In 2015, the Verge asked this question: “Why are the most important people in media reading The Awl?” The reason is: Because it has always been one of the best blogs on the internet. Now these sentiments will be in past tense. Sadly, The Awl has announced that it is shutting down. Its sister site The Hairpin, is closing too.
“All things reach a natural end, and that end has now come for The Awl, but we could not be more grateful for the way you made us part of your routine and took us into your hearts, so instead of saying goodbye we would just like to say thank you,” writes the blog in its farewell post.
This is a sad day for anyone who enjoys being online and reading. The Awl is what first piqued my interest in writing. I remember I once, as a college senior, wrote a rambling message to the then-editors, kind of asking for a job, kind of asking for advice. The site has consistently published some of the most memorable, funny, and intelligent posts ever since it first began in 2009. I can easily think of dozens of successful writers who first got their start with an Awl essay.
Alas, despite its status as a favorite among media types, the site wasn’t able to stay afloat. In 2016 it joined other sites to be hosted on Medium, which then announced it would stop focusing on ad revenue. Earlier this year, the blog decided to go back to WordPress–as its editor Silvia Killingsworth wrote, “personally I missed the ads.” Yet it seems these ads weren’t enough.
Let’s pour one out for The Awl. I sure will miss it.