About | The Drift is a magazine of culture and politics

“The lit mag of the moment.”
The New York Times

The Drift incarnates a bracing new sensibility, as agile and mordant as it is intrepid.”
—Pankaj Mishra

“Gorgeous writing and maverick left political thinking—what more do you want from a magazine?”
—Wendy Brown

“A new generation’s memo—and a deservedly harsh one—to its elders.”
—Samuel Moyn

The Drift introduces itself with maybe the most brilliantly acute, utterly devastating criticism of the self absorption of elite, liberal media ever written.”
—Richard Yeselson

“I feel implicated by this but it’s terrific.”
—Michelle Goldberg

Founded in June 2020, The Drift aims to introduce new work and new ideas by young writers who haven’t yet been absorbed into the media hivemind and don’t feel hemmed in by the boundaries of the existing discourse. Our issues, published three times a year, feature longform essays and cultural criticism, short fiction, poetry, interviews, dispatches, and extremely abbreviated reviews.

Masthead | It's our fault

Editors |

Kiara Barrow
Rebecca Panovka

Managing Editor |

Clare Sestanovich

Associate Editors |

Thayer Anderson
Erik Baker
Tarpley Hitt
Lake Micah
Max Norman
Elena Saavedra Buckley
Krithika Varagur

Fiction Editor |

Zain Khalid

Poetry Editor |

Zoë Hitzig

Editorial Assistant |

Jordan Cutler-Tietjen

Print Designer |

Ivy Sanders Schneider

Art Director |

John Kazior

Researchers |

Surya Gowda
Molly Montgomery
Lucy Dean Stockton
William Sydney

Readers |

Lauren Green
Katiy Heath
Seth Murray
Celine Shanosky
Maia Siegel
Andres Vaamonde
Hua Xi

Submit | Don't be shy

We want |

socially engaged cultural criticism; class-sensitive analysis; pieces that point out what’s being avoided or talked around in politics, media, arts, or even academia; upbeat cynicism; un-self-serious screeds; generous takedowns; entries from the margins; fiction; poetry; 1-3 sentence book/ movie/ TV/ art reviews.

We don't want |

anything that toes a party line (any party, any line); highbrow name-dropping; straightforward longform reviews narrowly focused on a single book or movie; dispatches from The Right Side of History; finger wagging; false binaries; anachronistic historical critiques; thoughts on Heidegger, Nietzsche, Foucault, [insert theory-bro icon here]; hot takes on the latest 24-hour Twitter scandal; term papers (or anything that could conceivably be turned in as a term paper); Marxist critiques culminating in statements about the base and superstructure; personal essays.

We're bored by |

your love life; quarantine diaries; Twitter feuds; whatever’s on Netflix; baking; cultural appropriation; woke Hollywood; the “meritocracy,” and ivory tower critiques of meritocracy; wellness; Harry Potter as political intertext; friendly brands; performative pessimism; girlbosses; refusing to read David Foster Wallace; David Foster Wallace; consumer guilt; the political and psychological effects of social media; millennials and sex; cable news; lifestyle choices; contemporary fiction; freedom.

We pay |

$2,000 for essays
$500 - $1,000 for short stories
$150 for poems
$25 for Mentions

Pitch us at |


Unfortunately, we’re not able to read draft nonfiction submissions. We work on essays often over the course of many months and several drafts, and we like to begin with a two- to four-paragraph pitch. We read and respond to every pitch we receive, so bear with us—it may take a bit of time to get back to you, but we will.

Submit fiction to |


Attach your work (no word limit) as a Word doc or pdf titled “lastname_firstname.”

Send poetry to |


Attach up to six poems in a single Word doc or pdf titled “lastname_firstname.”

Propose Mentions at |


State the topic in the subject line. In the email body, include your name, relevant clips, and a draft of the review, which should be 1-4 sentences. The best Mentions have a clear, narrow angle, make a few jokes, and land on a punchy kicker.

Direct customer service queries to |

Contact | Say hi

Anything else |

Copyright © The Drift 2023