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ParentAutomattic (pending)

Atavist is a multimedia publishing platform.[1] It was founded by Jefferson Rabb, Evan Ratliff, and Nicholas Thompson.[2] In the spring of 2015, they released their free publishing platform, built with Google's Polymer. Fast Company wrote that the new system "make[s] it near-painless to create and sell beautifully designed long-form content across multiple platforms." Early investors in the company include IAC, Eric Schmidt, and the Founders Fund.[3]

In June 2018, Atavist announced that they were being acquired by Automattic.[4]


The Atavist Magazine is a monthly publication of longform narrative journalism.[5] The stories are between 10,000 and 20,000 words and include video, interactive elements and full audio accompaniment. It has been nominated for eight National Magazine Awards since its launch in 2011,[6] and in 2015 won for best Feature Writing with its piece "Love and Ruin," by James Verini. It is the first digital-only publication to receive the award.[7]

In 2014, three Atavist Magazine titles were optioned for film:

  • "American Hippopotamus" by Jon Mooallem[8]
  • "One Thousand Pounds of Dynamite" by Adam Higginbotham[9]
  • "The Trials of White Boy Rick" by Evan Hughes[10]

The California Sunday Magazine, Mental Floss, The Daily Dot, The Christian Science Monitor, Esquire, and Vice, have all used Atavist to publish "eye-catching" feature stories on the Web.[11]

A partnership with Atavist Books, a multiplatform book publishing company founded by Barry Diller, Scott Rudin, and Frances Coady, launched in the spring of 2014 with "Sleep Donation" by Karen Russell.[12] All titles were produced and distributed using Atavist.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bilton, Ricardo (19 October 2015). "How Atavist is winning over publishers". Digiday.
  2. ^ Gustini, Ray (21 May 2012). "The Atavist Rises; Amazon Charms Waterstones". The Atlantic Wire.
  3. ^ Carr, David (20 May 2012). "The Atavist Matures as a Publisher and a Platform". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  4. ^ Mullin, Benjamin (21 June 2018). " Owner Buys Atavist, Maker of Subscription-Offering Publishing Software". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  5. ^ Pavlus, John (18 January 2011). "Designing the Atavist, an App That Rescues Long-form Journalism". Fast Company.
  6. ^ Brownlee, John (23 March 2015). "The Atavist Redesign Turns The Long-Form Portal Into A Magic Word Processor". Fast Company.
  7. ^ Sebastian, Michael (2 February 2015). "Vogue Wins Magazine of the Year at National Magazine Awards". Advertising Age.
  8. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (5 June 2014). "RatPac, Edward Norton’s Class 5 Options ‘American Hippopotamus'". Deadline.
  9. ^ Sneider, Jeff (14 August 2014). "Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips to Produce ‘A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite’ for Warner Bros.". The Wrap.
  10. ^ Ford, Rebecca (9 October 2014). "'Oblivion' Director Joseph Kosinski to Helm 'The Trials of White Boy Rick'". Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ Bilton, Ricardo (19 October 2015). "How Atavist is winning over publishers". Digiday.
  12. ^ Coffey, Michael (7 October 2013). "One Year Later, Coady’s Atavist Books Set to Launch". Publisher's Weekly.

External links[edit]