Longreads began as a Twitter hashtag, expanded into a site that curated the best long-form storytelling in the world, and has grown into a digital publication that produces in-depth investigative pieces, commentary, book reviews, audio stories, and personal essays.
Some examples of our work in the last year and our approach:
Bundyville: Reporter Leah Sottile spent two years reporting about the Bundy family who organized two armed standoffs against the federal government and beat them twice in court. The result was a 30,000-word four-part series and seven-episode podcast produced in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting that examines issues of power and privilege, land and water rights in the American West, and how fringe beliefs help domestic terrorism and extremism materialize. The podcast was downloaded more than 100,000 times in it’s first week and reviewed positively by outlets like The Guardian and The Ringer.
The Strike: When workers at a chemical company had their health care benefits reduced just as many of them began to develop different forms of cancer, they decided to go on strike. Ian Frisch spent a year with the workers to tell a story about labor and health care in the U.S.
Scott Korb’s Empathy Course: To explore the issue of empathy in writing, we worked with Scott Korb, who teaches in Pacific University’s MFA in Writing program, to put together an online course readers could follow to experience critical thinking on empathy in a larger way than they would simply by reading an essay.
Laurie Penny’s Columns: Laurie Penny’s National Magazine Award-nominated columns explores important issues of consent, female desire, and harassment in the #metoo era. They’ve generated an extraordinary amount of conversations on Facebook and Twitter.
How to Write a Memoir While Grieving: Longreads is committed to diversity and inclusion and sharing as many different voices and stories as we can. We’re able to accomplish this the most by publishing weekly personal essays, and this essay by Nicole Chung on adoption and grief is a good example of this kind of work.
Longreads has also hosted and participated in live storytelling events in bookstores across the U.S. and collaborated with a number of different outlets to produce outstanding journalism. We have a large community on Twitter that uses the #longreads hashtag to share outstanding works of long-form journalism, and we curate and share the best of these stories from other publishers each week in our popular newsletter as a way to celebrate the work our industry is producing.