Back in 2012 or so, I discovered FictionPress (the sister site to FanFiction.Net). This was the first major repository of original fiction I’d ever come across, and I was in AWE. Some of the stories on there seemed truly spectacular, and I couldn’t believe that I could read it all for free.
Okay, I was 12. A lot of the content on there definitely hasn’t withstood the test of time. But some of the stories have, and remain a frequent reread for me. Sure, they’re often clichéd, but the feel-good fluffiness is undeniable. These are the ones I want to spotlight today, because FictionPress has fallen under the radar somewhat. Its golden age ran from circa 2006 to 2013, but then some plagiarism scandals meant that the most popular stories were taken down. Within a couple of years it was massively overshadowed by the commercial behemoth that is Wattpad.
Wattpad has its uses for sure. But what I love about FictionPress is its simplicity: there’s just you, the story, and the review you can leave. None of this stuff about ads in between every chapter or ‘Ambassador Authors’ or whatever else Wattpad has come out with since I first found it in 2013.
Below, I’ve pulled together my favourite 20 free online stories from FictionPress. The first 15 are one-shots (i.e. one chapter long); the rest are multi-chaptered. Sadly, some of the ones I loved have been taken down in the intervening decade. But what’s left is definitely worth reading. To the author-given summaries I’ve appended my own blurbs.
Best Online Stories: One Shots
#1. How I Became A Teenage Voyeur by Candid
How do you snag the hot senior’s attention? Easy. Sneak up on him in the boy’s locker room.
I unreservedly love EVERYTHING about this one-shot. It’s funny, unusual, and leaves you guessing. 14-year-old Sascha is your typical freshman girl, quiet and a little dramatic; but when she accidentally follows her male friend Peter into the boys’ changing room, she runs into the half-nude Matt Sparks, the school’s golden boy. Cue mockery…from both ends. To be clear, there is no underage sex in this story (or any other on the list); the majority of them are rated T and end at kissing. Where they don’t, both characters are adults.
The writer is now-published author Nenia Campbell, whose actual books are worth checking out too!
#2. The Eleventh Annual Hide or Die Summer Challenge by Le Meg
The EAHoDSC is a long-standing tradition for Adelaide and her friends. But what happens when one of her other traditions – the delicious Charlie Harris – joins the fray? You know, besides the traditional inordinate amounts of sexual tension?
University student Adelaide has grown up with the irreverent, irrepressible Harris family. She’s had a thing with Charlie — her best friend’s charming cousin — for years now. But on the night of the Hide or Die challenge, which is basically a giant high-stakes game of hide-and-seek, they finally hash out their relationship.
At 10,000 words, this is definitely on the chunkier end of one-shots. But it’s well-written, filled with tons of UST, and has a liberal dash of wicked humour. I also recommend the excellent prequel, A Harris Family Christmas, which focuses on the first time Adelaide and Charlie see each other in a new light.
#3. The Day I Stalked Him by Vena Cava
12:05pm. Target caught masturbating in bathroom stall. 007 status: in adjacent stall, hyperventilating.
Our nameless heroine has long had a crush on 18-year-old Ashton Brody, the school’s golden boy. Blond, polite, and a member of swimming team to boot, he seems absolutely perfect. So naturally, the next step is for her to stalk him for an entire day. Surely he’ll mess up at some point, right? She’s determined to uncover his hidden drug addiction, or deviant sexual practices – anything that will kill her crush so she can finally get some peace. Only, things don’t quite go according to plan…
What we have here is short and sweet, with a little twist at the end.
#4. Always Meant Something to Me by star123
What’s a girl to do when her ten night stand throws her knickers out the window? Steal a pair of his boxers to wear of course. It’s not a big deal, until Kristie Carlson comes up and asks whether you’re wearing someone else’s underwear.
Serious, reserved Genevieve Taylor has thrown caution to the winds and let herself have a one-night-stand with her classmate, the light-hearted joker Jimmy. The only problem is, there have been ten of them, spread out over the last four years. He’s getting a little impatient with her refusal to give them a real chance. But telling the biggest gossip on campus that she’s wearing his underwear might have been a step too far…
The writer is now a published author under the name Jessie L. Star! She writes lovely Australian-set romances with splashes of angst and humour. You should read everything she’s written.
#5. Girls, Boys, and Other Enigmas by Miss Haps
“Your mom wants me to impregnate you?“
I pause. “Yes,'”I answer honestly. “She thinks you’re dreamy and has deemed you well equipped for the job.“
Kent laughs. “Well that’s true. I think I can be pretty sufficient in that area of service.”
Jilly has never been very good at socialising. Her one friend has just ditched her for a guy, and her interests – cartoons, cute animals, and hanging out with her parents – mean she’s unlike pretty much every other teenager she knows. When her neighbour and classmate Kent Stephens accidentally crashes his car into her house, however, he’s forced to spend more time with her. What follows is a delicately unfurling friendship that eventually builds up to romance.
This is a very cute, very fluffy, very long one-shot featuring an Asian heroine who might be one of the most endearing and unique characters in fiction. Kent’s realisation that Jilly isn’t the weirdo he’s always thought of is great to watch.
#6. Meet the Sheldricks by Quill-and-Blood
When you have a crazy, rather insane family, introducing them to the person of your dreams isn’t the smartest idea. Too bad my siblings never actually give me a choice.
It’s hard to describe this one, and I don’t want to give too much away as it’s better to go in without knowing much. But I will say that it’s about 18-year-old Lettie Sheldrick, who has a huge number of cousins and siblings. Their antics spice up her dating life as she attempts to go out with Brandon McArthur, who she’s worried is far too normal to deal with her family. The story is bloody funny and remarkably unique.
#7. Mustard by gum is yum
Remy’s boyfriend Matt is perfect in every way except one: he has an infuriating best friend named Jack who just loves to bother her. “Do you think I find joy in the fact that all I can ever think about is you, no matter how hard I try not to?“
Remy has been dating Matt for almost two years now. Unfortunately, he comes attached at the hip to his best friend Jack, whom she can’t stand. One day their shared love of mustard is going to force them to confront the truth that’s been staring them in the face all along.
Obviously, this is a little angsty since it features conflicted feelings for a boyfriend’s best friend. But it’s well-written and I find that one-shots are the perfect dose of angst for me.
#8. Being with You by xoxluurve
“I heard you had a girlfriend. Kirk told me she was pretty.” Her voice was wobbly.
“She’s beautiful,” he murmured.
“Do you love her?” she asked after a pause.
He said, “I’ll never love her like I loved you.”
Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe.
Larissa is a happy, normal teenager in love with her sweet boyfriend, Brandon. But then his ex-girlfriend Bree shows back up in the picture.
The perspective on this one is interesting; unlike the usual story depicting how a couple gets together, it approaches a couple who are already together. And doesn’t quite go where you expected it to. The author has lots of other cute stories too, some multi-chapter.
#9. Blue Eyes by dear-llama
Before I knew it, he had placed himself squarely in my path. And – dare I say it – he actually sounded a little angry and hurt.
“Why are you not stalking me anymore?”
Half-Asian Beth runs across a guy on campus known to her only as Blue Eyes. Soon, she’s following him from place to place…but he doesn’t seem to mind. The two of them strike up a friendship, but when Beth realises he’ll never want more, she has to take steps to protect herself.
You know the drill: cute and funny, but with a surprising degree of depth. Engagingly wacky heroine.
#10. My Meaningless Existence at a Frozen Yogurt Shop by the milk bottle
It was on that day that I began my downward spiral of meaningless sex, alcoholism, violence, and… okay, not really. But it felt close to something like that.
Our deeply cynical heroine works at the frozen yogurt shop after her university classes are done. When one particularly attractive customer comes in, she can’t bear the thought of facing him. Cue drastic measures…that backfire on her.
As you can tell from the title, expect over 4000 words of delicious snark, with a small serving of romance.
#11. Homewrecker for the Hospitalised by FizzyLizzy
It would have been the most perfect, heart-to-goo-inducing couple had I not butted my sorry ass into it. Sorry, folks.
Delia Griggs is volunteering at a hospital so she gets enough credits to graduate. When she walks in on Jacob, one of the patients, getting kissed, all seems normal – until he informs her that he has no idea who just kissed him and orders her to find out the girl’s identity. Delia’s refusal to cooperate with his high-handedness leads to some entertaining chaos.
#12. Hugs and Kisses by this is the life
She is the type of person who likes hugs and kisses. Cuddles and touches. But he isn’t. And sadly, she doesn’t know.
An anonymous couple seem to have it all going for them, until they realise they have different love languages. She loves touching…and he doesn’t. But he doesn’t know what he’s got until it’s gone.
A rather lyrical one, and a touch sadder than most of the stories on this list.
#13. Laser Tag My Heart by JAceyJInx
Something fishy was going on, and my suspicions were confirmed when Ryan walked past and told me it was just me and Zach left, all alone in this dark, dark place with many corners and hidey-holes.
Deli and Zach are best friends. But right now, they aren’t talking, and they haven’t spoken for three weeks. They’ve said some pretty unforgivable things to each other, and neither wants to be the first to give in. Then their friends trap them in a laser tag arena and they have no option but to discuss what’s wrong.
This one is less a romance than it is about the ups and downs of friendship, and what it means to hold on.
#14. I Love It When She Lies by its.nothing.special
You shouldn’t lie because it just might make him want to kiss you.
Elise and Tyler are also best friends, but with one particular benefit: every time she lies to him, he kisses her. So she’s lying a lot. When she ends up taking another guy to a birthday party instead of him, though, it drives them to solidify their relationship…because finally, it’s time for the truth. Or is it?
Infinitely funnier friends-to-lovers story than the summary suggests.
Best Online Stories: Multi-Chapter Fics
#15. I Only Date Nerds by unlikely.story
I have rules when it comes to who I’ll date, and he wants me to break every single one.
Full disclosure, this is unfinished and hasn’t been updated since 2008. Yes, that’s 13 years, and yes, that’s a hell of a long time. But it’s so bloody funny that I don’t even care, because what does exist is absolute gold.
Indy loves nerds. More specifically, she’s crushing on Wally (real name: Tristan), one of her classmates, whose argyll jumpers and retainers embody the nerd aesthetic. Weirdly, he’s not biting. So she enlists the help of his brother Cole, the school bad boy, to catch Wally. Weirdly, Cole’s advice isn’t very effective…
#16. Hiring a Hooligan by Deena
Determined to put the fear of God into the racist homophobe who messed up her best friend, mild-mannered Jane Hazelton resorts to hiring a thug to do the job. Trouble is, said thug isn’t interested in money, he’s interested in her.
This is maybe THE most unforgettable story on FictionPress. If you only read one story on my list, make it this one. There’s a cast of diverse characters, excellent writing, a hilarious, genuinely nerdy heroine and incredible plot. Better than many traditionally published books. And it’s finished!
The gist of the story is that Jane Hazelton, a socially inept chemistry nerd, decides to avenge her gay best friend Suril Shah when he’s beaten up by a local homophobe. So she hires her crude Italian classmate Rafe Moretti to enact violence on her behalf. The association ends up changing both of their lives.
#17. The Champagne Gang by punkturnedwriter
“Does that kiss have anything to do with why we’re on a train to New York in the middle of the night?”
Well-written and complex. FictionPress at its best. After the death of her half-brother, Summer Ward and her family move to a new town; at Thornton Academy, she gets sucked into a friendship group with its own intense problems. One of the biggest is Zach Gellar, a mysterious loner with broken relationships with her new friends.
#18. Seducing Silvia by Beibhinn Celia Blackwood
There is little Silvia knows about love. He knows even less.
There is little Silvia knows about lust. He knows plenty.
There is little Silvia wants to know about either, too bad he’s more than ready to teach her.
Unfinished again, sadly, but I’ve always found this story kind of fascinating. It follows the life of quiet, wealthy Silvia, whose emotionless existence is shattered when she develops a lust-based connection with playboy Slade – her brother’s friend. But both of them struggle with commitment.
#19. To Fight or Fall by pixy-dizzy
When rivalry takes action, students at Westfield School of Boarding–fondly known as SOB–must choose sides. The ringleaders are thrilled, until their war becomes a war to protect the very school they hate.
A very madcap story. Not exactly unfinished, but not exactly finished either. Ember, a self-declared Ice Queen, attends an isolated boarding school with her arch-nemesis Cale. What begins as a series of pranks intended to one-up each other quickly spirals into something more, involving all their classmates in a battle to save their school.
#20. Just Like a Fruitcake by holiday road
I said hi. He said he’d eat my eyeballs. I said to put his goggles on. He said he raped my cat. I said he’s a cannibal Saiyan. He said he’s a colourblind vampire. The psychic said we’d be gushing over each other by next year. Someone’s lying.
This is a Twilight parody! So ignore the super-weird blurb, because it is meant to be very ridiculous and not taken seriously. Heroine Violet runs into Derek, who’s from a family of vampires, only be turns out to be certifiably insane. Too bad she keeps getting thrown into his company.
This author wrote some absolutely amazing stories before taking them down, and Just Like a Fruitcake is the only one left. A tragedy, because their story ‘Dear Imagination’ is unforgettably excellent.
Here are some other free short stories you can read online!