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  • Dear Cowbirders,

    As we announced in early February, we have decided to close Cowbird to new contributions, shifting the site to a read-only archive, which we intend to keep online in perpetuity — and today is the day that we’re making that shift.

    From this point forward, no new stories, comments, messages, or loves will be allowed, and no existing stories will be editable. You can still sign in to delete individual stories and comments (or your entire account) as you wish, and you will retain these abilities going forward. You can also visit your Settings page to download your data as a nicely-formatted zip archive — within a few days, once we’ve had a chance to generate the files (look for the row that says, “Download data”).

    Certain community members have expressed interest in staying connected to one another, and possibly regrouping on another website in the future — if you would like to stay in touch in this way, you can leave your contact information here.

    On a personal note, it has been so gratifying to witness the outpouring of passion for Cowbird within the community over the past couple of weeks. It has truly been a grieving process, and I know it has stirred up difficult and complicated emotions for many of you. Overall, I’m so grateful for the love and acceptance you’ve shown to me and to each other during this time of transition. This is a special community, and one whose principles of kindness, generosity, and optimism I hope we can carry with us back into life.

    I would like to thank Dave Lauer, Annie Correal, Kristina Loring, Schuyler Swenson, Karen Duffin, Nathan Tobey, Isaac Kestenbaum, Asha Gupta, and Salman Ahmad for their help managing Cowbird over the years.

    I would like to thank the Cowbird community — nearly 15,000 authors in all, each as unique as the leaves on a tree, constantly growing and changing, whispering softly to one another, making the air better for breathing, and providing such beautiful shade.

    I would like to reiterate my invitation to Cowbird citizens to a physical gathering at my family’s farm in Vermont this summer — if you would like to attend, please email jonathan (at)

    Thank you again for your presence here over the years — for learning to witness yourselves and each other.

    Now onwards, into the journey of life!

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