Letter joins Substack to help independent writers work together

Before there was blogging, there were letters

When we first saw Letter, a platform for written debate, we immediately recognized it as a fellow traveler. Here was a platform that encouraged thoughtful discussion among people who were incentivized to seek understanding rather than internet points, to argue in good faith instead of dropping bombs for retweets. This approach had helped Letter attract an impressive array of writers, including Noam Chomsky, Yuval Noah Harari, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

We could see that Letter, like Substack, was working in opposition to the ad-driven attention economy, attempting to change the rules of engagement for online discourse. 

Then we got to know the brothers Dayne and Clyde Rathbone, two of Letter’s founders, and found that our suppositions were correct. The Letter team shares Substack’s values – that good writing is valuable and what you read matters – and the determination to nurture a media ecosystem that can advance the quality of conversation. It wasn’t long until we became interested in working together. 

Today, we’re pleased to announce that the Letter team has now officially joined Substack. Dayne, Clyde, and company will relocate from Australia to San Francisco to help us build more of the infrastructure and support that independent writers need to thrive.

When a writer starts a Substack, they gain both independence and community. Those terms may sound like a contradiction, but we have always taken the view that being independent shouldn’t mean being alone.

Independent writers flourish when they can learn from each other, share information and advice, and help each other succeed. We are continuing to build programs and services that help writers directly – from educational resources to workshops to legal support – but we will also build features that make it simple for writers to collaborate with each other. Together, these initiatives strengthen the foundation for productive discourse that both Substack and Letter have been seeking to foster.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Letter to Substack to help with these efforts, and to keep investing in an ecosystem that helps writers lift each other up and achieve independence, together.


Interested in working with us to build a better future for writing? Check out substack.com/jobs