Betsy Morais

Hello there! My name is Betsy and I’m an editor at Harper’s. Before that, I was on the editorial staff of The New Yorker. I have written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Awl, and other magazines. Here I am, nice to see you!


The New Yorker

Roving around the Upper East Side with the sixteen year-old girl who serves on the local community board.

On underwear, feminism, and photoshoots.

The coyote catchers of New York City.

Riding bikes with Steven Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City.

“My friends joke about my buying real property with Monopoly money.”

Riding in taxis with female drivers.

An interview with the man who rents rooms by the hour.

A discussion of online dating at the senior center.

The leader of a small island nation tries in vain to save his country from being completely flooded.

Self-help by way of online games.

Kevin Bacon comes to Super Bowl Boulevard.

On a gallery of emoji art.

A producer's class on how to be a producer.

A non math-person goes to the museum.

Can there be a better Wiffle Ball?

When the local community board gathered for a meeting the other night, concerned citizens chimed in on a dispute over exactly when Sunday brunch is served.

April showers sprinkled onto the High Line’s greenery like the misty spray in a supermarket produce aisle. Meanwhile, under the cover of the 16th Street Chelsea Market passage, Alison Knowles was looking for her cleavers.

The Awl

On tourism, especially in China.

On my college paper going digital.


Looking past incarceration for women in Brooklyn.

Sweating at the Mermaid Spa in Sea Gate, Brooklyn's oldest gated community.

The Atlantic

How designers are responding to e-readers.

For “Pilgrimage,” the photographer turned her camera away from celebrities, toward important traces of cultural history, and caught up with Susan Sontag.

I tagged along while the former design director and new Mixel creator walked his dog, Mister President.

A startup sets out to stock digital shelves of allusions.

There is a long-held belief about cinema: “There never was a silent film.” But reading is silent by design. I considered a new app that provides cinematic soundtracks for digital books, and tried to hear myself think.

In 1792, Wollstonecraft wrote of the need “to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both of mind and body.” The women who find themselves at Deep Springs will have a unique opportunity to test themselves on both counts. Unless the idea of baling hay at 4:30 a.m. does not appeal.

Kids know what they like, which usually has little to do with what they are supposed to like. But that hasn’t stopped celebrities like Gloria Estefan, Dolly Parton, or Madonna from getting into the children’s literature game.

See all of the stories I have written for The Atlantic.


Although Rabbi Helga Newmark survived the horrors of the Holocaust, a childhood slight from Anne Frank stayed with her for the rest of her life. Then she told my seventh grade class.

This Recording

I saw an old friend on the side of a bus. And on a billboard. I pass her everywhere, and she gazes outward, voiceless.

For the arts and culture mag This Recording, I found my way to Washington, D.C. but lost my bearings.


Capital is an online magazine covering New York politics, culture, and media.

Charlie Rangel walked through the door and shook a few hands, grinning from ear to ear. Then he went straight for the microphone.

“Art history, in fact, as we know it today, is a child of photography.”

The marchers shouted, “Housing is a right! Fight! Fight! Fight!” One by one, the hands of thirteen protestors were tied behind their backs, and they were led off by police officers on charges of civil disobedience.

Though the records listed in the URDB are often ones like “Most Screws Screwed into a Banana” and “Most Sips of Eggnog in 30 Seconds While Listening to Neil Diamond,” their holders mostly take them seriously.

The woman behind the counter of the Hudson News stand at the World Trade Center Path Station said she doesn’t carry The Epoch Times, and said she hadn’t heard of it. The funny thing is that The Epoch Times is a big publication, printed in 33 countries.

The panelists were introduced as “human rights photographers,” referred to as journalists, and suggested by one student to be advocates. They projected anthropological curiosity and artistic sensibility. Much conversation sprung from trying to figure out exactly what they are and what they are doing.

City Limits

City Limits is a weekly magazine the covers policy and politics in New York.

A state court has rebuffed a landlord’s bid to block Bronx organizers.

A business revitalization plan in Harlem tests the balance between progress and preservation.

An initiative by the City Department of Probation shows signs of success.