The Big Roundtable

The Big Roundtable is a home, both online and offline, for writers with true stories they need to tell and readers looking for compelling tales.

The Algonquin Roundtable

The Big Roundtable publishes narrative nonfiction (aka longform) and conducts experiments is a digital publishing platform that aims to connect passionate nonfiction writers with readers who will support their work. We do this through experimental methods of gathering, selecting, editing, and distributing ambitious narrative stories, and, eventually, researching the reading and sharing behavior around those stories. And by convening forums—online and in person—where writers can learn and connect for mutual support. The inspiration for The Big Roundtable came from the Algonquin Round Table, a group of New York City writers who called themselves “The Vicious Circle” and who’d meet at the Algonquin Hotel in the early 20th century. They were vicious; we are not.

Connect with the Big Roundtable on Twitter and Facebook, and, for support or questions, shoot us an email. We always love to hear from you.

The Team

Michael Shapiro


A Brooklyn native and a Mets fan, Michael Shapiro, a Professor at Columbia’s school of journalism, has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Columbia Journalism Review, among many, many others. He’s also taught two decades of journalism students.


Mike Hoyt


Mike Hoyt spent 27 years at the Columbia Journalism Review, ten of them as its top editor. Before that he worked at two newspapers and wrote for several magazines. He’s an adjunct professor at Columbia’s J-school, a native of Kansas City, and a reasonably serene Mets fan.


Anna Hiatt


Anna’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, the New York Times, and Vice, among others. She’s also a photographer embracing video for an NSF and MacArthur-funded documentary project about trees. Frequent tree climber, and occasional dancer-in-public-spaces, Anna’s full of vim, vigor, coffee.


Cissi Falligant

Senior Editor

Cissi Falligant has been an editor at the Chicago Tribune’s late and lamented experiment in suburban coverage, as well as at Crain Communications. She is at work on a book about dyslexia.


Eléonore Hamelin


Eléonore hails from Lyon, France. She came to the U.S. to attend Columbia’s school of journalism, where she directed, shot, and produced “Queens,” a touching documentary about a beauty pageant for women over 60. All Big Roundtable illustrations are hers.

Our Writers

Our writers are part of the Big Roundtable team. A number of our writers are working on second stories for us now. We’re devoted to them and work tirelessly to help guide and shape their pieces.

Write for us. Submit your piece to our editors.

Our Core Values


Storytelling is at the core of what it means to be human. In the past, novelists have had all the fun. No more. Our aim is to publish stories that are narrative yarns, true stories executed with the craft and storytelling flair of novels. We believe that writers can think like novelists, but act like journalists.


The rich conversation about the future of digital media in every form is taking place both inside and outside of legacy and startup publications. We’re engaged in that conversation, and we know you are too—and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts.


In traditional publishing, a single editor usually decides whether or not to publish your piece. His preferences—whether he likes hockey, not football, or acid jazz, not acid rock—bias his decision. By changing the submission and review process, we hope to eliminate the editor-as-tastemaker and bring you, the reader, a wider, more surprising range of stories.


Our background is in journalism. Our interest is in true stories. We founded the Big Roundtable as a home for wonderfully-told nonfiction. We hope to make good on a promise made during the era of New Journalism, that has since fallen to the wayside, to publish nonfiction writing that uses unconventional literary techniques.

The Details

The Roundtable, In Brief

The Big Roundtable has been featured in a number of publications, including Capital New York, Poynter, Forbes, and by other press, both American and international.

We’ve co-published stories with Buzzfeed, Medium, Columbia Journalism Review, Tablet Magazine, among others.

The Big Roundtable was launched in June 2013.


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The average donation is $18.