True, Short, and Absolutely Brilliant. The Essay.
Essay. This word strikes fear and rouses feelings of trying, trying to fill in blank white pages under the deadline and the scrutiny of fluorescent lights. Did you get anxious at the sight of that word? Maybe nauseaus? Want to barf? That's how I feel seeing the word. Yes, writing one for school is wretched for many. But that's in school. In fact, the essay is a loveable thing.
Outside, elsewhere, the essay is a great format for hard-hitting work that sucker-punches you in the gut - in a good way. This is a territory void of fictional vampires and romance, but filled with anecdotes of real-life blood lust and lurid emotions. And what if you don't like what you're reading? No problem, it was short anyway.
OK, so where would you begin? Start naming names.
Joan Didion, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" Ever wanted to live a wreckless, contradictory life in Southern California during the 60s? Accounts of hippie ashrams, free love and free living, nouveau riche, and the many perplexities of California - these essays remain pointant and incredibly true today.
The Electric Typewriter: Great site to browse incredible essays from top journalists and writers. Just browse a subject and you'll fall into this rabbit hole.
Longform: New, collected writing and articles from top magazines.