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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.

Vol. 5 Collector’s Edition Box Set Preview

The Conium Review: Vol. 5 paperback edition officially launched on December 15th. The Vol. 5 collector’s edition is slated for December 30th.

Like the Vol. 3 collector’s edition and the Vol. 4 collector’s edition, we’re loading up a wooden box with individual handmade objects. Each story will be represented as its own micro-chapbook.

This year’s box will actually be more box-ish than previous years (rather than resembling a wooden book). It’s roughly a 3.5-inch cube (not quite a cube — one side is around 4 inches — but close enough). It’s fitted with a metal latch and hinges. This box will be hand-stamped with the title, ISBN, and price.

Over the next few days, will show other pieces of the collector’s edition, leading up to its reveal and sale on December 30th. Stay tuned!

“Souvenirs and Other Stories” now available on Kindle

Souvenirs ebook coverMatt Tompkins’s new book, Souvenirs and Other Stories, officially launched last month in paperback format. Today, the ebook version officially goes live. Get the Kindle edition of Souvenirs here.

Matt’s book is a bizarre and surreal collection of stories. Beth Gilstrap, author of I Am Barbarella, says it’s “reminiscent of a quirky, yet lovable mixture of the likes of Harvey Pekar and Aimee Bender,” and Christopher Kennedy, author of Ennui Prophet, says this book is “a pleasure to read from cover to cover.”

To celebrate the ebook launch, we’re also unveiling the “Dis/appearances” theme, guest edited by Matt Tompkins. The “Dis/appearances” pieces will appear (pun intended) throughout the weekend. We’ll be posting one story per day beginning later today! Check back this evening to read the first piece.

The “Souvenirs” ebook cover

Souvenirs and Other Stories, by Matt Tompkins, officially launched on June 15th in paperback format. The ebook version is slated to release on the Kindle July 15th. We’re pleased to offer this sneak peak at the cover image for the Kindle edition:

Souvenirs ebook cover