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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

Interested in a Review Copy?

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AWP Preview: TJ Fuller’s “Slim Fit”

TJ Fuller is reading at our March 28th AWP Offsite Event: “Books & Brass.” He won our Flash Fiction Contest, judged by Rebecca Schiff, author of The Bed Moved. In his surreal winning story, “Slim Fit,” the narrator jumps into a commercial for slim fit jeans; the story is rife with creativity, longing, and humor. Rebecca Schiff says “From the first sentence, ‘Slim Fit’ brings us into its strange, funny world. TJ Fuller trusts that the movement of language and his delight in its premise will become the reader’s delight. It does.”

As part of TJ’s contest prize, we’ve made this story into a limited-run micro-chapbook. This micro-chap includes craft cardstock cover, bleached linen interior pages, a more natural and pulpy interior leaf. The binding is hand-sewn, and each copy will be signed and numbered.

“Slim Fit” will be distributed at the reading for free, along with some other Conium Press swag. Take a peak at the images below, and be sure to get your complimentary copy at our event!

Emily Koon’s “We Are Still Here” is available for pre-order

Cover (Proof version)In early 2017, we announced Emily Koon’s We Are Still Here as the winner of our Book & Chapbook Contest, judged by Matt Bell. Two years later, a couple revisions, a half-dozen cover mock-ups, and we’re finally ready to bring this beast of a book to market. It’s slated for release this July. We’ll have printed galleys on display at this year’s AWP Conference in Portland. If you’re a reviewer interested in receiving an advance copy, reach out to editors@coniumreview.com.

We Are Still Here contains thirteen short stories and a novella. Throughout this stellar debut, discover a surreal band of mall dwellers, a fairy tale featuring goblins and ghosts, a “go wherever” story in which Lizzie Borden is fully prepared to give her mother forty whacks, and more.

Matt Bell, author of Scrapper, says “Emily Koon’s We Are Still Here is a smart and surprising debut, with each story alive to the many absurdities of life—as well as the joys and the heartbreaks those absurdities contain. Funny and inventive, this book will thrill fans of Amelia Gray, Lindsay Hunter, or Laura van den Berg, while introducing readers to Koon’s own exciting talent.

Pre-order your copy of Emily Koon’s debut collection here.

“The Conium Review: Vol. 7” now available for order!

The wait is over. This year’s issue has been sent to the printer and is ready to order. Orders will ship in early January, 2019. This year’s issue features work from Suzanne Burns, Chelsea Harris, Emily Wortman-Wunder, Sonal Sher, Matt Kolbet, Bridget Apfeld, Anita Goveas, Alison Closter, and Christopher James. Readers will find a mermaid addicted to over-the-counter supplements, a never-ending race, disappearing limbs, and other wildly imaginative tales. With deft prose, these stories reflect on obsession, longing, and loss.

This volume includes “The Endangered Fish of the Colorado River,” by Emily Wortman-Wunder, winner of The Conium Review‘s 2018 Innovative Short Fiction Contest. The contest was judged by Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker and Northwood. Maryse says “‘The Endangered Fish of the Colorado River’ is a moving meditation on parental and ecological grief, an exceptionally accomplished examination of losses big and small. Restrained, precise, and wise, the author shows us how, in the attempt to save something, we risk losing everything.”

Get a copy of the issue directly from our website, and keep an eye out for it at your local bookstore or through your favorite online retailer. For large quantity orders, we use Ingram Book Group for distribution.

About the Contributors

A native of Wisconsin, Bridget Apfeld holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. She lives in Austin, TX and work as a production assistant at the University of Texas at Austin. Her previous and forthcoming work is featured in various journals, including So to Speak, The Fem, Dislocate, Midwestern Gothic, Dappled Things, Newfound, Brevity, and Verse Wisconsin. She is currently editing her second novel.

Suzanne Burns writes both fiction and poetry in Bend, Oregon and Paris, France. The Chicago Tribune recently published her short fiction.

Alison Closter teaches high school students literature and writing near Boston. She has previously published a short story in Flying South Magazine, and she has a flash fiction piece forthcoming in Monkey Bicycle.

Anita Goveas is British-Asian, based in London, and fueled by strong coffee and paneer jalfrezi. She lurks in libraries and her local independent bookshop, Bookseller Crow. She was first published in the 2016 London Short Story Prize anthology, most recently in Pocket Change, Haverthorn, Moonchild Magazine, Riggwelter Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, former cactus mag, and Litro. She tweets erratically @coffeeandpaneer

Chelsea Harris has appeared in Literary Orphans, Smokelong Quarterly, Minola Review, The Fem, The Portland Review, and Grimoire, among others. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago.

Christopher James lives, works and writes in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has previously been published online in many venues, including Tin House, Fanzine, McSweeney’s, SmokeLong, and Wigleaf. He is the editor of Jellyfish Review.

Matt Kolbet teaches and writes in Oregon.

Sonal Sher was born in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir and did her education in Delhi, pursuing a bachelors in Physics from Hindu College. She worked for a not-for-profit organization Hippocampus Reading Foundation and as a journalist for Deccan Herald and Hindustan Times. Recently she wrote her first feature film, Chidiakhana produced by Children’s Film Society of India. She is an alum of the UEA Creative Writing Course organized by University of East Anglia and was part of the first edition of New Writers’ Mentorship Programme in Jaipur Literature festival 2017.

Emily Wortman-Wunder lives in Denver, Colorado. Her work has appeared in Vela, Nimrod, Terrain, High Country News, and many other places.

2018 Innovative Short Fiction Contest deadline extended!

The deadline has been extended for this year’s Innovative Short Fiction Contest, judged by Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker (FSG, 2016) and Northwood (Black Balloon Publishing, forthcoming).

Originally slated to close on May 1st, you have two extra weeks to submit. The final deadline will be May 15th.

Full guidelines are located on our website.

You can upload your submission through our Submittable page.

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)