Huge Proposition by Elsha Hawk and Mostly Harmless

(Since I’m too busy to write, here’s something challenging from ElshaHawk and Mostly Harmless… join the fun! – Kevin)

Well, Ficly Folk, it has been a full year of writing, socializing, rating, and replying. I don’t know about you, but I love this site and try to foster it as a home for nurturing the ranting lunacies that transform into lucid and awesome stories worthy of publication.

With that said, I have a proposition. See, the servers are not free, but the ficly website is open to all. This website is nothing without people; just a few servers and some code. It’s up to us to breathe the life inside and keep it alive. I propose we publish some ficlies into a small book, affordable for nearly everyone on the site, sell it, and the profit be donated to Ficly.

Here’s how:

RULE No. 1: In the comments section under this blog post, you nominate a ficly that touched you. See, you can’t nominate your own, because Ficly is about community, and for this project, check your egos at the door. Again, I know it hurts your egos, but *DO NOT NOMINATE YOUR OWN STORIES(.

When the next blog post goes up, I will invite you to vote for your two favorite pieces. (Details on that to come)

I know that a) this will take some time to find that perfect story and nominate it and also that b) some people will miss out. (This may become a multi-volume deal, YIPES!) So I am going to open the publishing to two categories, prose and poetry.

RULE No. 2: NO MATURE STORIES. We want this to be read and purchased by those that choose not to view mature tagged stories.

I am going to use to publish in black and white, standard size. Blurb accepts Euros, Pounds, Australian and Canadian Dollars, so I hope all who want to purchase a book will be able to. The book will be published under creative commons, just like the website, so keep that in mind.

In 12 point font, one ficly fits nicely on a page.


There will be at least 37 winning stories! (depends on title page and copyright page requirements)


Depending on poem length, 37-ish poems too!

Again, details to come on the voting half of this blog post about how many stories, how to vote, how votes will be tallied, etc. I will also let you know what stories/poems are the ‘winners’.

So if you think you’ll buy a copy to keep Ficly alive, nominate!



  • Nancy

    Does take American dollars? This is a fantatsic idea.

  • Kevin Lawver

    Yep, Blurb definitely takes American dollars.

  • Tad Winslow

    Wow, I’m so excited to be a part of this. Anything to help ficly succeed. I’ve read plenty of stories and thought that could be published! XD

  • kaellinn18

    Very interesting idea! I will have to think about who to nominate.

  • Anonymuncule

    Man, what a cool idea. There are so many people on here who churn out amazing work, it will be tough to choose nominees. Can we nominate a series? Are you guys planning on posting individual stories, or would you group a series into one story?

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    I’m planning on individual stories to keep page counts low and give the greatest number of people a chance to be published.

  • Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    Just one nomination??

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    originally, I was going to leave it at one, to keep myself from drowning in a sea of stories. It is just little ol’ me tied to this computer.. So let’s cap it at two to save my sanity and that’s IF you can’t just send one and maybe get a friend to nominate another…

  • Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    Hehe, okay. I have a day off tomorrow so I’ll start browsing then :)

  • Charlie K

    Now, when you say nominate a story that touched us, do you mean a caring, sentimental story, or just a story that was awesome and really stuck with us?

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    All of the above. You can’t go wrong with awesome, but the book needs caring too. You think it’s hard to choose now, wait until you have to vote!

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Prose and poetry will be published in separate books, just FYI!

  • Brebelles {LoA}

    This has been my favorite for a while..
    It’s a series tho :/

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    so do you want that one story nominated? cuz i can’t accept the whole series…

  • StudMuffin (LoA)

    THIS was what Ficly has been waiting for!

    But, what if I have a certain poem that I wrote that I believe is the best thing I have ever written in my entire life and I want it in the book!??!

  • StudMuffin (LoA)

    And I believe that you should keep them in the same book.
    That way, we could sell them. Like out to the world.

    More people would be willing to buy a 64 page book than a 37 page one

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    well, that is up for debate, then. I just felt less money necessary to purchase means more donations, as more people can afford them. And if you want your own stuff in a book so badly, then go publish it yourself.

  • Abby (LoA)

    cool idea you two. I agree with studmuffin though. I find it hard to narrow it down to even five ficlies. I’ve been here a fair while and there are just too many. I almost feel like not nominating any because there are so many…I think it might provoke a little tension.

  • lastsyllable

    I’m actually with Elsha on this regarding both size and genre division. As nice as it might be to mix them, keeping costs down and appealing to separate markets is probably the wiser route.

    In terms of nominations, I think up to five is fine; if anything, better to have more people with more options, because then if something is nominated multiple times it will be a clear good choice.

  • Kevin Lawver

    Remember, kids, anyone can take stories and make a book out of them. That’s the wonderful thing about Creative Commons. Want to make a book out of all your stories? Go right ahead! Want to make a book with what you think are the best series on the site? Do it!

    Since Elsha has to collate and gather everything for her collection, she gets to set the rules. If you want to do your own thing, awesome. In fact, I’d love to see more remixes and crazy repurposing of stories happen. Please, the content is here and is licensed in the friendliest way possible. It’s here to be used and made more interesting!

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    And so far we have one nomination, if I count the love story by D S as a single, without the sequel.
    If people don’t nominate at least once, I’ll have to open the floor to multiple nominations by a few, which is much more unfair.
    I’ve had old ficliers saying “but no one will pick mine”. I’m trying to be as fair as possible in this half, so people will vote fairly in the second half.

  • Abby (LoA)

    woah…hold on, because Elsha said two nominations. I know anyone can make a book, but I guess everyone is just too shy to do it. For me, when I post something on ficly, it is published in my eyes. I write poetry and novels outside of ficly. It feels like publishing something twice. I still think it’s a great idea. I’m just not sure how clear the boundaries are.Elsha says one thing and lastsyllable’s saying something else. Confused =[

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    that was her opinion. I still don’t want to be swamped. Plz limit yourselves! If everyone gave me five entries, well, not only would I be swamped, but you the voter would spend hours reading them all, narrowing down your favorites, and getting the final votes cast.

  • lastsyllable

    Yeah mine was just an opinion! We go by whatever Elsha decides.

  • wordwill

    This is a lovely idea. I put together a little hand-bound book of Ficlets, to commemorate that site back when, and I’d love to see regular versions of books spotlighting (and supporting!) Ficly, too. Here’s my applause to all y’all putting this together.

  • Marli

    What a splendid idea. Creative genius Elsha and M.H. and the people in the wings.

  • Marli

    What about a $2 donation to put in a ficly for nomination? This could be used as part of the costs.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    As far as I know, there isn’t a donation site up right now. Blurb just does a charitable cause thing..

  • H.S. Wift

    OK. I’m sorry but this is actually so easy for me, because to me a story worthy of nomination is a story that sticks with you. And the story that’s stuck with me and still rings in my head to this very moment is #88 Footprints on the Moon by PJ. I always loved the moral of that story, that we cannot imagine the accomplishments we can achieve.

    It’s if anyone wants to revisit it. I’d like to see one of my stories nominated, because I feel some of my best work is on this site, but I’ll feel that justice has been done if this story reached publication. And lastly, a more general point to the ficly community. When it comes to writing, never believe the sky’s the limit, when there are footprints on the moon.

  • Mr.Gabriel

    Well. Looks like more than half of my stories breaks rule number two. As for nominating stories, huh. Not sure there have been stories that have stuck with me, but maybe I’ll go back and check.

    Also, great idea Elsha. Interesting and fun way to get money for Ficly. Maybe we’ll even have enough leftover to get the Inspiration button working.

  • stargazer1960

    I think this is a fantastic idea. Are we going to have sections- fiction, non-fiction, poetry? Very cool.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    This singular girl doesn’t have the energy to break it into sections! I did think about more divisions, but it’s not possible to do them in time. TIME! I didn’t mention time! This particular project has a summer deadline. If it works, consideration will be taken in future projects being more segregated.

  • Textual Phoenix

    My creativity and (by extension) presence on Ficly has been decidedly absent this last year. However, I think this book of Ficlys is a fabulous idea and, should it come to fruition, I will definitely pic one up! This is an incredibly creative community, and if it helps keep it alive, I’m in!

  • Music-Hearted

    This is great! I’ll probably nominate something when I get the chance. I think that this could be great for Ficly =]

  • H.S. Wift

    About the whole sections thing… I personally think that there should be all sorts – poetry, ifction, non-fiction, but I believe that they should be interspersed among each other.

    *Yes, ifction is apple’s attempt at a story.

  • Lighty

    I nominate: (This was really, really hard but these two stories I remembered, and remember being affected by, which I think is a huge component of being a good story.)

    Thirsty? by The Third Robot
    This is the best, most coherent, bit of nonsense I have read in a long time.

    On the Outside by Jessica Cahill
    This stuck in my mind, the transition of emotions displayed is subtle, vivid, and it’s all a little haunting. It’s part of a stunning series of A Journey, which is so worth a read! Aloft by Falconesse from the same nearly got this nomination.

    Also, do we get separate nominations for poetry and prose or are our two nominations for both categories?

    One last thing: Great idea!

  • Mostly Harmless

    Well I’m glad this has taken off and the nominations have started to come in – laying down ground rules wasn’t by any means easy, but at least for this first endeavour at offering ficleteers the opportunity to see their own and their collaborator’s writing in print, they’ll have to do…

    I intend to submit my nominations later today – I think I know at least one I’m going to go with, but the other is troubling me!

    Thank you, Ficleteers, for your ongoing support of this brainchild…

    MH :)

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Lighty, you may submit two for poetry as well. So that’s 4 nominations, people. :) I am not wonder woman after all.

  • Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    Ooh, yay, I’m nominated :D And it’s one of those damned poems too… :P
    I’d better get to selecting my nominations…

  • Tad Winslow

    Flash Flood by Elizabeth Gallenberg is extraordinarily excellent and absolutely deserves publication. I nominate her for the story booklet. Here’s the address to her fantastic story.

  • kaellinn18

    For prose, I nominate “Jumper, Perhaps” by nagi_schwarz ( and “Deep” by Phil Plait (

  • Edcrab

    What an interesting idea! Okay so right now, prose-wise I’m thinking:

    Ad Astra Per Apiarium by lastsyllable —
    Ignorance is Bliss by Mostly Harmless —

    …and I’ll come back with something more concrete for poetry- I’ll have to read up on ‘em. Haven’t read many poems around here yet!

  • H.S. Wift

    OK, Ive nominated one, other three will come later, if I decide to actually nominate. All I can say is that my best writing is on this site. I will be extremely upset if I dont get nominated. Also some of my worst writing, but you can ignore that stuff.

  • Elizabeth Gallenberg

    I nominate “Writing Class With Mr. Stitely” by Le Héros Tragique —

    I really love the humor of it, and the strong voice.

  • Mostly Harmless

    Right. In the end, I went with gut instinct for my nominations – I know some people will peruse through endless stories of Ficly yore, but the first nomination come ridiculously easily, and the second one came after a bit of thinking:

    A Cold September, by Mighty-Joe Young

    Silent Communion by Robert Quick

    Regards, and thank you to Edcrab for MY nomination…
    MH :)

  • Schnappi

    I’m new here, so I rely on your suggestions :)
    Marli: micro-donations are not a good idea for those of us who do not pay in US$ (banker’s fees!)

  • Mostly Harmless

    Schnappi, by all means peruse through the back-catalogues of Ficleteers, or nominate something fresh off the press which you think is worthy…

    Nominations from Ficleteers of all lengths of time spent here are welcome, and encouraged!

  • kaellinn18

    For poetry, I nominate “Contusion” ( by Ana Cristina. I’ll probably nominate another one, but that’s the only poem that really stands out in my memory at the moment.

  • Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    Poetry nomination: Let’s Die by Tad Winslow
    I loved it.

    I’ll think of the rest later…

  • Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    Story noms…
    Atmosphere by Music-Hearted
    Is it music or noise? by H.S. Wift

  • Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    I might be getting someone else to nominate for me… or can I just say “I’m using so-and-so’s nomination to nominate…”?

  • Mostly Harmless

    I don’t know what the rules are on transferring nominations – although my first instinct is that it’s not really in the spirit of what we’re doing here…

    Accept the rules as meaning that the vote limit is per person not just per account…

    MH :)

  • Schnappi

    My nomination: Candyfloss & Heineken!

  • H.S. Wift

    I am nominating Curtain Call by MH next.

    URL is

    I loved the story.

  • Eloquent Mess {(LoA)}

    Poetry: – “The Third Chair Gets Heard” by Not You – “Dreams of Avalon” by ALRO613

    Prose: – “When the Pawn Hits the Floor” by Rachel Addison Miller – “Entropy” by Claire’s Horrors

    Three of these submissions are by authors who are no longer with us. One has passed away, one was distracted by thoughts of life and death, and one became addicted to heroin. All three are dear friends of mine.

    Then there’s ALRO613, long-time ficleteer and still going strong! (Keep it up, friend.) His submission is a tribute to the dearly departed ficleteer mentioned above, beloved Jesi, wife of Mighty Joe Young.

    Each of these entries is close to my heart, and I believe they’re quite good. I hope you’ll feel the same.

  • Tad Winslow

    Thanks for the nom nod, PJ! :D

    My poetry nomination is Abby Wall’s, A Photo Album Day

    It’s an original descriptionally and emotionally packed poem.

  • Lighty

    This is getting so exciting!
    My second lot of nominations(Poetry) are:
    Meta Poem by Kaellinn18
    I’ll repeat my own comment: I am in awe.

    Let’s Die! by Tad Winslow
    This was a much harder choice, but this one me over on it’s tone. I have never had death addressed at once so appealingly and meaningfully at the same time, while remaining casual!

    So that’s all four of my nominations, and not that this counts but again vying for my vote was To A Summer Past by Yuriy Zubovski, which people should take a look at.

  • nesdil

    this is a fantastic idea! i cant wait.

  • Music-Hearted

    Here are my story nominations— Words Left Unsaid by Ruby Slippers


    In J-Wing, all the hallways look alike by Elizabeth Gallenberg

  • Robert Quick

    This is a terrific idea! Look at how the community comes together! I am proud to be a part of this, even if it is just for votes. Speaking of which, my votes are for the following-


    Flash Flood by Elizabeth Gallenberg

    Just Desserts by August Rode


    Children of the Corn by Raymond Finn

    I, Who Never Arrived by Music-Hearted

    Mostly Harmless- Thank you very much for the nomination.

    Elsha Hawk and Mostly Harmless- Are you going to include in outside information such as tags, challenge winners, featured, or popular status’? Not a criticism, just curious…

    Everyone else- Good luck and make your votes count!

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    @Lighty Let’s Die has already been nominated, so you get an extra poetry vote!
    @Robert Quick I’m not sure how much outside information I can fit, but I will consider it!

  • Mostly Harmless

    @RobertQuick: Flash Flood has also already been nominated, so feel free to nominate again!

  • Anonymous writer < an amazing story, writting by mostly harmless :) a dear friend of mine :D

  • THX 0477

    I struggled with how to do this, since there isn’t a convenient way to go back and review comments I’ve left. In the end I realized that when a story really touches or inspires me I wind up doing a sequel or prequel. After going back through my most recent sequel attempts, the stand outs are… Second Chancers series by browncoatben [here just nominated the first installment that caught my imagination] about painting a storm by Elsha Hawk

  • blusparrow (LoA)

    im not gonna read all these comments lol. it seems like i missed a lot. ill look through stories ive read and let you know my nomination soonnn

  • blusparrow (LoA)

    and so i ended up reading anywayss. it seems as though some people have stole some of my nominations already =P

  • Robert Quick

    Update- as one of my nominations had already been nominated.

    Foggy Memories by Mostly Harmless

  • TheRealBeale


    Broken Winter’s Poem – THX 0477

    A Farmhand’s Last Laugh – Mostly Harmless


    Last Writes – Mostly Harmless

    Pulsations – Sam Ervin

  • Sam Ervin

    Gosh, Beale, thanks!

    I really should write more sometime.

    I’d like to nominate Hollow Resolution by Silven.

  • Raymond Finn

    I have two nominations for the Prose book, but it was very hard to go back and find all the entries I had rated 5 out of 5 and read them again.

    1) Memoraphilia by DredZed
    I just loved the idea of memories being consumed like drugs. I hadn’t come across that before, and I think it’s kind of rare to find such a great but unique idea at ficly.

    2) Does Brian Seem Different To You? by Robert Quick.
    I loved this little horror story. I knew it was good when I could so easily picture myself reading it to my little nephew, and scaring the crap out of him.

  • Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    Okay, last poetry nomination from me:

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Alright, you have until Wednesday to get your nominations in! So far, 32 stories and 15 poems have been nominated! at this rate, we are looking at one book..

  • kaellinn18

    Maybe if you don’t get enough nominations for two books, allow people who have participated thus far to nominate one each (prose/poetry) of their own work for consideration? Just a thought.

  • Charlie K

    Yeah, I would love to nominate my own stuff! Because no one else will! Guess that says something about my writing, huh?

    Oh, and these were my nominations:

    What was his is now yours by The Dark Hillbilly
    Finding Anna by Someday_93

    A Promise is a Promise by Mighty Joe Young
    Applesauce and Nonsense by Someday_93

  • Raymond Finn

    Just for fun, I took all the nominations in the thread so far, and took copies of everyones avatar in the order they were nominated. (No duplicates though.)
    Then because it wasn’t a decent number (34), I added Kevin as the force behind the ficly site, and Elsha and Mostly Harmless went next to him, since they conceived this little project. The end result, is a mock up of a little book cover, which I hope you all like.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    That book cover looks awesome! What a way to honor those nominated! Don’t forget voting will start sometime tomorrow… I think.. and I hope all those authors have a piece in the book! We’ll see how it goes.

  • Raymond Finn

    One minor point, about
    I’ve used the latest version of their software, and I’m not impressed by it. Within minutes, I found several critical formatting bugs, such as the “Justified” formatting inserting line breaks after the apostrophe in words like “haven’t”. This means they appear as

    So do be careful when proof-reading.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    thanks! I may have to change my choice of publisher.. I’ll make sure they deliver worldwide.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Also, I used their photo book software to make my first book, and I wasn’t completely impressed. I am shopping around now.

  • Kevin Lawver

    MagCloud ( may be worth checking out. It wouldn’t be a book, but you can create some really nice stuff with them (I think you just give them the PDF, so you can generate it however you want).

  • lastsyllable

    Well, now I have to change my avatar! :-P

  • Charlie K

    I recommend Lulu ( It’s easy to use, I’ve never seen a bug, and they ship all over the world.

  • Lighty

    Here is my re-done poetry nomination:
    To A Summer Past by Yuriy Zubovski

    Also, if none of the already suggested online services work out, I know an independent publisher who uses a print on demand set up with lightningsource(.com) which he says is the most cost effective way for a large number of books. Lulu got recommended but for small numbers(five/ten) which (hopefully) isn’t what is needed here.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    My favorite so far is createspace. Thanks for the suggestions! I’m going to look into them.

  • H.S. Wift

    The events reach their climax. The threads tie together. The great site of ficly culminates into a small wad of paper that will decide the fate of ficly; a further period of intellectual prosperity, or shall we see our curtain’s call?

    Though, this comment wasn’t all about getting my two cents across, I wanted to recommend that if there are any spare pages (I dont think 37 poems were nominated) would be used to house certain parts of the unused acceptance speech. That way, the entire world can see why people on ficly love it so much.

  • Anonymuncule

    A nice fantasy tale from Bluefish.

    Another one from Chtuluburger

    I wanted to do PJ’s Unhelmed, but it looks like PJ’s got a lot of coverage on here.

    Poetry doesn’t happen to be my strong point, either in writing or critical appraisal.

    Love this idea, by the way.

  • Kevin Lawver

    I appreciate the drama in your comment, @HSWift, but the book won’t decide Ficly’s fate. We’re not going anywhere, and I’ll keep paying the hosting bill. This was Elsha and Mostly Harmless’s idea to help offset those costs (because I may not be able to afford it forever without doing something horrible like putting ads up or charging for some feature on the site, which I really don’t want to do) and help out. I definitely appreciate it, and appreciate everything the community’s done to support the site and me in the last year, and even when we were all over at ficlets. It means more than you know.

    But, I don’t want anyone to think that if the book doesn’t sell like hotcakes that Ficly is going anywhere. It’s most definitely here for the long haul, and I have plans for the future, but have had a hard time finding the time to implement them. I will get around to them.

  • blusparrow (LoA)

    im sorry im doing this a little last minute but i havent had time to sit and read through things and pick what i think should be nominated till now. so here’s what i came up with:

    Overcoming a Monstrosity by .:Band Baby:.

    The Girl in the Front by Elizabeth L. Davis

    Mondshein by Bartimaeus

    Postcards and Front Porches by PJ (Zazu)

    =) i put some small ficly ppl in there that used to be well known from ficlets because well, im in the same boat as them.