skip to main content

Short Stories

Joan has written twelve short stories about teens dealing with real life problems at home, at school, and in the workplace. They are featured in the following anthologies. Happily, all anthologies are available in stores, libraries, online, or through second-hand sellers. Unfortunately, we cannot send these individual stories to anyone via mail or on-line. Happy reading.

Letter of Hope

Joan responds to a girl, caught up with the in crowd at her school, whose father is an alcoholic.

Read it in DEAR AUTHOR: Letters of Hope — Top Young Adult Authors Respond to Kids’ Toughest Issues.  Edited by Joan Kaywell.  Philomel Books.

Children of War

A Brooklyn teenager struggles with loss and fear in the aftermath of September 11th, and finds her true calling.

Read it in 911 THE BOOK OF HELP: Authors Respond to the Tragedy.  Edited by Michael Cart, Marc Aronson, and Marianne Carus.  Carus Publishing Company.


An intern at a high-powered ad agency can’t look the other way when the agency promotes a tobacco company with a brand of cigarettes targeted toward teenagers.

Read it in RUSH HOUR: A Journal of Contemporary Voices Volume One, “Sin“. Edited by Michael Cart.  Delacorte Press.

Extra Virgin

An 18-year-old girl’s commitment to abstinence is tested when the guy of her dreams walks into her life.

Read it in LOVE AND SEX: Ten Stories of Truth. Edited by Michael Cart. Simon and Schuster.


The story of a young woman’s chronic fear of ever gaining weight.

Read it in WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?  Stories About Phobias.  Edited by Donald R. Gallo.    Candlewick Press.


Chloe is a fantasy writer trying to create a new story — but her characters won’t cooperate.

Read it in DREAMS AND VISIONS: Fourteen Flights of Fantasy. Edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss.  A Starscape Book/Tom Doherty Associates.


Gracie has won three awards for diplomacy on her high school’s Model U.N. team, but those skills are tested in the fractured family run-up to her big sister’s wedding.

Read it in THIS FAMILY IS DRIVING ME CRAZY: Ten Stories About Surviving Your Family. Edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss.  G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Clean Sweep

A teenager helps an old woman clean out her attic and finds a book that leads to forgiveness and restoration.

Read it in SHELF LIFE: Stories by the Book, edited by Gary Paulsen, Simon and Schuster.

A Letter From the Fringe

Does Dana have the courage to tell the bullies how they’ve made her and her friends at the fringe table feel?  And will telling make any difference?

Read it in ON THE FRINGE, edited by Donald R. Gallo.  Dial Books.


Cali’s fractionalized family struggles to work together to save its hardware store when a mega-discount retail bully moves across the street.

Read it in NECESSARY NOISE: Stories about our families as they really are.  Edited by Michael Cart.  Joanna Cotler Books/Harper Collins.


A teenage waitress is forced to face her perfectionism when she is the only waitress working at a busy pancake house… and good enough is the only way to survive.

Read it in TRAPPED: Cages of Mind and Body.  Edited by Lois Duncan.  Simon and Schuster.

The Truth About Sharks

Beth is falsely accused of shoplifting and seeks to clear her name.  This happened in part to Joan when she was 19 and she wrote this fictional account of what it was like to not be believed.

Read it in FROM ONE EXPERIENCE TO ANOTHER: Award-winning authors sharing real-life experiences through fiction.  Edited by Dr. M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss.  A Forge Book/ Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.