The Anonymous Project writers writing

The Anonymous Project

Venetian Carnival Mask - Maschera di Carnevale - Venice Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckxphoto: gnuckx

Have you ever had a story that was so good, and you were desperate to tell it to someone, anyone, but you couldn’t tell it?

Editor’s Note: This post ran on May 6, 2013 and was editing on September 7, 2013. 

Maybe it cast a family member—or you—in a bad light.

Maybe it’s a story about a struggle with faith and doubt, but your audience only knows you as a rock.

Maybe you’re afraid your story is weak, even though you know it’s strong, and so you stay quiet, and keep your head down, and tuck the story inside your skin, and hold it close.

Maybe you had an affair, or you struggle with addiction, and while you’re not quite ready to go public, you are sure you have a gem of wisdom you’d love to share.

Maybe you write about feminism or theology or candied walnuts in a handmade coconut gelato, but you have a poem or short story that you think some people might like.

Have I got a deal for you. This summer  sumer and fall, I’ll be hosting The Anonymous Project.

What would you write if you had no fear.

I want it to be a place where the identity of the writer is irrelevant. I want to create a place where the sex, religion, color or country has no value. The Anonymous Project is designed to give flight to the dreams we hold close to us, the ones we haven’t told anyone, because they’re dumb, or what if they don’t work, or because we suck at that idea. The Anonymous Project will be a place where the words matter above platform, name recognition, or accepted authority of the speaker, or preconceived ideas readers hold close. It will be a place where writers, by trade or by hobby, can tell the story they’ve been afraid to tell.

It’s not so much a confessional space as it is a place where the written word is elevated over identity.

Once I know you’re interested, I’ll send you a link to a DropBox folder. Upload your document and (I’m still toying with this system, so bear with me) it should remain anonymous, so not even I will know who wrote it.

Editor’s Update: There was, as far as I can tell, no really genuine way to be 100% anonymous. The best I can promise is that I don’t pay attention to the names as they arrive, and the simplest thing is to send it to my email., with ANON in the Subject line.

If you’re interested in exploring a new writing technique, or you want to write an open(ish) letter to your ex, or you want to rant at God away from your blog and the potential platitidues or shock you might give your readers, hit me up by email. And tell your friends.


  • Keep it clean, please. My apologies, but I’d rather not know.
  • Keep it constructive. This is not the space to confess or fantasize. Nough said. 
  • Keep it shortish. Under 800 words Ed: I abandoned the word limit because I want to make sure you have enough space to say all you need to say. Keep in mind, though, that people will read a blog post that is generally 1000 words or less. 
  • Use #theanonymousproject and spread the word on social media


As I’ve talked with people about the idea, I’ve heard so many different ways this could go. One person writes on a kind of social justice, but wants to explore fiction. Another wants to write about abusive parents, who are still alive. How could you see The Anonymous Project working for you?

34 Comment

  1. I can’t wait to submit some of mine and read others. This sounds more like a Community and that is where I want to be! Bless your heart for offering and heading this up!!

  2. Dropbox note: I will send you a link, and I will be able to see that you have uploaded something. But once inside the box, I can’t tell who wrote what. This will be more anonymous the more submissions I get. So just upload when you’re ready. Thanks!

  3. Fascinating idea, Jennifer! I have NO space for this kind of writing just now as wer’e leaving on a 2 week vacation early Wednesday. But after that, I just might. I’d have to figure out a way to make it completely unidentifiable and don’t even know if that’s possible, but man, I’d love to write some things out that pick away at my brain, experiences that involve people I care about. . .

    1. Diana, exactly. I know we’re all busy, and I hope to keep this going as long as it seems to strike a nerve. We all have those things we just don’t feel comfortable saying on our own forums, or in our own communities. Hopefully, you can find a way to strip out the identity clues and send something my way.

  4. Truly intrigued to see how all of this plays out. I think we all could benefit from some anonymity now and then.

    As I said yesterday, I think anonymous comments would be a respectful gesture to the writer.

  5. I’m realizing now that every person who joins the folder will get an email when another person uploads a file. If we could be on the honor system here, and trust each other to leave them for just me? I really want to create a place where writers can trust me with their words.

  6. Count me in. I’ve got 5000 pages toward a book (I know, really?) & this would be a great way to put my toes in the water.

    1. Hey, there! I’m so glad you’re interested, and you are not alone in that sense of exciting fear! Nearly everyone I’ve spoken with has some level of trepidation. So. I’m with you. I don’t see an email address for you, so send me on at and I’ll link you up with the drop box. Also, today, I posted a second piece on how I’m handling the anonymity, if you’re interested. 🙂

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