Our team is thrilled to announce four anthology inclusions and five notable mentions across the 2021 Best American and Year’s Best series. Congratulations to the following Longreads contributors — and to all the writers featured in these editions — for their exceptional, memorable work.

The Best American Essays 2021

Notable mentions:

On Solitude (and Isolation and Loneliness [and Brackets])” by Sarah Fay

Sarah Fay reflects on four years spent in solitude (and isolation [and loneliness]), viewing it through the lens of punctuation. An adapted version of Sarah’s essay will be included in her forthcoming memoir, Pathological: The True Story of Six Misdiagnoses.

How to Learn Everything: The MasterClass Diaries” by Irina Dumitrescu

Irina Dumitrescu, an essayist and professor of medieval English literature, binged for six months on online courses led by celebrities like RuPaul, Anna Wintour, and Gordon Ramsay. Her piece on MasterClass is a delightful take on discovery, the power of celebrity, and learning new things.

Through a Glass, Tearfully” by Maureen Stanton

This heartfelt and illuminating essay by Maureen Stanton recounts her history of crying in inappropriate moments while also considering tears from gender-based and political perspectives. Read it and weep.

(Who Gets to) Just Up and Move” by Nicole Walker

In a poignant personal piece on climate change and the erasure of the Ute and Shoshone Tribes from Utah’s Salt Lake Valley, Nicole Walker beautifully contemplates the nature of migration.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2021

Included in the anthology:

An Atlas of the Cosmos” by Shannon Stirone

How do you map the entirety of the cosmos? Shannon Stirone‘s feature explores our deep need as humans to understand exactly where we are within the vastness of space. This is the third year in a row that Shannon’s features have been included in this series; read “The Hunt for Planet Nine” and “Welcome to the Center of the Universe” for more of her science writing.

The Best American Food Writing 2021

Included in the anthology:

Soli/dairy/ty” by Liza Monroy

“What is human responsibility to other species?” In a piece about going vegan, nursing mother Liza Monroy reconsiders the dairy cow — and questions the meaning of compassion.

Notable mention:

Marmalade: A Very British Obsession” by Olivia Potts

In this charming, delightfully nerdy deep dive into a beloved fruit preserve, Olivia Potts explores why marmalade holds a central role in British life and British culture. (This piece was also shortlisted for the 2021 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards.)

The Year’s Best Sports Writing 2021

Included in the anthology:

Out There: On Not Finishing” by Devin Kelly

What happens if the stories we tell ourselves about our lives leave us lonely, wrestling with meaning? Poet and teacher Devin Kelly contemplates the act of running, the emptiness of accomplishment, and the loneliness of obsession.

Shades of Grey” by Ashley Stimpson

In 2018, Floridians voted overwhelmingly to end greyhound racing, a sport they were told was archaic and inhumane. But what if they were wrong? Ashley Stimpson offers a fascinating, nuanced look at the controversial sport — and the future of the breed in a world without it.