Long Reads & Digital BooksBooks Submissions About
In this varied collection from Jessica Blankenship, you’ll find essays on such topics including but not limited to: shameless accounts of having lots of sex (and over-thinking it), pondering social politics, figuring out how to not have totally dysfunctional relationships, pulling apart all the ideas about how our lives in our 20s are “supposed” to look, letting go of expectations while keeping high standards, falling in love with who you really are, and making endless attempts at not being a completely terrible person.
The Tracking of A Russian Spy exhibits the harrowing consequences that can emerge when love, or something like it, intersects with modern-day espionage. Swenson details the perplexing set of events that follow his encounter with a beautiful stranger in a dusky New York City nightclub. The woman in question is Katya and as the two grow closer Swenson wonders whether there might be more to this woman than she lets on. His suspicions are only confirmed when, in the summer of 2010, Katya disappears after the arrest of ten Russian Americans charged with spying for the Kremlin, one of whom is the now infamous Anna Chapman. In search for answers that have occupied him for more than two years, Swenson makes a sojourn to Moscow where the account of a relationship cut short emerges as a panoramic take on high-tech espionage, Soviet “closed cities”, ongoing vestiges of the Cold War, and, perhaps, the ways in which secrets and attractions exist in a pervasively networked world.
This collection is a celebration of the unconditional love shared between best friends and the weird but inevitable things that happen when you’ve known that person for, literally, ever. But these weird (and probably embarrassing) things only prove that your best friend is your soulmate and you can’t imagine going through life without them, because let’s be honest, they know you better than you know yourself.
Everyone fears being alone. Loneliness can, at times, be terrifying and anxiety-inducing, especially when everyone around you seems to be enjoying their blissfully perfect relationship. But this anthology, comprised of 16 honest and thoughtful essays, will remind you why being single may not be the worst thing in the world and that, simply, it will all be okay in the end.
This is the story of publishing as you’ve never read it before, told by one of the most provocative and informed voices building its future.
It’s the tale of prophets and storytellers, of entrepreneurs and shop-owners, of those who fashioned the world of book publishing as we know it. Tracing the long road that elevated lowly scribes to god-like authors, that transformed written work to intellectual property, and that leads ever-onward into uncertain and invigorating futures, Nash engages in a sweeping socio-historical survey of book history. In his characteristically brilliant and eccentric voice, avoiding both triumphalism and despair, he argues forcefully that the book is no victim. Instigating as much as reacting, the book has been made and remade since its birth. In the drama of publishing, it remains the protagonist.
Above all, the Business of Literature is an honest assessment of the enterprise of publishing–how we’ve done it, how we do it, and why it’s worth doing in the first place.
My Transgender Coming Out Story is the memoir of Parker Marie Molloy, a transgender woman from Chicago, detailing her upbringing, the struggles she had coming to terms with her transgender status, her experience starting hormone replacement therapy, and the act of building and sustaining relationships in a post-transition life. She also shares thoughts on gender, coming out, and the concept of self-discovery. This is a book for anyone who has ever felt out of place, out of touch with themselves and the world around them.
It’s winter. Jane and Lindsay just want to drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and make out with horrible people while they wait to die. They take pride in being scum as they drive around eating cookies and giving hand jobs in parking lots. Like Jane and Lindsay’s sexual experiences, this book will make you laugh and end in a way that isn’t very satisfying.
Everyone has a journey. Everyone likes to think that their journey is special and unique and full of references that only three people understand. But it’s this commitment to our unbridled (and easily mockable sense of individualism) that kinda makes us all the same. I grew up in a suburb, went to college, and am now “just another dude trying to make it in the big city.” Here is a collection of writings and hard-hitting social commentaries that are mostly about that. In classic millennial fashion, it’s a lot about me. But it’s probably a little bit about you too.
Comprised in this book are my proudest pieces for Thought Catalog thus far. To be a pillowcase stained with Nutella suggests the opposite: that there is such a thing as a clean pillowcase. And it is this dichotomy you’ll find laced throughout the chapters here, as well the accompanying stress of maintaining a lifestyle with clean pillowcases. To be clear: “Nutella on my pillowcase” is no euphemism; it’s my default state, my natural habitat. I can even recall my first foray with the hazelnut spread; I was in an hour-long bat mitzvah lesson and I finished the entire jar. Ah, it was a young love—a rushed love, sure—but it’s proven to be a stable one. And the rest, as they say…is on my pillowcase.
The late-blooming 20-something is a creature typically found tucked into coffee shops with a secondhand book, overlarge frames perched upon their nose. Their love for fantasy novels and Disney movies knows no bounds, and their ability to geek out about the most niche movements is legendary. They were never cool in high school, always a little too loud, always a little unsure, always a little weird — but paradoxically always the ones who knew most what they liked and were not shy about it. Now in their fledgling adulthood, they must navigate those tricky waters known as growing old. (But they’ll never have to grow up.)
Ella Ceron’s 20s are a volley of Harry Potter books, running marathons, almost-but-not-quite relationships, taking risks, entry-level jobs, too many tattoos peeking through bargain J.Crew sweaters, walk-up apartments, and a cat who only deigns to share the bed sometimes. In her Best Of collection for Thought Catalog, she provides a field guide in the art of adorkability.
This book is an epistolary–letters from a boy to a girl about an ugly long distance break up. These sentences, together, make a point, tell a story, and express the deepest of feelings. Writing provides a physical piece of thought; it translates the neurotic current into something that can be shared, even with yourself when the thought has been long forgotten.
Follow the month long emotional roller coaster ride of a hopeless romantic from break up to finality. Breaking up is something everyone can relate to, whether it was your idea or not. Find a piece of yourself in this story and grow. Remember why you shouldn’t be missing someone that lingers in your thoughts. Realize how much your actions affect others even when you feel insignificant. Share it with someone in a letter.
What begins as a chance encounter on a Southern California beach in the early 1980s between Jay Roberts, then a young Marine, and a handsome, charismatic traveler soon leads to a life-changing afternoon in a mysterious hotel room where a surprise homoerotic proposition makes apparent that things are not all that they seem–a fact then further complicated by Roberts’ discovering, multiple decades later, that the man with whom he shared this strange and important afternoon so long ago was none other than one of the most prolific murderers in American history: the “Scorecard Killer,” Randy Kraft.
Forced to come to grips with his understanding of the past–and its implications for the present–Roberts deftly moves between “then” and “now,” ignorance and understanding, in honest, confessional prose that places the reader front and center for a true story that, indeed, is far stranger than fiction. Obsessive in nature and elliptical in structure, Roberts’ story ultimately inhabits the liminal space between truth and appearances, love and danger, the hunter and the hunted.
One part Hannibal, two parts Catfish, I Met a Serial Killer and He Made Me Feel More Loved Than Anyone Else in My Life is an explosive cocktail of secrecy, seduction, and serial killers that begs the question, “How well can we know anyone–even ourselves–really?”
1 in 6 women in America will experience sexual assault of some kind. As many as 96% of these women will never report it. Few will ever talk about it, much less say that it happened to them.
“Virgin” tells the story that is all too common now: teenagers go to parties, have a few too many drinks, and find themselves in situations they never banked upon, situations they thought they were smarter than. At 16, Ella Ceron was date-raped at a party. Until now, she’s never revealed the details of that night to anyone because of fear, shame, and feelings of utter confusion. This is a story of how, eventually, Ella began to realize that this one horrible event did not define her and even in spite of her unwillingness to deal with it, she found that she had moved past it.
Social stigma and cultural taboo keep victims and survivors silent. But their stories need to be told, because theirs are the stories we seldom hear, and rarely listen to. “Virgin” is just one story, but it doesn’t belong to Ella Ceron. It belongs to every survivor who has learned to cope, every survivor who is still coping, and every person who did not deserve to have something as terrible as rape in their lives.
“We Put the Spring in Springfield: Chronicling the Golden Era of ‘The Simpsons’” is a detailed study into the quirky intangible factors that lead to the rise and fall of The Simpsons phenomenal early years. From Michael Jackson’s bizarre guest appearance that kickstarted the golden era to the death of Maude Flanders and all the Conan O’Brien throwaway gags, Phil Hartman guest voices, extensive movie references and encore worthy musical numbers in between, “We Put the Spring in Springfield” serves as the perfect companion guide to the Simpsons’ golden years and delves into the particular elements that made seasons 3-8 so magical. For anyone who was religiously watching FOX Sunday nights throughout the 1990′s or just happened to borrow the season 3-8 DVDs from a friend, “We Put the Spring in Springfield” is a must read, promising to make a Simpson out of all of us.
This collection of five stories and four essays showcases the work of Mike Heppner, the writer whom Entertainment Weekly calls, “A fearsome cultural critic disguised in a novelist’s clothing,” and whose funny and biting fiction has been praised in Esquire, The Washington Post, and The Millions. Most of these pieces have not been published before. Featured performers include: a deluded Lothario, a man obsessed with corn, Charlie Watts, the dude from Def Leppard, and a sweet old lady who meets her untimely end at a Boston Market.
“The New Age Camp” camp depicts the clumsy awkwardness and fragile self-discovery that being a teenager is all about. When Chloe, a young woman from New York State, takes a summer job working at a camp for teens in Upstate New York, she has no idea what she’s in for. And maybe that’s a good thing. With a humor that is by turns self-deprecating and candidly critical of the world around her, Chloe describes a summer of Reiki healing, menstrual moon cycle charts, trance dances, junk food, borrowed clothes, teen girl angst, and ultimately emotional growth. Not just for the teens in her charge, but for Chloe herself.
Boys is an anthology of essays showcasing the voices, stories, and lives of gay, queer, and trans* men from around the world. Through these essays, readers are allowed an intimate glimpse into moments like the time one of the boys accidentally came out as gay on MySpace, another was kidnapped by his mother who wanted to “pray the gay away,” to the first time a boy went to a leather bar after transitioning to male and before he became a famous porn artist and performer. Boys shows readers that at the end of the day, there isn’t one type of boy in the world, but lots of boys with all their own stories.
What does it mean to be a young, single-ish woman in New York City? Sex and the City attempted to answer the question 15 years ago, Girls has recently taken up the cause, and now Girls? attempts to fill in the blanks with a collection of 13 touching, hilarious, and eccentric essays that deviate from the narrative.
This non-fiction piece describes the many facets of graduate school that most people are not aware of. Additionally, there are helpful and quirky tips for overall success. This book was not designed to provide cliché tips on how to study better or how to manage time better. It’s simply an enlightening tool that graduate students and pre-graduate students can keep close to them when they feel like they are in one big anxiety factory. Most people understand that it is beneficial to keep a positive outlook on life, but when grad school makes life even more difficult than it should be, it’s nice to have something for motivation.
The Poetry Of Politics is a look at the history of government, political systems, processes, and people from an abstract lens. It takes topics we are all familiar with and attempts to view them in a new light. The goal is greater understanding through questioning. Question your world to find out more about it.
While it’s tough to understand what leads a person into addiction—to witness someone you love kind-of kill herself—the truth is that you can learn from it. By the time Céline died at age 30, she was Kermit The Frog green and she vomited blood more frequently than she was able to eat. In less than a decade, she had gone from summa cum laude Columbia graduate to NYU PhD student to unemployed, rambling, stumbling drunk saddled with a cirrhotic liver beyond repair. By the time Céline died, her younger sister Mélanie was no longer a Miss Goody Two Shoes from a waspy Connecticut suburb trotting down the sensible path. She was an adult who had abandoned a secure job on Wall Street to establish a career as a writer committed to exploring fascinating subcultures.
As Céline’s illness escalated, you see, a basic lesson crept up on Mélanie: Life is beautifully short, and fragile as hell. Life happens. Gradually, Mélanie stopped agonizing over what she was supposed to do/think/know/read/listen to/watch/feel, or who she was supposed to be/befriend/love/like/learn from. So she pitched projects that sounded crazy and/or dangerous to most, but which gave her a thrill and helped her establish a career as an immersive journalist. She grew some balls, so to speak, after freeing herself from caring about what others might think.
The devastating beauty of what happened to Céline forced Mélanie to question who she is. However unwittingly, in dying, Céline empowered her younger sister to take risks—to live. This is their story.
American cultural historian and theorist Walter J. Ong, S.J. (1912-2003), formulated a sweeping thesis about the technologizing of the word in Western cultural history. As a result, he can be described as a technophile. In Walter J. Ong on How and Why Things Are the Way They Are, Thomas J. Farrell briefly sketches Ong’s life and scholarly career, and explains how his thought developed from the 1950s onward. Farrell discusses the political, social, and intellectual ferment in American culture in the 1960s, highlighting Ong’s contributions to the intellectual ferment of the times. Despite the conservative backlash to the ferment of the 1960s that has dominated American culture down to the present time, Ong continued to work out dimensions of his sweeping thesis in major books and articles in the subsequent decades, as Farrell notes.
What if there were a world bigger than the one you can touch?
Leigh Alexander recounts a stormy adolescence alongside the mysterious early internet. From the surrealism of early video games to raw connections made over primitive newsgroups, from sex bots to Sailor Moon, Alexander intimately captures a dark frontier age.
We go to happy hour every day after work — does this mean we’re alcoholics, or just frugal? We spend way too much time online — are we wasting our lives away, or being social the only way we know how? We also have one night stands, commitment issues, and kind of hate dating. Are we destined to be involved with the wrong people until the end of time, or just until the end of our 20s? Does anyone have a Xanax? “How To Be A 20-Something” is a collection of nineteen hilarious, sad, and often cathartic personal essays and stories written by and for 20-somethings.
40 million people in the US have tried Internet dating, which means 40 million people have probably gone on some pretty crappy dates. Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters is about one guy who experienced more than his fair share. Brian Donovan, a writer and comedian whose work has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NPR and Chapelle’s Show, has been on over 100 Internet dates in a genuine search for love and happiness. Instead what he found was a whole lot of crazy. Like the girl who couldn’t stop crying, or the one who caught on fire, or the girl who confronted him on national TV. Whether he likes it or not, Donovan has become an expert on Internet dating, and Not a Match is a collection of the stories, lessons, and advice he learned along the way. Perfect for any dater, Internet or otherwise, who has ever looked across the table and thought, “Wow, we are really not a match.”
Life is an uncertain morphing of the beautiful and devastating, the reckless and ordained, the inconsequential and cataclysmal. Brianna Wiest writes about her own experiences and truths of life as they pertain to the greater universe in this first compilation of her work. The selected pieces are ones to turn to when you are in need of answers, comfort and a little tough love now and again. Brianna provides a place of solace and understanding while still perpetuating her beliefs as they pertain to the reality of our individual journeys. The Truth About Everything asks you to challenge what you thought to be true, take the spiritual journey, and come out on the other end with your own story to tell.
What do you do when your ex leaves you for his A-list actress ex girlfriend? How do you land a musician boyfriend? What’s it like to make a total jackass of yourself when you meet that actor you’ve had a crush on for years? What would When Harry Met Sally… look like in 2013? Am I hungry? These questions and more are answered and explored by Almie Rose in I Forgot To Be Famous, essays and how-to’s about dating, relationships, living in Los Angeles, and how they all crash into each other, like the car chase scene in the mall in the Blues Brothers movie, which she hasn’t seen, but is not at all opposed to.
American Psychonaut is a short memoir that delivers a play-by-play, first-person account of the events of June 11th, 2010. Before that day, there were several clues that I was a bit crazy. Once my roommate said I was. Not to my face (I was reading his emails). Another time an ex-friend, who happened to be a doctoral student in neuroscience, called me “demented” (I was reading through his instant messages). But at long last, after over a decade of mental anguish, on that fateful June 11th, 2010 my insanity was officially consecrated and in not exactly the most subtle of fashions.
Think ‘Boy, Interrupted’ written by a wannabe David Sedaris, the male version of Lena Dunham, the white Richard Wright, the Asian J.D. Salinger, a gay Eminem, or the poor man’s Jonathan Franzen.
If ever there was a book that could sprout arms, grow hands, slap you in the face, and then follow it up with a kiss…this is it. Education, religion, money, gay sex, and fat doctors are all stripped naked and exposed for what they are. However, as quickly as the book turns on you and points out your hugely ignorant methods of thinking, it grows a heart. It lets you know that it’s all good. The world is a beautiful place. People are capable of the extraordinary, and maybe the old saying is true. All we need is love.
As a student named Rick Starr experiences elementary school, middle school, and high school, he learns more about gender roles, psychological isolation, bullying, and apathy than about reading, writing, and arithmetic. After suffering through bad teachers, navigating the social ladder, confronting bullies, and completing countless standardized tests, he has a revelation about public school in America: It’s comprised of sex, lies, and scantrons.
I’d Lie If I Could tells one girl’s tales of life, love, and lessons learned. From the ugly duckling stages of her youth, to kissing her way through her teens, and overcoming the hell of heartbreak in adulthood, Ashley has a story for it all. While the lucky ones handle these instances with poise and grace, Ashley proves that even the awkward ones can survive, one drink and a few good friends at a time. She promises candid stories, a 20-somethings pearls of wisdom, and a lot of laughs along the way. If she can make it, so can you.
In this poignant essay, Christine M. Tracy casts the beloved philosopher, priest, and mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1995) in a new light. As Teilhard’s extraordinary human life proved, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” This scholarly yet accessible work invites the reader to reconcile “the inside and outside of things,” and reveals Teilhard’s secret to happiness. Teilhard beckons each one of us to “add one stitch, no matter how small, to the magnificent tapestry of life.”
What does it mean to see with the eyes of the mystic yet live as a realist? Teilhard’s answer was his extraordinary human life. The warrior must witness death: the priest must recite his prayers: the paleontologist must dig into the earth. It is necessary to perform activities in the physical realm to access the spiritual realm. Living in a state of realization and acute awareness has singularly been the life of the mystic, and holy men, such as Teilhard. It is now required of everyone.
Chances are you’ve been there before: on an awkward first date where you find yourself stuck playing 20 questions with a person who has broccoli stuck in their teeth, or who spends half the evening whining about how their ex left them with an achy-breaky heart, or the one who shows up so on-the-rocks wasted that they end up passed out in their bowl of clam chowder before the main course arrives.
All My Friends Are Engaged is a collection of dating disaster stories, packed with witty and relatable answers to the age-old annoying question of “Why are you still single?” All the stories embarrassingly belong to the author, Jen Glantz, who you may have seen before on Thought Catalog, USA TODAY College, Thethingsilearnedfrom.com, or JDate.
Thought Catalog is now accepting manuscripts for digital books. The minimum word count is 5,000 words. Manuscripts should be attached as a Word document or Rich Text File. Include with the submission a brief bio and an overview of your work. Send your work to email@example.com.
Your email should look like this:
About Thought Catalog Digital Books
Thought Catalog introduces long reads and digital books for your tablet, eReader or mobile device. All titles are available through Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. New titles are released biweekly. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.