Calling All Writers: Pitch Us Your Essays

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We love sharing and celebrating our favorite longform stories, but we also love publishing them. Longreads is proud to have assigned and edited many award-winning pieces over the years; we’ve won a Pushcart Prize and have had numerous inclusions and notable mentions in the Best American and Year’s Best Sports series. We’re actively soliciting essays and criticism for the coming year. Submit your best drafts, pitch us your ideas, and help us to showcase more unforgettable writing in 2022. All styles are welcome, and no topic is off-limits; tell us why your story should be told. 

Whether you’re an established writer or just starting to put pen to paper, we want to hear from you — we support all experience levels;  you’ll work with an editor to sharpen your piece. Take a look at our Submissions page and browse some of our past pieces: we’ve covered a wide range of topics, and are always searching for thoughtful writing and surprising arguments. We seek pieces with fresh perspectives and original angles.  

Essays are usually between 2,000 and 6,000 words but can be longer. Rates start at $500 USD for first-time contributors — but that, too, can vary, depending on the reporting and research the piece demands. If your piece is accepted, an editor will work with you on an offer. 

We primarily publish three types of nonfiction:

  • Critical Essay: Your interpretation and evaluation of a cultural text or social dynamic. Examples include a popular series evaluating Disney films, Deconstructing Disney, and a column exploring female antiheroes in the Golden Age of television. For these submissions, please include examples of any other critical work you’ve published along with your pitch, if available.

A few tips for your essay pitch to hello@longreads.com:

  • We receive many pitches each day. To stand out, be sure to include the type of submission (“Personal Essay,” “Reported Essay,” “Critical Essay”) in your email subject line.
  • Tell us why you want to write about this topic/theme. What excites you about it? Why are you best suited to write this? Why is it the right time to publish this essay?
  • We love a clever angle. Tell us why your idea is unique.
  • If you’re pitching a reported essay, tell us who you plan to interview (or who you’ve already spoken with), and how you’ll attain that access. Tell us what research you’ve done or will do. (We fact-check all reported essays.)
  • If you haven’t worked with us before, share a few clips that give us a sense of your writing style and voice, or a writing sample that you’re proud of.

Get in touch at hello@longreads.com if you think you have an essay for us. We are a small team so can’t get back to everyone, but you will hear from us if we are interested in your submission. We look forward to hearing from you!