As an editor, the biggest compliment a writer can pay me is to send a second pitch my way. Building a strong relationship with authors — the kind that lasts for years and transcends the vagaries of daily traffic and Twitter chatter — is my favorite thing about being a Longreads editor. Here’s the thing: none of it is possible without readers’ support. That’s why we’re aiming to raise $50,000 during our Winter Member Drive this year.
When you, our readers, become members, you not only show us your trust in our editorial choices; you also make it possible for us to nurture some incredible writers. Every contribution you make — especially when it’s a recurring (monthly or annual) one — goes directly to our story fund and gives us the space to think big, to commit to long-term projects, and to sustain some of our audience’s favorite reads.
Over the last few years, the Longreads team has doubled down on publishing longform series on topics ranging from history to music. There’s something very special that happens when a writer gets to return to the same topic and explore it, over the course of months and years, from new angles. Their connection to the subject matter deepens. Their authority becomes both more apparent and, at the same time, more laid back. Their voice develops and modulates as loyal readers keep coming back.
In Anne Thériault’s Queens of Infamy — going strong for two years now — this long-term commitment has led to a passionate following that eagerly awaits each new, darkly funny account of women rulers from centuries past. Tom Maxwell’s Shelved series, with 14 essays under its belt, has been unearthing the stories of unpublished albums by some of the most famous musicians on the planet. From perfume to mirrors, Katy Kelleher has been diving deep into the ugly history of beautiful things, a gorgeously written exploration of material culture.
There are more I could mention — from Rebecca Schuman’s scathing reevaluation of ’90s pop artifacts to Soraya Roberts’ brilliant weekly columns on the intersection of politics and culture (seriously, read them!). But the point I’m trying to make is simple: we need your support to make these relationships sustainable. Our readers’ commitment to Longreads is what makes it possible for Longreads to commit to writers and their work over time.
Thank you for contributing during our Winter Member Drive — every dollar helps, and every recurring contribution helps even more. If you’re ready to become a member (or re-up your previous contribution), you know what to do — just click below.