The Longform Podcast published its final episode in June 2024. All 585 interviews will remain available on, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify. ran from April 2010 to December 2022 and recommended more than 10,000 pieces of nonfiction. The complete archive can be found here.

Thanks for reading and for listening,
Aaron Lammer and Max Linsky, co-founders

John Jeremiah Sullivan is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and has written for Harper's, The New Yorker, and GQ. He is the author of Pulphead and the forthcoming The Prime Minister of Paradise: The True Story of a Lost American History.

“I love making pieces of writing and trying to find the right language to say what I mean. It's such a wonderful way of being alive in the world. I mean, your material is all around you. ... I'm lucky that it has stayed interesting for me. It hasn't faded. The challenges of writing, they still glow.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates is an author and journalist. His next book is The Message.

“I don’t think we have the luxury as journalists of avoiding things because people might say bad things about us. I don’t even think we have the luxury of avoiding things because we might get fired. I don’t think we have the luxury of avoiding them because somebody might cancel some sort of public speech that we have. I then have to ask you, what are you in it for? Like, why did you come here? Did you come here just to make a living? Because there are many other things where you could make more money.”

Jay Caspian Kang is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a co-host of Time to Say Goodbye.

“At some point, you have to kick it out the door, and it’s never finished to the degree that you would finish a magazine piece. But it, in some ways, is more interesting because it is produced in a short amount of time, and it’s read as something that is not supposed to be complete. It’s just meant to provoke or to provide thought or whatever, to provide some sort of context on a certain issue or not. And I actually like that a lot better than the magazine writing. I respect the magazine writers—obviously, I was one—but for my disposition now, in my lifestyle, I actually enjoy having to produce this thing every week.”

Have a question for the mailbag? Email the show or leave a voicemail at (929) 333-2908.

Joseph Cox is a cybersecurity journalist and co-founder of 404 Media. His new book is Dark Wire: The Incredible True Story of the Largest Sting Operation Ever.

“In the not too distant future, I will be a very old man, and maybe I won't be able to spend all day talking to drug traffickers. I will be mentally and physically exhausted. So I will doggedly pursue the story right now while I can.”

Tavi Gevinson is a writer, actor, and the founder of Rookie. Her new zine is Fan Fiction.

“Stories are unstable, and memory is unstable, and identity is unstable. All of these things that I've tried to make permanent in writing, they're actually unstable. So even though it's tempting to go, Oh, that was fake, it's more like, No, it was just temporary.”

Rachel Khong is a journalist and author whose latest novel is Real Americans.

“It's about the ways in which we miss each other as human beings and can't fully communicate what it is like to be ourselves. … And I think that's what makes it so interesting to me, to work on a novel and to spend so much time trying to get down on the page what it feels like to be a human being who's alive. … I think the effort itself is what human relationships are.”

Kelsey McKinney is a features writer and co-owner at She hosts the podcast Normal Gossip and is the author of the upcoming book You Didn't Hear This From Me: (Mostly) True Notes on Gossip.

“I was always very interested in how you strategize a creative career. And I think that that is an unsexy thing to talk about, right? It's much sexier to be like, Oh, I love working on my sentence-level craft, which is not true for me. But I think that a lot of a creative career is understanding it is still a job, and then understanding how you make sure that within the container of the job you can do the work that you want to do. That is a really difficult balance to make. So if you can understand how people who have done it before you, you can copy them.”

Lissa Soep is an audio producer, editor and author whose latest book is Other People’s Words: Friendship, Loss, and the Conversations That Never End.

“I am so keenly aware of how much my own voice is a product of editing relationships and co-producing relationships with other people's words. … I will forever feel indebted to those then-young people who are now writers and educators and therapists. … I feel like my voice is sort of a product of that time.”

PJ Vogt is the host of Search Engine.

“One of our tests editorially is if we think we’ve got something good, but we haven’t started reporting or recording on it, I’ll just try asking the question at dinner and stuff. If it derails conversations, that’s a really good sign.”

Lindsay Peoples is the editor-in-chief of The Cut.

“You see so many incredible people make one mistake and lose their job or they speak out about something and then the next day something blows up. And so I do think that I often feel like I have to be so careful. And that's hard to do because I'm just naturally curious and I want to know and I want to find and explore and do the things. But I'm aware that … people think I'm too young. I'm too Black. I'm aware of all those things and I'm still going to try.”

Jason Motlagh, a journalist and filmmaker, is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the founder of Blackbeard Films. He won the Polk's Sydney Schanberg Prize for “This Will End in Blood and Ashes,” an account of the collapse of order in Haiti.

“Once you've gotten used to this kind of metabolism, it can be hard to walk away from it. Ordinary life can be a little flat sometimes. And so that's always kind of built in. I accept that. I think I've just tried to be more honest about like, [am I taking this risk] because I need a bump my life? Or do you really believe in what you're doing? And I feel like I really do need to believe in the purpose of the story. There has to be some motivation greater than myself."

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

Brian Howey is a freelance journalist who won the Polk Award for Justice Reporting after exposing a deceptive police tactic widely used in California. He began the project, which was eventually published by the Los Angeles Times and Reveal, as a graduate student in the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

“It’s one thing to hear about this tactic and hear about parents being questioned in this way. It’s another thing entirely to hear the change in a parent’s voice when they realize for the past 20 minutes they’ve been speaking ill of a relative who’s actually been dead the entire time, and to hear that wave of grief and sometimes that feeling of betrayal that cropped up in their voice and how the way that they spoke to the officers afterwards changed.”

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

Meribah Knight is a reporter with Nashville Public Radio. She won the Polk Award for Podcasting for “The Kids of Rutherford County,” produced with ProPublica and Serial, which revealed a shocking approach to juvenile discipline in one Tennessee county.

“Where does it leave me? It leaves me with a searing anger that is going to propel me to the next thing. But we’ve made some real improvement. And that’s worth celebrating. That’s worth recognizing and saying, This work matters, people are paying attention.”

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

Jesse Coburn is an investigative reporter at Streetsblog. He won the Polk Award for Local Reporting for "Ghost Tags," his series on the black market for temporary license plates.

“You can imagine this having never become a problem, because it’s so weird. What a weird scam. I’m going to print and sell tens of thousands of paper license plates. But someone figured it out. And then a lot more people followed. It just exploded.”

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

Amel Guettatfi and Julia Steers won this year's George Polk Award for Television Reporting for “Inside Wagner,” their Vice News investigation of Russian mercenaries on the Ukraine front and in the Central African Republic.

“One of the best takeaways I got from seven or eight years at Vice is that it’s not enough for something to be important when you’re figuring out how to make a story. It’s the intersection of important and interesting. And that has taught me that people will watch anything, anywhere, as long as it’s interesting. Nobody owes us their time. The onus is on us to explain things in an interesting, compelling way. I’m hoping that a landscape opens up somewhere else that sees that and understands that can be done anywhere in the world.”

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

Megan Kimble is the former executive editor of The Texas Observer and has written for The New York Times, Texas Monthly, and The Guardian. Her new book is City Limits: Infrastructure, Inequality, and the Future of America’s Highways.

“I have never lived in a city that was not wrapped in highways. It’s hard for me to imagine anything else. And I think that’s true for a lot of people today. ... [But] we have known since the origins of the interstate highways program that building highways through cities doesn’t fix traffic. And yet we keep doing it. To me, that really fueled a lot of the book. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.”

Zach Harris is a journalist whose latest article for Rolling Stone is "Meet the Gen Z Hothead Burning Up Pro Bowling."

“I'm not like a staff writer who has … status and access. But if I come up with something fun that you've never heard of that might connect to the larger culture, then it kind of hits a nerve and a sweet spot for me. Someone like a pro skateboarder or a pro bowler, you guys have never heard of. And so being able to present a person and a culture and a world to a wider audience, I think suits me well and has been really a fun way to do profiles.”

Rozina Ali is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the winner of the 2023 National Magazine Award for Reporting. Her latest article is “Raised in the West Bank, Shot in Vermont.”

“I think it’s very, very important to speak to people as people. To speak to sources—even if you have the juiciest story—to really give them the grace. I think everyone deserves it, especially people who are going through such a difficult time.”

Derek Thompson is a staff writer for The Atlantic and host of the podcast Plain English.

“I am an inveterate dilettante. I lose interest in subjects all the time. Because what I find interesting about my job is the invitation to solve mysteries. And once you solve one, two, three mysteries in a space, then the meta-mystery of that space begins to dim. And all these other subjects—that's the new unlit space that needs the flashlight. And that's the part of the job that I love the most: that there are so many dark corners in the world. And I've just got this flashlight, and I can just shine it wherever the hell I want.”

Tessa Hulls is a writer and artist whose work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Washington Post, and The Capitol Hill Times. Her new book, a graphic memoir, is Feeding Ghosts.

“This project is the thing I have spent my entire life running from. I was incredibly determined to never touch this, either personally or professionally. … It was more an eventual act of resignation than a desire.”

Sloane Crosley is the author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake and several other books. Her new memoir is Grief Is for People.

“You take a little sliver of yourself and you offer it up to be spun around in perpetuity in the public imagination. That is the sacrifice you make. And it makes everything just a little bit worse. So it's the opposite of catharsis, but it's worth it. It's worth it for what you get in return: a book.”

Lauren Markham is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life and has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, and VQR. Her new book is A Map of Future Ruins: On Borders and Belonging.

“It took me a while to figure out that this is actually a book about storytelling, about journalistic storytelling, about the kind of myths we spin culturally and politically, about history, about current events, and the role of journalism within all of that, and my role as a journalist.”

Zoë Schiffer is the managing editor for Platformer. Her new book is Extremely Hardcore: Inside Elon Musk’s Twitter.

“Being the person where it's a fireable offense to leak to you … is kind of a badge of honor.”

Patricia Evangelista is a trauma journalist whose coverage of the drug war in the Philippines has appeared in Rappler, Esquire, and elsewhere. Her recent book is Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country.

“It is hard to describe the beat I do without saying very often it involves people who have died. And it seemed like an unfair way to frame it. It didn't quite seem right. … Sometimes there's no dead body, or sometimes there's 6,000, but the function is the same: that the people you speak to have gone through enormous painful trauma, and then there's a way to cover it that minimizes that trauma. So … I don't cover the dead. I cover trauma.”

Susan Glasser, the former editor of Politico and Foreign Policy, writes the "Letter from Washington" column for the The New Yorker. Her most recent book, written with Peter Baker, is The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021.

“There’s a great benefit to leaving Washington and then coming back, or frankly leaving anywhere and then coming back. I think you have much wider open eyes. Washington, like a lot of company towns, takes on a logic of its own, and things that can seem crazy to the rest of the country, to the rest of the world, somehow end up making more sense than they should when you’re just doing that all day long, every day.”