2018: Anthology 15

For authors, love gives us a vehicle we can use to drive our readers to new emotional heights. We get to (if we’re successful) bring the readers on our character’s strong emotional journey. In a short story or flash fiction or poem, this is necessarily a short, focused thing, perhaps as short as a single scene.

Contemporary does not mean conventional. There are no formulas for how you express your journey.

We’re looking for all emotions that tie into love:

  • Fear for one you love
  • Fear of losing love
  • Joy on love fulfilled
  • Excitement on finding love
  • Heartbreak from love ending
  • Loneliness being away from one you love
  • Jealousy of a loved one
  • etc.

Sign up to participate in this year’s short story anthology!

Title: to be determined – maybe something like: The Many Splendored Thing

Description: An exploration of love: the emotions in human relationships in short stories and poems

Genre: Contemporary


  • It contains characters that behave the way most readers would. The characters must be believable.
  • The story is set in the present.
  • The setting is a real place or at least seems like a real place.
  • The events are events that could happen in real life.
  • Dialogue is informal and conversational and often includes regional dialects.

Sub-genre: Romance

Sub-genre flavor: Up to you (e.g., mystery, humor, etc.), but it is just a flavor, not a true sub-genre (i.e. not historical romance, sci-fi romance, etc.)

Rating: PG-13 (like all Journey anthologies)

Story lengths: 700 words flash fiction,  5000 words short story

Poetry?: Contemporary poems are encouraged.

Romance: while many stories will focus on romantic love, the anthology will be open to other kinds (e.g., the normal love a parent has for his/her child). We are looking for evoking the strong emotional response in the reader.

Sex/Eroticism: Hey, this is a PG-13 anthology. Nothing explicit is allowed or encouraged.

What is love? You can have love between

  • Two teenagers who suddenly notice each other
  • An older married couple
  • Adults trying to make love work in their busy lives
  • A parent and their children
  • Two dear friends
  • Etc

Love inspires

  • Crazy choices
  • Sacrifice
  • Devotion
  • Fevered imagination
  • Etc.



20 January Google+ hangout kick-off meeting 1-2 pm CST
10 February First drafts due 10 February
24 February Critiques due 24 February
17 March Second drafts due 10 17 March
31 March Critiques due 31 March
21 April Third drafts due 21 April
20 May Critiques due 20 May
10 Jun Final drafts due 10 June