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It’s that time of year again! Our annual year-end series has evolved over the past decade, but our aim remains the same: to share and celebrate the best in longform nonfiction storytelling across the internet, and to honor writers and journalists publishing exceptional work. We’re thrilled to kick off our Best of 2022 collection with today’s list of our 10 most-read essays and reported stories.

The digital publishing landscape is uncertain, and continues to change. In 2023 we’ll continue to curate our favorite reads on the web, and publish original essays and reading lists from both established and emerging writers. Thanks for reading and supporting us!

— Carolyn, Cheri, Krista, Peter, and Seyward

1. Queens of Infamy: Isabella of France

Anne Thériault | June 2022 | 29 minutes (8,006 words)

Married off at age 12, Isabella put up with her husband’s shenanigans over decades. Eventually, the She-Wolf of France had had enough.

2. The Women Who Built Grunge

Lisa Whittington-Hill | June 2022 | 16 minutes (4,445 words)

Bands like L7 and Heavens to Betsy were instrumental to the birth of the grunge scene, but for decades were treated like novelties and sex objects. Thirty years later, it’s time to reassess their legacy.

3. Love Song to Costco

Yuxi Lin | June 2022 | 12 minutes (3,311 words)

In the great halls of Costco, two of our greatest fears are assuaged — that of not having enough, and that of not being enough.

4. ‘That Girl is Going to Get Herself Killed’

Krista Diamond | November 2022 | 16 minutes (4,342 words)

There is risk in the wilderness — even in mild adventures — and yet we still seek to reason with it, to assign order to it, to control it, and to tempt it.

5. The Cabin on the Mountain

Colin Dickey | March 2022 | 24 minutes (4,226 words)

Sometimes, the mechanism of the answer is something ludicrously complex, a thing that must be pieced out bit by bit. Other times, the solution requires retooling your perspective.

6. Life in the Slow Lane

Olivia Potts | November 2022 | 16 minutes (4,649 words)

Cooking all day while the cook is away. How the slow cooker changed the world.

7. The Hare Krishnas of Coal Country

Ashley Stimpson | February 2022 | 26 minutes (7,219 words)

The world is full of make-believe. Some of it is sweet, some of it is sick. It persists because we have found no other antidote for pain.

8. Final Girl, Terrible Place

Lesley Finn | July 2022 | 27 minutes (7,517 words)

I was expecting a handy theory. What I found was a way of seeing that would help me decode a script I’d been stuck in for much of my life.

9. How Wednesday Addams Birthed a Generation of Cynics

Emily Alford | November 2022 | 8 minutes (2,132 words)

Nearly 30 years ago, Christina Ricci’s version of the character reinforced millennials’ suspicion that “the bright side” is an illusion.

10. Children in the Garden

Devin Kelly | January 2022 | 27 minutes (7,394 words)

Another beauty of endurance is that it is happening at all times. It is everywhere we look. To see someone, anyone, in this world is to witness someone engaged in a feat of endurance.

You can also browse all of our year-end collections since 2011 in one place.