The Sunday Long Read Podcast

The Sunday Long Read Podcast

Pulitzer-winning reporter Don Van Natta Jr. and journalist Jacob Feldman chat with writers and editors from across the industry as an audio extension of The Sunday Long Read e-mail newsletter.


34: Jeanne Marie Laskas
May 26 • 45 min
The best-selling author, GQ correspondent, and National Magazine Award Finalist is our latest guest. Laskas discusses her books and articles including To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope; her New York Times Magazine article “The Mailroom;” and her…
33: Will Leitch
Apr 27 • 65 min
Will Leitch founded Deadspin nearly 14 years ago. Since 2008, Leitch has written and worked outside of the site, most recently as a contributing editor at New York Magazine, a national correspondent for MLB, and the host of “The Will Leitch Show” on…
32: Anne Helen Petersen
Mar 24 • 47 min
Anne Helen Petersen, although she’s a superb culture writer for BuzzFeed News, still gets a little nauseous at the prospect of talking to people for her stories. She talks about that and more with Jacob on this week’s episode, where they touch on…
31: Gideon Lewis-Kraus
Jan 27 • 43 min
Gideon Lewis-Kraus is a writer at large for the New York Times Magazine, a contributing writer at WIRED, and a contributing editor at Harper’s. He’s the author of a travel memoir called A Sense of Direction, and he teaches nonfiction in the Graduate…
30: Tommy Tomlinson
Jan 13 • 55 min
“The clock doesn’t run out until the very end,” says Tommy Tomlinson, author of the new book “The Elephant in the Room: One fat man’s quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America.” Tommy talks about his book, his weight, and more with Don on this week’s…
29: Rachel Sklar
Oct 21, 2018 • 39 min
If you worked in media in New York in the mid 2000s, you read the Fishbowl on MediaBistro. Our podcast guest today is the writer of that indispensable, gossipy blog, Rachel Sklar. We’ll track her unconventional path from Mediabistro to Mediaite and…
28: Ben Smith
Oct 14, 2018 • 43 min
Fresh off his guest-editing turn, BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith chatted with Don about how the term “Ben Smith-ing” came into being, why he moved from Politico to BuzzFeed, and the thought process behind publishing the controversial Trump-Russia…
27: Elaina Plott
Sep 16, 2018 • 48 min
“It seemed like everyone knew what to think but me.” Elaina Plott landed not one but two stories in the Sunday Long Read newsletter last week. The first was a cover story for Pacific Standard magazine about the residents of Tangier Island, Virginia, and…
26: Albert Samaha
Sep 9, 2018 • 66 min
“There are two ways I view toughness and the virtue of it.” BuzzFeed News reporter Albert Samaha has a new book out about a young football team in a changing inner city. But clearly it’s about so much more than that, too. As for what he thinks will happen…
25: Maria Bustillos
Aug 26, 2018 • 47 min
Maria Bustillos is the current editor in chief of Popula, an alternative news and culture magazine that recently launched on the blockchain-based Civil platform. In this week’s episode, Don and Maria walk through one of Popula’s first pieces published,…
24: Jo Piazza
Aug 12, 2018 • 43 min
Jo Piazza is a journalist, podcaster, author of fiction and nonfiction books, and writer of personal essays. Her latest book—her eighth—is a novel called Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, and it’s a fascinating look at what it takes for a woman to run for…
23: Brett Michael Dykes
Aug 7, 2018 • 64 min
Through a mixture of humorous tales and handy insights, Uproxx editor-in-chief Brett Michael Dykes explains to Don how he turned a few viral posts on a personal blog into a series of jobs in digital media. He also discusses the book that inspired him to…
22: Glynnis MacNicol
Aug 7, 2018 • 47 min
Glynnis MacNicol wisely says about writing that “not telling the truth leads to bad writing.” She’s spot on about that and quite a few other things in her new book, “No One Tells You This,” which she discusses with Don on this week’s episode. The two talk…
21: Seymour Hersh
Aug 7, 2018 • 44 min
A reporter’s reporter, Sy Hersh characterizes his work this way: “I’m constantly walking into editors’ offices and throwing a dead rat full of lice on their desk. Maybe he’s still alive and moving.” Hear his unfiltered thoughts on his career and…
20: Amy Chozick
Aug 7, 2018 • 55 min
Amy Chozick moved to New York after college with nothing but a set of clips from her college newspaper and now, 17 years later, is The New York Times bestselling author of the campaign memoir “Chasing Hillary.” In this week’s episode, Don (the co-author…
19: Steve Almond
Aug 7, 2018 • 38 min
Steve Almond says of writing: “The idea is that you are trying to show the reader somebody whose life is in disequilibrium and who is struggling with some universal bewilderment.” His newest book, Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to our Country,…
18: Rachel Syme
Aug 7, 2018 • 81 min
Where is Rachel Syme’s favorite people-watching perch in New York City? What would her ideal beat be? One of our favorite profile writers—and a soon-to-be author—discusses those topics and many, many more on this week’s podcast. She also explains the…
17: Shea Serrano
Aug 7, 2018 • 56 min
DVN: How many writers are you mentoring right now? SS: I think like 600. Don and Shea discuss how he first resorted to writing, how comments got him a job, how he found his unique voice, and the first compliment Bill Simmons gave him. From the first to…
16: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
Aug 7, 2018 • 46 min
“What kind of globalization should we want? There are lots of different versions of it, and we have a particular version that at this moment is pissing off a lot of people—but it doesn’t have to be that way.” Atossa has spent most of her journalism career…
15: Geoff Edgers
Aug 7, 2018 • 70 min
“I’m not that special,” Washington Post national arts reporter Geoff Edgers says. “All I do is call a million people.” That’s how he’s written unforgettable profiles on every star from Lionel Richie to David Letterman. Edgers shares his process with Don,…
14: Alex Belth
Aug 7, 2018 • 76 min
After writing the Oral History of Inside Sports for The Sunday Long Read, and as he launches a new journalism archive project debuting today, Alex catches up with Don—who calls Alex “America’s Curator Laureate.” As for his new website,…
13: Michael Kruse
Aug 7, 2018 • 69 min
“We’re all a product of our path to the current moment, and my path is a little bit different,” Michael says. He has worked his way up from covering exurban news to writing about the President for POLITICO. And he says that journey, which included stories…
12: Sally Jenkins
Aug 7, 2018 • 84 min
Washington Post columnist and four-time NYT best-selling author Sally Jenkins recounts the advice Billie Jean King gave her about dealing with sexism; shares her opinion of Lance Armstrong, Joe Paterno, and Roger Goodell; and explains why journalism is a…
11: S.L. Price
Aug 7, 2018 • 97 min
Longtime friends Don and Scott discuss how Price started going by S.L., the changes they’ve seen in American newsrooms, and how writing requires being both the god and dog of your story. They also go personal, discussing Scott’s prescient student…
10: Kevin Van Valkenburg
Aug 7, 2018 • 74 min
Kevin Van Valkenburg is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, where he writes primarily about football and golf. Prior to joining ESPN, he spent 11 years at the Baltimore Sun. In 2015, he was the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor at…
9: Wright Thompson and Seth Wickersham
Aug 7, 2018 • 74 min
Seth Wickersham and Wright Thompson both write for ESPN The Magazine and have been discussing stories since their time together at the University of Missouri (they discussed several while guest editing The Sunday Long Read in September). Don chatted with…
8: Souad Mekhennet
Aug 7, 2018 • 59 min
Souad Mekhennet is a national security correspondent for The Washington Post and the author of the national best-selling, “I Was Told To Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad.” Last month, she was named the 2017 recipient of the Daniel Pearl…
7: Chris Jones
Aug 7, 2018 • 95 min
In the middle of his Twitter hiatus, two-time National Magazine Award winner Chris Jones (left) chats with Don Van Natta Jr. Jones shares behind-the-scenes details from his favorite stories—including profiles of Roger Ebert and Teller. He also explains…
6: Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Aug 7, 2018 • 72 min
It was about time The Sunday Long Read Podcast caught up with Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who extended her lead in list appearances this week. It’s a longer episode, but equally jam-packed with stories and tips—and make sure to stick around for the first-ever…
5: Christopher Goffard
Aug 7, 2018 • 40 min
Christopher Goffard, now at The Los Angeles Times, is an experienced journalist of over 20 years. Most recently, he’s the reporter, writer and voice of Dirty John, a captivating series told via print and chart-topping podcast. Christopher tells Jacob why…
4: Ana Menendez
Aug 7, 2018 • 41 min
Award-winning author Ana Menendez is called “a triple-threat” by Don in our 4th Sunday Long Read podcast—she’s been a reporter, a columnist and is now a full-time fiction writer (and, last week, Ana was guest-curator of the SLR). In their 40-minute…
3: Jacob Feldman
Aug 7, 2018 • 41 min
Sunday Long Read producer Jacob Feldman joins Don to talk about his latest story on the NFL and discuss the podcast project.
2: Michael Graff
Aug 7, 2018 • 40 min
Michael N. Graff, an award-winning writer and editor from North Carolina, has appeared four times in The Sunday Long Read, including last week when Don selected Michael’s essay “Is the Secret to Successs… Faking It?” as his Favorite of the Week. In our…
1: Jody Avirgan
Aug 7, 2018 • 28 min
For nearly 30 minutes, Don chatted with Jody about how the 30 for 30 Podcasts idea was born, the critically acclaimed first 30 for 30 Podcasts episode, The Trials of Dan and Dave and whether this is the golden age of pods or we’re sitting atop a podcast…