The Conium Review‘s managing editor, James R. Gapinski, will be presenting at the annual Write on the Sound Conference in Edmonds, Washington. His talk is scheduled for Saturday, October 1st at 10:45am. James’s presentation is entitled “Above the Noise: Navigating the Literary Magazine Arena,” in which he reflects on his five years as managing editor, and he’ll go on to explore strategies and online resources for authors who plan on submitting to lit mags. The presentation has a community-based focus, discussing ways to personally interact with editors and publishers in meaningful ways. Two-day conference registrations are already sold out (wait-list available), but you can still get a single-day pass for Saturday or Sunday.
NewPages has a new review posted of Souvenirs and Other Stories, by Matt Tompkins.
The reviewer, Katy Haas, spends much of her review talking about character development. She notes the plain and calm demeanor of Matt’s narrators as they grapple with the surreal, as if each is hoping “to just make it through the life they’re given.” Katy closes her review by saying “In Souvenirs & Other Stories, Tompkins shoves the door wide open and welcomes the surreal into reality. With characters and situations that are relatable despite their oddities, readers are sure to connect with this pocket-sized collection of flash souvenirs.” We couldn’t agree more!
Last month, Melissa Reddish guest edited a special “Fragmented” call for submissions. After careful deliberation, Melissa selected Brian Phillip Whalen‘s “And It Will Be Called the Highway of Holiness” for publication. The piece will be made into a limited-run micro-chapbook, and it will be delivered as a free pre-order bonus with Melissa’s new book, Girl & Flame.
Brian Phillip Whalen’s poems and stories have appeared in Beecher’s, The Chattahoochee Review, Cream City Review, J Journal, Lake Effect, Mid-American Review, North American Review, RHINO, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Iowa State University and a PhD from SUNY-Albany. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and baby daughter.
Here’s what Melissa had to say about her final selection:
“Brian Phillip Whalen’s story, ‘And It Will be Called the Highway of Holiness,’ is part-hymn, part-celebration, part-dirge for Georgia, poor pup with staples in her gut who eats everything, babies and tinsel and foxes and trikes and Christmas trees, until her inevitable end. The people who orbit around Georgia have a particular feel: blue-collar rural Americans with F-150 flat-bed trucks and tractors and percolators and steel wool under cupboards, each battling their own particular demons. More circular than linear, more poetry than prose, the piece skips and glides with linguistic playfulness and clever asides, the format fragmenting then reassembling, creating meaning even as it dismantles it, all while retaining the emotional heart at the center.”
—Melissa Reddish, author of Girl & Flame
I plunged a spoonful of oatmeal into my mouth with one hand and cupped my hipbone with the other.
Prior to, my mother locked her hands around my arms. Her middle finger and thumb met with a keratin click. She sighed. I promised not to fall backwards.
Prior to, I towed my body down two miles of asphalt to the apartment stairwell.
Prior to, at mile eight, my left knee surrendered with a snap. A red Toyota swerved onto the leafy median with a rubber yelp.
Prior to, I imagined solar liposuction, melting adipose, how it’d smell like burnt oil, maybe sweeter, maybe more sour, if it’d dissolve my inner thighs first, or the pouch in my lower belly. I adjusted the mile goal on my app from eight to ten.
Prior to, the number 115 flashed scarlet on the screen. I glued a new piece of Velcro to my armband but it still slid to my elbow.
Prior to, I triple-knotted my shoes. The sun and the neighborhood and my mother hid their eyes under warm blankets.
Image Credit: © Akhilesh Sharma – stock.adobe.com
The “Fragmented” call for submissions is open now through July 15th. This theme celebrates the upcoming release of Melissa Reddish’s new book, Girl & Flame: A Novella. Melissa will act as guest editor, selecting a single piece to be published as a micro-chapbook for distribution alongside Girl & Flame pre-orders. You may interpret the theme loosely (explore structure, style, theme, character, etc.), as long as it involves some form of fragmentation. Full guidelines are available here.
During the “Fragmented” reading period, we’re also hosting a Goodreads giveaway for Melissa’s new book. You can enter the giveaway for a chance to win a free advance copy of Girl & Flame.