The alliance “will bring the best of long-form journalism and short fiction—from magazines, newspapers, books, and the Web—to an expanded audience across The Atlantic’s digital platforms,” a release says.
“Our site will be featured alongside the rest of The Atlantic’s growing network of sites, and their team will be helping us with business and operations,” a post on Longreads’ site says.
Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2013)—The Atlantic and Longreads today announced a new, long-term partnership that will bring the best of long-form journalism and short fiction—from magazines, newspapers, books, and the Web—to an expanded audience across The Atlantic’s digital platforms. The two organizations will work together to grow Longreads’ popular social-reading community and membership model, as well as to explore other new models for supporting long-form storytelling.
“This partnership represents The Atlantic’s broader commitment to developing and showcasing rich, compelling long-form journalism,” said M. Scott Havens, president of The Atlantic. “Supporting and fostering great storytelling is our top priority—certainly the contributions of The Atlantic’s own writers and, as this collaboration signals, those of their industry peers and competitors, too. I’ve watched with interest as Mark Armstrong and the Longreads team have built a socially engaged community that is passionate about great journalism, and I’m excited to work with them to bring these kinds of stories to our more than 20 million digital readers.”
Longreads, led by founder Mark Armstrong, will retain full editorial control over the stories and pieces featured on www.longreads.com and will work exclusively with The Atlantic on the site’s sales initiatives, as well as collaborate on product and promotional efforts. Later this spring, The Atlantic will integrate Longreads across its digital properties—TheAtlantic.com, TheAtlanticWire.com, and TheAtlanticCities.com—as well as on the magazine brand’s mobile and tablet devices.
Longreads was founded in April 2009 by Armstrong, a former editor for Time Inc., who introduced the hashtag #longreads on Twitter as a way for readers to find and share works of journalism and fiction longer than 1,500 words. Using his Twitter account @Longreads, he would handpick submitted stories to showcase the best work from around the Web. The community quickly took off, and major publishers, writers, and even a few celebrities began using the hashtag to share their favorite stories.
Tens of thousands of #longreads have been shared since 2009, and Longreads now has more than 87,000 followers on Twitter and thousands of fans on Facebook and Tumblr.
Last year, Longreads introduced a paid membership that sends weekly “Member Picks” to subscribers. These include new and classic stories not previously available on the Web, including book chapters and stories from publishers otherwise available only in print or behind a paywall. Participating publishers have included Random House, Harper’s, Penguin Press, and Scribner; writers have included Charles Duhigg (The New York Times), Sabrina Rubin Erdely (Rolling Stone), Jason Zengerle (New York magazine), and Elissa Schappell (Tin House, Vanity Fair).
A primary goal of Member Picks was to develop a model that pays writers and publishers for reprint rights. Through its membership, Longreads is creating a secondary market for writers and publishers to earn money for their new and classic work.
“Our vision for Longreads has always been to create the most open and diverse community for readers, writers, and publishers of outstanding nonfiction and fiction, whether it’s from a magazine, newspaper, book, or across the Web,” said Armstrong. “At Longreads, we’re excited to work together with The Atlantic on expanding our service and developing new models that support great work. They were supportive of this community from the beginning, and they understood exactly what makes it special.”
In addition to Armstrong, the Longreads team includes managing editor Mike Dang, designer Kjell Reigstad, developer Hakan Bakkalbasi, contributing editor Jodi Ettenberg, and partner Joyce King Thomas.
Previously, in longform journalism news: Longform project’s founder: ‘We want to see if there is a way to help get to Yes’ | BuzzFeed launching longform ‘BuzzReads’ section | Pocket offers publishers ‘save for later’ tools