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The Conium Review 2016 “Count”

Typically, we release our gender ratio statistics around the same time as the official VIDA count. However, we wanted to tally the numbers before the AWP Conference in Washington, DC. There’s also the small matter of today’s inauguration, wherein a serial misogynist was sworn into the nation’s highest office. It seems like a good time to remind the literary community that there are still places where women’s voices can be heard, even if those places seem increasingly under attack.

The Conium Review: Vol. 5 featured a larger percentage of women than any previous print issue of The Conium Review, and our combined print and online count held steady at 76% self-identified female authors. For those who haven’t read The Conium Review: Vol. 5 yet, there is also a distinct feminist undercurrent in many of the pieces, even more noticeably than the average issue of The Conium Review. This wasn’t a reactionary plan of any sort (the issue was finalized before the November election results). In the simplest terms, this is just where our editorial aesthetic leans — toward fiery voices that refuse to be marginalized. Given the events of today, I’m glad to see our press putting out a lit mag with stories in this vein. It seems necessary in this social climate. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep reading. Stay strong.

(And as always, we’d like it if you’re writing something a bit weird/surreal/bizarre too).

The Conium Review 2016 “Count”

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Female (Total Print & Online)

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Male (Total Print & Online)

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Female (Print)

%

Female (Online)

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Male (Print)

%

Male (Online)

Okay, now let’s break it all down. Our 2016 count is 76% female and 24% male. The previous year’s overall count was identical at 76% female to 24% male. The 2014 gender ratio was 64% female and 36% male.

Throughout the entire year, The Conium Review published 29 authors total, with 22 self-identified female authors and 7 self-identified male authors.

In the annual print edition, we published 9 self-identified female authors and 1 self-identified male author, for a ratio of 90% women and 10% men. Within our online arm, The Conium Review Online Compendium, we published 19 authors total, with 13 female authors and 6 male authors, with a ratio of 68% women to 32% men.

Throughout most of 2016, the editorial masthead contained 10 people, 7 of whom self-identify as female, 3 of whom self-identify as male, for a behind-the-scenes ratio of 70% women and 30% men.

Historically, we’ve tallied out “count” only for The Conium Review as a periodical. However, we launched a few books in 2016 through Conium Press. These authors are not reflected in our overall count, but the numbers don’t change much either way. We’re a boutique press with only a couple titles each year. Of the two books published this year, one was written by a self-identified female and one was written by a self-identified male. We also released two limited-run micro-chapbooks, again with a ratio of one woman and one man. If you add these Conium Press numbers to our tally, it becomes 33 authors total — with 24 women and 9 men — for a total ratio of 73% women and 27% men. Whether you crunch the numbers as 76% or 73%, we still think it’s a damn good gender ratio. With the excessive number of magazines that seem to propagate the same male voices over and over and over and over again, we’re glad to offer a counterbalance — even if it’s only partial counterbalance. Especially on today of all days.

Editor Update: Hillary Leftwich’s essay at “The Review Review”

Hillary Leftwich has a new essay published at The Review Review. Her essay explores the necessity of writing communities. She talks about editing for The Conium Review; she explores lessons learned from workshops with mentors like Kathy Fish; she reflects on the importance of connecting with fellow writers through. She explains that writing should not be a solitary endeavor, and that it takes group guidance and support to hone one’s craft. Check out the entire essay here.

LitBridge interviews The Conium Review’s managing editor

LitBridge recently interviewed our managing editor, James R. Gapinski. Throughout the interview, James reflects on his editorial work (spoiler: hard work, but worth it), talks about the last great story he read (spoiler: Carmen Lau’s “Inside the Wolf”), and highlights a current and upcoming Conium Press projects (spoiler: they’re all awesome). Check out the full interview here.

Say hello to The Conium Review’s critique service (opens May 15th)

You’ve heard that same line from a dozen (or more) publishers: “Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to offer personal comments.” It’s true. Most small press editors are overworked and unable to provide individualized notes. But now you’ve got options. Starting on May 15th, we’ll begin accepting submissions through our new Feedback & Critique Service. The service is geared toward emerging authors, though authors at any level are welcome to submit work for feedback.

The submission fee for this service is $30. Within two weeks, you’ll receive an editorial letter containing a detailed critique (roughly one single-spaced page long). The editorial letter may also recommend some books and/or other literary magazines. When you submit your piece for critique, there’s also an option to have it considered for publication (provided that the submission has not been not previously published).

This is currently a pilot program, and the queue will initially be open from May 15th to May 31st. If there are enough submissions to sustain this service, it will be continually offered throughout the year. The editorial letters will typically be written by our founder and managing editor, James R. Gapinski. This is a unique opportunity to get your work reviewed directly by a seasoned editor with years of experience editing, publishing, and marketing a nationally distributed literary magazine.