The Conium Review panel at AWP

The Conium Review‘s Managing Editor, James R. Gapinski, will be on a panel at this year’s AWP conference in Seattle, WA.

“Let’s Avoid a Quick Death, Please: Starting and Sustaining a New Literary Publication”

Room 301, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

3:00pm to 4:15pm

This panel explores the process of starting and sustaining a new literary publication. Countless small presses and journals launch every year only to die after a couple issues. Let’s talk with some people who avoided that fate. This panel will discuss how to choose the right publishing medium, secure funding, attract readers, and deal with unexpected hurdles.

The panelists include Matt Muth (representing Pacifica), Stefanie Torres (representing Beecher’s), Joshua S. Raab (representing theNewerYork) and James R. Gapinski (representing The Conium Review).

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke moderates.

 

 

Interview with Kim Brown, editor of “Minerva Rising”

Kim Brown

Kim Brown

Kim Brown is an editor at Minerva Rising Literary Journal. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Today’s Chicago Woman, Contemporary Fashion, National View, Naperville Sun, and Pitkin Review.



[James R. Gapinski]: Many writers and editors have seen the VIDA.org statistics that show low lit journal acceptance rates for women, but few actually do anything about it. What motivated you to take action, creating a women’s-only journal?

[Kim Brown]: I read somewhere that stories written by women were “small” compared to the ones written by men. That troubled me. It seemed to devalue the work of women writers and the overall experience of being a woman. But after receiving a series of rejection letters for own work, I worried that there might be some truth to that statement. I lamented to anyone who would listen that there needed to be a literary journal for women that was interested in publishing the type of stories that women write.  And then I remembered a quote by Toni Morrison, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  I knew I had to create the type of journal I wanted to submit to.

 [JRG]: In March 2014, you’ll give the first “Owl of Minerva” award. Can you talk a little bit about the award and the criteria you’ll be looking for in nominees?

[KB]: It has always been Minerva Rising‘s policy to give a portion of our proceeds back to women in need. In the past we have done this by donating to Women for Women International. However, we felt that we wanted to make more of an impact and the Owl Award was born. We wanted to offer one woman writer, who would otherwise not have the financial means to invest in herself as a writer, an opportunity to pursue her creative endeavors. Applicants will be required to write an essay in response to a question posted on our website. We will be looking for both need and desire.   

[JRG]: You say you created the sort of journal you’d want to submit to. Can you expand on that?  What are some of the aesthetic or creative approaches that best fit your style?

[KB]: I tend to write anecdotal tales of ordinary women working through the challenges of daily life. A lot of the journals I submitted to were looking for shock and awe.  And while I appreciate that type of writing, I wanted a place that felt like a community of women supporting one another through the sharing of experiences and stories.

Consequently, when people ask about the aesthetic or creative approaches that best fit my style, I shudder a little. The beauty and meaning I find in writing comes from the writer’s courage and the determination to share her truth. The style or the approach isn’t as important to me. I want to get lost in the story. 

[JRG]: You referenced Toni Morrison earlier.  What other authors have had a major impact on your work as a writer and editor?

[KB]: There have been ten women writers in particular who have guided me throughout my journey as a writer: Natalie Goldberg, Anne Lamott, Anna Quindlen, Kate Chopin, Bebe Moore Campbell, Dorothy West, Judy Blume, Virginia Woolf, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sylvia Path

I’ve learned so much by the way each author writes about the complexity of life as a woman and/or writer. I owe every woman on the list a ton of gratitude.

[JRG]: As a fellow graduate of Goddard’s MFA program, I bet you heard the phrase “trust the process” a lot.  I know this can be a big question, but what’s your process as a writer?

[KB]: Free writing plays a huge part in my process. I like to write long hand for a designated period of time or a set number of pages before I start to work on a specific piece. I use that time to clear my head and set the intention for my day.  Sometimes I use my free writing to work out questions or problems that I have with my current project.  There is something about actually writing on paper that primes the pump for me. Then I move to my computer to write. I prefer to work in two hour blocks. But I’m a procrastinator, so I often have to work longer to get things done when I’m under a deadline.

[JRG]: What about as an editor?  Can you give a little insight into the editorial process at Minerva Rising?

 [KB]: As an editor, I really prefer to read paper.  When we first started Minerva Rising, I would print out every submission and read it. I’d make little notes in the margins, much like an annotation. I taught various writing classes at a small liberal arts college several years ago.  Consequently, I read submissions like I was grading papers.  However, as we started to grow, this became an inefficient use of resources and time. Now I read submissions on a Kindle and take notes in a notebook.  I write down my impressions of the piece and whether or not it works for the current issue.  I like to be specific so that we can offer feedback to the writer. The other editors may have a different process, but we all share our thoughts and notes on the piece after we have voted. This is really helpful because it gives us something to discuss as we make our final decisions.

Check out the lit mag “From Sac”

Check out From Sac, a collective of Sacramento Valley writers. The Executive Editor is Jon Alston (he was also a contributor to our Spring 2013 issue). The journal is open to submissions year-round. You can find out more details here: http://www.fromsac.com/

And check out Jon Alston’s blog here: http://jaawriter.blogspot.com/

Call for Fiction and Poetry Submissions: The Conium Review

The Conium Review is currently open for fiction and poetry submissions.  Submit between January 1st and April 1st, 2014 using our Submittable page.

We publish innovative writing from new and established authors.  There are no line limits or length restrictions.  Simultaneous submissions are okay.  Find the full guidelines on the Submittable page or on our website.

Bernie Hafeli’s “Bear Season” nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize

Bear SeasonBernie Hafeli’s Bear Season is nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. This annual award “honors exceptionally talented fiction writers whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.” Congrats on the nomination, Bernie!

Printer’s Devil Review releases its latest issue

Printer’s Devil Review has just released a new issue, featuring several poems, a short story about queer life in rural America, and a story by David Varderman that’s accompanied by illustrations from Harriet Burbeck. This issue also features excerpts from Gemma Cooper-Novack’s novel Go Home Faster, Jade Sylvan’s memoir Kissing Oscar Wilde, artwork from Keith Francis, and more.  You can find the issue here: http://www.pdrjournal.org/fall2013

Fall 2013 contributor, Thomas Dodson, edits and designs Printer’s Devil Review.

“The Conium Review” on a panel at AWP’s 2014 Conference

Vol2 No2The Conium Review‘s Managing Editor, James R. Gapinski, will be on a panel at the 2014 AWP conference in Seattle, WA.  The panel is entitled “Let’s Avoid a Quick Death, Please: Starting and Sustaining a New Literary Publication.” It’s on Thursday, February 27th at 3:00 in the Western New England MFA Annex, room 301.

The other panelists include Stephanie Torres of Beecher’s Joshua S. Raab of theNewerYork, and Matt Muth of Pacifica Literary Review.

Independent publication is on the rise, spurring a small press renaissance. But starting a literary publication isn’t as easy as it sounds. The panelists represent relatively new journals that are successfully gaining readership and attracting attention.

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke moderates the session; she is a 2013 Jack Straw writer, and she teaches writing at Seattle Central Community College.

Here’s the panel description from the AWP schedule:

This panel explores the process of starting and sustaining a new literary publication. Countless small presses and journals launch every year only to die after a couple issues. Let’s talk with some people who avoided that fate. This panel will discuss how to choose the right publishing medium, secure funding, attract readers, and deal with unexpected hurdles.

If you’re attending AWP this year, please stop on by!

Charles Rafferty’s short story collection, “Saturday Night at Magellan’s,” now available from Fomite Press

Charles Rafferty (contributor to our Fall 2013 issue) recently published a collection of short stories with Fomite Press called Saturday Night at Magellan’s.

Charles Rafferty has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. His tenth collection of poetry, The Unleashable Dog, is forthcoming from Steel Toe Books.

His stories have appeared in publications such as Sonora Review, The Cortland Review, Bound Off, The Fiddleback, Louisiana Literature, and Citron Review. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Oprah Magazine, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly, Quarterly West, Massachusetts Review, The Literary Review, DoubleTake, and Connecticut Review.

Currently, he directs the MFA program at Albertus Magnus College.

Adam Padgett’s “Out from Under” appears in the Surreal South anthology

Surreal South 13Adam Padgett’s story “Out from Under” was printed in the anthology, Surreal South ’13 (Press 53, 2013).  The anthology is printed every odd year in late October, featuring with surrealist, odd-themed stories.

Adam Padgett was a contributor to The Conium Review‘s Spring 2013 issue. He also reviewed George Singleton’s Stray Decorum for our website. His fiction has also appeared in Appalachian Heritage and SmokeLong Quarterly.

Check out Marc Schuster’s interview with Karen Lillis of Small Press Pittsburgh

Marc Schuster interviews Karen Lillis on his Small Press Reviews site.  Read Marc’s interview here.  They discuss the history and operation of Small Press Pittsburgh and Small Press Roulette.

Marc Schuster was the Guest Editor for The Conium Review‘s Spring 2013 issue. He’s also the author of The Grievers and The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl.