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LitBridge interviews The Conium Review’s managing editor

LitBridge recently interviewed our managing editor, James R. Gapinski. Throughout the interview, James reflects on his editorial work (spoiler: hard work, but worth it), talks about the last great story he read (spoiler: Carmen Lau’s “Inside the Wolf”), and highlights a current and upcoming Conium Press projects (spoiler: they’re all awesome). Check out the full interview here.

Say hello to The Conium Review’s critique service (opens May 15th)

You’ve heard that same line from a dozen (or more) publishers: “Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to offer personal comments.” It’s true. Most small press editors are overworked and unable to provide individualized notes. But now you’ve got options. Starting on May 15th, we’ll begin accepting submissions through our new Feedback & Critique Service. The service is geared toward emerging authors, though authors at any level are welcome to submit work for feedback.

The submission fee for this service is $30. Within two weeks, you’ll receive an editorial letter containing a detailed critique (roughly one single-spaced page long). The editorial letter may also recommend some books and/or other literary magazines. When you submit your piece for critique, there’s also an option to have it considered for publication (provided that the submission has not been not previously published).

This is currently a pilot program, and the queue will initially be open from May 15th to May 31st. If there are enough submissions to sustain this service, it will be continually offered throughout the year. The editorial letters will typically be written by our founder and managing editor, James R. Gapinski. This is a unique opportunity to get your work reviewed directly by a seasoned editor with years of experience editing, publishing, and marketing a nationally distributed literary magazine.

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.