Mark Armstrong works at the intersection of storytelling and digital media.
He’s co-founder of Ursa Story Company, a podcasting company created with authors Dawnie Walton and Deesha Philyaw dedicated to outstanding storytelling from underrepresented voices. Their first show, Ursa Short Fiction, hit No. 4 on the Apple Podcasts charts (Arts) and was named one of Apple’s “Shows We Loved” for 2022.
Mark founded Longreads in 2009. It started out as a Twitter hashtag and account dedicated to sharing essays and magazine-length stories from across the web. Longreads has since grown into a National Magazine Award-winning magazine and podcast with millions of readers and listeners.
Longreads has been hailed by The New York Times, Time magazine, and New York magazine for sparking a renaissance in longform writing on the internet. In 2014, Longreads was acquired by Automattic, parent company of WordPress.com and Tumblr.
Mark also created and hosted Everything I’ve Learned, a podcast about lessons, mistakes, and creative risk-taking. He ran editorial special projects for Automattic, producing Distributed, a podcast about the future of work hosted by CEO (and WordPress cofounder) Matt Mullenweg. Mark previously led content and communications strategy for startups including Pocket (acquired by Mozilla).
Mark is a consultant who works with people and companies to help them use storytelling to build deeper connections on the internet. If you’d like to work together, get in touch: heymarkarms [at] gmail [dot] com.
INTERVIEWS, PODCASTS & WRITING
- Ursa Story Company’s First Birthday: Ursa Short Fiction named one of Apple Podcasts’ “Shows We Loved” in 2022.
- Everything I’ve Learned podcast: Naz Riahi on Pursuing Your Dream During a Pandemic (2021)
- The Remote Divide (October 2020)
- Interview: Recurring Payments on WordPress and the Future of Funding Publishers and Small Business (The Verge, 2019)
- Inside the Grand Meetup (Distributed Podcast, 2019): Interviews with Automattic employees about remote work and the importance of meeting in-person.
- Longreads Podcast: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences
- Longreads Podcast: The Podcast That Explains Why We’re All Wrong
- Longreads Celebrates Ten Years at Housing Works in New York City (2019)
- Making the Case for Distributed Work in Seattle and Across the U.S. (Op-ed, Seattle Times, 2018)
- Amid the wreckage of fallen startups, Longreads is increasing the original reporting it funds (Nieman Lab, 2017)
- Automattic, Steward of WordPress.com, Snaps Up Longreads (Bloomberg, 2014)
- Longreads Partners with The Atlantic (2013)
- The Short Story of Longreads, According to Founder Mark Armstrong (GigaOm, 2013)
- New Media Innovators (New York Magazine, 2011):
“The Internet’s best collection of reading material.”
- Long-form Journalism Finds an Online Friend (David Carr, The New York Times, 2010)