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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.

“Burnout,” by Kellie Karbach

Sneakers sketch

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.

About the Author:

Kellie Karbach is a highly-caffeinated writer and amateur photographer based in Southwest Florida. She curates and edits a travel and lifestyle website entitled Venturing East. Her work has appeared in Little Patuxent Review and Iron Gall Press. In the past, she has served as a freelance contributor to West & Grand, and as a baseball beat writer for The Claw Digest and MiracleBaseball.com.

Image Credit: © Akhilesh Sharma – stock.adobe.com

Matt Tompkins interviewed by “Niche Magazine”

Niche Magazine‘s founder and managing editor, Katya Cummins, recently interviewed Matt Tompkins about his new book, Souvenirs and Other Stories.

Katya begins with a brief review of Matt’s collection, partially focusing on how Matt is able to imbue absurd situations with authentic and relatable emotional resonance. After this brief review and overview, the interview begins with a discussion of Matt’s love for writing, his take on storytelling mechanics and humor, advice for new authors, and more. Read the entire interview here.