TJ Fuller wins the 2017 Flash Fiction Contest!

Rebecca Schiff has selected TJ Fuller‘s “Slim Fit” as the winner of the 2017 Flash Fiction Contest! The contest finalists were Carla Diaz, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, LaTanya McQueenDerek Updegraff, and Francine Witte.

TJ Fuller writes and teaches in Portland, Oregon. His work has also appeared in Jellyfish Review, Pacifica Literary Review, and Hobart.

Here’s what the judge, Rebecca Schiff, had to say about the TJ Fuller’s winning flash:


“From the first sentence, ‘Slim Fit’ brings us into its strange, funny world. The author trusts that the movement of language and his delight in its premise will become the reader’s delight. It does. I’m thrilled to declare TJ Fuller the winner of The Conium Review 2017 Flash Fiction contest and I hope you enjoy his story as much as I did.”

—Rebecca Schiff, author of The Bed Moved

TJ’s winning story will be published digitally at The Conium Review Online Compendium. The piece will also be designed and printed as a limited-run broadside or micro-chapbook for distribution at conferences or other literary events. TJ will also receive a $300 prize for his story and a copy of Rebecca Schiff’s book.

Thanks to all who submitted to this year’s contest. We hope you’ll consider sending work to our annual Innovative Short Fiction Contest, or through our general submission queueSign up for our newsletter to stay informed about these calls for submissions and news from The Conium Review and Conium Press.


Editor Update: James R. Gapinski is a VERA finalist

The Conium Review‘s managing editor James R. Gapinski is a finalist for the Vestal Review Award (also called the VERA). His story, “Tuxedos and Evening Gowns,” was first nominated by Tethered By Letters and published in F(r)iction magazine. Finalists were selected by Vestal Review editors. The winner will be determined by reader votes! You can read the story here. Please vote using “part II” of the poll (“part I” is closed to votes).

Volume 6 pre-orders now available!

The Conium Review: Vol. 6 is now available for pre-order. We expect to ship in mid-December.

This volume of The Conium Review features nine new stories from Tamara K. Walker, Jay Vera Summer, Matt Kirkpatrick, Rebekah Bergman, Kevin Finucane, Stephanie Wang, Simone Person, Rachel Lyon, and J. L. Montavon. Readers will experience ghost detector apps, a sentient chalkboard, trippy art museum visits, and more. Throughout this volume, inventive prose, dark satire, and  compelling characters abound.

We’re still processing final copy edits and completing the layout, so page count is still up in the air, but it’ll be a similar length to other recent issues (around 100-ish). As usual, we have a wrap-around cover with just a hint of the main image peaking out. On back, there is a large tree stump gracing the volume.

Vol 6 - mock-up (02)

Announcing the Vol. 6 authors

The Conium Review: Vol. 6 comes out in December, 2017. We’ve finalized the table of contents, and we’re pleased to introduce the authors and stories slated for this issue:

  • “Ramune,” by Tamara K. Walker
  • “Holy Water,” by Jay Vera Summer
  • “Something Like Feeling,” by Matt Kirkpatrick
  • “A Hunger,” by Rebekah Bergman
  • “I Am Me,” by Kevin Finucane (winner of the 2017 Innovative Short Fiction Contest)
  • “Time Travel for Beginners,” by Stephanie Wang
  • “Maurice,” by Simone Person
  • “Naming Maura Maura,” by Rachel Lyon
  • “Extraterrestrial Science,” by J. L. Montavon


Tamara K. Walker resides in Colorado and writes short fiction and poetry, often of a surreal, irreal, magical realist, experimental, speculative or otherwise unusual nature. Her fiction has previously appeared in The Cafe Irreal, A cappella Zoo, Melusine, Peculiar Mormyrid, ink&coda, Three Minute Plastic, and others. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Star*Line, Lavender Review, Scifaikuest, and indefinite space, among others. Her short story, “Camisole”, which appeared in The Conium Review: Vol. 4, was a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. She may be found online at

Jay Vera Summer is a Chicagoan living in Florida. She writes fiction and creative nonfiction, and co-founded weirderary, an online literary magazine, and First Draft, a monthly live literary event in Tampa. Her writing has been published in, Proximity, LimeHawk, theEEEL, and Chicago Literati.

Matthew Kirkpatrick is the author of Diary of a Pennsylvania Farmer (Throwback Books, forthcoming), The Exiles (Ricochet Editions), and Light Without Heat (FC2). His fiction and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, The Common, Puerto del Sol, Denver Quarterly, Believer Logger, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. His audio collage and hypertext, “The Silent Numbers” is anthologized in the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 3, and was part of the “Shapeshifting Texts” exhibit at the University of Bremen. He is an assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University where he teaches fiction and new media writing.

Rebekah Bergman’s fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Hobart, Joyland, Passages North, Poor Claudia, Two Serious Ladies, and The Nashville Review, among other journals. She holds an MFA from The New School and is a contributing editor of NOON.

Kevin Finucane was awarded a bronze Solas Award by Travelers’ Tales in creative nonfiction in 2009 and was named a Finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition in the novella category for 2010.

Stephanie Wang is a Beijing-born Australian writer currently living in Melbourne. She can travel in time, but only in one direction. She is currently working on a novel.

Simone Person grew up in small Michigan towns and Toledo, Ohio. She is a dual MFA/MA in Fiction and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. Her work has appeared in Queen Mob’s Teahouse and Puerto del Sol, among others, and has been anthologized in Crab Fat Magazine: Best of Year Three. Her chapbook is a semifinalist selection for Honeysuckle Press’s 2017 Chapbook Contest. She occasionally uses Twitter and Instagram at @princxporkchop.

Rachel Lyon‘s debut novel Self-Portrait with Boy is forthcoming from Scribner in February 2018. Her short work has appeared in Joyland, Iowa Review, McSweeney’s, and other publications. Rachel teaches for Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, and elsewhere and is a cofounder of the reading series Ditmas Lit in her native Brooklyn. Visit her at

J. L. Montavon was born and raised in Denver and lives in San Francisco. Her story “Recursions” was chosen by Joan Wickersham as the winner of the 2016 Salamander Fiction Prize.

Kevin Finucane is the 2017 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner

Stephen Graham Jones has finished deliberating, and he selected Kevin Finucane‘s “I Am Me” as this year’s Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner!

Kevin Finucane was awarded a bronze Solas Award by Travelers’ Tales in creative nonfiction in 2009 and was named a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition in the novella category for 2010.

This year’s finalists were Andrew Campell, J. L. Montavon, Sarah Scarr, and Stephanie Wang. Honorable mention goes to Emily Grelle, Jen Knox, and Z. G. Watkins. Here’s what Stephen Graham Jones had to say about Kevin Finucane’s winning story:

Life moves pretty fast in the here and now, and ‘I Am Me’ gets it on the page with enough terror and comedy and longing that we can’t help but see ourselves there. It’s a scary, twisted reflection, but it’s a lot more helpful than the nice easy lies we usually get told.”

—Stephen Graham Jones, contest judge and author of Mongrels

Kevin’s winning story will be published in The Conium Review: Vol. 6, due out later this year from Conium Press. He will also receive $500, five copies of the issue, and a copy of Stephen Graham Jone’s latest book.

Thanks to all who submitted to this year’s contest. We’ll be announcing next year’s judge soon. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about these calls for submissions and news from The Conium Review and Conium Press.