please remove all identifying information from the document(s). In the case of previously published work, please do NOT indicate where the piece was published. Please also retitle the piece(s) so that they are not searchable by title online. All of this information should be in the cover letter, which the judges will not see until acceptance or rejection.
  • Formatted in a legible, dark 12pt font. No invisible ink, please.
  • Prize money paid through Paypal.
  • Competition entry period: August 1 — November 15


The SmokeLong staff will judge this competition. As always at SmokeLong, if two editors have passed on your work you will receive an immediate reply. You will not have to wait until the end of the competition to hear from us in this case. If, however, your work has been nudged up to the senior editors for comment, we will need longer. If your work has been in progress for more than 2 weeks, this is an encouraging sign. This means we’re discussing your work, maybe even cleaning coffee off our computer monitors.


Prize Fund: At least US$1,600

Each of the (at least) four narratives selected to win The SmokeLong Comedy Prize will receive $400 and publication in our December issue 2021.

A shortlist will be announced prior to publication of the December issue.

Entry fees

August 1-October 31

  • 1 entry — $7
  • 2 entries — $12
  • Up to 5 entries – $22

November 1-November 15

  • 1 entry — $8
  • 2 entries — $14
  • Up to 5 entries — $26

For writers who are financially unable to pay an entry fee, please watch our social media channels for our free entry day

More information.

Team VoW
Author: Team VoW

Valley of Writers provides resources, tools, ideas and training for new writers. We work with a writers and contributors based around the world. Our primary focus is to equip new writers with skills to help them reach new audiences and achieve their goals.

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