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Announcing the 2019 Innovative Short Fiction Contest Winner: Joe Aguirre

Sarah Gerard has finished deliberating, and we have a winner! Joe Aguirre is the 2019 Innovative Short Fiction Contest Winner with his short story “Three Riffs for the Devil.”

Joe Aguirre writes from Shrewsbury, MA. He’s driven a laundry truck, practiced maritime law, and sorted organs in a pathology lab. His work is forthcoming in Fugue. He will receive a $500 prize for his winning story, publication in The Conium Review: Vol. 8, copies of the issue, and a copy of Sarah Gerard’s latest book.

Here’s what the judge had to say about Joe’s winning story:

“‘Three Riffs for the Devil’ is a confident, pitch-perfect satire of getting what you ask for, with winking jewels of dark wisdom. Sharp and original, it pokes at the reader’s ribs, sticks its fingers into our weak points, asking, What’s your own vice? In what form will the devil come for you? Maybe he already has.”

~ Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State

This year’s finalists were Brittany Ackerman, Debbie Graber, Alison Foster, Jasmine Sawers, and Kate Simonian. Thanks to all those who submitted. As always, the decision was difficult, and we appreciate you trusting us with your work.

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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AWP Preview: TJ Fuller’s “Slim Fit”

TJ Fuller is reading at our March 28th AWP Offsite Event: “Books & Brass.” He won our Flash Fiction Contest, judged by Rebecca Schiff, author of The Bed Moved. In his surreal winning story, “Slim Fit,” the narrator jumps into a commercial for slim fit jeans; the story is rife with creativity, longing, and humor. Rebecca Schiff says “From the first sentence, ‘Slim Fit’ brings us into its strange, funny world. TJ Fuller trusts that the movement of language and his delight in its premise will become the reader’s delight. It does.”

As part of TJ’s contest prize, we’ve made this story into a limited-run micro-chapbook. This micro-chap includes craft cardstock cover, bleached linen interior pages, a more natural and pulpy interior leaf. The binding is hand-sewn, and each copy will be signed and numbered.

“Slim Fit” will be distributed at the reading for free, along with some other Conium Press swag. Take a peak at the images below, and be sure to get your complimentary copy at our event!

Northwest Micropress Fair After Party

NW Micropress Afterparty (compressed)

 

This year at AWP, we’re going all out. The conference is coming to The Conium Review‘s home city of Portland, OR. We’re doing an event every night of the conference, starting with “Books & Brass: An Evening of Prose, Poetry, and Live Jazz” on Thursday, March 28th. Next, we’re hosting a “Literary Masquerade” on Friday, March 29th. Finally, we’re pleased to announce the lineup for our final event, “The Northwest Micropress Fair After Party” on Saturday, March 30th. This particular event follows the Northwest Micropress Fair, which is an independently organized book fair held in the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel. We’ll be tabling at this micropress fair and we’ll also have a booth at the main AWP Conference bookfair. We’ll be selling books and doing author signings at each location.

About the Event

The After Party officially begins at 7:30 when the doors of the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel reopen for business. The readings start at 8:00pm, with music to follow and a cash bar available. The Northwest Micropress Bookfair and After Party includes a ton of presses, including Presses and producers include: Entre Ríos Books, Scablands Books, Chin Music Press, Page Boy Magazine, Sage Hill Press, SPLAB, Short Run Seattle, Blue Cactus Press, Frontera Magazine, Margin Shift Reading Series, Cadence Video Poetry Festival / Northwest Film Forum, Till Writers, Ravenna Press, StringTown Press, Papeachu Press, Rhododo Press, Coast | No Coast, Winter Texts, Crab Creek Review, Poetic Games, Not a Pipe Publishing, Cascadia Rising Review, The Conium Review, Arq Press, Overcup Press, and Floating Bridge Press.

This will be a big event on the final night of the conference. Don’t miss it! Reading for The Conium Review are TJ Fuller, Chelsea Harris, and Simone Person. Find this event on Facebook.

About the Readers

TJ Fuller writes and teaches in Portland, Oregon. His fiction has appeared in Hobart, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Jellyfish Review, and elsewhere. He won the 2017 Flash Fiction Contest at The Conium Review.

Chelsea Harris has appeared in The Portland Review, Literary Orphans, The Conium Review, Grimoire, and Smokelong Quarterly, among others. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago and currently lives in Washington State.

Simone Person is the author of Dislocate, the winner of the 2017 Honeysuckle Press Chapbook Contest in Prose, and Smoke Girl, the winner of the 2018 Diode Editions Chapbook Contest in Poetry. She grew up in small Michigan towns and Toledo, Ohio and is a dual MFA/MA student at Indiana University in Fiction and African American and African Diaspora Studies. In 2018, Simone became the Prose Editor for Honeysuckle Press. She sporadically, and to varying degrees of success, uses Twitter and Instagram at @princxporkchop.

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.