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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).

Emily Koon wins the Conium Press Book & Chapbook Contest!

Matt Bell has selected Emily Koon‘s We Are Still Here as the 2016 Conium Press Book & Chapbook Contest winner!

Emily Koon headshotYes, Emily Koon. The same Emily Koon who won our Innovative Short Fiction Contest in 2015, judged by Amelia Gray. As always, the judging process was 100% blind, and Matt Bell was instructed to recuse himself if he could identify the author. We’re surprised that her work anonymously bubbled to the top twice — but then again, not too surprised — she’s just a damn good writer.

The stories in We Are Still Here are an eclectic mix including fairy tales, ghosts, Lizzie Borden, and people living in a Sears. In the title story, a family visiting an amusement park flees after a fatal roller coaster accident, only to find the real horror is on the chairlifts. In “The People Who Live in the Sears,” a group of people who find the real world too painful to function in make new lives in their local Sears department store. In “The Ghosts of St. Louis,” two teenagers living in a futuristic North America attempt to make sense of a world marred by climate change. Characters in these stories wrestle with questions of death, loneliness, abandonment, and their capacity to love, be loved, and inflict pain on others.

Emily Koon is a fiction writer from North Carolina. She has work in Potomac Review, The Rumpus, The Conium Review, Portland Review, and other places. She can be found at twitter.com/thebookdress.

Emily’s manuscript will be published by Conium Press, and she will receive $1,000, ten author copies, and a copy of the judge’s latest book.

This year’s finalists are Tori BondSamantha Duncan, Claire Hopple, and Rachel Luria.

We’re grateful to all the authors who submitted, and we hope you’ll join us in congratulating Emily, singing her praise on social media, and buying/reading her kickass book when it hits shelves. We expect to release Emily’s collection in late 2017 or early 2018.

Recent Award Nominations for our Authors

It’s nomination time again! We recently sent out nods for the annual Queens Ferry Press Best Small Fictions anthology. We also nominated for the Eric Hoffer Award and the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

The nomination process is always difficult — we published so many amazing pieces in 2016 — but eventually we narrowed it down. We’re pleased to share our picks for this year, and we hope you’ll reread a few of these favorites (and check out other work from these authors).

Best Small Fictions anthology nominations:

Eric Hoffer Book Award nominations:

Independent Publisher Book Award nomination:

The Conium Review’s VERA nominee is Ingrid Jendrzejewski!

Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Ingrid Jendrzejewski is this year’s VERA nominee

We’ve nominated Ingrid Jendrzejewski’s “The Box of Skinny Women” for the Vestal Review Award (aka the “VERA”).

The VERA is an annual award for a flash fiction under 500 words. Magazine editors may select a single piece for nomination, and we’ve chosen Ingrid’s piece to represent The Conium Review. If her piece wins, she’ll receive a $100 prize and the piece will be republished at Vestal Review.

You can find links to more of Ingrid Jendrzejewski’s work at www.ingridj.com and she occasionally tweets from @LunchOnTuesday. Recently, she was awarded the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize for Flash Fiction and the Bath Flash Fiction Award.