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

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Short fiction submissions should be original (unpublished, not AI generated) stories containing between 3000 and 10,000 words that show originality, subtlety, wisdom, and appeal to broader perspectives, while adhering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: 

Fiction writers who would like the story submitted for publication in Coneflower Cafe entered in the Ben Nyberg Fiction Contest must pay the $20 contest fee below. Paying the contest submission fee does not guarantee publication, but if your work is published and you pay the fee, you are entered in the contest. Finalists will have their stories republished in our annual Best of Choeofpleirn Press winter issue. The winner of the contest for the year receives $100. 

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. Note that, if your work comes in among the top three for our creative contests, it will be reprinted in our Best of Choeofpleirn Press annual magazine, as well. If you win the top spot for a creative contest, you also win $100.

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 We also do not publish written works created with AI programming, which the U.S. Copyright Office has deemed non-copyrightable. Images transformed with digital programming are still acceptable, however.

If you choose to submit materials for more than one creative category (i.e. poetry and fiction), please send separate emails for each genre of submission.

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, although the top three stories will be republished in our Best of issue.

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 former English professors 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.

Award Nominations--


Henry Alley's "After the Fire," published in Coneflower Cafe, Spring 2023, which we nominated for both the O'Henry and the Pushcart Prize.

Mark Lindensmith's "'Are You Ready for the Night Train?'" also published in CC 2023.


Elizabeth's Gauffreau's Henrietta's Saving Grace," published in Coneflower Cafe 2022, has been nominated for the Pushcart.

GM Monk's "Keeping Chins Up," published in Coneflower Cafe 2022, has been nominated for the Pushcart.

Elizabeth Gauffreau's "Henrietta's Saving Grace," published in Coneflower Cafe 2022, has been nominated for the O'Henry Prize.


Richard Marranca's "Affirmative Action," published in Coneflower Cafe 2021, has been nominated for the Pushcart.

Madeline Wise's "Sandals in the Snow," published in Coneflower Cafe 2021, has been nominated for the Pushcart.