Editors' Blog

July 6, 2021

In addition to advertising in Poets & Writers and on Facebook and Twitter when we started soliciting work for Coneflower Café, we wrote many of the universities and colleges in the Great Plains and Midwest, targeting the graduate students in English and creative writing. Originally, I was thinking that Coneflower Café may be more of a regional journal.

Only a few submissions came from Oklahoma and Kansas. To our surprise, we began getting submissions from New England, California, and North Carolina. The graduate students we targeted apparently didn’t want to submit their work to a young journal because of our lack of prestige.

All total, twenty-eight poets appeared in Coneflower Café, seventeen of whom have published one or more collections of poetry. Brian Daldorph, one representative poet, edits his own magazine, Coal City Review. Carol Hamilton has published widely and has poems in many other journals.

Seven fiction writers appeared in Coneflower Café, five of whom have published books. Daniel Coshnear’s latest fiction collection, Separation Anxiety, will be published in October of this year. Eleanor Lerman’s most recent novel, Watkins Glen, was published in June. Each one of our fiction writers is widely published.

We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of work, both poetry and fiction, submitted to Coneflower Café. We didn’t know what to expect as a journal just opening its doors. We were also happy to see that some of the writers who appeared in Coneflower Café thought enough of our press to submit to Glacial Hills Review, our summer journal.

We have since expanded where we advertise by joining CLMP and adding a call for submissions there for our autumn journal, Rushing Thru the Dark.

I look forward to the remaining journals that we will publish this year.

James P. Cooper, Co-editor


June 30, 2021

Half a year gone. But what a great demi-year it has been!

As planned, we launched Choeofpleirn Press in August 2020. As college English professors, writers, and editors, we want to encourage all writers to produce their best work, and we chose starting a small, private literary press to help us accomplish that goal.

The only advertising we did for our new press was through Poets & Writers and Facebook, but we still ended up with many great story, poetry, and art submissions for our premier issue of Coneflower Cafe. As writers, we hate not hearing back from potential publishers for ages, so we did our best to promptly review, select, and respond to the works that were submitted, publishing our first literary journal on March 11, 2021.

Similarly, we received many interesting works of poetry, nonfiction, and art for our premier issue of the Glacial Hills Review, which we published earlier this month on June 12, 2021.

We have already received several one-act plays and a couple of screenplays for Rushing Thru the Dark, which will appear in early September, 2021.

The only real error we have made along this journey is not realizing we needed ISSN numbers for each magazine. Instead, we thought we had to use ISBN numbers, which we now know are reserved for books--one-off publications, instead of serial publications. Had we known, we would have saved ourselves $250 because ISBN numbers cost $125 each, but ISSN numbers are free through the Library of Congress.

Once we learned we should be have ISSN numbers for each annual journal, we looked back over the many journals we have worked for over the last 30+ years and saw that most only used ISSN numbers occasionally, a mystery we are not likely to crack. The only reasonable rationale is that ISSN numbers were not invented until the 1970s, and, even though I was the person responsible for copyrighting each issue of the Kansas Quarterly in the early 1980s, for instance, the magazine apparently was not assigned an ISSN number until after my tenure with the journal.

We live and we learn. Possibly the reason we live is to share the wisdom we learn along the way.

Whatever you do, keep writing!