Readers,

Longform.org is shutting down its article recommendations service. (The Longform Podcast will continue to publish new episodes weekly.)

We started the site in April 2010 on a whim. Since then, we have recommended more than 10,000 pieces of nonfiction. It has been immensely gratifying to watch millions of readers enjoying the work of our favorite writers.

Thank you to Longform.org's contributing editors, its supporters, and the publications, writers, and readers who made it all possible. We will miss you.

-Max Linsky & Aaron Lammer, founders



Pablo Torre is a sports journalist and the host of the ESPN Daily podcast.

“I have an open borders policy as a podcast. All are welcome, but I’m specifically appealing to people who want a little bit more of that magazine curation. What if I gave you one thing today, and that thing was the thing you needed, and what if that thing is deliberately different from every other way you consume sports? That’s the premise.”

Evan Osnos is a staff writer for The New Yorker. His new book is Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury.

“I'm always trying to get inside a subculture. That's the thing that I think has been the most enduring, attractive element for me. Is there a world that has its own manners and vocabulary and internal rhythms and status structure? And who looks down on whom? And why? And who venerates whom? Who's a big deal in these worlds? And if I can get into that, it doesn't even really matter to me that much what the subculture is. I'm fascinated by trying to map that thing out.”

Graciela Mochkofsky is a writer for The New Yorker and dean of CUNY's Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. She has written six nonfiction books in Spanish. Her new book, her first in English, is The Prophet of the Andes.

“It connects with me as a journalist, actually — it’s this idea of just seeking truth and how elusive that is. So this is a person who thinks he can get to the true meaning of God and of how he needs to live. And he thinks that by asking the right questions, and by reading, and reading, and reading, and by discussing collectively, he can get to the truth. And he can’t.”

Nona Willis Aronowitz, an editor and author, writes a sex and love advice column for Teen Vogue. Her new book is Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution.

“I'm getting a lot of emails from people saying basically ‘You've inspired me to break up with my man tomorrow.’ Or ‘I may not ever break up with my man, but I'm starting to tell the truth, at least to myself, about my relationship.’ And I think a lot of people — even though I think being open about your feelings and acceptance of all kinds of lifestyles are two tenants of modern society — I still think there's a lot of silence around dissatisfaction around sex and love.”

Caitlin Dickerson is a staff writer for The Atlantic covering immigration. Her latest article, on the secret history of U.S. government’s family-separation policy, is ”An American Catastrophe.”

“I think the line that gets drawn around immigration coverage — which, a lot of times you're just talking about a business story or an education story or a national security story — but when you call it an immigration story, it does feel like it is about this other thing, about other people who aren't us.”

Yudhijit Bhattacharjee is a contributing writer for National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine. His new podcast is Chameleon: Scam Likely.

“I want a crumpled piece of paper where there are enough ridges and valleys and lines for me to be able to navigate, and they have to be authentic. And then of course the best stories among them will have surprise and intrigue, and things that are completely unexpected happen somewhere along the way. But it's hard to anticipate all of that. You still have to have a little bit of faith.”

Hannah Goldfield is the food critic at The New Yorker.

“There are just only so many ways to say ‘crunchy.’ There's ‘crunchy,’ there's ‘crisp,’ there's ‘crispy,’ you can say something ‘crackles,’ and that's kind of it. It's really, really hard. And a lot of things are crunchy. It's a really specific sensation that needs to be described. But I've had moments where I'm like, I can't say crunchy again in a sentence. What am I going to do? How do I get this across?

Sam Sanders is the former host of NPR’s It’s Been a Minute. He hosts Vulture’s Into It, which launched last week.

“I don’t think I ever wanted a career where I was doing the same thing for 30 years. I think that, editorially, I had become someone who was really contemplating what kind of capital-j journalist I wanted to be, want to be, and I was questioning a lot of rules and the structure of what we think journalism is supposed to be, and I think I needed to be away from a legacy institution like NPR, at least for a spell, to work that out.”

Michael Pollan is a contributing writer for New York Times Magazine, the host of Netflix's How To Change Your Mind, and the author of nine books. The latest is This Is Your Mind On Plants.

“I have found myself at two distinct points in my history having this transition from being the journalist, learning at the feet of these people, to becoming an advocate. And it’s an awkward role for a journalist, but at a certain point it would be kind of false to pretend you didn't have points of view, that there weren't directions in which you think the world should go. And the great thing about doing narrative nonfiction is that editors cut you a fair amount of slack at the end of a 10,000–word piece to say what you think.”

Andrea Elliott is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. Her recent book, Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in An American City, won a Pulitzer Prize.

”I don’t see reporting as a one-way street. ... I think that people need to know as much as they can about you. And yes, there are boundaries ... but at the same time, the fact of the boundaries is something to talk about with the people you’re writing about. Isn’t it weird that this is my job to be reporting on your life when we can laugh and we can break bread together and I spend all these hours with you and you know about my kids? ... And at the same time, I’m also here to write a book. ... And those two facts I learned to just allow to coexist within me. But it was not easy.”

Rebecca Traister is a writer for New York and the author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger. Her latest article is "The Necessity of Hope."

“A big motivation of this piece, which I think is framed in this there’s still reason to hope is actually the inverse of that. Which is: Let us be crystal clear about what is happening, what is lost, what is violated. The cruelty, the horror, and the injustice, and that is it only moving toward worse right now. And to establish that to then say that it is the responsibility to really absorb that, and then figure out how to move forward.”

Alexandra Lange is a design critic whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and many other publications. Her new book is Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall.

“I really like to write about things that I can hold and experience. I'm not that interested in biography, but I am very interested in the biography of an object. ... Like I feel about the objects, I think, how most people feel about people. So what I'm always trying to do is communicate that enthusiasm and that understanding to my reader, because these objects really have a lot of speaking to do.”

Lulu Garcia-Navarro is a former war correspondent and host of NPR’s Weekend Edition. Her new podcast, for the New York Times, is First Person.

“I would always say that if you go cover a story and you already know what people are going to say, and you already have it in your head what the outcome is, and there's no surprise there, then that's a story that you shouldn't be working on. You have to allow the opportunity for there to be a journey. And for there to be something at the end of it, that is gonna be like, Wow. I really never thought that. I didn't think that I was coming here to report on that, but I guess that's what I'm here to report on.”

Matt Levine is a finance columnist for Bloomberg Opinion . His newsletter is Money Stuff.

”I write a lot about people who have gotten in trouble with the SEC or the Justice Department. And a surprising subset of them will email me. And often I will have made fun of them, and they'll be like, ‘That was pretty fair.’”

Molly Lambert is a writer and the host of the new podcast HeidiWorld: The Heidi Fleiss Story.

“I think as a writer… I always had this thing: I don't want to be out front. I don't want the spotlight on me. I'm not an actor. I want to be lurking in the back with the cast accepting the applause, but I don't want to be the center of attention. And so I think kind of like making peace with like, Look, man, it's fine to be the center of attention when you made something you're proud of.”

Sam Knight is a London-based staff writer for The New Yorker. His new book is The Premonitions Bureau: A True Account of Death Foretold.

“I had a kind of working definition of what a premonition was when I was writing this book, which is: It's not just a feeling. It's not just a hunch. It's just not like a sense in the air. It's like, you know. You know, and you don't even want to know because you can't know and no one's going to believe you that you know, but you know. And what are you going to do about it? It's a horrible feeling.”

Joe Bernstein is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News.

“The question of disinformation is almost an attempt to create a new mythology around why people act the way they do. I don’t mean to say that it’s some kind of nefarious plot. ... It’s a natural, or a convenient explanation. And that’s why I think it caught on for some time anyway.”

Vauhini Vara is a contributing writer at Wired and author of the novel The Immortal King Rao.

“With a magazine story, it might be like six months or a year or two, if it's something that took you a long time. With this [novel], it was 13 years for me, but the sort of emotional arc felt similar, where there were these periods of despair and a sense that like, this wasn't going anywhere, and then these periods where like, I'm a genius and this is going to be the best book ever written. You go back and forth, as we do with our journalism. But then with every draft of it, I always felt like, all right, this is better than the last draft at least. I don't know what the next one is going to look like, but this is definitely an improvement. And I feel like that's what kept me feeling like I was at least moving in the right direction.”

Azmat Khan is an investigative reporter for the New York Times Magazine. She won the George Polk Award for uncovering intelligence failures and civilian deaths associated with U.S. air strikes.

“I think what was really damning for me is that, when I obtained these 1,300 records, in not one of them was there a single instance in which they describe any disciplinary action for anyone involved, or any findings of wrongdoing. … When I was looking at this in totality, suddenly it’s really hard to say you have a system of accountability.”

This is the last in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.

Daniel Chang covers healthcare for the Miami Herald. Along with Carol Marbin Miller, he won the George Polk Award for "Birth & Betrayal," a series co-published with ProPublica that exposed the consequences of a 1988 law designed to shelter medical providers from lawsuits by funding lifelong care for children severely disabled by birth-related brain injuries.

“I think that someone on the healthcare beat looks for stories from the perspective of patients, people who want or need to access the healthcare system and for different reasons cannot. It’s a pretty complicated system and it’s difficult for most people to understand how their health insurance works — and that’s if they have health insurance. If they don’t, there is a whole other system they have to go through. What you look for is access issues and accountability for that.”

This is the latest in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.

Sarah Stillman is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the director of the Global Migration Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She won the George Polk Award for "The Migrant Workers Who Follow Climate Disasters."

“I’m all about the Venn diagram where the individual meaningful stories of things people are up against intersect with the big systemic injustice issues of our day. It feels like climate is clearly an enormous domain where it’s been hard in some ways to tell substantive stories of where actual human beings are navigating and pushing back on some of these huge cultural forces.”

This is the latest in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.

Maria Abi-Habib is the bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for the New York Times. Along with her colleague Frances Robles, Abi-Habib won the George Polk Award for revealing concealed aspects of the murder of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse.

“We’re not going to stop covering Haiti just because you don’t like us … at the end of the day you owe it to your citizens to talk to the media because if you can’t talk to the media and actually answer some questions, how are you going to run a country? We’re not doing this for ourselves, we’re doing this because we think that Haiti matters and we think Haitians, like all citizens in this world, actually deserve some answers to their questions and to know what the truth is.”

This is the second in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.

Clarissa Ward is the chief international correspondent for CNN. Along with field producer Brent Swails and photojournalists William Bonnett and Scott McWhinnie, Ward won the 2022 George Polk Award for her real-time coverage of the rapid rise of the Taliban as U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan last summer.

“I used to come back from war zones and feel completely disconnected from my life—disconnected from my friends, from my family. I would look down on people about the conversations they were having about silly things. I would feel kind of numb and miserable. And then I realized that if you want to be able to keep doing this work, you have to choose to embrace the privileges that you've been given. And you have to choose joy and choose love and be kind to yourself and have a glass of wine and go dancing or run up a mountain—whatever it is that does it for you, embrace it. That is part of the tax you pay for surviving these things: You've got to continue to love life.”

This is the first in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.

Jackie MacMullan is an NBA journalist who has written for The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and ESPN. She hosts the podcast Icons Club for The Ringer.

“[Athletes] think they don't need journalists—and they're wrong. And I tell them all this. I'm like, ‘I know you think you've got your own production company, but we can tell your story better than you can.' That's just the truth. No one tells their own story the best. It's the people around them that tell the story the best. And nobody wants a whitewashed version of you. They want warts and all. That's what makes you lovable. That's what makes you interesting. ... There are great journalists out there that can tell your story—and it might not be exactly the way you want it to be told, but it'll have weight and it'll have legacy to it.”

Alzo Slade is a correspondent for VICE News and host of the podcast Cheat.

“Human beings, we are the same, right? Like when you come out of the womb, you need to eat, you need to sleep, you need to pee, you need to shit, and when it comes to emotional needs, you need to feel loved. You need to feel there's compassion, you know? You need to feel significant and of value. And when it comes to like the feeling of significance and feeling valued, I think that's where we start to get into trouble because the same things that you hold of value, I may not in the same way. […] And so if I can engage you and recognize the perspective from which you come, and at least give you an entry level or a human level of respect from the beginning, then the departure point for our engagement is a proper one, as opposed to an antagonistic one.”