Anthology 2019

Note: 2019-03-03: the Call for Submissions has closed for Anthology 16. If you are interested in participating in next year’s anthology, I recommend you consider joining the Writing Journey to stay informed (it’s free and there are other Paths you might enjoy).


The Writing Journey is looking for authors to submit their flash fiction, short stories and poems for our 2019 anthology that explores the theme of being stranded. This includes stories of metaphorical, emotional, psychological stranding. We’re looking for poetry and fiction (from micro-fiction to short stories up to about 3000 words). Stories should be PG-13.

2019 Anthology Theme: Stranded

Have you ever been stranded at an airport? Imagined yourself stranded on Mars? Or on a desert island? Or at a cocktail party? Or perhaps at a department store while your significant other is shopping? We will explore the theme of being stranded through stories, flash fiction and poems that cut across genres.



Editors will jointly decide which pieces to include and reject. Feel free to submit up to two short stories and up to three to four flash fiction and/or poetry pieces as you wish but know that no more than three pieces per author will be included in the final draft. Our goal is that every Journey member who submits pieces will have at least one piece included in the final draft, but this may not be guaranteed – especially if we receive an overwhelming number of submissions. In light of this, we encourage you to take full advantage of the critiquing process to best hone your stories or poems. The anthology is a group collaboration, and each story serves to represent not just the individual author but also the collective efforts of the Writing Journey. For this reason, stories that do not meet basic standards of grammar, for example, will be deemed unpublishable. All critiques are made with the intention of making the best anthology possible – weigh them all with an open mind.

We are asking that stories do not exceed 3000 words, though some exceptions may be made. Just because you have 3000 words does not mean you ought to use them all – please consider how long your story you are trying to tell really is. And again, we’re shooting for a PG-13 rating. If you’re not sure some of your content meets that requirement, go ahead and submit it and see what reviewers say – you may need to edit it out, but maybe not.

The editors will read and comment on every story/poem submitted (typically not full critiques but to provide directional guidance).

If you are interested in participating in this anthology, please enter your information here:


Tim Yao, Mary O’Brien Glatz, Jennifer Smith, and Holly Stoj



Bartilson, Barbara
Debra Kollar
Ekins, Susan
Fisher, Elaine
Gail, Leslie
Gustafson, Margie
Hall, Elizabeth SanFilippo
Hogan, Todd
Huslig, Yolanda
Kosar, Jessica
Lafrance, Stephane
Limbrick, Karen
Llipkin, Barbara
Martin, Edward
McAdams, Sam
O’Brien Glatz, Mary
Peck, Karen
Reynard, Savannah
Rule, Julie
Smith, Jennifer
Sonn-LeMarbe, Tauna
Stasinopoulos, Jennifer
Tolios, Gwen
Wachowski, Susan
Willoughby, Milda
Wright, Greg
Yao, Tim

Rules and Constraints

  1. Stories, flash fiction and poems must comply with a PG-13 rating.
  2. For each piece submitted to the anthology, the submitting author is responsible for critiquing three other pieces in each round of critiquing.
  3. There will be three rounds of drafts + critiques.
  4. There are no guarantees that any piece will be accepted, but people can generally expect that at least one piece per author will be in the anthology if the author makes a sincere effort to hone and perfect their piece for each round of critiquing.
  5. All authors must sign the authors agreement that assigns first publication rights to the anthology.
  6. Authors must keep up with the schedule of drafts and critiques. Authors must also do their best to comply with critique guidelines (e.g., critique the piece, not the author; be tactful in giving both positive and critical feedback).
  7. Authors collectively will decide whether to have a commercially designed cover or not (historically, only Near Myths has accomplished this; the $325 design fee was covered by the 27 authors/editors) or whether to purchase fonts (only Steve White did this for Drops of Midnight; and Roger Lubeck did this for his three Journey anthologies).
  8. Expenses/profits: authors will divide costs involved in publication (e.g., fonts, cover design, book proofs) as agreed to by the authors. Authors will divide profits after costs have been recouped.


Date Description
Jan 19 Kick-off
Feb 23 First drafts due Feb 23 (five weeks after the kick-off)
Mar 9 First round of inter-author critiques due (2 weeks; critiques will be assigned rather than free-for-all)
Mar 30 Three weeks to redraft: second drafts are due
Apr 13 Two weeks for inter-author critiques: due
May 4 Three weeks for rewrites: third draft due
May 25 Final critiques due (two weeks)
Jun 15 Final draft due (three weeks)
Jul 20 Editor reviews completed
Aug 3 Author final edits completed
Aug 17 Final layouts; submitted to KDP

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are typical lengths for short stories?

A: Flash fiction: less than 1000 words; short stories: 3000 words or less. There may be some exceptions

Q: Why is this Anthology 16 if there are only seven published Journey anthologies?

A: Every anthology idea that has been started has received a number. Not every idea made it past that stage or all the way to publication. Some of the other ideas may yet be pursued in a future year. Some projects are still in progress.

Q: How much do you expect the costs to be?

A: Previous Journey anthologies ranged from a few dollars per author to nothing per author (when the Publisher generously assumed all the risk in exchange for 30% of any profits).

Q: How strict is the 3K story limit?

A: It’s just a strong suggestion. Being reasonable, we’ll look at it longer. This will be addressed case by case. It’s not super strict, but I would ask authors not exceed it excessively. Some stories just need more words to be told, and that’s okay. But if it’s a super long story it’s probably not a good fit for the anthology.

Q: Do the stories have to be science fiction or set in the future?

A: No. All genres are welcome.