What is the Longreads Membership, and why should I join?

The Longreads Membership is reader-funded storytelling. That means every dollar you contribute goes into a story fund to pay for original essays, reporting, podcasts, and story partnerships with other publishers.

Contributions are matched by WordPress.com. For every dollar you give, WordPress.com matches with another $2.

We work with writers, producers, artists, and publishers around the world. We pay for work that we believe adheres to the highest standards that you, our members, have when looking for something interesting to read.

Why are you reader-funded? Aren’t you part of a bigger company?

We believe that subscription-based reader funding is critical to the long-term sustainability of a publication that practices journalism. By subscribing to Longreads on a monthly or yearly basis, you’re investing in us to fund future stories, versus just rewarding us for attention on what we’ve already published.

Reader funding keeps us accountable to our most passionate readers for our success. Big traffic numbers are nice, but the pursuit of pure traffic-based advertising revenue can put too much emphasis on the pursuit of ever-larger audiences versus keeping your existing loyal audience happy.

We are not a nonprofit organization — our parent company is Automattic, makers of WordPress.com. Not only do they subsidize our efforts by powering our site on WordPress.com, but they believe in funding great journalism. So for every $1 readers contribute, they match that with another $2.

Can I still access Longreads stories even if I’m not a Longreads member?

Yes. Longreads Editors’ Picks, Exclusives, and Originals are free for everyone. We found that hard paywalls were an awkward experience for our Members, and people also often want to freely share what they’re reading with friends, colleagues, and family. We’ve decided to make these stories available to everyone—while still seeking community support to keep funding this great work.  Your contributions are as critical as ever.

Does a Longreads Membership give me access to the paywalled publications you recommend in Editor’s Picks?

As media workers, we believe that quality journalism and storytelling is worth paying for, and we encourage people to support those outlets they most enjoy. However, while we do sometimes recommend stories from paywalled or subscriber-only publications — and we denote that when they appear in our Top 5 weekly newsletter — we are unable to provide paid access to these publications.

Can I give a gift subscription?

Not at this time.

How do I access my Longreads Member account?

After a platform migration this year, Longreads Member accounts are no longer self-serve. However, our best-in-class support is happy to help you with any account maintenance issues — just email us at support@longreads.com and we’ll take care of anything you need.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We currently accept all major debit and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

What payment processor do you use? Do you store my credit card details?

We use Stripe, via WooCommerce, to securely process payments for Longreads Memberships. Longreads does not store any of your credit card information.

I can’t find the answer to my question here. What should I do?

Email us at support@longreads.com and we’ll try to help you as best as we can.