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AWP Preview: ARCs of Emily Koon’s “We Are Still Here”

Emily Koon’s We Are Still Here drops this July. We’ll have Advance Review Copies (ARCs) on display at our booth. Reviewers can contact us to request a sample copy. If you’re not a reviewer, but you still want a sneak peak at this fantastic collection, you may be able to snag a free copy at “Books & Brass” or “Literary Masquerade.” These books and other freebies will only be available while supplies last, so get there early!

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Emily Koon’s “We Are Still Here” is available for pre-order

Cover (Proof version)In early 2017, we announced Emily Koon’s We Are Still Here as the winner of our Book & Chapbook Contest, judged by Matt Bell. Two years later, a couple revisions, a half-dozen cover mock-ups, and we’re finally ready to bring this beast of a book to market. It’s slated for release this July. We’ll have printed galleys on display at this year’s AWP Conference in Portland. If you’re a reviewer interested in receiving an advance copy, reach out to editors@coniumreview.com.

We Are Still Here contains thirteen short stories and a novella. Throughout this stellar debut, discover a surreal band of mall dwellers, a fairy tale featuring goblins and ghosts, a “go wherever” story in which Lizzie Borden is fully prepared to give her mother forty whacks, and more.

Matt Bell, author of Scrapper, says “Emily Koon’s We Are Still Here is a smart and surprising debut, with each story alive to the many absurdities of life—as well as the joys and the heartbreaks those absurdities contain. Funny and inventive, this book will thrill fans of Amelia Gray, Lindsay Hunter, or Laura van den Berg, while introducing readers to Koon’s own exciting talent.

Pre-order your copy of Emily Koon’s debut collection here.

Emily Koon wins the Conium Press Book & Chapbook Contest!

Matt Bell has selected Emily Koon‘s We Are Still Here as the 2016 Conium Press Book & Chapbook Contest winner!

Emily Koon headshotYes, 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 BondSamantha 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.

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.

2016 AWP Panelist Events

By now, hopefully you’ve heard about our AWP Conference panel, “What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon,” taking place on Friday, April 1st at 3:00pm. The panel features Carmiel Banasky, Matt Bell, Ashley Farmer, and Manuel Gonzales. The Conium Review‘s managing editor, James R. Gapinski moderates.

The panelists have plenty of other events happening during AWP, and we hope you’ll attend a few other panelist readings, shindigs, etc.

Carmiel Banasky

Carmiel Banasky photoWednesday, March 30th, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Shipwreck SF Presents: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a Literary Erotic Fanfiction Competition. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90057

Thursday, March 31st, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Why There Are Words visits LA. Continental Club, 116 West 4th St. Los Angeles 90013

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Semiotext(e) and Friends. Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, 2245 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90021

Matt Bell

Matt BellThursday, March 31, 2016 from 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm. ASU & HFR: A Celebratory Reading. Robert Muroff Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 7:30pm. Boss Fight Books Presents: HEART-POUNDING PANIC. Stories Books & Cafe, 1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026

Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10:30 am to 11:45 am. What I Did When What I Did Wasn’t Working: Teachers on Retooling Their Teaching. Gold Salon 2, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor

Saturday, April 2nd, 7:30pm. Books & Booze. Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028.

Ashley Farmer

Ashley Farmer HeadshotFriday, April 1, 2016 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. AWP 2016 // LITERARY FOOLS RECEPTION: Solstice, Talking Writing, Juked, and Santa Monica Review. D’Vine Wine Cellar, 821 S Flower St, Los Angeles, California 90017

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 8:00pm. Two Dollar Radio, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Entropy, Action Books, and Writ Large Press @ These Days Gallery. Indian Alley, 118 Winston Pl, Los Angeles, California 90013

Saturday, April 2nd, 7:30pm. Books & Booze. Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028

Manuel Gonzales

Manuel Gonzales headshotThursday, March 31, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm. It Ain’t What They Call You, It’s What You Answer To: Peeling Off Genre Labels. Room 502 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm. Speculative Fiction: Defining the Rules of a Rule-Breaking Genre. Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level.