literature + journalism
Talking Writing is a nonprofit literary site that features essays, first-person journalism, visual art, and poetry.
To show why writing matters in the digital age—and why good reporting and storytelling can change the world.
Based in the Boston area, Talking Writing was cofounded by Martha Nichols and Elizabeth Langosy in 2010. TW now generates more than a quarter of a million page views annually and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Great writing makes us want to sing or shout or argue, and TW’s innovative format opens virtual doors to readers and writers everywhere. As the publishing industry continues to transform itself online, Talking Writing exemplifies the impact luminous stories and well-executed journalism can have in the new media world.
Creating Meaning Through Personal Stories
Talking Writing is a home for first-person journalism—features told from a personal perspective but underpinned by research and reporting—and other hybrid writing genres like flash essays and memoir. We believe hybrid work, especially nonfiction that combines literary style with journalistic craft, helps promote a diversity of perspectives and the nuanced discussion so often missing in other public forums.
TW has published interviews with Jennifer Egan, Robert Olen Butler, Gene Luen Yang, William Least Heat-Moon, Caitlin Moran, Chana Bloch, and Terry Tempest Williams. Talking Writing includes a thriving poetry section with work by Alicia Ostriker, Katharine Harer, Randall Horton, and many other contemporary poets. TW opinion pieces have sparked provocative debate and been excerpted in Salon, Ebony, the Huffington Post, and the International Examiner.
Talking Writing panels at recent AWP conferences have taken on topics such as "Literary Politics: White Guys and Everyone Else" (2014), "Digital Poets and Nature" (2015), "The Politics of Empathy" (2015), "The New Nonfiction" (2016), and "What Journalists Can Teach Literary Writers" (2017).
How TW Works
Talking Writing magazine publishes several issues a year—currently Fall and Spring—with a break in early winter and during the summer.
Each digital issue launches with five or more pieces. In the weeks that follow, we publish new essays, interviews, and other features until the issue is complete. As pieces publish, they appear in the Table of Contents for the current issue.
Readers who sign up for a free email subscription get a message whenever a new Talking Writing piece appears.
Every issue of TW has a theme. Fall is the main nonfiction issue for Talking Writing, including our annual selection of "Writing and Faith" essays; Spring focuses on TW's annual "poetry spotlight." Submission deadlines for upcoming themes can be found in TW’s Editorial Calendar.
TW's Mission: Literature + Journalism
Discussing, dissecting, and interacting with works of literature moves us to a more humane understanding of the world.
That’s our credo in these unsettled times for writers. TW's core mission is to emphasize the intersection between journalism and literary work. We believe literature and responsible journalism deserve far more space than they currently claim online—and TW is committed to encouraging authors at all stages of their careers, with all work professionally edited and produced.
As an independent, nonprofit organization, Talking Writing relies on donations and the work of many dedicated volunteers to keep publishing. While we don’t charge for subscriptions, we do encourage readers to donate whatever they can to help us grow.
All donations to TW are tax deductible.
The writers I love most are the ones who beg me to write 'yes' in the margins. Or the ones who dare me to think about an idea that was formerly a taboo.
—Terry Tempest Williams, from a 2013 TW interview
There are things inside a book the author may not even be conscious of or that are the collective unconscious speaking through a work. The meaning of the work is really a collaboration between author and reader.
—Gene Luen Yang from a 2015 TW interview