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Caitlin Scarano’s “Pitcher of Cream” selected for the Best Small Fictions anthology

Best Small Fictions 2016 coverCaitlin Scarano‘s “Pitcher of Cream” has been selected for the Queen’s Ferry Press Best Small Fiction anthology!

Caitlin’s story recently won our 2015 Flash Fiction Contest, judged by Laura Ellen Joyce. It was published on our website, and it will be re-released as a limited-run micro-chap later this month. The micro-chap will be available for free at the 2016 AWP Conference in Los Angeles, CA. Caitlin will be doing a signing at our exhibitor table (#1238) on Thursday, March 31st from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

Last year’s Innovative Short Fiction Contest judge, Amelia Gray, also had her piece “These Are the Fables” selected for the Best Small Fictions anthology. Additionally, Amelia’s story “On a Pleasant Afternoon, Every Battle Is Recalled” was named a finalist.

John Englehardt‘s “This Is Great But You Don’t Need It” was also named as a semifinalist—this piece was originally published on our website and was made into a micro-chap for the 2015 AWP Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

Lastly, Daniel Aristi (former contributor to our website) had his Sand story, “Tempus Fugit,” selected for publication, and Mercedes Lawry (former contributor to our website) was named a semifinalist for her recent Cleaver Magazine story, “Was there transposition?

We’re excited to see so many contributors and friends of The Conium Review on the long list and short list for Best Small Fictions, and we hope you’ll all pick up a copy when Queen’s Ferry Press releases the anthology later this year. The full list of semifinalist, finalists, and winners is available on the Queen’s Ferry Press website.

James R. Gapinski’s favorite books of 2015

To wrap-up the year, our managing editor, James R. Gapinski, chimes in with his top five books of 2015. A few days ago, Melissa Reddish also shared her list.

Binary Star, by Sarah Gerard

If you want predictable syntax crammed into neat boxes, look elsewhere. Binary Star takes risks. Come for the inventive structure, stay for the characters who seem to be in a constant state or implosion and/or explosion.

Scrapper, by Matt Bell

Scrapper tells a riveting story set in a near-future version of Detroit, ravaged by climate change. Its unassuming blue collar protagonist has waaaaaaay more shit going on than first meets the eye. This book is its own masterclass in character development.

The Seven Good Years, by Etgar Keret (Translated by Sondra Silverston, Miriam Shlesinger, Jessica Cohen, and Anthony Berris)

Etgar Keret’s memoir explores the seven years between the birth of his son and the death of his father. Yes, the book builds toward a death, but it’s more about celebrating life. And it’s filled with the sense wonder and whimsy that have become a staple of Keret’s work.

Gutshot, by Amelia Gray

The stories in Gutshot have a visceral intensity to them. They rip open your perceptions of what a story is and can be. They scream at you and dare you to flinch. Yeah, you might bleed out by the end, but you’ll feel alive the whole goddamn time.

 Citizen, by Claudia Rankine

I’m not surprised that Citizen is also on Melissa’s top-five list as Book I Would Slip into Everyone’s Bag When They Weren’t Looking. I gave this book to my partner over the holidays—then she received a second copy from her sister. When you read this book, you want to share it. And you want to share it quickly. These pages have urgency. You’ll finish it in one sitting, and if you’re not already a proponent of #BlackLivesMatter, you will be. Read it. Now.

2016 AWP Panel: “What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?”

The 2016 AWP Conference schedule is now available. The Conium Review is pleased to be presenting an informal talk on innovative fiction. The panel is called “What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon.” It’s scheduled for Friday, April 1st at 3:00pm on the Scott James Bookfair Stage.

Panelists include Carmiel Banasky, Ashley Farmer, Lindsay Hunter, and Stephen Graham Jones. James R. Gapinski moderates.

Carmiel Banasky is a writer and teacher from Portland, OR. Her debut novel, The Suicide of Claire Bishop, confronts the portrayals of mental illness in art. After earning her MFA from Hunter College, Carmiel spent four years on the road at writing residencies. She now teaches creative writing in LA.

Ashley Farmer is the author of the short fiction collection Beside Myself and two forthcoming poetry collections: The Women and The Farmacist. A former editor forAtomica, Salt Hill, and other publications, she currently coedits Juked.

Lindsay Hunter is the author of the novel Ugly Girls, which the Huffington Post called “a story that hits a note that’s been missing from the chorus of existing feminist literature.” She is also the author of the flash fiction story collections Don’t Kiss Me and Daddy’s.

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels, five collections, and more than two hundred short stories. More forthcoming.

James R. Gapinski is managing editor of The Conium Review. His fiction has appeared in Lunch Ticket, NANO Fiction, Cheap Pop, Word Riot, and elsewhere.

Be sure to stop by The Conium Review‘s table during the 2016 AWP Conference too. We’ll have discounted books for sale, a free micro-chapbook, and other swag. We’re at table #1238. The full map and list of exhibitors is available here.

Announcing the 2016 Innovative Short Fiction Contest Judge: Lindsay Hunter

Lindsay Hunter headshotWe’re excited to have Lindsay Hunter as The Conium Review‘s 2016 Innovative Short Fiction Contest judge. The winner receives $500, publication, five copies of the issue, and a copy of the judge’s latest book. The contest guidelines are posted. The submission period starts on February, 1st, 2016.

Lindsay is the author of Ugly Girls, Don’t Kiss Me, and Daddy’s. She lives in Chicago with her husband, son, and a couple of pit bulls.

Thanks again to all those who submitted to the 2015 Innovative Short Fiction Contest. We hope you’ll submit again in 2016.

Amelia Gray readings at AWP

Amelia Gray (current Innovative Short Fiction Contest Judge and future galactic overlord) will be reading on Friday and Saturday at the 2015 AWP Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

On Friday, April 10th, find Amelia at Lee’s Liquor Lounge (101 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN) from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Other readers include Tarfia Faizullah, Janaka Stucky, Adrian Matejka, Monica McClure, Brian Foley, Lisa Ciccarello, Sampson Starkweather, and Sheila Squillante. Co-sponsored by Ninth Letter, Birds, LLC, Black Ocean, Hobart, Barrelhouse, and [PANK]. Find this event on Facebook.

On Saturday, April 11th, she’ll be reading again at Public Functionary (1400 12th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN). The reading celebrates Amelia’s new book, Gutshot (published by FSG Originals). The event is also co-sponsored by Paper Darts. Other readers are Brandi Wells, Dessa, John Brandon, John Jodzio, Lindsay Hunter, Laura van den Berg, Safy-Hallan Farah, and Simon Jacobs. $5 at the door. Find this event on Facebook and RSVP here.

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