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Editor Update: James R. Gapinski’s 2018 Book Tour

Join The Conium Review‘s managing editor, James R. Gapinski, as he celebrates the release of Edge of the Known Bus Line (Etchings Press, University of Indianapolis). Later this month, James embarks on a five-state reading tour, with stops in Seattle, Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Portland.

The tour kicks off on August 29th with a featured reading at the Two Hour Transport series in Seattle. Next stop is Boswell Books in Milwaukee. Then James visits Chicago for a conversation with former contributor and recent contest judge Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker (FSG) and Northwood (Black Balloon Publishing). In Minneapolis, James reads with local and visiting authors Maya Beck, Madeline Reding, Kathryn Savage, and Erin Sharkey. Finally, James returns home for a reading in Portland. Full book tour details, Facebook links, and other information is available on James R. Gapinski’s author page.

EOTKBL Book Tour flyer (compressed)

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.

2016 Innovative Short Fiction Contest results

Kathryn Hill headshotLindsay Hunter has selected Kathryn Hill as the winner of the 2016 Innovative Short Fiction Contest for her short story, “The Mother.”

Kathryn Hill is an MFA candidate in fiction at Arizona State University where she also teaches and reads prose for Hayden’s Ferry Review. Her fiction has appeared in Passages North, Pamplemousse, and Glassworks Magazine, and is forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Fiction Southeast, and Four Chambers Press. She is the recipient of a 2016 Virginia G. Piper Global Fellowship and is currently at work on her first novel.

This year’s finalists are Kate GiesIngrid JendrzejewskiMarc Sheehan, and Z.G. Watkins. With an honorable mention for Tara Kipnees. Here’s what Lindsay had to say about Kathryn Hill’s winning story:

“This story felt as alive, as full of cells, as the child the protagonist agonizes over carrying. It is heartbreaking and harsh, and an important insight into the ever-morphing chemistry of a mother’s brain. We are and aren’t our mothers, metaphorically and chemically, for better or for worse. Motherhood is a choice; it both is and isn’t.”

—Lindsay Hunter, contest judge and author of Ugly Girls

Kathryn’s piece will be published in The Conium Review: Vol. 5, scheduled for November of this year. She will receive a $500 prize, contributor copies of Vol. 5, and a copy of the judge’s latest book. As usual, there were plenty of amazing stories to chose from. Lindsay Hunter and The Conium Review staff thanks all those who submitted. We hope you’ll send more work again soon!

We’ll be announcing the 2017 judge soon. Sign up for our newsletter for this and other upcoming news from The Conium Review and Conium Press.

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).