A Ficly Farewell

This isn’t going to be easy to write, but it’s time to write it and time to give everyone fair warning for what’s going to happen. It’s time for Ficly to go away. I found out last week that Google is sunsetting their OpenId service – and that’s the last straw for a decision that I’ve known has been coming for months.

Ficly has always been a passion project. Jason, Owen, Joe and I built it to keep the ficlets community alive and give them somewhere to go. That was over five years go – doubling ficlets’ lifespan – and resulted in over 30,000 stories added to the world. I feel pretty good about that.

I don’t want those stories to disappear. Just like with ficlets, I’m going to keep an archive up of all the stories. The URLs to your stories and your author profiles won’t change. They’ll be here for as long as I can keep them up (which should be a good long time). But, around September 14th, you won’t be able to log in or create new stories. The site will be completely static and point somewhere else.

Why shut it down now? The main reason is that I don’t have time to keep it going, and I can’t bear to watch it slowly decay anymore. Jason and I had big plans for Ficly, but life kept getting in the way. But, that’s an excuse. Ficly just wasn’t a priority, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It’s also so old now that adding features to it would require an almost complete rewrite – which sounds like even less fun. I love the community that’s formed here. I love that this creative outlet existed and am proud that we were able to build something in our spare time that served the community this long and resulted in so many stories. But, when Google shuts down OpenID, you’ll be locked out and I don’t have a solution for that.

What happens next? Here’s what’s going to happen between now and the time I shut the site down, and what I need from the community.

Kevin’s list:

  • I’ll create the static version of the site so the transition from the current site to the archive is straightforward and seamless.
  • I’m going to remove all the passwords and other incriminating personal information from the code and put it up on github so if someone wants to use it, they can. It’s over four years old, so be prepared to battle some dragons.
  • I’m going to create XML and JSON archives of all the stories and put them up somewhere so the community can do something interesting with them if they want to.

The community’s list:

  • Publish any stories you want to make sure are included in the archive before September 5th.
  • Help me find spam so we can remove it before we put everything in a glass case for posterity. You can report it on this GetSatisfaction thread.
  • Back up your stories if you want.
  • Share your favorite Ficly memories in the comments.
  • Call me dirty names under your breath.

And in closing, I want to say a huge thank you to the Ficly community for hanging out here and creating things on this little app we built. It’s brought me a lot of joy over the years, and it hurts me to shut it down, but it’s time for me to stop feeling guilty for it and make room for me to be guilty about all new stuff.

Keep writing, and be happy.


Kevin Lawver


  • HSAR

    So many stories to be told, so little time to write them!

  • Robert Quick

    R,I,P. us.

  • Tad Winslow

    Guilt has to be the most useless emotion. No need for it at all! You did an amazing job bringing this site together from the ficlet ashes, and now you’re going to devote your time and effort (yet again) and make us an archive? That’s evidence of a big heart, my man. I’m proud of what you accomplished here. I’ll keep my eyes open for your next big idea, whatever that may be. Thank you and farewell.

  • ethelthefrog

    Thank you so much, Kevin, for all that you’ve done for us. You’ve been brilliant and you have no reason to feel guilty. This has been a fantastic place to hang out and, even those of us who were infrequent visitors have benefitted hugely from having a space to create stuff and play with ideas, collaborate with others and give and receive feedback. You know the deal.

    Thank you.


  • Kevin Lawver

    You guys are going to make me cry. Thank you!

  • RockPaperScissors

    Ficly has been with me through the dark, more dark, and the miraculous exponential growth of happiness that I have been climbing up for years now. Aside from being a place where I could share and develop my feelings through many poems about events in my life, it has also been a place where friends live—not just other ficliteers, but also the characters that I’ve created (if only for 1024 characters). Thank you so much for allowing a place like that to exist. I hope that I may be able to find another site like this with such a positive and thriving writing community. Good luck to you, all of the administrators and users of the site!

  • Cariad Ceffyl

    Thank you Kevin and guys and Community for accepting me when others didn’t. I will forever be grateful for this group of fellow writers- yea fellow writers. Because thanks to all of you I can actually consider myself a writer. Your encouragement over the past year has meant more than you will ever know- God Bless You All and May you Never stop writing and putting your works out there for others to Enjoy!

  • Stovohobo

    Thanks so much for your work, Kevin. I can’t think of anything on the Internet that had a more positive influence on me—not even just as a writer, but as a person—than Ficlets and Ficly. It was a type of community you couldn’t get anywhere else and made a very real contribution to my growing up (and served as a cringeworthy record of it too. All I can say is thank god for anonymity. Like ohmigod I made a ficlets account before puberty).

    I’m thinking of that Ira Glass quote on creativity that "the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions…. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” This is the place that let me do that, and even tricked me into thinking it was play. I’m a much, much better creator for it.

  • Jim Stitzel

    I really need to finish learning Ruby on Rails. I tried to start working on that last year so I could pitch in and try to upgrade Ficly and keep it growing — but as usual life stuff got in the way. I may make another stab at it soon and see if I can’t work something out. Or build something very similar on a WordPress platform, which I do know already. I dunno. Ficly has been such a huge part of my writing life the last few years, and I feel very loyal to it. I hate to see it just die without making an effort to extend its life.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Last time Ficlets ended we threw life preservers to each other and held on fast and tight. We went to protagonize, and we chatted, and we skyped. We linked up on facebook and joined the Ficly page when it came out.

    Some tried to make forums, but nothing stuck. It was Kev and Jason and Joe that did it. They created something from dreams and light and BOOM it became home.

    This time it feels more final. This feels more like exhaling for the last time.

    It doesn’t mean a rebirth can’t happen. It doesn’t mean that we won’t find our way back together through the wires. It doesn’t mean we won’t join groups, chats, or hands.

    But it does mean things will be different.

  • Robert Quick

    If you want to find me:

  • Lighty

    I haven’t been around as often on here as I wanted to be but I’ve loved every story I’ve read, every comment, every interaction on here has been wonderful. It was awesome.

  • Riley

    been a good run guys. <3

    find me here:

    or here

  • m0ri

    ah, really liked this place while it lasted.
    i’ll be sure to start saving my works on here and transfer them elsewhere.

  • HSAR

    @Jim: I have no experience with Ruby on Rails, but that’s never stopped me the last half-dozen times I crash-coursed my way into a new language. I’m asking around for friends who have spare hosting space.

    Maybe we can make this work.

  • HSAR

    For those who would, you will always find me at: shusamchen at gmail dot com

  • inky blue

    I can’t believe it’s ending! Several years and three profiles later and I’m still gobsmacked. We’ve produced so much here. Let’s make the last few weeks count. I love everyone here. You can find me at :)

  • Jim Stitzel

    @HSAR – I’m actually kicking around the idea of rebuilding a Ficly-like environment, but on a WordPress platform, which is something I do know. I spent most of yesterday playing with RoR and finally threw my hands up in futility when I failed (again) to be able to get the damn thing running. RoR is not the most user-friendly thing in terms of getting even a basic install setup, worse when you’re trying to get it working for an app like Ficly that’s still running on a version of Ruby that’s a couple of generations old. I think it might actually be easier to start over with a new platform and build up from there. That said, I’m not opposed to still trying to learn RoR, but yeah, it’s a major headache.

  • HSAR

    While I have no particular qualms about switching to Wordpress, I’ve never tried anything dynamic on it. But really, learning to use it would be no different to learning Ruby. It’s all just technical documentation and copious/vicious/virulent profanity until something gives.

  • August 2nd

    One last look around the house before we go…

  • August 2nd

    For anyone who would like eBooks (epub format) of Ficly content, please let me know. I have a substantial collections of monthly digests available for free download. I haven’t run any digests in the past year so I’ll try to get it all done before the site changes. If anyone would like a collection of their own works in epub format, whether from one account or several, please contact me and provide the name(s) of the account(s) that you’d like to have collected. I can be reached at,, or

    Thanks to everyone here, even those with whom I’ve disagreed about matters, for a wonderful experience. As Bilbo Baggins said, “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” A special note of thanks to my collaborators Robert Quick and Jessica Cahill for In Between Minds and to THX 0477, Drake West, JonB and Pablo Vilas for Noir. Thanks, Kevin.

  • Abby (LoA)

    I don’t even know what to say. Thank you so much to everyone who made this a thing. I can’t quite believe i’s ending.

  • Isla

    From the memorial of Ficlets 2009 ( to the Ficly memorial 2014 ( farewell all…until the next time.

  • HSAR

    Following from August’s offer, I have an automatic typesetter (for TeX, a popular typesetting program) designed to collect together a series, whether it be from one author or several. Please contact me at the email I supplied above if you have a collaborative series that you would like typeset.

  • Reaver19

    I can’t believe it’s going away….WE WILL NEVER FADE AWAY!!!! Loved all of the stories that made me laugh, cry, rage. Love all of you who made me a better writer/person more. Best wishes to all and to the guys who had the sand to create said website. And you kev for your speedy help to fix my profile haha.

    Frankie out!

  • Jim Stitzel

    Ok, gang, I’m taking on the challenge of developing a new Ficly-inspired site that will continue this tradition we’ve come to love so much. I’ve set up a very rough temporary site under my personal domain that will serve as a transition point between Ficly and its successor. You can find it here:

    I did touch base with Kevin before doing this, lest anyone fear I’m just trying to elbow him out of the way, and he’s fine with this. As such, the new site will have a new name and its own dedicated URL ultimately, but this is a first step so that we have someplace to call home once Ficly officially closes its doors in a couple of weeks. Registration is open, so sign up for an account. There is also a forum, and I want to solicit ideas and feedback from everyone. Obviously, this new site is going to be different from Ficly in many ways, but I hope to also preserve many of the features here that we love.

  • Kevin Lawver

    Just so no one doubts Jim’s word, and to clarify – y’all should feel free to build whatever you want out of the stories here, just don’t call it Ficly. I also would recommend you start with your own code base, your own ideas and just link to the stories here if you want to (because the stories will stay here at the same URLs they had before). It will make building your own thing easier, and save you a lot of time trying to figure out how to import 35,000+ stories into your shiny new app.

  • The Night Angel

    I was never as active here as I wanted to be. I tired, I really did, but trying just isn’t enough. I plan to register for Jim’s budding site (and help out if I can) and post there once its up and running. This site, for the little I used it to share my works, really helped me to develop my writing more, and I don’t want to miss out on the experience that so many others had here with the community. I may not be an original Ficlet-er or anything, but I enjoyed reading other’s stories and contributing my own.

  • Scrawler's Secret

    I know my voice has fallen silent in recent times… but this place has always held a special place in my heart. On Ficlets it is what prompted me to take writing seriously. And Ficly was always my reminder to sit down every now and again to create something. Thank you Kevin for all your work. No need for guilt. It is not the end of a story, just a chapter. A single Ficlet/Ficly waiting for a sequel. (And I see Jim has already wrote a few letters of that.) Write on.

  • Joshua Leon

    I am saddened by the end of such an amazing website, but I hope that the community and services can continue on in Jim’s new site! I am willing to give it a try! Good luck, Jim, and good bye Ficly! :(

  • Kevin Lawver

    I’ve heard of another community member working on something as well. May a thousand flowers bloom!

  • HSAR

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen comments spill onto a second page.

  • Kihd

    Wow. This is sad. I feel like this website was the backbone of my adolescence. Maybe this is a sign. I love you, guys. Thanks for everything.

  • Kihd

    Please, add me!!!

  • Jae

    Farewell to you, fellow writers. I have remained loyal to this place through much adversity, and I will always think fondly of the years I spent here, developing the crafting of words.

  • JonB

    Good God, I turn away for five minutes to make the tea and do the washing up, and they close the effing site down!

    What on earth are we all supposed to do now? Get on and do some proper writing, I suppose. But, you know, doing proper writing was never so much fun as Ficly: those little flakes struck from the creative core, stories half-finished, stories barely started, narrative splinters, crumbs, fragments. For me, using this site felt rather like going through one’s kitchen cupboards and using up all those odd and obscure ingredients that one can never remember buying, or the reason why they were needed, and yet have been lurking at the back for years. Many well past their use-by date perhaps, and ordinarily not ingredients that one would normally combine (custard, quince jelly, cajun spice; theology, noir, Edwardian ghost stories, etc) and yet Ficly was a place where one felt comfortable to do just that, and not care too much about the consequences.

  • JonB

    Of course, I’m spilling over into a second comment here, which is probably a bad sign – but an apt demonstration, nonetheless, of the mischief that occurs when I am not confined to 1024 characters, and have had a glass of wine.

    I’ll miss the place and the people, I really will – especially my collaborators (THX, 32 ^2, August 2nd, HSAR, Pabo Vilas, Drake West), but all the other fine writers on this site. I’ve loved reading and commenting on your work (though some of you may not have like me doing so – but hey, that’s criticism for you) and am deeply perturbed that I’ll now have to find other things to be generally positive but mildly critical about (but I live in the UK, so really, this won’t be a problem). Thanks Kevin, for creating and supporting this wonderful thing for as long as you have – here’s hoping that the boffins get it together and launch a new site without (much) delay. I hope to see many of you there and in the meantime, of course – keep on writing.
  • RoseTone ~LoA~

    I feel only a brief modicum of regret for the blithe way this may come out, but it’s not going to be that rough since I’ve got about 12 ficly members within an hours drive….

    It’s been good. Contact me at:

  • ethelthefrog

    Since Kevin made the announcement that Ficly is stopping, I’ve been working flat-out on coding up a replacement site. It’s ugly as sin and not quite ready for you yet, but I’m hoping to have something that is just-about usable going live in the next 24 hours.

    So far, I’ve got user registrations, stories and comments, a little bit of blog, and a front page. I hope to import all of the stories and comments from Ficly once Kevin releases them, so we can carry on the conversation with as little disruption as possible. Kevin did tell me that doing an import like that was going to be very difficult and I can’t promise that it will work, but I’m going to try.

    As Kevin said, Ficly used Google and other providers for user registration and password management. My platform has its own user management, but that means that you’re going to have to register an e-mail address with the site and click on a link that you will get in an e-mail when you register. Sorry about that: there’s no real way around it.

  • ethelthefrog

    As I said, I’m concentrating on basic functionality for now, which means that the site is currently looking like a steaming pile of spaghetti and meatballs after the enthusiastic intervention by a four-year-old with a fork and nothing to lose. On the upside, once the functionality is in, making it look pretty is quite easy.

    I’ll announce the name and address of my site as soon as it is open for registrations. I’m hoping to get that done within 24 hours, so there is at least something for people to use before Ficly goes static.

    Ficly may be going quiet, but the creativity can live on.

  • HSAR

    It’s this kind of thing that makes the Internet special, I think – little niches of shared interest, carved out by the brave and the daring. Tiny havens of creativity and happiness. The Internet brings us together in a way that could not happen in real life, for so many mundane and social reasons.

    Never stop writing.

  • ethelthefrog

    Right. The site is up, albeit on a server in my house. Please don’t mind the dust on the piano as you fly past. I’ve got some proper hosting in the pipeline, which will improve things in the next few weeks.

    is where it’s at. Please do join in and help me to keep the Ficly flame burning brightly in this wonderful community that Kevin worked so hard to create. I love you all, and look forward to seeing you for a latte.

  • JonB

    It works! I’m there. Congratulations ethelthefrog. I knew the scientists would save us in the end.

  • HSAR

    I love that name. Signed up myself, although I can’t seem to add comments yet.

    Got source? After my internship finishes and I’ve tidied away Airships, I can come help out.

    Never stop writing!

  • ethelthefrog

    Sorry… A little difficulty sending to addresses. Should be fixed now.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Great work, ethel!

  • Murj;

    I feel bad that I didn’t take advantage of this place while it was up. I’ll admit life got in the way (as it does to all of us) but I did like writing my nonsense on here for people to see. Is anyone else here on reddit? I’m MeowyTheCat, in case something similar to Ficly pops up some time.

    I’m going to try and post one more story before the ship sinks. It was nice writing and talking to you all, as briefly as I was around.

  • signed, poet


  • ...Still BARomero

    So this is goodbye for the second time. I’ve loved reading and sharing with you guys these many years, although I’ve been notoriously sporadic about it, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you guys again, whether it’s at another writing site, or just on Facebook.

    Keep on writing, everyone!

  • Princess Binky Lemontwist (LoA)

    Well I am officially depressed

  • Garsecg

    I haven’t been into ficly in ages but I’m still going to miss it.

  • Tad Winslow

    Todd Dowey from Portsmouth NH. Find me. Friend me. Let me know who you are :)

  • Iris...Alone

    This is the place that I came to heal myself. I used this site to vent and feel what others felt. It’s so sad that it’s really the end. I’ve learned so much from posting stories on this site and reading what others thought of my writing. Reading the stories of others helped contribute to my own writing. And many times I would read something that reminded me I wasn’t alone. That I wasn’t alone in the way I thought about certain things. I would want to cry, and then I would get on Ficly and soothe all my pain. This was a beautiful website. Thank you for everything.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Many of you have ventured over to Ficlatté, which is still under construction, but full of FAMILY and LOVE, which feels good.
    I am no longer saddened.
    If you friend me, and please do, but you change your penname, tell us in your bio who you were.
    Unless you wish to have a new start. :P

  • HSAR

    Having finished Airships, I feel that I can finally say goodbye to Ficly.

    I love you all as much as I love writing, for the two are forever intertwined.

    Never stop writing.

  • RoseTone ~LoA~

    Well… That’s it then.

  • Princess Binky Lemontwist (LoA)

    The suspens is killing me. Like standing in front of a firing squad that are still cleaning their guns

  • Kevin Lawver

    The site won’t go away – it’ll just be completely static soon. I’m having “issues” backing things up and creating the static version, so you’re stuck with this half-alive thing.

  • Tad Winslow

    Haha, half alive. I love how brutal that is, ficly, my old friend. This will always be alive to me no matter what it’ll become.

  • ethelthefrog

    Ficlatte development continues, and everyone is welcome to join in the fun at

    It’s not nearly as pretty as ficly at the moment, but I’m working on it.

  • someday_93

    I don’t know if you know or not that you can still log in/write/comment/etc, just not from the main page – but maybe this was the half-alive to which you were referring! I just came back to Ficly after a long time away and am sad to see it went the way of Ficlets, but grateful for the amazing time we had.

  • HSAR

    You can’t log in any more, but weren’t signed out if you were already logged in. This is my last device which can still sign in, and I suspect I’ll be gone before too long as well.

    While you’re still here, though, you can still do everything you used to.

  • davidkcyip

    Hey guys, so sad to see Ficly has so little activity but I’ve recently created a collaborative authoring-platform called Bloqly. I’ve imported all of the stories and users from Ficly so if you would like to check it out go to If you are registered at Ficly, then you will already have an account in Bloqly. However, I have no-one’s email address, so if you would like to use the site, please email with your Ficly username and email address and we will generate a new password to your mailbox.