The Conium Review publishes innovative writing. We don't rely on quotas or preconceived notions of what's "publishable."  We want your wildest settings and weirdest plots. We want fine-tuned prose and active characters. We want stories that take risks. But most importantly, we want your very best writing, whatever that entails.

Our reading periods vary. Any calls for general submissions, contests, or chapbooks appear below. You can also subscribe to our e-mail list to stay informed about all our current projects.

2020 OPEN READING PERIODS:

  • “Print Edition Fiction Submissions” February 1st through May 1st
  • “Themed Submissions: (Re)new” May 15th to June 1st.

Missed the open reading period? You can submit print and website submissions outside the normal reading periods by using the "tip jar" category. "Tip jar" submissions include a $3.00 donation to The Conium Review.

2020 CONTESTS:

  • “Innovative Short Fiction Contest” May 1st through July 1st ($500 prize + publication)

General Information

This themed call for submission plays off two upcoming projects:

The Conium Review is redesigning its website. The website hasn’t had a major overhaul since 2014. Additionally, we haven’t held a call for website fiction since 2017. Our print projects took priority, but the site is still widely trafficked, and it deserves more direct attention. The new site will be designed to give each story its own fully developed page with a unique aesthetic. We want the digital reading experience to feel new and special. Hence the theme: (re)new.

This call for submissions also celebrates the upcoming June, 2020 release of Fruit Rot (Etchings Press, University of Indianapolis), a short book from Conium Press editor James R. Gapinski. This contemporary fable kicks off with the mysterious appearance of a large tree. One bite of its fruit, and you feel renewed; mind and body are refreshed and reborn.

You may interpret this theme broadly, but a connection to “new” or “renew” should be apparent.

James R. Gapinski will select one piece to go live on the website’s launch day (sometime in mid-June). The selected author will receive a $20 payment, a complimentary signed copy of Fruit Rot, and a copy of The Conium Review: Vol. 8.

The Conium Review (Online) 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 May 15th, 2020 through June 1st, 2020. Notification of acceptance or rejection will go out around June 15th, 2020.

Submission Guidelines

We’re seeking fiction under 1,000 words on the theme “(Re)new.” The theme 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 leans toward innovative writing, and themed calls for submissions are no exception. However, keep in-mind that we are a fiction-only publication. Don’t send us a bunch of poems and tell us they are a fresh new type of fiction (and yes, we’ve had that happen). We recommend you explore previous online stories, and consider buying the editor’s novella to get a sense of his style.

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).

You may use the “Notes to Editor” section to explain your take on the “(Re)growth” 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 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.

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

Thank you for submitting!

 

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.

The 2020 contest judge is Emily Wortman-Wunder. Emily is the author of Not a Thing to Comfort You (University of Iowa Press, 2019). 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 May 1st, 2020 and July 1st, 2020. All submissions must include a $15.00 entry fee. The winner will be announced on or around September 15th, 2020.

Submission Guidelines

All manuscripts must be submitted between May 1st, 2020 and July 1st, 2020. 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!

Tip Jar Details

"Tip jar" donations help support our small press. We consider work year-round in this category. The Conium Review is reader-supported and staffed by volunteers, and these donations help fund our efforts. Our publications couldn't exist with your help.


General Information

The Conium Review acquires first serial printing rights. All rights revert to the author upon publication.  If your story is accepted for publication, you will receive a complimentary contributor copy of the issue.

 

Submission Deadlines

We consider general fiction submissions between February 1st and May 1st.

 

Submission Guidelines

You may submit up to three flash fiction pieces (uploaded as a single document), one short story, or one novella.  We define flash fiction as below 1,000 words and novellas as over 15,000 words. Do not send additional work until you get our response to the original submission.

Upload your fiction submission as a single file.

In the "Biography Statement" field, please include a brief third-person bio.  If your work is accepted for publication, your bio appears inside the published issue of The Conium Review along with your story. 

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!

The Conium Review