Editor Update: James R. Gapinski named a finalist for Glimmer Train’s “Very Short Fiction Award”

James R. Gapinski’s story, “Migratory Patterns,” was one of 25 finalists for Glimmer Train‘s recent “Very Short Fiction Award.”

Read the full list of winners and finalists here.

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Editor Update: Hillary Leftwich published in Monkeybicycle

Hillary Leftwich’s story, “A Small Infestation Following a Big Stroke of Luck,” was recently published in Monkeybicycle.  Congrats on the publication, Hillary!

Her work has also recently appeared recently in NANO Fiction and is forthcoming in Progenitor.  Follow Hillary on Twitter at @hillaryleftwich.

Tom Howard is the 2014 Innovative Short Fiction Contest winner!

The 2014 Innovative Short Fiction contest has ended, and Manuel Gonzales has selected the winner.  Congratulations to Tom Howard and his short story, “American Rag Story.”  This year’s judge, Manuel Gonzales, noted that this piece was “funny and tragic and formally interesting,” and he also liked that “it didn’t take itself too seriously.”  Tom Howard’s work has appeared recently in ARDOR, Storm Cellar, Quarter After Eight, Digital Americana and elsewhere. He lives with his wife in Arlington, Virginia.  Tom will receive a $500 prize, and his story will be published in the next issue of The Conium Review, due out later in 2014.

This year’s finalists were Amy Blakemore, Jack Granath, D. V. Klenak, Jan LaPerle, and Christine Texeira.  Honorable mentions include Colleen Burner, Julie Curwin, Will Kaufman, and Kendall Klym.

The Conium Review editorial staff thanks everybody who submitted and supported this contest.  We look forward to announcing next year’s judge soon, and we hope many of you will consider submitting again in 2015.

Manuel Gonzales to teach at the University of Kentucky MFA Program

This year’s Innovative Short Fiction Contest judge, Manuel Gonzales, will teach at the newly established University of Kentucky MFA Program.  Other MFA Program faculty at the University of Kentucky include DaMaris Hill, Julia Johnson, Gurney Norman, Erik Reece, Frank X. Walker, Andrew Ewell, and Hannah Pittard.

Manuel Gonzales is the author of The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, and he recently received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award for his collection.

Congratulations on the new teaching job, Manuel!

Contributor News: Jen Knox’s “Don’t Tease the Elephants” Now Available

Dont-Tease-the-Elephants-Front-Cover-260x390Jen Knox‘s (contributor to our first issue) latest short story collection, Don’t Tease the Elephants, is now available as an ebook from Monkey Puzzle Press.

Jen Knox earned her MFA from Bennington College in 2010. She works as a creative writing professor at San Antonio College and copy editor at Frost & Sullivan. Jen mentors for the PEN American Center. She was nonfiction editor for The Bennington Review (2010) and Quiz & Quill (2007); she worked as a fiction reader for Our Stories Literary Journal and now reads submissions for PANK.

Jen’s writing has won the Global Short Story Competition and was chosen for Wigleaf’s 2012 Top 50. Two of her stories have received Finalist status for Glimmer Train competitions and three of her stories have received honorable mention. Her chapbook, The Aquarium, earned finalist status in the Black Lawrence Press’s 2012 Black River Chapbook competition.

Book Review: Glossolalia

Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories

Written by David Jauss

Press 53, 2013

ISBN 9781935708841

With prose that is precise and devastating, David Jauss presents seventeen new and selected stories about the resilience of people as they are dragged through the rough of isolation: isolation from God; isolation from love; from community. And in that isolation is discovery. Jauss builds and cultivates these immensely complex characters while never abandoning them completely. It seems to me that Glossolalia asks the question: what keeps these characters moving after taking nearly everything away?

Glossolalia_CoverIn the last twelve months, I have not read many new short story collections. Novels seem to have taken over my bookshelf, and so consequently, I really forgot why I fell in love with the short form those years ago. It was the surprises, the gut-punch that you never saw coming and left you forgetting how to breathe, only to start the next gut-punch pages later. Stories that ended far sooner than you wish they had, and Glossolalia lands every blow with stories that challenge the form, stretch the narrative bounds, while also committing to honest and more traditional storytelling.

David Jauss has no limitations. “Apotheosis” is a story written in letter-form, by Friar Miguel Sabogal during the Spanish Inquisition, pleading his innocence on the charge of being a heretic. In the letter, the friar recounts his story about torture and the fragility of the spirit as it is reduced to its fewest possible components. “The Bigs” is a story about a baseball player from the Dominican Republic playing for a Double A team. The story is written in first person and in a dialect that lends such authenticity to the narrative voice that the reader can nearly hear it. The title story, “Glossolalia,” is a much more straightforward narrative that shows what happens when a boy’s father has a complete mental breakdown. Jauss’ great attention to nuance is what really sells these stories: the nuance of voice, the nuance of character. Young fiction writers should read this collection and learn from one of the truly great masters of the form, and the casual reader should simply allow these stories to blow them away.

There seems to be a reoccurring theme throughout the collection of bad fathers, broken fathers. Stories about fatherly faith gained and lost and then found again. What Jauss achieves with this collection is a brutal realism, the hard callous that insulates us within our darkest dreams and our deepest regrets. But ultimately these stories remind the reader of the amazing resilience of people, of how “a life could break so utterly, then mend itself.”

Review by Adam Padgett

© 2014, All Rights Reserved

Manuel Gonzales wins the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Manuel Gonzales’s short story collection, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, was recently awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  Congratulations, Manuel!

Manuel Gonzales reading at AWP

Manuel Gonzales (author of The Miniature Wife and the judge for The Conium Review‘s Innovative Short Fiction Contest) will be reading at a Riverhead Books event during AWP.

Room 618/619/620, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
Saturday, March 1, 2014
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Since its founding, Riverhead Books has published the freshest, most memorable and diverse new voices in literary fiction. Riverhead authors have won Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Critics Circle Awards, Story Prizes, and been named to Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, and the New Yorker’s 20 Under 40, among many other distinctions. Four of Riverhead’s acclaimed writers will read and discuss their work with Riverhead’s director of publicity.
The other readers are Nami Mun (author of Miles from Nowhere), Danielle Evans (author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self), and The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost).
Jynne Dilling Martin moderates this session.

Two of our editors will be reading during AWP

Susan Lynch (our Associate Editor) and James R. Gapinski (our Managing Editor) will be reading at an off-site even during the AWP conference in Seattle, WA.

Lit.mustest: “I Saw Them When…”

Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE Seattle, WA 98115

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

7:00pm to 9:30pm

Third Place Books in Ravenna and the Lit.mustest reading series present an evening with award-winning and recently published students and alumni from Goddard College’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

Other readers include Shelly Weathers, Jeff Eisenbrey, Sarah Kishpaugh, Kim Mayer, Rachel Serrit, Isla McKenna, and Samantha Kolber.