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On Indie Publishing

This is a principle thing: There are a lot of companies pouring money into long-form storytelling right now, which is great, but in many cases, there’s no real model backing it up. That creates a high-turnover, boom-and-bust atmosphere for sites. Are we going to have to keep relying on VC funding from billionaires to feed us these stories forever?

I believe that reader-generated, recurring subscriptions are critical for ensuring quality storytelling on the internet for many years to come.

I did a 60-second interview with Capital New York about the Longreads Member and WordPress.com digital story fund, and where we’re heading with originals.

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Interview: Simon Rich on Guilt, Humor Writing, and Being the Worst Person Ever

Mark Armstrong:

Another great interview from Jessica Gross.

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Jessica Gross | Longreads | Oct. 2014 | 17 minutes (4,290 words)

By the time Simon Rich graduated from Harvard, where he served as president of the Harvard Lampoon, he had a two-book deal from Random House. Less than a decade later, the humorist has written four short story collections and two comic novels. He also spent four years writing for Saturday Night Live (he was the youngest writer SNL ever hired) and about two years at Pixar, and is now at work on a film and a television series.

Rich’s level of productivity, impressive as it is, takes a backseat to the quality of his humor writing. His stories are crystalline, eccentric, and universally hilarious. Many of the stories in his new collection, Spoiled Brats are built on an unusual premise, or told from a surprising angle. In “Animals,” a hamster narrates his wretched existence as a…

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Coming Oct. 29, NYC: A Night of Storytelling with This Land Press

Mark Armstrong:

Very excited to be coming back to Housing Works NYC, with This Land Press!

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Present

A special night of storytelling with
This Land

Featuring:

Mark Singer (The New Yorker)

Rilla Askew (author, “Fire in Beulah”)

Ginger Strand (author, “Inventing Niagara”)

Kiera Feldman (writer, “Grace in Broken Arrow,” “This Is My Beloved Son”)

Marcos Barbery (journalist and documentarian, writer, “From One Fire”)

Wednesday, Oct. 29th, 7:00 p.m.
Free Admission


Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10012

RSVP on our Facebook page

Bios

Mark Singer has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1974. Singer’s account of the collapse of the Penn Square Bank of Oklahoma City appeared in The New Yorker in 1985 and was published as a book, Funny Money.

Rilla Askew is an Oklahoma-born writer and author of the novel Fire in Beulah, set against the backdrop of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

Ginger Strand is the…

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The Longreads Membership Is Now Twice as Powerful

Mark Armstrong:

We’ve been wanting to do this for nearly five years. Now it’s happening.

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Since 2009, Longreads has thrived as a service and a community thanks to your direct financial support. Without Longreads Members’ contributions, it’s possible we would have had to shut down after just a couple years.

Now, here we are in 2014, with a global community of more than half a million readers. In April, Longreads joined the Automattic / WordPress.com family, which meant that the Longreads Member dues were no longer necessary to keep our four-person team going.

This also meant that we could finally make good on our original intention for the Longreads Membership—which was for 100% of your contributions to go directly to independent publishers and writers.

So that’s what we are announcing today: The Longreads Membership is now a great big digital story fund, financed with your generous support. The more Longreads Members who join, the more contributions we gather, the more stories we’ll help…

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Book announcement

Mark Armstrong:

Congrats Tommy! His ESPN story on Jared Lorenzen was outstanding.

Originally posted on Tommy Tomlinson:

I’m too excited to give this a fancy buildup so I’ll just say it: I’m writing a book.

Here’s the announcement from the site Publishers Lunch:

publisherslunch

Yeah, I can’t really believe it either.

There are a lot of things I don’t know yet — we’re at the beginning of a long, long process. Apparently, now that the publisher likes the idea, they actually want me to write the damn thing. So it’ll be awhile before you get to hold a copy in your hands — although, if you’re reading this, I do expect you to not only hold a copy in your hands one day, but actually, you know, BUY it.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a long time, as I’ve tried to untangle not just my own struggle to get in shape, but the struggle of so many others. I’ve touched on it a few times, most…

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Interview: Caitlin Moran on the Working Class, Masturbation, and Writing a Novel

Mark Armstrong:

Fantastic interview by Jessica Gross.

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Jessica Gross | Longreads | Sept. 25, 2014 | 13 minutes (3,300 words)

Caitlin Moran has worked as a journalist, critic, and essayist in the U.K. for over two decades, since she was 16. In her 2011 memoir/manifesto, How to Be a Woman, she argued women should keep their vaginas hairy, said she has no regret over her own abortion, and advocated for the term “strident feminist.” Moran brings the same gallivanting, taboo-crushing spirit to her debut novel, How to Build a Girl, which follows Johanna Morrigan, a working class teenager, as she navigates her way toward adulthood. Morrigan shares a few traits with Moran, from her background and career path to her obsession with music and masturbation.

* * *

As I read How to Build a Girl, I pictured you laughing uproariously to yourself as you were writing it. But in the acknowledgments, you say…

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The Prodigal Prince: Richard Roberts and the Decline of the Oral Roberts Dynasty

Mark Armstrong:

Absolutely thrilled to feature a new Longreads Exclusive from Kiera Feldman and This Land Press. Read it.

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Kiera Feldman | This Land Press | September 2014 | 34 minutes (8,559 words)

This Land PressWe’re proud to present a new Longreads Exclusive from Kiera Feldman and This Land Press: How Richard Roberts went from heir to his father’s empire to ostracized from the kingdom. Feldman and This Land Press have both been featured on Longreads many timesin the past, and her This Land story “Grace in Broken Arrow” was named the Best of Longreads in 2012.
Subscribe to This Land

Download .mobi (Kindle)Download .epub (iBooks)

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Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 4

Mark Armstrong:

Some great stuff here.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

It’s time for our latest edition of Longreads’ Best of WordPress: below are 10 outstanding stories from across WordPress, published over the past month.

You can find Volumes 1, 2 and 3 here — and you can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for all of our daily reading recommendations.

Publishers, writers, keep your stories coming: share links to essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads.


1. The Moral Dilemmas Of Narrative (Bill Marvel, Gangrey)

Bill Marvel on journalism and the quest for empathy in telling other people’s stories:

Compassion and sensitivity thus tell us how to approach our subjects from the outside.

Empathy, the word Lee Hancock murmured that morning, is more difficult. Because empathy requires that we approach our subjects from the inside. We try to enter into the emotions, thoughts, the very lives of those we…

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A Q&A with Vanessa Grigoriadis on writing fast, putting stories away, and documentary-style writing

Mark Armstrong:

Great interview with Vanessa Grigoriadis, by Meagan Flynn.

Originally posted on Beyond The New Yorker:

vanessaVanessa Grigoriadis—a National Magazine Award-winner who has written dozens of features for New York, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others—is a writer that many of us can envy: Over the years, writing has gotten progressively easier for her. She writes at a freaky-fast pace. And her initial visions for her stories, she says, work out 75 percent of the time. Essentially, a writer’s dream. But Grigoriadis also shares what she finds are the hardest parts of the job and her various quirks (hint: elaborate procrastination), and how, once an aspiring actress, she came to choose writing instead.

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‘Mango, Mango!’ A Family, a Fruit Stand, and Survival on $4.50 a Day

Mark Armstrong:

Eye-opening new Longreads Exclusive from our friends at Orion Magazine. Welcome to the Walmart of Nicaragua.

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Douglas Haynes | Orion | Summer 2014 | 22 minutes (5,391 words)

OrionThis Longreads Exclusive comes from the latest issue of Orion magazinesubscribe to the magazine or donate for more great stories like this.
Get a free trial issue

Download .mobi (Kindle)Download .epub (iBooks)

Morning

“It’s like this here every day,” Dayani Baldelomar Bustos tells me as her dark eyes scan the packed alley for an opening. People carrying baskets of produce on their heads press against our backs.

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