James R. Gapinski has a new flash fiction, “The Devil’s Mark,” published in the Winter 2017 issue of Psychopomp Magazine. You can read it here.
James is the managing editor of The Conium Review and associate faculty at Ashford University. His work has also appeared in The Collapsar, NANO Fiction, Word Riot, and other places.
Matt Bell has selected Emily Koon‘s We Are Still Here as the 2016 Conium Press Book & Chapbook Contest winner!
Yes, Emily Koon. The same Emily Koon who won our Innovative Short Fiction Contest in 2015, judged by Amelia Gray. As always, the judging process was 100% blind, and Matt Bell was instructed to recuse himself if he could identify the author. We’re surprised that her work anonymously bubbled to the top twice — but then again, not too surprised — she’s just a damn good writer.
The stories in We Are Still Here are an eclectic mix including fairy tales, ghosts, Lizzie Borden, and people living in a Sears. In the title story, a family visiting an amusement park flees after a fatal roller coaster accident, only to find the real horror is on the chairlifts. In “The People Who Live in the Sears,” a group of people who find the real world too painful to function in make new lives in their local Sears department store. In “The Ghosts of St. Louis,” two teenagers living in a futuristic North America attempt to make sense of a world marred by climate change. Characters in these stories wrestle with questions of death, loneliness, abandonment, and their capacity to love, be loved, and inflict pain on others.
Emily Koon is a fiction writer from North Carolina. She has work in Potomac Review, The Rumpus, The Conium Review, Portland Review, and other places. She can be found at twitter.com/thebookdress.
Emily’s manuscript will be published by Conium Press, and she will receive $1,000, ten author copies, and a copy of the judge’s latest book.
This year’s finalists are Tori Bond, Samantha Duncan, Claire Hopple, and Rachel Luria.
We’re grateful to all the authors who submitted, and we hope you’ll join us in congratulating Emily, singing her praise on social media, and buying/reading her kickass book when it hits shelves. We expect to release Emily’s collection in late 2017 or early 2018.
It’s nomination time again! We recently sent out nods for the annual Queens Ferry Press Best Small Fictions anthology. We also nominated for the Eric Hoffer Award and the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
The nomination process is always difficult — we published so many amazing pieces in 2016 — but eventually we narrowed it down. We’re pleased to share our picks for this year, and we hope you’ll reread a few of these favorites (and check out other work from these authors).
Best Small Fictions anthology nominations:
- Ashley Hutson, for “The Hen of God,” published in The Conium Review Online Compendium (online).
- Matt Tompkins, for “Souvenirs,” published in Souvenirs and Other Stories (print).
- Jessica Roeder, for “Birth,” published in The Conium Review: Vol. 5 (print)
- Shane Jones, for “Gazebo,” published The Conium Review: Vol. 5 (print)
- Jasmine Sawers, for “Tiny Little Goat,” published in The Conium Review: Vol. 5 (print).
Eric Hoffer Book Award nominations:
Independent Publisher Book Award nomination:
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!
Take a look at the entire review here, and purchase your own copy of Souvenirs here.