It’s very true that you too can submit longreads online through various sites now that it has an audience that’s quickly rising. But, regardless of the name ‘longreads’, there is still an ongoing debate online. Whether it’s relevant or appropriate to use texts with over 5-10K symbols as part of website content.
But, is it true that users prefer nothing longer than posts on Facebook? And that they would quit a 15-minute reading already after the first paragraph? It takes less time and effort to write 2 short stories than 1 Longread.
All in all, longform journalism is giving news stories a whole new meaning. And indeed, a large number of short articles can help to fill up the content of the website and present the main messages to users.
What are Longreads?
Theoretically, longform content is supposed to attract more traffic to the website. And in reality, it also unfolds the topic to get the audience a lot more involved. Longreads, are also known as the ‘long story’, ‘deep story’, or simply storytelling.’
There’re many names for such formats that present long or large information online. In short, longreads are one of the ways to present information in a substantial [interesting] extensive text. These are texts that unfold the topic and are enriched with details and facts.
At times, with over 5,000 symbols — taking from 5-7 minutes to read. For instance, one of the most famous longreads is the ‘Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.’ Published by The New York Times with 10,500 words.
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The publication gathered 3.5 million views in its first week. While at the same time, over 22,000 people were reading it at the peak of its popularity. You can see other results of the best Longreads of the year as listed on this website in detail.
Basically, longform pieces often involve investigative reporting as well as interviewing many people. And as a result, it can take weeks, or even months, to write just one longread. But, the solid truth is that, for anyone interested in journalism or writing at all, longform journalism is a great field to explore.
However, it’s important to remember that a Longread Format is not just a broad plain text with thousands of symbols. Rather, it’s a well-composed story containing necessary information.
How to write longforms correctly
In order to create a really effective and ‘deep’ story, it’s necessary to follow some basic steps as I’ll explain in detail henceforth. And the first step is to think well before you write or submit longreads online.
While keeping in mind, writing a longread without a clear idea and plan is a waste of time. That’s why you should first outline the main topics (usually a couple of them). Then thereafter, determine the structure and draft a summary for every section.
Secondly, you should try and have your catch right from your first lines. Now that most people tend to carefully read only those articles which catch their attention. And as such, it can be an open question, short storytelling, or even a provocative statement.
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Usually, these elements visually split the text making it more readable and allow to help readers’ attention. Not to mention, quality multimedia ‘deep story’ is a result of the work of your entire content team. From copywriters, designers, photographers, etc.
Lastly, you need to understand that a longread is a complete story. May it be your story plot or even the logical connection between parts. A complete finale makes a longread an interesting story to read instead of a plain text. So, it’s important to make it substantial containing interesting and relevant information only.
How do you Submit Longreads Online?
As I mentioned earlier, there’re numerous ways to submit Longreads online through various sites such as this site for free. And it still has its audience while storytelling a long deep story. As long as you’ve published a story and would like them to consider it for an editor’s pick.
So, with that in mind, to submit an already published story for Editor’s Picks consideration, you can share your story link with @Longreads on Twitter. Or even share the story using the #longreads hashtag. But, if you don’t use Twitter, you can send story links to [email protected].
Additionally, you can also pitch them an original story for publication. Now that longreads is currently accepting pitches for original work. And they’ll even pay you at a very competitive rate! But, unfortunately, they’re not accepting any fiction at this time.
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You should also note that they’re just a small team, and thus they receive many essay and story pitches. So, they’ll only respond if they’re interested in publishing your piece. That’s why I recommend simultaneously submitting to other publication sites too.
Which are the Key Features of Longreads?
First of all, is there somebody who is going to read a text that long? The NNGroup gathered NNGroup, 200 users to study the way they read online content. According to this research, most of the participants have a similar pattern of looking through the text regardless of the website. It resembles the letter F.
This means that the reader tends to pay more attention to the title [heading] and the first paragraph. And then looks through the rest of the text. Based on these results it appears to be useless to publish texts with several thousands of symbols. However, there are some pros too!
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In 2014 the Newswhip company Newswhip carried out another research to determine the best way of presenting the online news. Naturally, short posts appeared to be the most popular format. Nevertheless, there was almost the same share of users who prefer extensive articles (from 1,200 words or 7,300 symbols).
Another study by Newswhip revealed that the most ‘shared’ social media posts tend to include over 1,000 words and over 6,000 symbols. The study involved the world’s media leaders like BBC, CNN, The New York Times, etc. See more features below:
1. The reading lists and blog posts requirement
As you go on to submit longreads online, you’ll realize that — just like the other publishing sites for longform content, specifically this site frequently features writers diving into a variety of topics. Like site themes and application topics through curated reading lists.
However, as a rule of thumb, reading lists should be approximately 750 words. Just like — an essay-style introduction followed by a collection of curated links. And more specifically, the links to stories, books, and other resources related to the theme you are writing about.
As well as why it matters to you. And surprisingly enough, they’ll pay $250 per reading list. In that case, you should also note the “Reading List” in your email subject line when pitching these pieces. Not sure of what to submit yet?
Some reading lists I particularly love include:
- World Emoji Day: A Reading List
- Pages You Can Dance To: A Book List
- We All Die In the End, But Our Skin Looks Great: A Reading List
- Eating What Feels Right: On-Going Vegetarian
- Why We Write Memoir: A Reading List
- Really Good Shit: A Reading List
2. Essays / Investigative Projects / Features
Well, well, by the same token, their preferred essay features are generally between 2,000 and 6,000 words. But, these can also be longer or broken up into a series depending on length and subject matter.
On the other hand, personal essays should be submitted on spec, and they’ll pay $500 per story.
Here are some of my favorites:
- All that Was Innocent and Violent: Girlhood in Post-Revolution Iran
- Revisiting My Grandfather’s Garden
- Grieving, but Calmed by a Different Kind of Storm
- Vacation Memories Marred By the Indelible Stain of Racism
For critical essays and columns, they also accept pitches — with their rates starting at $500. But, these rates often vary depending on the level of reporting and research required.
3. Allowance to submit longreads online as pitches
Longreads features that require original reporting should be submitted as pitches. These features are rigorously edited and fact-checked. They are also interested in collaborating with artists and photographers on stories. And thus, would be open to working with any partners you’ll have in mind.
Equally important, they’re especially interested in investigative stories. And therefore, they would love to work with experienced reporters — if you qualify that is! As they provide them with a great amount of time and resources required for such projects.
In fact, some of their year-end series highlighting the best journalism across a range of categories. And this may give you some insights into the kind of work they’d love to produce.
4. The payments criteria requirements
There’s even more to longreads that you should know about first! Like telling them what makes your story incredible and urgent. Or even why you have the required criteria to write them. And why Longreads is the place to tell it.
Having said that, if all factors are constant here, they’ll pay you at very competitive rates for these features. Below are some type of work they’re constantly looking for from you as one of their publishers:
So, what are they mostly looking for?
- Queens of Infamy
- The Hunt for Planet Nine
- All About The Final Five Percent
- The Endgame of the Olympics
- Marmalade: A Very British Obsession
- The Strange and Dangerous World of America’s Big Cat People
Luckily, it all depends on the degree of reporting required and the complication of your proposal. Whereby, their base payment begins at $1,500. They’ll even work with you as they pay you a solid fee and also cover expenses.
And like I said, longreads can offer monetary and editorial support to projects that could otherwise not get done. And as such, you can go ahead and email their team through [email protected] for more info.
5. Addition of publisher collaboration features
In simple terms, longform journalism stories are a terrific form of writing for anyone to read. Especially students who’re studying to become journalists. And in reality, there’s no better way to become a stronger writer than to read vigorously and often.
For your information, the longreads website — the best site to submit longreads online has collaborated with other entities too. Including third-party sites, magazines, and podcast producers for the past several years. In order to help fund projects and disseminate them to a wider audience.
Some of their topmost collaborators have included The Marshall Project and the Oregon Public Broadcasting. Not forgetting, the Atlas Obscura, Racquet, This Land Press, and Food & Wine magazine.
When journalism comes to mind, most people think of short news pieces that get right to the point of a story. You may think of popular news sites like CNN or BBC, or even your own local or on-campus newspaper.
Journalism is not always considered the most creative type of writing. But, the industry actually encompasses many different types of journalism or forms of writing. One kind of journalism that is becoming increasingly popular is longform journalism.
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This branch of journalism often involves longer, more involved pieces. While taking the form of creative nonfiction or narrative journalism.
Often times, longform journalism can read like a novel. But it’s factual and follows the same ethics of journalism as other forms do. Above all, whether you enjoy reading about politics, environmental issues, or fashion, longform sites often offer journalism articles for anyone to enjoy.
Such sites include:
- The Cut,
- The Atlantic,
- Pacific Standard,
- Guernica Magazine,
- Longform — visit the site,
- Longreads — visit the site,
- The New York Times Magazine,
In addition, many of these websites also take submissions from readers. So, eventually, this is a great way to get your work out there to be read by thousands of people. They’ll also feature stories ranging from light-hearted and silly to intense and traumatic.
In an age where journalism is a continuously threatened industry, it’s important to support publications that are striving to save journalism and educate the world. All in all, if you work for a website or publication and want to collaborate on a project, please Contact Us for more guidelines.
Finally, it’s my hope that you now know how to submit longreads online. Do you think it’s a worthy course? You can share some of your additional thoughts and other related questions in the comments section.