Longreads is dedicated to publishing and sharing the best longform nonfiction storytelling on the web. Thank you for your interest in our publication — read on for guidelines on pitching and submitting to us.
If you’d like to nominate a story as an editor’s pick
We share our favorite #longreads on Twitter @Longreads and feature these stories on our editors’ picks page. To submit an already published story for our consideration, the best way to share it is by replying to or DMing us on Twitter, or tagging a tweet with the #longreads hashtag.
If you’d like to pitch us an original story for publication
Longreads accepts pitches for original work and pays competitive rates. We’re not accepting any fiction at this time.
We are a very small team and receive many pitches and submissions each day. We only respond if we are interested in publishing your piece, so we strongly recommend submitting simultaneously to other publications. Please email essay submissions, feature pitches, reading list ideas, and other queries to email@example.com. Adding a bit of detail and context in your subject line helps to make your message stand out.
Essays (Personal, Researched, Reported, Critical) and Columns
Essays and columns typically run between 2,000 and 6,000 words. Pieces may be longer or broken up into a series depending on the length and subject matter.
Personal essays should be submitted on spec, and we pay $500 per essay. We look for smart, original angles and fresh, unique voices. Here are some of our favorites:
We accept pitches for researched and reported essays, critical essays, and columns. Rates start at $500, with the fee varying depending on the level of reporting and research required, as well as the overall word count. Essays and columns, including some personal essays, may be fact-checked as necessary. Here are a few examples of columns and essays with some research and reporting:
- Queens of Infamy
- Deconstructing Disney
- Judge a Book Not By Its Gender
- The Cabin on the Mountain
- California Burning
- Shared Breath
Features and Investigations
Longreads features that require deeper reporting should also be submitted as pitches. These features are rigorously fact-checked. We are interested in collaborating with artists and photographers on stories, and are open to working with partners you may have in mind. 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. Base payment begins at $1/word. We will work with you to pay you a solid fee that recognizes research, reporting, and also covers expenses. Here are examples of this type of work:
Longreads seeks writers who are interested in exploring topics through curated reading lists. A reading list typically includes an essay-style introduction, followed by a collection of links to longform stories (and sometimes books and other resources) related to the theme. We pay $350 per reading list. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Reading List” and the proposed topic/theme in your email subject line. Timely topics, but also offbeat and unique angles, are especially welcome, as is a diverse mix of featured publications and writers. Not sure what to pitch? Browse our reading lists to see what we’ve published, or read a few that we love:
- ‘We Are Everywhere’: A Reading List for the Queer South
- Tomorrow Isn’t Over: A Reading List About Brighter Futures
- How to Save True Crime: A Reading List of Wrongful Conviction Stories
- Disbelieving What You Cannot See: A Reading List on Ableism and ‘Invisible Disability’
* * *
It can take us a considerable amount of time to review pitches and read submissions, which means we are unable to respond to everyone. For this reason, we recommend that you 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.
If we don’t accept your initial pitch, pitch us again! We reject stories for a variety of reasons: a story may not be quite right for us, and sometimes it’s all about timing.