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2018 Innovative Short Fiction Contest

Contest Judge: Maryse Meijer

Prize: $500, publication, copies of the issue,

and a copy of the judge’s latest book

Maryse Meijer selected Emily Wortman-Wunder as the 2018 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner for her short story, “Endangered Fish of the Colorado River.”

Maryse says “‘Endangered Fish of the Colorado River’ is a moving meditation on parental and ecological grief, an exceptionally accomplished examination of losses big and small. Restrained, precise, and wise, the author shows us how, in the attempt to save something, we risk losing everything.”

Emily Wortman-Wunder lives in Denver, Colorado. Her work has appeared in Vela, Nimrod, Terrain, High Country News, and many other places. She will receive a $500 prize for her winning story, publication in The Conium Review: Vol. 7, copies of the issue, and a copy of Maryse Meijer’s Northwood.

This year’s finalists were Suzanne BurnsChelsea HarrisMarlene OlinN. Page, and Francine Witte.

About the Contest

The winning story will be published in The Conium Review‘s next issue. The winning author will receive $500, five copies of the issue, and a copy of the judge’s latest book.

Innovative short fiction should take risks that pay off. Don’t tell us a story we’ve already heard before. Show us something new with your subject, style, or characters. Make sure your writing has a “wow” factor.

The 2018 contest judge is Maryse Meijer. Maryse is the author of Heartbreaker (FSG, 2016) and Northwood (Black Balloon, forthcoming 2018). If you are a family member, coworker, or student of the judge, you are ineligible for this contest.

Contest Deadlines

Submissions must be received between February 1st, 2018 and May 15th, 2018. All submissions must include a $15.00 entry fee. The winner will be announced on or around July 15th, 2018.

Submission Guidelines

All manuscripts must be submitted through our Submittable page between February 1st, 2018 and May 15th, 2018. Your submission may include any combination of flash fictions or short stories up to 7,500 total words. Upload your submission as a single manuscript file. Your name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript. The judge reads blind, and she will recuse herself from considering any manuscript where the writer is identifiable. In the unlikely event that the judge is unable to select a winner, The Conium Review editorial staff will make the final decision.

In the “Biography Statement” field, please include a two or three sentence third-person bio. This bio will not be viewable by the contest judge. If you win the contest, your bio appears inside the published issue of The Conium Review along with the winning story.

Submissions must be unpublished, original work. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but you must withdraw your story immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. If you withdraw your submission, the entry fee is not returned.

This contest abides by the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses code of ethics.  Thank you for submitting!

About the 2018 Contest Judge

Maryse Meijer is the author of Heartbreaker (FSG Originals) and the forthcoming collection Northwood (Catapult).

She lives in Chicago.

Praise for Heartbreaker

  • Maryse Meijer has written a scowl of a book, a gleaming hungry mouth, a chomp. You feel lucky to get out alive, and then you just feel lucky. There you are, missing the danger, longing again for its toothed beauty. Heartbreaker is a bright and dark joy.” –Lindsay Hunter, author of Eat Only When You’re Hungry
  • “Reading Heartbreaker gives you the feeling of a sucker punch with the attendant knowledge that you deserved it.” –Amelia Gray, author of Isadora
  • “The finely etched stories of Heartbreaker are glorious with menace and mystery. Maryse Meijer writes straight into the fire to retrieve the violent ache, the insatiable desire, the trembling love at its hot, hot center. These are terrifying, surprising, beautiful stories, for which I couldn’t be more grateful.” –Maud Casey, author of The Man Who Walked Away
  • “[Meijer] reaches into the darkest parts of the human psyche where sexuality, vulnerability, and violence commingle and simmer . . . Beneath these incendiary premises, the characters’ relationships engender genuine empathy; Meijer is extraordinarily adept at tapping into a well of existential loneliness brought on by civilization’s tendency and shame.” —Publishers Weekly
  • “Meijer’s unerring knack for finding the pure shape of a story—for lining up the component images and complications in the just the right order—marks her as something quite rare. Her stories captivate in the way that urban legends do, splicing the sensational into the fearfully mundane.” —The Rumpus

Archived Contest Pages