ABCtales - an important announcement

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you all that if no one is found to take over ABCtales then it will close on December 31st. Costs, especially after Brexit (our server is in the USA and is paid for in dollars), have risen whilst donations have dipped - and it is now running at a loss that I can no longer sustain.

There are moves afoot to try and take it forwards. I want no money for the site but I do want guarantees that it will be run in the fair and reasonable manner it has always been administered - open to all, free from harrassment and liberal in attitude.

I do hope that someone will shoulder the responsibility but I felt it was only fair to warn you all that closure is a possibility. I will keep you informed. If you know of anyone who may feel like taking it on then please feel free to email me at

My love and thanks to you for 17 years of support and fantastic creativity.

Tony Cook


Tony, many thanks for all the effort you have put in during the years that you shouldered the responsibility. ABCtales has played an invaluable part in many people's lives, my own included. Wishing you all the very best xx Elsie

I've been here about eight years, posted hundreds of stories and blogs and had a novel published. Thank you, Tony. 


Really shocked at hearing this although not a regular contributor abctales is were I come to read short stories and poetry and to read blogs. If its any help I could definetly gaurenteed a one hundred pound donation.before christmas if this would help you mr cook stay on.board.


Stephen d

Thank you Tony, I will donate tomorrow, some money (a kidney?). I'm very sad, been here around eight years too (prev as catherweb). You've provided a hugely beneficial service and there's been so much great stuff to read. What can be done?


My story is similar to Celticman's. Thank you Tony.

We need to find a benefactor, a white knight. I realise most of us (including me) are unlikely to know anyone like this, but let's campaign on social media at least. Anyone able to set up indigogo or something?  Any suggestions?

Thanks again, Tony.

Gibbous House:  Ewan's 1st Novel No Good Deed :  Ewan's 2nd Novel At the Back of the North Wind Ewan's 3rd Novel

I guess most of us have no idea of the running costs of a site like this or how it is financed, and to try to work out what we should be giving depending on differing means/usage/donation, and of course the present financial pressures.

I suppose the level of usage and support must vary a lot. Thank you for all the hard work as well as financial backing. It seems to be serving a very useful purpose. Rhiannon


I am overwhelmed by the love and support that's come my way since putting this out yesterday. I have lots to think about. I am out for most of today but will get back to you all over the weekend.

I do love you lot!

Sorry to hear of this sad news.



Very sad news. I've no idea of the costs involved in running the site, but is it worth exploring some kind of voluntary monthly subscription for willing members ? Abc is a wonderful and important resource for creative writers. It would be a tragedy if it closed. All best wishes to you Tony.


ABCTales means so much to so many - and it's the acceptance here of everyone that I appreciate the most, I think - and what makes it unique. So fingers tightly crossed from me in the hope that the plans afoot will develop into a bright new future!


I echo the thoughts of everyone else.  There must be a way to keep Abctales going, and I for one would be happy to follow Kilb50's suggestion of a monthly subscription.  Maybe things can turn around.  My thanks to Tony also, and let's not give up hope.

Seems like a monthly subscription might be the way forward.  Not too clever with business ideas, but happy to do anything to help to keep it going.  It has been a real life-changer for me since I joined.  Tony, you're a hero. 

I was also shocked and saddened to read about this financail problem. I know I would be happy to contribute to keep this wonderful place solvent...I hope to hear next week that there is a solution to the difficutly.





Stephen d

I wish to add a sincere, heartfelt thanks to you and all your work, financial input and enthusiasm.  This site means a lot to me and has helped me develop as a writer.   Sad you are going, but I do hope the spirit you have fostered endures.



I just read the news today and I am heartbroken. I have not been long on ABCtales, just over a year now, but it has been my writer's solace and my dream come true to at least attempt to put my work out there. And it has been so fullfilling to have other's comment on it and to read and comment on other's works. I would definitely pledge to pay a monthly subscription to keep this space alive... If that is being considered please count me in. 

with much hope that ABC Tales does not close,



It would be really sad if this came to pass.  It has been a marvellous place to try out new writing and benefit from the constructive comments of fellow authors.  Hopefully, a solution can be found.  Would be happy to consider a regular subscription of some sort.

It's such a sad day.  I have been so helped by having ABC to write on over the last 12 months, making all the difference between hanging in and throwing it in.  It's already been a year of bad news so let's hope it doesn't go out on such a low note.  White knight step forward please!  But whatever happens the last 17 years will stand as a proud monument to Tony and all you people around him.   simon


Stephen d

Tony thanks so much for all your work. I am so sad to hear this news, the site has been a source of support and inspiration for me not to mention the pleasure if reading great new stuff each day. I hope you can find a way.


Hi Tony

I too would miss this site very much and think a monthly fee would be a possible way forward.


Jean Day

I'm gutted and know you must be heartbroken, Tony. I hope someone will come to the rescue.



I've been on this site for thirteen years. Thanks for everything Tony. Hope you find someone....


Really sad news. This site is an amazing forum, and most of the stories I've written over the past six years exist because I've a forum to share them on. The year prior to joining abctales I wrote a grand total of three short stories, since then I've been significantly more prolific.  Happy Island would almost certainly not exist without abctales, neither would hundreds of other ideas and scribblings.


I wish I was in a position to help out. I'd gladly take a pie in the face for abctales.


I haven't been very active lately, but that's mainly due to a temporary lack of ideas. It would be a great shame to lose another free/voluntary donation writing site, especially one as good as this.

Writing sites like this seem to be under pressure these days whether great ones like this or crappy ones. 

Many believe it's due to social networking sites like facebook. I wouldn't know I don't use them, but I do know I'd be prepared to pay a small annual registration fee and to navigate my way around a few adverts if this would keep ABC's heart beating.

Don't let the opposition grind you down!

Good luck Tony!


That's a bit of sad news Tony, this site has launched a fair few cracking writers over the years and has always been open to all. As suggested by others, an annual registration fee might be the way to go. Daft question perhaps, but would there be any chance of Lottery funding for this as a digital arts/lit site?

Sincerely hope a solution is forthcoming. Lena x



I thought the site might be closing one day I just didn't think it would be this soon. It's a great pity. It's been a boon for so many aspiring writers.

What are the alternative sites out there? I can only think of the two american ones, and, both of which I think charge a yearly or monthly subscription. Gone are the days of freebies.

HW  sad


Chris Fielden, whose website it quite a useful resource, has just added a list of writing sites where you can get feedback. Abctales is number 1, of course. I'm afraid I know nothing about any of the other sites mentioned.


abctales is a very well organised site and a great place to deposit our writing for others to read, as well as for advice and encouragement. We could do with more casual readers visiting to read, but for writers it is a great place to show our work, and to store it. Tony you, and the others who keep the site going have all done a marvellous job over the years.

I would agree that abctales needs to charge its users, in a non profit way of course. Whether by annual or monthly subscriptions or per piece of writing posted to the site. I do not know the financial situation or costs at all, so I cannot say how much this needs to be, but I would think most of us would be willing to contribute something if we are obliged to. I would think monthly subscriptions would be better, more flexible etc than annual, or a fee per posting seems a good idea to me if it could be done. I would suggest no charge for readers, just for posters/writers, because we could do with plenty of readers and they would probably be scared off by having to subscribe. The other sources of income to consider might be advertising, perhaps not too inappropriate to the ethos of the site.

White knights could well prove to be dangerous to our varied values if they were businessmen seeking to use the site to their own advantage. If we could be set up to pay our own way, with perhaps only appropriate advertisers or sponsors involved.

As an abctales member who is here to write and sometimes read i have never donated anything until last night ( small donation), mainly because I am lazy when it comes to messing around with paypal or credit cards and I come here to enjoy myself occasionally, but if the site is threatened I think we should all in some way put our hands in our pockets. If the subscription or payment system can be made or kept easy to use and not too expensive to the individual then it will work well. We will have to get used to paying something. 

those are my thoughts.


I would, naturally, be amenable to a monthly contribution - just as long as I could make it without using PayPal.


Gibbous House:  Ewan's 1st Novel No Good Deed :  Ewan's 2nd Novel At the Back of the North Wind Ewan's 3rd Novel

Yeah regarding hilarys comment about any alternative sites which are as easy to manage as abc and to be honest I have never seen any I mean I know abctales is an international place but am I also correct in thinking that it is maybe the uks biggest and most popular creative writing site which is bringing uk based creative writers together maybe apart from ukauthors although I believe that ukauthors is managed from the netherlands. Im suprised organisations such as the national lottery wouldnt help out I mean considering abctales is reaching out to vulnerable citizens in the community too. Maybe im wrong saying that im not sure.

Just want to add that I too would pay a subscription fee.

Stephen d

Hi guys, Andrea from  (now here.

I am very, very sad to see the (possible) demise of ABC. I sincerely hope a solution can be found. 

It's true UKA and ABC have had much friendly competition in the past, but we were always after the same goal - to help writers realise their full potential and get published.

Me and Tony have always remained friends and colleagues and are of the opinion that the more writing sites and opportunities for writers the better! 

We have many members in common (always have had) and we at WABD (formerly UKA) wish you all at ABC the best of luck and hope you can find someone to take over one of the best writing sites on the planet (except WABD of course :))!


I was gutted and saddened to see this news and didn't see it coming. Abc has been the glue that's kept me together in times of trouble. It is brilliantly run, has a great interface and wonderful members to boot. I don't know what I'd do without you. I have been a member for 12 years now and is my 'go to' place for reading and writing.
I would gladly give on a monthly or yearly basis. I'm amazed this hasn't come to pass sooner and is surely a testament to all that hard work that often goes unnoticed.
I'm confident that together we can can pull this round. Here's hoping!

Many thanks to you Tony for all your hard work and commitment.


I don'thave a jpb and I cannot get one abc tales has been a place where I can go to those who don't know me can help me with my work. I am mentally fragile as it is. so sad


It was a shock on my return from holiday to hear of the real possibility of ABC's closure.
This site was my first platform to showcase my writing (such as it is) in 2004 and I have been a fairly regular contributor ever since. The feedback I received from many talented authors helped me tremendously in trying to improve my input.
The financial situation is a difficult problem to resolve. A monthly subscription has been suggested but that would be discriminatory as it would exclude people who cannot afford it, either because they are unemployed or of restricted means. Others would balk at the idea and the membership would be reduced. Voluntary paltry donations would not, in my opinion, meet the estimated deficit. How many of the declared authors (19,252) are still active and willing to give?
The answer, I feel, lies in a wealthy person or organisation to take over the burden.
Is there any chance that the publisher 'Unbound' might be involved in some capacity?
I keep my fingers crossed that an alternative to demise can be found and we can continue to enjoy a site that has given us much pleasure.





I am sure this is no secret, a share of the royalties/profits/whatever from Celticman's book, Lily Poole will wind up in ABCTales hands. Those of you who haven't bought a copy could do so, thereby helping ABCTales AND receiving a copy of this very good novel.

Failing that, why not go to your local (lending) library (if you still have one) and demand that they stock copies of this book? Every little helps, why not ask Tesco if they have a copy. Check to see if it's in your local book store, if not, ask them why not?

This is something that WILL help ABCTales in a concrete manner. Why not give it a try?


Gibbous House:  Ewan's 1st Novel No Good Deed :  Ewan's 2nd Novel At the Back of the North Wind Ewan's 3rd Novel

I tried to post an explanatory comment, but for some reason it was deleted.

In short, though, people resent being asked to pay, however little. We (UKA) once tried asking for a fiver A YEAR and lost members because of it. Donations are better, people feel they are doing something constructive, and not coerced. 

Ewan's idea is a good one, although it'll never bring in much revenue, sadly.

I am saddened to hear this news. ABCTales gave me a place where I could put up my poetry and short stories, where I've connected with people I now call friends and where I read some of the work most amazing, inspiring writers. It would be a great shame to see this wonderful site close down.

I would happily pay a monthly subscription fee to keep it going. 


I came on this site today hoping a solution had been found. but I see it  has not.  I am heartbroken because I love this site so much.  It has been a source of inspiration for me in that it gave me the  confidence to put my writing out there.  Something I would never do before.  I never showed my work to anyone because I was too embarrassed so it was like a guilty secret but ABC changed all that for me. I too would be willing to pay a small fee or perhaps all the people who are prepared to pay a fee would instead pledge to donate a certain amount and if the pledges were enough to pay the costs of the site then those that could not afford a fee would still be able to use the site.  This might be a silly suggestion but I make no apologies because I am desperate enough to try anything to save the site.


In any event, I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to Tony and the team for all their hardwork over many years. 



It would be a huge loss to the world if this website went down.  I really hope there is light at the end of this tunnel.  There's talk of subscriptions, and I've never been one to step in line with that, and maintain it, but I'd absolutely go for it in order to keep this site up and running.  I joined about 7 or 8 years ago, and though I've had long breaks from it for various reasons, I've always been comfortable knowing it to be there for when I return, like a wee home.  I can't say the same thing for any other websites.  It's a safe and warm place that provides motivation and inspiration continually.  I love posting my writing here, and I love reading everyone's work when I can.  I've found myself getting hooked reading the work of writers here more than anywhere else at times.  Hope for silver lining soon.




I've just caught up with this. I think this website is a wonderful resource in its democracy, scope and supportive community. I hold out great hope for a solution to work. Keep us all posted and we'll done for everything you've poured into this.