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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.

Vol. 5 Collector’s Edition is out now!

The big day is finally here. About two weeks after The Conium Review: Vol. 5 paperback hit shelves, the collector’s edition is ready to go out into the world.

As with previous collector’s editions, the contents are handcrafted with care. Each booklet has been designed to form an aesthetically cohesive collection of stories. The 3″ by 3.25″ booklets are printed with craft paper covers, a parchment title page, and linen inner pages. They are saddle bound and then tied together with natural hemp twine. Finally, there’s a wax seal that keeps the parcel together, and it’s deposited neatly into a little wooden box hand-stamped with archival ink. In total, there are eleven micro-chapbooks (one for each story in the issue) plus a little black booklet that contains copyright info, masthead details, and the table of contents.

In this collection, you’ll find new work from Jessica Roeder, Samantha Duncan, Liz Kellebrew, Kate Gies, Shane Jones, Kathryn Hill, Emily Koon, Jasmine Sawers, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, and Maryse Meijer. A woman falls in love with a giant banana, a tiny goat takes up residence in a woman’s left ventricle, a ghost tour goes awry, and more.

This box set will be shipped to contributors and a few of our bookstore and library partners first. Once those orders have gone out, the remaining copies of the collector’s edition will go up on our website for sale to the general public. This is a limited-run product, and we expect it to sell out. Be sure to check our online store regularly if you’re trying to snag a copy!

Vol. 5 Collector’s Edition Box Set Preview

The Conium Review: Vol. 5 paperback edition officially launched on December 15th. The Vol. 5 collector’s edition is slated for December 30th.

Like the Vol. 3 collector’s edition and the Vol. 4 collector’s edition, we’re loading up a wooden box with individual handmade objects. Each story will be represented as its own micro-chapbook.

This year’s box will actually be more box-ish than previous years (rather than resembling a wooden book). It’s roughly a 3.5-inch cube (not quite a cube — one side is around 4 inches — but close enough). It’s fitted with a metal latch and hinges. This box will be hand-stamped with the title, ISBN, and price.

Over the next few days, will show other pieces of the collector’s edition, leading up to its reveal and sale on December 30th. Stay tuned!

“The Conium Review: Vol. 5” cover

The Conium Review: Vol. 5 is slated for release on December 15th. Here’s a mock-up of the new issue’s cover. Like the last couple issues, the front is rather minimal while a larger image wraps around the back. Any guesses what those scraggly lines are? Answer: broken chain-link fence. Pre-orders for The Conium Review: Vol. 5 will go on sale this weekend!

"The Conium Review: Vol. 5" cover

“The Conium Review: Vol. 5” cover