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“Souvenirs” reviewed at “Necessary Fiction”

Souvenirs Cover Mock UpEric Andrew Newman at Necessary Fiction has reviewed Matt Tompkins’s Souvenirs and Other Stories (Conium Press, 2016).

He notes “In his book Souvenirs and Other Stories, Matt Tompkins is able to bring magic to the mundane . . . ” and he says the stories “all pack a narrative punch.” The reviewer goes on to compare Matt’s style to that of George Saunders and Manuel Gonzales.

Eric closes the review by saying “While every narrative in Souvenirs and Other Stories seems fairly simple on the surface, they ultimately have multiple layers and grapple with more complex issues than those seen at first glance. Not only do the stories wrestle with loss, but also companionship, family, reality, and sanity. Each of the stories deals with the kernel of a bigger issue, but never in a heavy-handed and always in an entertaining way.” Read the full review at Necessary Fiction‘s website.

NewPages reviews “Souvenirs and Other Stories”

Souvenirs 3d Book Mock-UpNewPages 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.

Brian Phillip Whalen selected for “Fragmented” micro-chap

Last month, Melissa Reddish guest edited a special “Fragmented” call for submissions. After careful deliberation, Melissa selected Brian Phillip Whalen‘s “And It Will Be Called the Highway of Holiness” for publication. The piece will be made into a limited-run micro-chapbook, and it will be delivered as a free pre-order bonus with Melissa’s new book, Girl & Flame.

Brian Phillip Whalen’s poems and stories have appeared in Beecher’s, The Chattahoochee Review, Cream City Review, J Journal, Lake EffectMid-American Review, North American Review, RHINO, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Iowa State University and a PhD from SUNY-Albany. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and baby daughter.

Here’s what Melissa had to say about her final selection:

“Brian Phillip Whalen’s story, ‘And It Will be Called the Highway of Holiness,’ is part-hymn, part-celebration, part-dirge for Georgia, poor pup with staples in her gut who eats everything, babies and tinsel and foxes and trikes and Christmas trees, until her inevitable end.  The people who orbit around Georgia have a particular feel: blue-collar rural Americans with F-150 flat-bed trucks and tractors and percolators and steel wool under cupboards, each battling their own particular demons.  More circular than linear, more poetry than prose, the piece skips and glides with linguistic playfulness and clever asides, the format fragmenting then reassembling, creating meaning even as it dismantles it, all while retaining the emotional heart at the center.”

—Melissa Reddish, author of Girl & Flame

“Dis/appearances” stories chosen by Matt Tompkins

Guest editor Matt Tompkins has chosen four pieces for publication as part of the “Dis/appearances” theme. Congratulations to the selected authors: Joe Buamann, Emily McKayJefferson Navicky, and Phillip Sterling. Competition was stiff, but these four stood out above the crowd. We’ll be posting the accepted stories from these four authors throughout the weekend of July 15th. This date also coincides with the release of the ebook version of the guest editor’s latest book, Souvenirs and Other Stories (the print version of Souvenirs was released in mid-June).

Thanks to all those who submitted to this theme! We hope that you’ll consider our next themed call for submissions, “Fragmented,” considering pieces now through July 15th, guest edited by Melissa Reddish.