Anthology 17 for 2020: The Secret Identity

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form.


There was a tension that Spiderman/Peter Parker had with his secret identity; how did he interact with his loved ones? His ordinary bullies (that he could have easily defeated), etc. This is NOT intended to be a superhero anthology. You could have a retired spy, someone in the witness protection program, a benevolent billionaire who wants to see how the real people live, a former celebrity just wanting to live their life, an android seeking to pose as human, an alien wanting to do research for their doctoral study, someone who gives a great gift anonymously (secret benefactor), or the flip side: a criminal who hides their identity so they can get away with a crime (or so they think), etc.

These are the stories, flash fiction, and poems that delve into reasons why someone might have a secret identity and how they (and those that love or hate them) deal with this reality.

Not all the stories and poems need to be serious/dramatic; there is room for humor. There are many reasons to have a secret identity (to protect self, to protect family, to avoid the limelight, protective coloring, shyness). Humorous situations could arise when expectations are not fulfilled. E.g., the superhero with the valiant disguise discovers that everyone could see through the disguise all along, even the villains, but they were all humoring him for their own reasons. Or the secret philanthropist finally wants someone to know it was her all along, but fate thwarts each opportunity she takes to discreetly drop hints.


This anthology will support three formats of entries:

  • Short stories (up to 3000 words)
  • Flash fiction (up to 1000 words but ideally 750)
  • Poems (Ideally 1000 words or less)


There are no limits on genres or genre combinations.


Date Description
Jan 18 Kick-off (Saturday)
Feb 23 First drafts due Sunday, Feb 23 (five weeks after the kick-off)
Mar 08 First round of inter-author critiques due (2 weeks; critiques will be assigned rather than free-for-all)
Mar 29 Three weeks to redraft: second drafts are due
Apr 12 Two weeks for inter-author critiques: due
May 3 Three weeks for rewrites: third draft due
May 17 Final critiques due (two weeks)
Jun 7 Final draft due (three weeks)
Jul 5 Editor reviews completed
Aug 2 Author final edits completed
Aug 30 Final layouts; submitted to KDP


All stories must fit within the PG-13 rating. Would you share this story with your 13 year old son, daughter, niece, or nephew? This applies to the topic/theme of your story or poem, the language used within it, and the actions the characters take. If you have questions about this, please talk with the Editors.


  1. Tim Yao
  2. Jenny Johnson
  3. Tauna Sonn-LeMarbe
  4. Cathy Goodman
  5. Milda Willoughby


  1. Tim Yao
  2. Lauren Rogers
  3. Kira Swanson
  4. Leslie Gail
  5. Savannah Reynard
  6. Todd Hogan
  7. Jenny Johnson
  8. Paige Adams
  9. Jenn Bauer
  10. Sue Wachowski
  11. Elaine Fisher
  12. Frances Moritz
  13. Ana Koulouris
  14. Liz Hall
  15. Karen Stumm Limbrick
  16. Mary O’Brien Glatz
  17. Brian Cable
  18. Steve Fortuna
  19. Tim Paulson
  20. Barbara Lipkin
  21. Sarah Vu
  22. Tauna Sonn-LeMarbe
  23. Jennifer Stasinopoulos
  24. Lara Krupicka
  25. Amelia Kouba
  26. Susan Ekins
  27. Yolanda Huslig
  28. Keshia L. Nowden
  29. Bonnie B. Bradlee
  30. Diana Jean
  31. Debra Kollar
  32. Cathy Goodman
  33. Annerose Walz
  34. Bevan Das
  35. Milda Willoughby
  36. Vikki Williams


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.


There will be three rounds of inter-author critiquing, editing, and new drafts after first drafts are submitted. In each of the three rounds, every author is required to critique three pieces for each piece that they have submitted. In general, each author is limited to three pieces submitted to the anthology. The editors will give feedback to each author on first drafts and on third drafts.

Authors will need to sign a contract that gives first publishing rights to the anthology for both print and e-book publications of the anthology. Authors will decide together if they will share the expense for a professionally designed cover (we did this for Near Myths; all other anthologies either had covers done by authors or by friends of authors). See for links to other Journey anthologies.

Cover mock-up

A Song For A New Day

I’ve been writing very slowly lately. The excuse for my sluggardly pace? I’m trying to get better at it, rather than just churning out substandard prose that will make me cringe later. One of the ways I’m working on improving is by reading more. I’ve read a few enjoyable novels lately—I’m finally reading some Cherie Priest, which I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages. I’ll never actually get around to everything I want to read, but I’m working on it.
Cover image from Penguin Random House website
One novel I’m excited to recommend is A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker. Maybe this isn’t a book for everyone, but I’m not the only one who thinks it’s terrific. A bit of praise: A back cover blurb by Charlie Jane Anders reads, “You’d better keep a copy with you at all times, because this book will help you survive the future.” The starred Kirkus review calls it: “a gorgeous novel that celebrates what can happen when one person raises her voice.” For my part, I love the plausible, unsettling near-future feel of the world Sarah Pinsker has created. It feels like it could happen about ten years in the future, or maybe even sooner. I love how the novel eventually feels upbeat. I love its implied call to action. But will you like this book? You might if:
  • You love music, especially live music
  • You enjoyed her 2016 Nebula Award winning novelette, “Our Lady of the Open Road”
  • You want to know even a few of the 173 ways to wreck a hotel room
  • You like thinking up terrible names for bands
  • You feel hopeless
  • You feel hopeful
  • You crave a feeling of connection
  • You want to change the world

Seeking submissions for the 2019 Journey anthology, Stranded

Hot on the heels of Near Myths (2017), Reasons for Hope (2018), and The Love Anthology (coming very soon in 2019), is the call for stories, flash fiction and poetry for the 2019 Writing Journey Anthology: Stranded. This is the latest anthology project for the Writing Journey.

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.

The kick-off is January 19th and first drafts are due February 23rd.

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