Evan Ratliff is an award-winning journalist and the co-founder and editor in chief of Atavist and The Atavist Magazine. He is currently at work on a nonfiction book for Random House about the 21st century’s most prolific international criminal cartel and the programming genius behind it, based on his 2016 Atavist Magazine serial “The Mastermind.” The story is also being adapted into a television series by the Russo Brothers, Noah Hawley and Skybound. On the side, Evan co-hosts the Longform Podcast, and was the founding story editor of Pop-Up Magazine.
The Long Version:
In 2010, together with Nicholas Thompson (editor in chief of Wired Magazine) and Jefferson Rabb (genius programmer and designer), Evan founded Atavist, a company that produces an online storytelling platform and The Atavist Magazine, an award-winning digital publication of longform journalism. From 2010 until 2017, Evan served as CEO of the company, and remains the editor in chief of the magazine. The Atavist Magazine is a nine-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards, the first digital publication ever to win for feature writing, and a two-time Emmy nominee. More than a dozen of its stories have been optioned for major film and television projects. Atavist’s platform, meanwhile, is used by tens of thousands of news organizations, publishers, and nonprofits around the world to tell their most important, beautifully designed, stories.
Outside of Atavist, Evan is a longtime contributor of features and investigative reporting to magazines like Wired, The New Yorker, Outside, and National Geographic. He has reported from Russia, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Brazil, the Philippines, Israel, and elsewhere on transnational crime, science and technology, the environment, terrorism, and politics. He is the co-author of Safe: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World (HarperCollins, 2005), about innovation and counterterrorism.
As a writer, he is a:
- Two-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards
- Two-time finalist for the Livingston Award for reporting
- Citation recipient for the Overseas Press Club Award for Digital Reporting on International Affairs
- Finalist for the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award
- Winner of the Clark/Payne Award for science writing
His writing has been selected for numerous anthologies, including The Best American Magazine Writing 2010, The Best of Technology Writing 2006 and 2010, The Best American Nonrequired Writing 2010, and The Best American Science Writing 2012. His 2009 Wired cover story “Vanish,” about his attempt to disappear and the public’s effort to find him, was selected by the magazine as one of the 20 best stories in its history.
In addition to speaking on topics ranging from online privacy to digital publishing, Evan co-hosts the acclaimed Longform Podcast. He was also the founding story editor for Pop-Up Magazine, the world’s first live magazine and one of the country’s most successful literary events. (Pop-Up is now co-produced with the National Magazine Award-winning California Sunday Magazine, which in turn uses the Atavist platform).
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, he currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.