One of my favourite things about my recent excursion into writing has been perusing the different literary magazines.
Some of the top publications can be somewhat dense or confusing; I’ve heard the term ‘academic jigsaw puzzle’ used to describe stories where it’s not entirely clear what’s happening.
But certain publications find the right balance between pushing the literary envelope while still presenting stories that are accessible to the average reader.
Smokelong Quarterly stands out above the competition. Each issue, they have several stories that really make you stop and think.
Here are two of my favourite stories from their recent issues that I wanted to share.
The first story is What Wasn’t Swallowed Was Exhaled by Tucker-Leighty Phillips. Tucker has a unique way of seeing the world and it comes through in his prose. In this heartbreaking tale, he uses the tangible nature of dust to show the protagonist’s sense of loss. His descriptions throughout the piece are truly poetic.
The second story is From Your Jerry by Kevin Sterne. This story also deals with loss but from a completely different angle. As the protagonist attempts to make amends to his late mother, the story becomes increasingly absurd until we’re left with nothing but emotion.
One fun thing about Smokelong is they have author interviews with each piece, so if you enjoy the stories, take a moment to check out the writer’s own thoughts.