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



Bradley Hope and Tom Wright are former journalists at The Wall Street Journal, the co-founders of journalism studio Project Brazen, and the co-authors of the book Billion Dollar Whale.

Their new podcast is Corinna and The King. Hope’s new book is “The Rebel and the Kingdom.”

“We’re a little bit skeptical of just jumping into the big story of the day with something that doesn’t feel differentiated. It needs to have character, storytelling—it can’t just be a great topic, or an important topic, even.”

Audie Cornish is a journalist and the former host of NPR’s All Things Considered. Her new CNN Audio podcast is The Assignment.

“I think there is journalism inherent in an interview. Like the interview itself should be considered a piece of journalism. It isn't always. Sometimes the vibe is that it’s a little window dressing or that it's personality driven and I don't subscribe to that. I think that it has its own journalism. It's my journalism.”

Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer at the New York Times and the creator of the new Hulu television series Fleishman Is in Trouble, based on her bestselling novel.

“I took the cast out to dinner … And the way they began talking to each other, which was very intimate, was like a punch in the stomach. Because I had always thought that I got people to open up to me [in celebrity profiles]. And I was like, Oh, no, I got them to answer questions differently than maybe they had before. … And that was a little devastating to me.”

Nancy Updike is a founding producer and senior editor at This American Life. Jenelle Pifer, a former Longform Podcast editor, is a senior producer at Serial. Their new three-part podcast, hosted by Updike and produced by Pifer, is We Were Three.

Updike: “I say it’s a story that’s a bit about COVID, but really about a family, and that’s the closest I’ve gotten to a short version. I don’t know. Why is that? I never have a short version of something I’m working on—never.”

Pifer: “We were doing a lot of talking about, for Nancy, what are the driving questions you tend to be attracted to? There were a few things we came up with, one of which was that you tend to gravitate toward stories where somebody is in the middle of something that they don’t know what to make of yet, and you kind of just want to sit with them and see what direction they walk in, or what they say, or what meaning they put onto something.”

Andy Kroll is an investigative reporter for ProPublica. His new book is A Death on W Street: The Murder of Seth Rich and the Age of Conspiracy.

“I think a book has ruined me for writing hot takes and spicy Twitter dunks and all of these other one- and two-dimensional bits of ephemera. I wasn't really a big fan of it in the first place, but I can't do it anymore. A book forces you to look at the world in a much more fine grained, humane, empathetic way, and there's no going back from that.”

Erika Hayasaki has written for The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and The Atlantic. Her new book is Somewhere Sisters: A Story of Adoption, Identity, and the Meaning of Family.

“I don’t subscribe to the belief that it’s our story because we’re the journalist that wrote it — especially when people are sharing these really intimate, deep, painful moments. That is not my story. That’s their story that they've collaborated in a way with me to share through these interviews.”

Rachel Aviv is a staff writer for The New Yorker. Her new book is Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us.

“I used to feel that if I knew everything, that was a good sign. And I've become more aware that if you know everything you want to argue, that's not such a good sign…. Do I have a genuine question? Is there something I’m trying to figure out? Then the story is worth telling. But if I don’t really have a question or if my question is already answered, then maybe that should give you pause.”

Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa are reporters for The Washington Post and co-authors of the new book His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice.

“Looking at George Floyd's family history, looking at the poverty that he grew up in, looking at the schools that he attended, which were segregated, looking at the opportunities that were denied to him and the struggles he had in the criminal justice system—it's an extraordinary American experience, in part because it's so outside of the norm of what we think of when we think of the American dream…. And so we wanted to be able to showcase that that kind of extraordinary American experience is ordinary for so many people.”

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.”