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Announcing the 2019 Innovative Short Fiction Contest Winner: Joe Aguirre

Sarah Gerard has finished deliberating, and we have a winner! Joe Aguirre is the 2019 Innovative Short Fiction Contest Winner with his short story “Three Riffs for the Devil.”

Joe Aguirre writes from Shrewsbury, MA. He’s driven a laundry truck, practiced maritime law, and sorted organs in a pathology lab. His work is forthcoming in Fugue. He will receive a $500 prize for his winning story, publication in The Conium Review: Vol. 8, copies of the issue, and a copy of Sarah Gerard’s latest book.

Here’s what the judge had to say about Joe’s winning story:

“‘Three Riffs for the Devil’ is a confident, pitch-perfect satire of getting what you ask for, with winking jewels of dark wisdom. Sharp and original, it pokes at the reader’s ribs, sticks its fingers into our weak points, asking, What’s your own vice? In what form will the devil come for you? Maybe he already has.”

~ Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State

This year’s finalists were Brittany Ackerman, Debbie Graber, Alison Foster, Jasmine Sawers, and Kate Simonian. Thanks to all those who submitted. As always, the decision was difficult, and we appreciate you trusting us with your work.

Sarah Gerard to judge the 2019 Innovative Short Fiction Contest

Sarah Gerard headshotThe sixth annual Innovative Short Fiction Contest opens for submissions in a couple months. We’re pleased to announce this year’s judge is Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State (Harper Perennial, 2017), Binary Star (Two Dollar Radio, 2015), and the forthcoming novel True Love (Harper Books, 2020). Sarah’s short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, T Magazine, Granta, The Baffler, Vice, and anthologies.

The contest runs from April 1st to July 1st, 2019. The winner receives $500, publication, and a copy of the judge’s latest book. Full details and guidelines are available here.

2018 Innovative Short Fiction Contest deadline extended!

The deadline has been extended for this year’s Innovative Short Fiction Contest, judged by Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker (FSG, 2016) and Northwood (Black Balloon Publishing, forthcoming).

Originally slated to close on May 1st, you have two extra weeks to submit. The final deadline will be May 15th.

Full guidelines are located on our website.

You can upload your submission through our Submittable page.

Kevin Finucane is the 2017 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner

Stephen Graham Jones has finished deliberating, and he selected Kevin Finucane‘s “I Am Me” as this year’s Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner!

Kevin Finucane was awarded a bronze Solas Award by Travelers’ Tales in creative nonfiction in 2009 and was named a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition in the novella category for 2010.

This year’s finalists were Andrew Campell, J. L. Montavon, Sarah Scarr, and Stephanie Wang. Honorable mention goes to Emily Grelle, Jen Knox, and Z. G. Watkins. Here’s what Stephen Graham Jones had to say about Kevin Finucane’s winning story:

Life moves pretty fast in the here and now, and ‘I Am Me’ gets it on the page with enough terror and comedy and longing that we can’t help but see ourselves there. It’s a scary, twisted reflection, but it’s a lot more helpful than the nice easy lies we usually get told.”

—Stephen Graham Jones, contest judge and author of Mongrels

Kevin’s winning story will be published in The Conium Review: Vol. 6, due out later this year from Conium Press. He will also receive $500, five copies of the issue, and a copy of Stephen Graham Jone’s latest book.

Thanks to all who submitted to this year’s contest. We’ll be announcing next year’s judge soon. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about these calls for submissions and news from The Conium Review and Conium Press.