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Rebecca Fishow’s “How to Love a Black Hole” coming October, 2024!

How to Love a Black Hole, by Rebecca Fishow

Coming October 2024 from CONIUM

We’re pleased to announce the acquisition of Rebecca Fishow’s How to Love a Black Hole. This strange, formally inventive collection contains eighteen flashes and stories—a woman grows ears all over her body, a husband’s new bride drifts into the clouds, a garden yields a grotesque and bloody harvest. Throughout these and other uncanny stories, readers explore a kaleidoscope of love, desire, grief, and regret.

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Rebecca Fishow is a prose writer, creative writing instructor, and visual artist. Her story collection, The Trouble With Language (Trnsfr Books, 2020), won the 2019 Holland Prize for Fiction. Her fiction chapbook, The Opposite of Entropy, was published in 2018 by Proper Tales Press. Her work has appeared in Quarterly WestTin HouseJoylandThe Believer, LoggerSmokelong QuarterlyHobart, and other publications. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University, is pursing a PhD in literature and writing from The University of Illinois Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her husband, the linguist, Dan Goodhue. Learn more about Rebecca Fishow at her website.

Photograph of the author, Maria S. Picone.

Maria S. Picone’s new prose chapbook coming from CONIUM!

CONIUM’s next release will be This Tenuous Atmosphere
by Maria S. Picone / 수영

Slated for release in late 2023 or early 2024.

CONIUM’s next release will be This Tenuous Atmosphere, a linked series of surreal, speculative fictions from Maria S. Picone/수영. The book follows Asia, a Korean girl who becomes a hybrid spacecraft and goes to live among the ghost men and their culture of destructive capitalism in space. Asia never forgets her longing to return home and find her mother, but she is torn between loyalty to her port of origin and a desire to explore deep space.

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Maria S. Picone/수영 is a queer and neurodivergent Korean American adoptee who won Cream City Review’s 2020 Summer Poetry Prize and the first ever Louisa Solano Memorial Emerging Poet Award from Salamander. Her debut poetry chapbook, Adoptee Song, will be published by Muddy Ford Press in 2023. She has been published in Tahoma Literary ReviewVestal Review, Salamander, Orca Lit, Fractured Lit and more including Best Small Fictions 2021. Her work has been supported by The Juniper Institute, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, GrubStreet, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and Tin House Writers Workshop. She is Chestnut Review’s managing editor, Uncharted Mag’s associate editor, and assistant fiction editor at Foglifter as well as volunteering for other literary magazines and organizations as an editor, reader, and grant reviewer. She holds an MFA in fiction from Goddard College. Find out more at mariaspicone.com, Twitter @mspicone.

Photograph of the author, Maria S. Picone.

Sarah Gerard’s THE BUTTER HOUSE coming in 2023!

Coming in 2023 from Conium Press

The Butter House, by Sarah Gerard

Launch party at AWP Seattle in March, 2023.

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In early 2023, Conium Press is releasing The Butter House, a new chapbook from Sarah Gerard. This story follows a woman who moves from New York to a Florida bungalow with her boyfriend. She navigates contradictory landscapes of love and possession, nature and built-environment, empathy and sympathy. She becomes a surrogate caretaker for a colony of feral cats. She grows a garden. She interrogates what it means to care for somebody or something. This is a delicate story, but it chooses deliberate moments to scratch and bite with the ferocity of a territorial alley cat.

Sarah Gerard is the author of the novels True Love and Binary Star and the essay collection Sunshine State. They are the recipient of a 2021 Lambda Literary Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. Sarah’s short stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, T Magazine, Granta, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Vice, Electric Literature, and the anthologies We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida, One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism, Tampa Bay Noir, Erase the Patriarchy, and I Know What’s Best For You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom. Learn more about Sarah Gerard’s work on their website.

Photograph of author Sarah Gerard

Advance Praise for The Butter House

“A couple moves into the titular Butter House, and soon find themselves mired in the project of cat care. Sarah Gerard writes beautifully and precisely about the visceral, secretive feline landscape, and the possibilities that emerge when this world intersects with the human realm—challenging the couple at the center of The Butter House to renegotiate their relationship to care and what it means to feel at home.”

—Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel and I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

The Butter House is like a lithe and seductive feline, sinking its uncut claws into you. Sarah Gerard’s prose is quiet and contemplative and then chaotic in bursts, also not unlike a cat. The Butter House incisively considers the simultaneous care and cruelty of pet ownership, and Gerard is masterful in writing into all the nooks and crannies of a relationship. It’s the tale cat people deserve.”

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, author of Helen House

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Ted Hayden wins the 2021 Innovative Short Fiction Contest!

Ted Hayden wins the 2021 Innovative Short Fiction Contest!

Elle Nash has chosen Ted Hayden’s “The Sky Saw” us as the 2021 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner! Ted’s piece will be published in The Conium Review: Vol. 10. He’ll also receive $500, contributor copies, and a copy of Elle Nash’s latest book, Nudes.

Ted Hayden‘s stories have appeared in literary publications including “Newfound Journal” and genre publications including “Nature: Futures.” Read more of his work at tedhaydenstories.com.

This year’s finalists were Alexandra BlogierAimee Herman, Kaleena MadrugaJerome NewsonK. W. Oxnard, and Pascale Potvin.

Here’s what the contest judge had to say about Ted’s winning story:

“‘The Sky Saw Us’ moves cinematically between two narrators at once. The story follows Cassie and Arturo through a new kind of apocalypse: one in which our worst selves are reflected back to us, quite literally, through a new sky full of mirrors. Humans become their own enemies. What is most tense about the story, however, is the relationship between love and loss, friendship and desire, and the blurred lines between our person who strangely becomes infected by the falling sky and what this infection contains within: all the moments that make up a life, how we relate to each other. In ‘The Sky Saw Us,’ all the loss of one’s life becomes stored inside the body, where one reflects on it forever.”

–Elle Nash, contest judge & author of Nudes

Cassidy McCants is the 2020 Innovative Short Fiction Contest Winner!

Cassidy McCants is the 2020 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner!

The results are in. Emily Wortman-Wunder has finished deliberating, and we’re pleased to announce Cassidy McCants as the 2020 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner for her piece “The Things I Took From Your House.” Cassidy’s piece will be published in The Conium Review: Vol. 9, and she’ll receive a $500 prize, contributor copies, and a copy of the judge’s book.

Cassidy McCants is a writer and editor from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She received her B.A. in creative writing from University of Arkansas and her M.F.A. in fiction writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she is Managing Editor of Nimrod International Journal. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Lascaux Review, Liars’ League NYC, Gravel, The Idle Class, Filling Station, Witch Craft Magazine, and other publications, and her stories have received honorable mentions from Glimmer Train Press.

This year’s finalists were Kelly Hill, Ploy Pirapokin, and Miranda Williams.

Here’s what Emily had to say about her choice:

Headshot of Cassidy McCants, the 2020 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner

“All four finalists were good but this one stood out with the way its innovative form mirrored and reinforced its arc and helped to nudge out new corners of its characters. I loved this story’s sly and surprising voice, the way it skipped along in a wry wistful way and then plunged in the knife.”

–Emily Wortman-Wunder, contest judge & author of Not a Thing to Comfort You