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ACLU donations at our AWP table

The 2017 AWP Conference is just a couple days away. We’ll be exhibiting at table 548-T, and we’re co-hosting an off-site event on Thursday, February 9th.

This year’s conference is in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, a few blocks from the convention center, a misygonistic xenophone sits in the white house. Consequently, this year’s AWP must be about more than schmoozing and afterparties.

We’re a socially responsible publisher, and we typically donate copies of our print-runs to charities like Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and Open Books. At this year’s AWP Conference, we’re going a step further. We are donating 10% of all AWP sales to the American Civil Liberties Union. Just a couple weeks into the Trump presidency, and the ACLU has already challenged the Trump administration’s actions in court. The ACLU has along history of demanding equal rights and fighting for our basic feedoms, and we’re proud to offer whatever support we can.

On a related note, we hope you’ll consider attending Saturday’s Candlelight Vigil for Free Speech. The vigil will take place at Lafayette Park, directly across from the White House. It is just a short walk from the convention center. The vigil starts at 6:15pm. Hand-held signs only and no large bags allowed (leave that AWP tote bag in your hotel room). Speakers include Kazim Ali, Gabrielle Bellot, Melissa Febos, Carolyn Forché, Ross Gay, Luis J. Rodriguez, and Eric Sasson.

If you know of any other vigils, protests, or other political events taking place during the AWP Conference, please e-mail us with the details.

AWP 2017 Postcard: “Birth,” by Jessica Roeder

We’ve printed up some limited-edition postcards of Jessica Roeder’s “Birth” for the 2017 AWP Conference in Washington, DC. “Birth” first appeared in The Conium Review: Vol. 5. Get one of these at The Conium Review‘s table (#548-T) or at the NewPages booth (#462).

We don’t expect these to last long! If you’re in Washington, DC for the conference, be sure to stop by before they run out.

Birth AWP17 postcard

Get AWP prices even if you’re not attending the conference!

Vol 4 Cover Mock-UpThroughout the AWP Conference, we’re offering discounted prices at our table (1238). If you’re not able to attend this year’s conference in LA, we’ve still got you covered. You can get The Conium Review: Vol. 4 for just $10.00 (marked down from $12.00), and The Conium Review: Vol. 3 is only $5.00 (list price of $12.00). You can also pre-order Matt Tompkins’s Souvenirs and Other Stories for $10.00. There’s even free shipping for the duration of the conference! Get these great discounts through April 2nd in our online storefront.

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).

Flyer for our 2016 AWP Conference panel

We’ve got a swanky flyer for our upcoming AWP Conference panel. Show your love for The Conium Review by making a gazillion copies and distributing them to every single person you meet. Get a printable PDF version of the flyer here.

Innovative Fiction Panel Full Page Flyer

What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon” is organized by The Conium Review, and it will feature a down-to-earth chat with Carmiel Banasky, Matt Bell, Ashley Farmer, and Manuel Gonzales. Our managing editor, James R. Gapinski, moderates. The panel is from 3:00 to 4:15 on Friday, April 1st. Join us at the Scott James Bookfair Stage for a riveting discussion and Q&A on innovative fiction. Directly after this panel, Carmiel Banasky will be signing copies of The Suicide of Claire Bishop at our table (#1238). We hope to see you there!