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Announcing the 2016 Conium Press publication lineup

The Conium Review has expanded over the past year, and we’re excited to make books and chapbooks a regular part of our publishing platform. In 2016, Conium Press will be releasing two standalone titles: Girl & Flame, by Melissa Reddish and Souvenirs and Other Stories, by Matt Tompkins.

We’ll post incremental updates about both of these releases as the 2016 publication calendar moves forward. Thanks for reading, writing, and supporting our small press.

Melissa Reddish author photoGirl & Flame is a novella told in a series of innovative flash vignettes. The protagonist bonds with a piece of flame leftover from an inferno that consumed her brother, father, and lover. Through this relationship, the protagonist explores her complicated family history and her place in the world. Melissa’s novella pairs experimental syntax with magical realist and surrealist snapshots into the lives of the girl, the flame, and the ghosts and ashes left behind.

Melissa Reddish’s short story collection, My Father is an Angry Storm Cloud, was published by Tailwinds Press earlier this year. Her flash fiction chapbook, The Distance Between Us, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2013. Her work has appeared in decomP, Prick of the Spindle, and Northwind, among others. Melissa teaches English and directs the Honors Program at Wor-Wic Community College.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @MelissaReddish, or visit or website at MelissaReddish.com.

Matt Tompkins author photoSouvenirs and Other Stories is a collection of six absurd and surreal stories, each presented as a first-person monologue. Throughout the collection, a father evaporates, items mysteriously appear and fill an apartment, an eye surgery causes optical hallucinations, and more. These strange occurrences are often paired with touches of earnest humor, but they also probe authentic emotional responses when the levity fades.

Matt Tompkins is the author of Studies in Hybrid Morphology, forthcoming from tNY Press in 2016. His stories have been published in H_NGM_NAtticus ReviewCheap PopPost RoadGigantic Sequins, and elsewhere. Matt works in a library and lives in upstate New York with his wife, daughter, and cat.

Visit Matt’s website at NeedsRevision.com.

Emily Koon is the 2015 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner!

Emily Koon photoAmelia Gray has selected Emily Koon as the 2015 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner for her short story, “The People Who Live in the Sears.”

Amelia chose this this story “for its life and humor, its world-building and pace.” She also noted “I found the really unique thing about this story was its movement; it first sits in one place like a man on a couch at the Sears, picking up little objects and people and turning them over. Then, it moves quickly from room to room and then from house to house, swallowing up forests. The story closes in on a shopper or a person and then widens out just as quickly. On top of all that, it’s funny; a little George Saunders, a little Don Barthelme, but best of all a lot of its own thing, the neon Jazzercize glory of the 80s going up like the asbestos-fueled fire it features.”

Emily Koon lives in North Carolina. She earned her MFA from Emerson College in Boston. She has work in Portland Review, Bayou, Atticus Review, and other places and can be found at twitter.com/thebookdress.

This year’s finalists were Rita BullwinkelAdrian FortIngrid JendrzejewskiMarina Petrova, and Adam Webster. Honorable mentions include Michelle DonahueRegan Douglass, and Kim Hagerich.

The Conium Review editorial staff thanks everybody who submitted and supported our annual Innovative Short Fiction Contest. We’ll announce next year’s judge soon, and we hope many of you will consider submitting again in 2016.