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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

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Featured Author : Charley Brindley

If you are a fiction writer, you may enjoy seeing some of the contests Charley has won. It might give you ideas about entering fiction contests.

Sponsored by:

His short stories have been published in; Frontiers

Silver Quill
Timbrels of God The West Wind Review
The Talker The World Wide Writer

Charley Brindley proves that somebody really does win those contests.
His short stories, novel chapters and poetry have placed in the following contests;


Texas-wide Writers' Competition -- Second place.

Southwest Writers' Annual Contest -- First place.

Tennessee Mountain Writers Annual Contest -- Second place.

Inspirational Writers Alive Open Competition -- First place.

Falls Writer's Workshop Annual Contest -- Second place.

Brazos Writers Fiction Contest -- First place.

North Texas Professional Writers Association -- Third Place, Poetry.

Writer's Digest 2000 Writing Competition -- Honorable Mention.

By-Line Magazine -- First Place, Poetry.

World Wide Writer  -- Third Place

Enjoy this short fiction sample of his writing.

Zerky and the Wheeled Beings

"Hellooooooo, Zerky. Are you there?"

"Yes, I'm here, Glorious Leader. Hold on one piatod...

Glorious Leader drummed his first three foresuckers on the
tabletop and looked around at the others as he patiently waited one
piatod. Biak shook his upper appendage slowly back and forth as his
sustenance entrance shaped into a cynical expression.

"There," transmitted Zerky, "got 'im."

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"Got who?"

"One leaf tried to get away."

"One leaf?" said Glorious Leader. "How are you disguised

"I'm a leaf-blower combined with an illegal alien, Glorious

"ILLEGAL alien? What the gimbul are you talking about? Have
the authorities identified you?"

"Oh, no, Glorious Leader. They have these brown humanoids here
called illegal aliens. They are from a planet called Mexico. They've
been brainwashed and made to blow leaves around in the street all day."

"Ah," said Glorious Leader. "Kinda like the splitkats who scrap
up our slime trails."

"Exactly so . . . . . . Glorious Leader."

"What happened just now, Zerky? Was there a break in

"I had to take a deep breath."

"Oh. Where are you now, what do you see?"

"I'm in front of a large white building. Sign says General

"Go inside and see what's happening."

"Yes, sir. Just let me round up a few more leaves to herd
through the door so I will appear completely inconspicuous."

"Good thinking, Zerky." Glorious Leader scanned around at the
others with his primary eye.

"I'm inside now."

"What is happening?"

"These humanoids are shaking their fists at me and shouting loud
untranslatable expressions. I believe these are gestures of friendship
and goodwill. They seem very impressed with my cloud of leaves."

"Good job, Zerky.

"Now I'm just coming to a door marked Surgery. There is a large
red sign blinking: SURGERY IN PROGRESS - DO NOT ENTER. I'll just go
inside and see what's up."

Glorious Leader turned to his First Lieutenant. "What's that
you said, Biak?"

Biak burbled something through his proboscis.

"Oh, yes. Zerky," said Glorious Leader, "Biak says you might
want to shut off your blower as an act of supplication."

"Good idea," said Zerky. "Ah, that's better. I was almost out
of breath anyway."

"HOLY SLAXBURBS," shouted Zerky.

"What is it?"

"I just stepped inside the surgery room and found five masked
humanoids holding a female down on a table and ripping something out from
between her legs!"

"Great Gorb, Zerky. Can you save her?"

"I will try, Glorious Leader. I'm turning my blower on full
blast. Perhaps I can blow them away from her."

"What's happening, Zerky?"

"WOW! I didn't know I could blow so hard. The five masked
wrongdoers have been blown out the window. Now I'll see what they've
done to her."

"How is she?"

"Oh, NO! It's worse than I thought. They've pulled her partly
inside-out. I'm just going to turn my blower between her legs and see if
I can repair the damage."

"Zerky, talk to me. What's going on?"

"Glorious Leader, I've done it! My powerful blast of air shoved
a dangling pygmy-human back inside of her. The woman is yelling and
trying to grab my neck. I believe these are screams of joy and she wants
to hug me in gratitude. I'm just bowing to her and backing out of the
room, my job here is finished. It is a wonderful feeling to have been
able to come to the aid of a helpless creature and save her life. I may
have finally found my calling. Now I must go see what other kind acts I
can perform for mistreated humanoids."

"Good job, Zerky! Your brave performance can only further our
friendly relationship with these primitive beings."

"I am now making my way down the hall. All the humanoids are
shaking their fists and yelling. They seem extremely joyous. Some are
even throwing heavy objects to me. These must be gifts and tribute.
I'll just catch them in my powerful blast of air and circulate them over
my head with the leaves. Now I am bowing to the happy creatures and
backing out the front door.

"Great Gorb, Glorious Leader. You cannot believe what is
happening here on the street."

"What is it Zerky? What is going on?"

"One of the huge wheeled creatures is gobbling up a line of
humanoids. He has a large orifice on his side and he is sucking them
right into his gullet. I'm running around to the front to see if he has
eyes. Ah, yes. He has two large, square eyes. And there is a sign on
his forehead."

"Read the sign to us, Zerky."

"Downtown Shuttle. First and Main," said Zerky. "I believe this
is the creature's name. I will now give him the universal gesture of
peace and try to reason with him."

"What gesture is that?"

"I've seen the humanoids inside the wheeled yellow creatures give
this sign to passers-by who yell and wave to them in response. I believe
it to be a gesture of friendship and goodwill. I'm just giving it to Mr.
Downtown Shuttle now."

"Please describe this gesture to us, Zerky, so we may learn how
to make friends with the humanoids also."

"First you lift one of your primary endocarps up in front of
you," said Zerky. All the officers around Glorious Leader's table chose
one of their endocarps and lifted it.

"Then extend the middle appendage up while folding the others
down away from it. And then shove it vigorously into the air several

Glorious Leader and his officers all made the sign of peace and
friendship to each other. Meanwhile there was a long pause in the
communications from Earth.

"Zerky?" said Glorious Leader. "Are you there? Have you made
friends with the large wheeled creature?"

"Grumphil millagkx."

"Excuse me?"

"There," said Zerky. "I'm just putting myself back together. I
don't believe Mr. Downtown Shuttle saw me at first, because he ran me
down. But he was nice enough to back up over me again and allow a
humanoid wearing a cap to lean out his side window and give me the
friendship gesture. I'm sure the third time he drove over me was just an

"Perhaps, Zerky, it's time for a new disguise."

"Oh, yes, Glorious Leader. Your excellent appearance is exceeded
only by your huge intelligence."

"Do you see anything nearby that you might transform yourself

"I'm blowing past a large building. There's a sign on the front,
it reads; Super Market."

"Go inside, see what this Super Market is all about."

"I'm inside now....Oh NO! It is filled with female humanoids
being dragged around by some extremely vicious looking four-wheeled
vehicles. I must investigate further."

"Zerky, what is happening?"

"It's an ugly sight, Glorious Leader. Too gruesome to endure."

"Tell us, Zerky. Tell us what is happening."

"The terrible four-wheeled creatures are pulling the female
humanoids up and down these aisles and forcing them to grab foodstuffs
and throw them into their wide-open gullets."

There was a mummer of grunting around Glorious Leader's table,
amid slobbering and sliming.

"GREAT GORB!" shouted Zerky. "Glorious Leader, I cannot bare any
more of this horrible feeding frenzy. A female has just grabbed one of
her offspring and shoved it into the gaping mouth of a four-wheeled
creature! The child's lower half appears to be caught in the chrome
teeth of the fiendish monster. He is screaming for his mother to
extricate him and save him from a horrible destiny, but she ignores his
pleas and his grasping little hands. She is now taking canned goods and
cereal boxes and throwing them into the beast's mouth. I must turn away
for a moment."

"ZERKY," shouted Glorious Leader. "Pull yourself together,
quickly. It is our consensus that you have stumbled upon the lair of the
Earth's Supreme Beings. You must make all efforts to communicate with
the four-wheeled creatures. No matter how repulsive they may be, you
must find a way to place yourself in their good graces."

"But, Glorious Leader..."

"Zerky, remember your oath."

"You heard that, Glorious Leader?"

"Not that oath, you numbthorax. The Universal Oath of

"Oh, you mean: I swear to uphold The Glorious Leader's laws,
eradicate all yellow Gunskikeys, bow to all Winkburbs, except blue ones,
which I will spit slimballs at, and above all, be nice to almost

"Yes," said Glorious Leader. "In order for us to maintain the
Prime Directive, you must gain the confidence of the wheeled Super Market


"Okay, Glorious Leader, I'll try."

"Look around, what do you see?"

"I see a female thumping melons, and a child eating brown pebbles
from the floor, and, oh, a female is examining packages on a shelf."

"See what they are, Zerky."

"Yes, she's selected one and fed it to the wheeled thing. He
seems to like it quite well."

"Can you become one?"

"Yes, Glorious Leader, I have already. These packages have
pictures of little humanoids on them. I believe this is the way I will
get to the bottom of things."

"What are those packages called, Zerky?"


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