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William VanDenBerg reading at 2016 AWP off-site event for Caketrain & Solar Luxuriance

Lake of Earth coverFiction editor William VanDenBerg will be signing copies of his Caketrain Press release, Lake of Earth, at our 2016 AWP Conference table (#1238) on Saturday, April 2nd from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Later that evening, he’ll be reading at an off-site even hosted by Caketrain & Solar Luxuriance.

The reading starts at 7:00pm at The Drain, located at 2232 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. in Los Angeles. The other readers include Rachel Levy, M. Kitchell, Thibault Raoult, Kit Schluter, Katy Mongeau, Leif Haven, Kristin Hayter, and Bridget Brewer.

William VanDenBerg’s AWP off-site event picks

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been posting about and previewing different happenings at the upcoming AWP Conference in Los Angeles, including our panel, book signings, and recommendations from Rita Bullwinkel and Caitlin Scarano.

William VanDenBerg joins the conversation, offering his top AWP off-site event choices. Check out the list below, and be sure to stop by our table (#1238) for William’s author signing on Saturday, April 2nd, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm and hear him read during the Caketrain and Solar Luxuriance off-site reading on Saturday, April 2nd starting at 7:00pm.


Outside the AWP Conference itself, a multitude of readings, parties, and activities will be taking place. Here are a few highlights among the many offsite events:

March 29th, 7:30pm to 9:00pm

The Tuesday before AWP begins, tNY Press will be hosting a pre-show party at The Last Bookstore. Expect stand-up, lit karaoke, and Mad-Libs, as well as readings by Zachary Cosby, Bridget Dooley, Uzodinma Okehi, and more.

March 31st, 7:00pm

On Thursday at Monty Bar, Tumblr, Catapult, Unnamed Press, Writing Workshops Los Angeles and Nouvella Books will be teaming up for LAwp!, a party with free drinks and absolutely no readings whatsoever.

April 1st, 12:30pm to 10:00pm

Camp Real Pants, taking place at Astroetic Studios on Friday, features a summer camp experience compressed into a single day. Includes a publishing talk by editor Calvert Morgan, readings by Dark Fucking Wizard and Green Mountains Review authors, s’mores, singalongs, hot cocoa, and relatively little poison ivy.

April 1st, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

On Friday, Wave Books, POOL Poetry Journal, and Saint Mary’s College MFA will be celebrating some big anniversaries (10, 15, and 20 years respectively). The event, also at The Last Bookstore, will feature Molly Bendall, Candace Eros Díaz, Brenda Hillman, and others along with host Matthew Zapruder.

April 1st, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

At R Bar, a Koreatown karaoke bar, Bennington Review and Black Warrior Review will launch their most recent issues. This Friday night event includes Dorothea Lasky, Mark Baumer, Kendra Fortmeyer, and many others.

April 2nd, 7:00pm

On Saturday evening, The Poetic Research Bureau will host an event for Essay Press, Siglio Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Dorothy: A Publishing Project. Features readings from Amina Cain, Will Alexander, and work by John Cage read by Richard Kraft and Joe Biel.

Book signings at The Conium Review’s AWP Conference table

The Conium Review will be exhibiting at the 2016 AWP Conference, and we’re featuring three signings at our table. We’re located at table number 1238, and we hope you’ll swing by to meet these talented authors. Please share the details invite others to the Facebook event pages for each event. We hope to see you there!

Caitlin Scarano — Thursday, March 31st, 2016, 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Caitlin will be signing copies of her Conium Press micro-chapbook, Pitcher of Cream. This story won our 2015 flash fiction contest, judged by Laura Ellen Joyce, author of The Luminol Reels and The Museum of Atheism. Pitcher of Cream is also scheduled to be anthologized in the Best Small Fictions 2016 (forthcoming from Queens Ferry Press). Laura Ellen Joyce calls Pitcher of Cream “haunting and beautiful.” Copies of this micro-chapbook are free during the signing! We’ve done a limited-run of just 50 copies, so be sure to snag one for free while supplies last. Find this event on Facebook.

Carmiel Banasky — Friday, April 1st, 2016, 4:15 to 5:00pm

Carmiel Banasky will be signing her Dzanc Books novel, The Suicide of Claire Bishop, directly after The Conium Review‘s innovative fiction panel. Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic, calls Carmiel’s book “Daring, precise, and linguistically acrobatic,” and Publishers Weekly says The Suicide of Claire Bishop is “A memorable, intricate, and inventive debut. . . . both an intellectual tour de force and a moving reflection on the ways we try to save ourselves and others.” Find this event on Facebook.

William VanDenBerg — Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, 2:00pm to 3:00pm

William VanDenBerg will be signing copies of Lake of Earth (Caketrain Press) and Apostle Islands (Solar Luxuriance). Brandon Hobson, author of Deep Ellum, says Lake of Earth is “a terrific and daring book, and Michael Kimball, author of Big Ray, says “William VanDenBerg writes so much story into so few lines that it’s easy to get lost in these bright fictions.” Find this event on Facebook.

Introducing our new fiction editors

We’re pleased to formally announce our four newest staff members: Holly Lopez, Meredith Maltby, Marina Petrova, and William VanDenBerg! They’ve already begun reading submissions and have proven themselves valuable members of The Conium Review team.

Holly Lopez is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. Her work has appeared in Plots With Guns, Charlotte Viewpoint, and Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Marjorie Blankenship Melton Award in Fiction. As an editor, she appreciates when writers subvert expectations and produce stories that are fresh and unconventional. She’s most interested in strange stories that also have dimension, red-blooded characters, and effectively tap into the human condition. Some of her favorite authors include George Saunders, Donald Barthelme, Aimee Bender, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell.

Meredith Maltby is the poetry editor for the Tulane Review and was a featured poet at Design Cloud Chicago’s HERE / NOW event. Meredith has previously published her work in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Chicago Tribune, ROAR: a literary journal for women of the arts, and Gravel Journal, among others. She appreciates interesting and strange writing from underrepresented voices. She admires and is influenced by Amelia Gray’s Gutshot, Lincoln Michel’s Upright Beasts, Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, Bonnie Campell’s Mothers Tell Your Daughters, and anything by Ariana Reines or Melissa Broder.

Marina Petrova was published in The Conium Review: Vol. 4, and when we posted our call for editors, she was eager to get more involved with our small press. She graduated from the MFA program at The New School in May 2014, where she had previously served as a reader for LIT. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Underwater New York, and Calliope Anthology. She’s currently working on a collection of short stories. In her non-writing life, she also works as a Business Analyst for a Media Tech company. Marina is a native Russian speaker, and growing up she was influenced by Chekhov, Nabokov, and Bulgakov. More recently, she’s become a huge fan of Donald Barthelme, Italo Calvino, Ben Marcus, Junot Díaz, and George Saunders.

William VanDenBerg is a first year MFA student at Brown University. He is the author of two chapbooks: Lake of Earth from Caketrain Press and Apostle Islands from Solar Luxuriance—he’ll be signing copies of these chapbooks at our AWP Conference table in Los Angeles (table #1238). He loves the work of Donald Barthelme, Ann Quin, Lindsay Hunter, Amelia Gray, and Steven Millhauser.

Visit masthead page to learn more about these editors and the rest of our staff.

Introducing the Vol. 4 authors

The Conium Review: Volume 4 is currently slated for a mid-November, 2015 release. We’ve finalized the table of contents for this lean, mean fiction machine. Pre-orders for the paperback version go on sale soon, and we’ll unveil some sneak previews of this year’s collector’s edition as the release date nears.

This issue’s stories and authors are:

  • “The People Who Live in the Sears,” by Emily Koon (winner of the 2015 Innovative Short Fiction Contest)
  • “Butterbean,” by Emily Koon
  • “Camisole,” by Tamara K. Walker
  • “Passing,” by Rita Bullwinkel
  • “Dictator in a Jar,” by Marina Petrova
  • “Chiroptera,” by Kayla Pongrac
  • “Shampoo,” by Ingrid Jendrzejewski
  • “Apples,” by Theodora Ziolkowski
  • “The Eating Habits of Famous Actors,” by Zach Powers

About the Volume 4 Authors

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

Tamara K. Walker dreams of irrealities among typewriter ribbons, stuffed animals and duct tape flower barrettes. She resides near Boulder, Colorado with her wife/life partner and blogs irregularly about writing and literature at http://tamarakwalker.wordpress.com. She may also be found online at http://about.me/tamara.kwalker. Her writing has previously appeared or is forthcoming in The Cafe Irreal, A cappella Zoo, Melusine, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Gay Flash Fiction, Identity Theory, a handful of poetry zines, and several themed print anthologies published by Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Rita Bullwinkel lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a fiction MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University. Her writing has appeared in many places including NOON, Spork, Joyland,The Atlas Review, Paper Darts, and the book Gigantic Worlds: An Anthology of Science Flash Fiction. She is a graduate of Brown University, a Vanderbilt Commons Writer in Residence, a Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship Award winner, and a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation grantee. Read more about her at ritabullwinkel.com.

Marina Petrova lives and writes in New York City. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Underwater New York, and Calliope Anthology. She received an MFA from The New School in May 2014.

Kayla Pongrac is an avid writer, reader, tea drinker, and record spinner. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Vinyl Poetry, Split Lip Magazine, Oblong, HOOT, KYSO Flash, and Nat. Brut, among others. Her first chapbook, a collection of flash fiction stories titled The Flexible Truth, is available for purchase from Anchor and Plume Press. To read more of Kayla’s work, visit www.kaylapongrac.com or follow her on Twitter @KP_the_Promisee.

Ingrid Jendrzejewski studied creative writing and English literature at the University of Evansville before going on to study physics at the University of Cambridge. She has soft spots for go, cryptic crosswords, and the python programming language, but these days spends most of her time trying to keep up with a delightfully energetic toddler. Once in a very great while, she adds a tiny something to www.ingridj.com and tweets at @LunchOnTuesday.

Theodora Ziolkowski’s poetry and prose have previously appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, and Short FICTION (England), among other journals, anthologies, and exhibits. A chapbook of her poems, A Place Made Red, was published this year by Finishing Line Press. She is originally from Easton, Pennsylvania and currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Zach Powers lives and writes in Savannah, Georgia. His debut book, Gravity Changes, will be published in spring 2017 by BOA Editions. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Brooklyn Review, Forklift, Ohio, Phoebe, PANK, Caketrain, and elsewhere. He is the founder of the literary arts nonprofit Seersucker Live (SeersuckerLive.com). He leads the writers’ workshop at the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home, where he also serves on the board of directors. His writing for television won an Emmy. Get to know him at ZachPowers.com.