The Art of Longform

The complete course, based on lectures recorded during the Summer 2017 live offering.

The Art of Longform is an intermediate level course aimed at longform bloggers. Over six self-paced sessions, we cover everything from the nitty-gritty of writing headlines and compelling ledes, to higher-level topics like unlocking the generativity needed for writing longform, and situating your work in the digital environment as an "idea startup". If you're not familiar with ribbonfarm, we recommend you take some time to explore our work before enrolling, since our approach to blogging is quite idiosyncratic, and may not be suitable for all writing goals.

The course is based on recordings from the live version conducted in 2017, taught by Venkatesh Rao and Sarah Perry of, with editing support and input from contributing editors Carlos Bueno, Kevin Simler, Joe Kelly, Renee DiResta, and Taylor Pearson. Evan Thomas, former writing instructor at OSU, contributed a guest lecture.

Ribbonfarm was founded in 2007 by Venkatesh Rao, and today features a wide variety of writing from many different writers. The unifying theme is our tagline, "experiments in refactored perception." This course draws on our decade of experience with longform blogging, spanning over 650 longform posts, averaging ~2500-3000 words, and dozens of contributors.

Dozens of these posts have been viral hits (frequently making aggregator front pages, and being featured on major curated lists such as and The Browser). Several such as The Gervais Principle, Weaponized Sacredness, and The Premium Mediocre Life of Maya Millennial are widely regarded as Internet classics.

Your Instructor

Venkatesh Rao
Venkatesh Rao

Venkatesh Rao is a writer, independent researcher, and consultant. He is the founder of ribbonfarm, a longform blog, and Breaking Smart, a technology analysis site and email newsletter. You can find out more about him on his personal site.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!