Anonymous nonfiction

December 17, 2017

Sarcasm is the native language of the Internet. Unfortunately, since sarcasm is a close friend to cynicism, this can make the Internet a negative and disillusioning place. I decided to make an effort to make a place on the Internet that is more positive and reflective. This place would be where you can present your own story, anonymously and sincerely. The result was initially called “Stories, Incognito” but I later decided on the name “anonfiction” (i.e. anonymous + nonfiction), which is now live at www.anonfiction.com. You can submit your story right now, if you’d like! For a limited time, I will even pay you $1 for a good story (see promo for more info).

I chose to give anonfiction a magazine format instead of resorting to a stream (or firehose) of content like in other social media platforms. In a lot of ways, the mission of anonfiction is similar to other Internet magazines like The Sun’s Reader’s Write, Brevity Magazine, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, 100 Word Stories, 1966 Journal, Concis, Proximity Magazine, Spartan Literature, and Thread Literary - all magazine that try to feature lesser known works of literary writing. However, unlike these magazines, anonfiction is devoted to publishing great nonfiction, with a focus on anonymity. This hopefully will level the playing field for MFAs and ordinary folks to contribute their stories.

How it works

Anyone can contribute to anonfiction. You can write a story online or email a story to stories@anonfiction.com. If you write online you can log in to keep track of your stories. Contributed stories will be curated by editors who publish them after a brief grammar-correction and anonymization. “Curated” here means that stories that are blatantly spam will be removed, but otherwise all stories will be accepted regardless of opinions, point-of-view, brevity, or length of story.

Anyone can also comment on stories. However, the commenting process is the exact same as the story submission process. That is, comments will be collected for each topic and presented as their own topic at the end of each month. Each comment will be anonymized and grammar-corrected, and additionally it will be removed if it is clearly offensive.

Anyone can also be an editor at anonfiction. To do so, just send an email to editors@anonfiction.com. At first we can correspond by email, and then after a brief period you will be added to the list of admins for the site.

Technical aspects

The web is inherently open-source (hit Ctl+U to see this page’s source in Firefox). In line with this, anonfiction is also open-source. It is basically a CMS, like Wordpress, with some authentication. The code lives at github.com/schollz/anonfiction and is licensed under MIT. It is written in Go and the web uses the Tachyon CSS framework. I’m happy to help with questions about it.

I hope to hear your story sometime!


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Written on 17 December 2017. Categories: thoughts, coding.

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