Editors' Blog

November 20, 2021

We have had a busy month.

Once the finalists and winners were determined for our five creative awards, we were able to put together our final literary journal of the year, The Best of Choeofpleirn Press, which is now on sale through our Bookstore tab and on Amazon as a print-on-demant paperback, which looks great (if we do say so ourselves) as a coffee table book to stimulate conversations about the various works included.

Winners and finalists for the five Awards are also listed in the Bookstore tab, so be certain to take a look.

Then we had to decide which six works were the best pieces of literature that we could nominate for the coveted Pushcart Prize in literature. Unfortunately, the Pushcart does not recognize drama as a category of literature yet, but we nominated the following works for the best literary quality works we published this year in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction:

Poetry

My Daughter’s New Life, Gary Metras (Glacial Hills Review)

My Second Class in Prison, Diane Kendig (Coneflower Café)

Short Fiction

Affirmative Action, Richard Marranca (Coneflower Café)

Sandals in the Snow, Madeline Wise (Coneflower Café)

Nonfiction

The Cat’s Pajamas, David P. Anderson (Glacial Hills Review)

I Don’t Play the Viola Anymore, Lauren Skaggs (Glacial Hills Review)

While only two of these works were not considered in our creative contests for the Best of Choeofpleirn Press 2021, the rest were, so we feel honored to have had such great works of literature sent to us for consideration for publication this year.

We are already looking forward to 2022 and our first poetry chapbook contest, and are ruminating about when to add a short fiction collection contest to the mix.

We both hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. Keep writing!

Cheers, Ruth and James

Co-editors, Choeofpleirn Press

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October 22, 2021

Since we do not qualify for grants given to small presses because we began as an LLC, we are currently jumping through the necessary hoops to become a non-profit literary press.

We are also finalizing the awards for the five creative categories, but we have a tie for poetry, so might end up giving out two awards for the top two poems.

All going well, we will be able to announce the results to the winners by November 10th, and send out checks soon after.

We have also added the lists of contributors below each literary journal in the Bookstore, just in case you or your friends are looking for a particular creator's works.

Whatever you do, keep writing!

Cheers, Ruth

Co-Editor

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September 30, 2021

Ten plays and one screenplay were published in our Autumn 2021 issue of Rushing Thru the Dark.

Formatting plays is almost completely opposite of how screenplays are formatted, supposedly so professionals in those fields can easily recognize one from the other. However, the complex formatting delayed our production of the magazine by approximately a week.

Coupled with some poems that had some strange formats themselves, this literary magazine was more of an aesthetic challenge than the first two magazines.

We have learned so much about putting together a gorgeous printed magazine. All (Coneflower Cafe, Glacial Hills Review, and Rushing Thru the Dark) are available through Amazon as print-on-demand books, which really highlights the intense colors in some of the artwork. While we try to keep the print-on-demand copies as affordable as possible (around $25), that usually means we make less than a $1 off of each Amazon sale because of the high costs of printing these days.

So we also work really hard to create the ebook version of our magazines, so that they are also attractive and easily navigable, not to mention highly affordable at $6 per issue through our website's Bookstore.

Once we know who has won in each creative category, we can begin pasting up our final issue for the year, The Best of Choeofpleirn Press, Winter 2021. The poetry judge has many poems to consider, but we hope to know soon.

Thank you for your interest in Choeofpleirn Press' literary magazines! Keep reading and writing!

Cheers, Ruth

Drama Editor

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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

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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!

Ruth J. Heflin, Co-Editor