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 hashtag. If you don’t use Twitter, you can send story links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
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 start at $250 for 800 to 1,000 words. We would also be interested in ideas for recurring or weekly posts.
Personal Essays and Memoir
For personal essays and memoiristic writing that might not emphasize reporting, send completed pieces, not pitches, to email@example.com, where they’ll be considered by Essays Editor Sari Botton, Books Editor Dana Snitzky, Associate Editors Danielle Jackson and Katie Kosma, or Senior Editor Cheri Lucas Rowlands.
In your email, include a brief, succinct synopsis of the piece, plus a bit about yourself and your personal connection to the subject matter. These pieces should tell a true story. Where necessary, there can be some journalistic reporting, but generally these are personal narratives.
Before you submit, read our guide to submitting personal essays. Please note that we receive many, many personal essay submissions and will only respond if we are interested in publishing your piece. Because we receive many more pieces than we can possibly publish, we recommend simultaneously submitting to other publications.
Reported, Researched, and Critical 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. We are also happy to consider illustrated essays and pitches for column series.
The base rate is $500, but the final rate is determined by the research and length of your proposal, and we will work with you to determine a fair fee. And yes, reported essays can shift into features territory — there’s no hard and fast cutoff here. Get in touch with Senior Editors Krista Stevens or Cheri Lucas Rowlands with this kind of piece, even if you have just the inkling of an idea.
Features / Long-form Journalism / Investigative Projects
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. Base payment begins at $1,500 and 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 Editor-in-Chief Mike Dang. Pitches for features can also be sent to Senior Editor Krista Stevens.
Book Reviews, Book Excerpts, Author Interviews, Bookish Essays and Longform Reported or Researched Book Features
We publish long, essay-style reviews. Essay-reviews can be of one book or multiple books, of new and forthcoming books or, occasionally, older books. Successful pitches describe the themes in the book or books that are of interest to the reviewer, speculate as to how the reviewer expects these themes to form the basis of an essay, and give us an idea of what outside literature, knowledge or experience the reviewer will be able to bring to bear on the subject matter. We are also happy to consider completed reviews. The base rate for essay-reviews is $500, and they are generally 2,000 to 5,000 words.
We publish bookish personal essays and literary criticism. These pieces are usually 2,500 to 5,000 words. Both pitches and completed submissions will be considered. The base rate for these is $500.
We publish author interviews that are between 2,500 and 5,000 words. Pitches are the norm, but we will considered completed interviews if you happen to have them. The rate for interviews is $500.
And we publish researched and/or reported longform features on bookish and literary subjects. The topic could be historical or current; the piece could be about books, authors, reading, bookselling, publishing or some other book-related thing we haven’t thought of. For journalism and investigative pieces, the rest of the guidelines from the “Features / Longform Journalism / Investigative Projects” section above apply. Rates for both researched and reported pieces are competitive.
Publishers and authors can also pitch us excerpts from their books. We publish both fiction and non-fiction excerpts. For excerpts, contact Books Editor Dana Snitzky or Contributing Editor Aaron Gilbreath.
For all other book-related things, contact Dana Snitzky.
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.
* * *
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.
* * *
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 Directors: Kjell Reigstad and Katie Kosma.