If You’ve Published a Story and Would Like Us to Consider It for an Editor’s Pick
To submit an already published story for Editor’s Picks consideration, share a story link with @Longreads on Twitter, or share the story using the #longreads tag. If you don’t use Twitter, you can send story links to email@example.com.
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If You’d Like to Pitch Us an Original Story for Publication
Longreads is currently accepting pitches for original work. We pay competitive rates. Please note that we’re not accepting any fiction at this time.
Blog posts / Reading lists / Short interviews
These posts go beyond curation to engage with longform essays and journalism published online. The idea here is to either take an item or discussion in the news—or a recently published piece of longform journalism that is being discussed online—and thread together a post that may lead the reader to other great longreads they may not have known about. Reading lists are a simple way to do this, but we’re more interested in posts that do this with a strong voice. This could also involve an annotation or argument that walks the reader through an essay or long feature. These posts are $250 for 800 to 1,000 words. We would also be interested in ideas for recurring or weekly posts.
Personal essays / Reported and researched essays
These kinds of essays have been the heart of Longreads for the past several years, and they are thoughtfully written and engaging, often dealing with topics in the news from a personal angle or a historic one. This is the place you can be a bit experimental with your writing or research, ideas-based essays are particularly welcome here. These are generally between 2,000-3,000 words, but could be longer.
Base payment is $500, but this rate is determined by the research and length of your proposal. And yes, reported essays can shift into features territory—there’s no hard and fast cutoff here. Think Harper’s or The Believer for the tone and substance. Get in touch with Michelle Legro for this kind of piece, even if you just have the inkling of an idea.
For personal essays that don’t emphasize reporting, send completed essays for consideration, not pitches, to essays editor Sari Botton. Put the word “Essay” in the subject line, and include a brief, succinct synopsis of the piece, plus a bit about yourself, your writing history, and your personal connection to the subject matter. Personal essays should tell a true story. Where necessary, there can be some journalistic reporting, but the main focus for these pieces is a personal narrative. Before you pitch, read our guide to pitching personal essays.
Features / Long-form Journalism / Investigative Projects
Ideas for long-form features take a considerable amount of time and research to develop. These stories can involve multiple reporting trips, sources, and in-depth research. Although they don’t necessarily need to deal with current events, they should have an excellent sense of story and purpose and be able to hold a reader’s attention with a compelling premise. Features are generally between 3,000 and 6,000 words, but can be longer or broken up into a series depending on length and subject matter.
Longreads features are rigorously edited and fact-checked. We are also interested in collaborating with artists and photographers on stories, and would be open to working with any partners you have in mind. We are especially interested in investigative stories and would love to work with experienced reporters and provide them with the great amount of time and resources required of such projects. Our year-end series highlighting the best journalism across a range of categories may give you some insight into the kind of work we’d love to produce. Tell us what makes your story incredible and urgent, why you have the goods to write it, and why Longreads is the place to tell it.
We pay competitive rates for features depending on the degree of reporting required and the complication of your proposal. We will work with you to pay you a solid fee and also cover expenses. Send your pitches for reported features and investigative projects to Mike Dang. Pitches for features can also be sent to Michelle Legro and Krista Stevens.
Longreads has collaborated with niche websites and magazines for the past several years to help fund projects and disseminate them to a wider audience. (Collaborators have included Atlas Obscura, Racquet, Kill Screen, This Land Press, and Food & Wine magazine.) If you work for a website or publication and want to collaborate on a project, please get in touch. Longreads can offer monetary and editorial support to projects that could otherwise not get done. Email editor-in-chief Mike Dang for more info.
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We are a small team, and it can take us a considerable amount of time to review pitches, which means we are unable to respond to everyone. For this reason, we think it’s a great idea for you to pitch your stories to other publications in addition to Longreads—but please include a note to us if you are doing so.
If you do decide to pitch something exclusively to Longreads, give us a deadline to consider your idea before taking your pitch to other outlets.
Choose one editor to pitch; when you send a pitch to multiple editors at once, one editor will assume the other editors will take care of it and vice versa, which means no one ends up looking at it.
If we don’t accept your initial pitch, pitch us again! We reject stories for a variety of reasons—the story isn’t quite right for us; our editorial calendar is full; we’ve maxed out our story budget for the month—and sometimes it’s all about timing.
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Longreads frequently hires illustrators for our original stories. If you’re an illustrator who’d like to be considered, please send a link to your portfolio to our Art Director: Kjell Reigstad