About TW

Talking Writing is a nonprofit magazine that supports writers and literature online by encouraging discussion of the writing process.


Talk about writing always ends up being talk about life—often some of the most passionate and difficult times in life.

Great writing makes us want to sing or shout or argue, and a digital format like TW's creates a new kind of literary magazine. It opens virtual doors to many readers. It encourages commenting, questioning, and a diverse community.

Because it's online, TW publishes new material every week throughout each quarterly issue, sparking continual talk about writing and life.

We are for poetry and the sources of poetry. They are everyday, these sources, as the sources of peace are everyday, infinite and commonplace as a look, as each new sun.

—Muriel Rukeyser, The Life of Poetry

TW's History

TW was founded by a group of writers with cluttered lives and a boundless fascination with their craft. Some of us have known each other for decades. We've shared our poems, stories, and essays; we've met in writers groups, classrooms, or online.

Talking Writing began as a blog of the same name. It was kicked off in July 2009 by Martha Nichols, a professional writer, editor, and journalist who teaches magazine writing at the Harvard University Extension School.

The original contributors to the TW blog were and are wonderful writers. Yet, Martha found that she was editing many of the guest posts and that the blog format didn’t establish a masthead for regular contributors to rally around.

TW launched as an online magazine in September 2010. In its first year, with Martha as editor in chief and Elizabeth Langosy as executive editor, it gained thousands of new readers.

The magazine continues to grow, and in the fall of 2011, Martha and Elizabeth registered Talking Writing, Inc., as a nonprofit in the state of Massachusetts. TW is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit literary organization.

As of December 2013, TW generates a quarter of a million-plus annual page views.

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

How TW Works

Talking Writing publishes four issues a year with a break during the summer.

Each issue launches with six to eight pieces. In the weeks that follow, we publish new essays, interviews, and other work until the entire 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 or RSS subscription also get a message whenever a new piece appears.

Every issue of TW focuses on a different writing theme to support literary conversation. Our theme essays offer a range of opinions, and we regularly feature comments from readers about the work published in Talking Writing.

TW editors are committed to the editing process. Most of us are professional writers and editors, accustomed to assigning and editing pieces for publication. We work directly with writers to ensure the quality of published pieces.

The speciality of the novel is that the writer can talk about his characters as well as through them, or can arrange for us to listen when they talk to themselves.

—E. M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel

TW's Nonprofit Mission

If TW were to have a credo, it would be that discussing, dissecting, and interacting with works of literature moves us to a more humane understanding of the world.

As an independent, nonprofit organization, Talking Writing relies on donations and grants to keep publishing. Our core mission is to build literary community and to share quality writing. While we don’t charge for subscriptions, we do encourage readers to donate whatever they can to help us grow.


Join the TW Community

  • Subscribe: Sign up for a free email subscription so you won’t miss any issues or updates—and help build TW’s audience.

  • Share: “Like” TW’s Facebook page or retweet something from @talkingwriting to spark more literary conversation.

  • Purchase: Buy items in the TW Store, give TW a boost—and let the world know that you support digital literature.

  • Donate: Give to TW and show your support for great writing.