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AWP Offsite Event: Literary Masquerade

Flyer for Literary Masquerade eventWe’re hosting multiple events in Portland, OR for AWP. It’s our home base, so why not? This will be an AWP to remember. Books & Brass kicks things off on March 28th, and we’re excited for our Literary Masquerade on Friday, March 29th at 7:00pm.

This event takes place at the Beech Street Parlor, located at 412 NE Beech St. This restored Victorian is decked out with vintage furniture, decorative wallpaper, and antique fixtures, it’s the perfect place for a masquerade party. Costumery encouraged, masks provided, all are welcome. There will be some free Conium Press swag, many of the authors will be selling and signing books, and “DJ No Requests” will be spinning records later in the evening.

Readings from Rita Bullwinkel, Charlie Brown, John Englehardt, Ashley Farmer, James R. Gapinski, Chelsea Harris, Liz Kellebrew, and Christine Texeira.

Learn more about the event on Facebook (and invite your friends!)

Join us at AWP for “Literary Friction” offsite reading

Literary Friction banner

We’re pleased to be participating in an AWP 2017 offsite reading with F(r)ictionSibling Rivalry Press, and Upper River Boot Books. The event will be at Bar Louie, located at 701 7th St NW (just a few-minute walk from the convention center). Event starts at 8:00pm. No cover charge, and the first 50 people in the door get free drink tickets. Find the event on Facebook and share it with your friends.

Readers for Conium Press are:

  • Maryse Meijer, reading from “Her Blood,” published in The Conium Review: Vol. 5.
  • Melissa Reddish, reading an excerpt from her novella-in-flashes, Girl & Flame, published by Conium Press in 2016.
  • Kate Garklavs, reading her flash fiction, “In Memoriam: Lot 69097,” winner of our 2016 Flash Fiction Contest, judged by Leesa Cross-Smith.

The Conium Review‘s outreach coordinator, Chelsea Werner-Jatzke, will also be reading from her Sibling Rivalry Press chapbook, Adventures in Property Management. Readers for the other presses include David Abrams, Amie Whittemore, Ben Janse, Joy Baglio, Michelle Lin, Kazumi Chin, Kai Carlson-Wee, Anders Carlson-Wee, and Geffrey Davis.

We hope you can make it, and stop by The Conium Review‘s AWP bookfair table: 548-T.

The 2016 Flash Fiction Contest winner is Kate Garklavs!

Kate G headshotLeesa Cross-Smith has finished deliberating, and she has selected Kate Garklavs‘s “In Memoriam: Lot 69097″ as the 2016 Flash Fiction Contest winner.

Kate Garklavs lives and works in Portland, OR. Her work has previously appeared in Ohio Edit, Juked, Matchbook, and Tammy, among other places. She earned her MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and she’s currently a reader for the Portland Review.

This year’s finalists are Thomas Duncan, Melissa Goode, Jillian Jackson, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Meghan Phillips, and Tessa Yang. Here’s what Leesa had to say about Kate Garklavs’s winning story:

The language of this story is surprising and so, so pretty. ‘piquant as the night breeze to ocean-damp skin’ and ‘the copier’s light shuttled back and forth beneath the lowered lid, gold spilling out in warm flashes.’ ‘My heartbeat slowed to match the thrum, click, return of the copier.’ I loved reading this story, but even more than that, I loved rereading this story. It’s funny and sweet and pretty much everything I look for in my flash fiction. Nostalgia and romance, a bit of ridiculousness, a whole lot of heart.”

—Leesa Cross-Smith, contest judge and author of Every Kiss a War

Kate’s winning piece will be published on The Conium Review Online Compendium, and it will be made into a limited-run micro-chapbook for distribution at the 2017 AWP Conference in Washington, DC. She will receive a $300 prize and a copy of the judge’s latest book.

There were tons of amazing submissions, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll send us next year. The general submission queue opens on January 1st. Additionally, we’ll be announcing the 2017 Flash Fiction Contest judge shortly. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about these calls for submissions and news from The Conium Review and Conium Press.

A brief interview with Lindsay Hunter

A brief interview with Lindsay Hunter

and a preview of our 2016 AWP Conference panel: “What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon”

Lindsay Hunter was originally slated to be on our AWP Conference panel, “What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon,” but she had to drop out and Manuel Gonzales will be replacing her as a panelist. Fortunately, Lindsay was still able to answer some panelist questions for us. This chat gives a preview of what you might expect at the panel on Friday, April 1st, and it also gives Lindsay a chance to chime in on the topic for our online readers.

[James R. Gapinski]: So I have to ask the central question: what does innovative fiction actually mean? It seems like some cheesy buzzword, but can we define innovative fiction?

[Lindsay Hunter]: I think innovative fiction is something that surprises its readers. You know that feeling you get when you’re reading something and you think, “Man, I could never do this.” And then you think, “Man, I’m gonna go sit down right now and try to do that, or try to write something that makes me feel like reading that made me feel.” That’s innovative. It generates a chain of inspiration and creation.

[JRG]: When you’re writing a piece like “Don’t Kiss Me,” do you begin with the intentional goal of doing something formally unconventional, or is that something that just happens organically as you write?

[LH]: It’s very organic for me. I sit down and write the first line knocking around in my head, and then I write the next one and the next one. It’s all about the voice, the word selection that nourishes that voice. I don’t think, “Okay, I gotta write something truly f*cked up, GIDDY UP HUNTER, LET’S DO IT.” I think, “Hmm I wanna write about a woman who’s obsessed with another woman at work.” I think it’s unconventional because I’m trying to reveal something in these marginalized, sometimes hyper-real characters that I love so much. I’m trying to unveil some humanity whenever I can.

[JRG]: You’re judging our short fiction contest. I’m sure those interested in submitting are itching to know: are there specific things you look for in a great piece of innovative writing?

[LH]: I always find myself looking for an interesting turn of phrase. A quickness, a deftness between word and image. Something that makes me jealous! I’m also a sucker for anything that makes me feel nostalgic – either the character’s nostalgia or something sparked inside me.

[JRG]: Could you share some authors or books that you find particularly risky or innovative?

[LH]: Gutshot by Amelia Gray is like an opus of innovation. I think it’s perfect. Catherine Lacey’s Nobody is Ever Missing is another one. And Maryse Meijer’s forthcoming Heartbreaker burns it ALL down. Full disclosure, we all have the same editor. But that editor is a master of seeking out innovative, weird stuff!

Lindsay Hunter headshotLindsay Hunter is the author of Ugly Girls (FSG Originals, 2014), which The Huffington Post called “a story that hits a note that’s been missing from the chorus of existing feminist literature.” Her next novel, working title Eat Only When You’re Hungry, is forthcoming from FSG. She is also the author of the flash fiction story collections Don’t Kiss Me (FSG Originals, 2013) and Daddy’s (Featherproof Books, 2010).