This theme is currently closed to submissions. For current calls for submissions, visit our Submittable page. To stay informed about future calls for submissions, sign up for our e-mail newsletter.

The guest editor selected four pieces for this theme, and they were published in a series from July 15th to July 18th. You can read the final “Dis/appearances” selections in sequence by clicking here.

Themed Call for Submissions: “Dis/appearances”

Guest Edited by Matt Tompkins

General Information

This themed call for submissions celebrates the June 15th release of Souvenirs and Other Stories, by Matt Tompkins. In the book’s title story, a number of souvenirs spontaneously appear and gradually fill the narrator’s apartment. The “Dis/appearances” theme plays off that idea. You may interpret this theme broadly, but make sure your story involves some form of unexpected arrival or departure.

Matt Tompkins will select at least one piece for publication in The Conium Review Online Compendium. Authors chosen for publication will receive complimentary printed copy of Souvenirs and Other Stories (US shipping only; international authors receive a digital copy instead). Of course, we think you should still pre-order Souvenirs; if your piece is selected for publication, you can always give your free copy to a friend or donate it to a library.

If you are a family member, coworker, or student of the guest editor, we ask that you do not submit to this theme. Please consider one of our other submission categories instead.

The Conium Review Online Compendium acquires first electronic rights and nonexclusive permission to retain the piece in our online archives. Reprint rights and all other applicable rights revert to the author upon publication.

Submission Deadlines

This theme is open for submissions from June 1st through June 15th. Please submit all work using our Submittable page. Selected authors will be notified and published by July 15th.

Submission Guidelines

We’re seeking fiction under 1,000 words on the theme “Dis/appearances.” The guest editor may occasionally make word-count exceptions for outstanding pieces, but you’ll have much better odds of publication you stay under 1,000 words.

The Conium Review Online Compendium leans toward innovative writing, and themed calls for submissions are no exception. Make sure your piece takes risks. However, keep in-mind that our Online Compendium is text-based. We’re not looking for pieces that are overly dependent on visual imagery or exact formatting. We definitely encourage you to experiment with form, but don’t get upset if we’re unable to replicate your exact spacing, margins, and fonts. We’re just not that technologically savvy. We recommend you explore previously published stories here, and consider pre-ordering the guest editor’s book here.

You may only submit one piece to this theme, so chose wisely. Multiple submissions will be deleted.

In the “Biography Statement” field, please include a brief third-person bio. If your work is accepted for publication, your bio appears alongside your story in The Conium Review Online Compendium.

You may use the “Notes to Guest Editor” section to explain your take on the “Dis/appearances” theme (this is optional, so don’t bother if it’s already self-explanatory). For the most part, we recommend submitting work where the theme plays a central role in the story, but the guest editor is also open to abstract interpretations.

Submissions must be unpublished, original work. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but you must withdraw your story immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Thank you for submitting!

About the Guest Editor

Matt Tompkins is the author of Souvenirs and Other Stories (Conium Press) and Studies in Hybrid Morphology (tNY Press). Matt’s stories have appeared in Little Patuxent ReviewNew Haven ReviewPost Road, and other journals.

He works in a library and lives in upstate New York with his wife, daughter, and cat.

Praise for Souvenirs and Other Stories

  • “Matt Tompkins creates a collection reminiscent of a quirky, yet lovable mixture of the likes of Harvey Pekar and Aimee Bender . . . a strange, heartbreaking, and often darkly comical book.” –Beth Gilstrap, author of I Am Barbarella
  • “In Souvenirs and Other Stories, Matt Tompkins creates a compelling universe that normalizes the bizarre . . . Souvenirs is thoroughly entertaining, a smart and funny collection from a wildly imaginative writer.” –Jen Grow, author of My Life as a Mermaid
  • “Wit, imagination, and convincing illogic are the calling cards of this entertaining and disturbing collection. Souvenirs is an impressive collection, a pleasure to read from cover to cover.” –Christopher Kennedy, author of Ennui Prophet
  • “No one else today is plumbing the depths of the human spirit and its limits in quite the same way as Tompkins.” –Sheldon Lee Compton, author of Brown Bottle
  • “With language that feels guileless and innocent, never overbearing, Matt Tompkins builds stories from delicate loops of life and metaphor, making the surreal become real.” –Lena Bertone, author of Letters to the Devil