Fiction

Choeofpleirn Press produces one annual journal dedicated to publishing short fiction, the Coneflower Cafe.

We accept short fiction at any time during the year, but only works received by the last Sunday of every February will be considered for that year's Coneflower Cafe.

Short fiction submissions should be stories containing between 3000 and 10,000 words that show originality, subtlety, wisdom, and appeal to broader perspectives, while adhering to typical story qualities (i.e. character development and a clear plot). The stories do not have to be high brow, but should maintain reader interest without resorting to gratuitous violence or fear to keep reader interest and without overtly moralizing its point for readers.

Writers should save their manuscript files with their surnames and a portion of the work's title. Send us your manuscript as an attachment in doc, docx, rtf, or pdf to ChoeofpleirnPress@gmail.com. Anyone who writes work in Pages should have their work converted to doc, docx, rtf, or pdf. Include a cover email containing a 100-word third person biography (i.e. Jane Doe writes...) with each submission. We suggest you include author webpages or blogs, publication history and educational successes, or any other relevant information that you feel you should share with us about yourself. This biography will be published in the same journal that your work appears in, if your work is accepted for publication, so it is another great way for your readers to follow your successes.

To enter the Ben Nyberg Fiction Contest, fiction writers must pay the $20 contest fee below.

Submission of your work to Choeofpleirn Press means you are allowing us to print and copyright your work for the magazine issue in which your work appears. Realize, though, that writers retain their ownership of their works, but, if a work we publish is republished elsewhere, we ask that you acknowledge our literary journal as your work's first publication.

Each submission must be written in English with non-English words italicized. We do not print works written in other languages, and we do not accept translations of works by other writers. Please do not use ALL CAPS anywhere other than for abbreviations. We do not accept translations of other writers' works.

Winners of our creative contests, like the Ben Nyberg Fiction Contest, will also have their works republished in our annual Best of Choeofpleirn Press magazine. Winners are announced in that issue, but only the first place winner receives $100 prize.

While we prefer that you do not send us works that are being considered for publication elsewhere, we are writers ourselves, so understand the importance of multiple submissions. However, should your work be published somewhere else first, please notify us as soon as possible, so we can withdraw your work from our publication process.

Choeofpleirn Press editors are highly opinionated English majors who understand the subjective and competitive nature of publication, but we promise to do our best to read every work as objectively as possible, and will never base our judgment on nationality, race, religion, or gender.

Recommendations for NonBinary Characters:

As English professors, we have struggled to teach our students how important number and counting are to American English grammar, but the recommendation of using third person plural pronouns (they/them/theirs) to refer to nonbinary individuals is threatening to create more problems toward that effort. So here are our recommended pronouns writers should use to refer to individual (singular) people in your writing who do not identify as either female or male; note that you can use these singular pronouns, as well, when you want to disguise the gender of the individual you are referring to in your story, poem, or drama:

§ xi = she or he for nonbinary individuals

§ xir = her or him for nonbinary individuals

§ xirs = hers or his for nonbinary individuals

NOTE: We are encouraging these spellings of these new pronouns because of the following history of the X as a symbol of neutrality: First, Americans who converted to Islam took the name X as part of their new names to cancel the "slave name" they were once given. Later, Latinos/as needed a way to more easily express one gender with the word, so chose Latinx to signify any person of Latin American origin of either gender. Now, X has come to signal, not just a change, but a way of conveying a group of people without specifying gender. We debated about using xe instead of xi, but xe could be taken by spelling checkers as a mispelling of axe, so we settled on xi, xir, and xirs to better denote the three forms of singular pronoun in a non-gender specific way. We hope others will follow our example.

Thank you for seeking a home for your creative work with Choeofpleirn Press!

If you would like to further assist our publication efforts, but would rather do so anonymously, please donate what you can.