Hobart was founded in 2001 by Aaron Burch. Initially, Hobart was a web journal, coedited by Mike McGowan. In 2002, Aaron expanded Hobart to include an annual print issue in addition to the website. In 2005, Elizabeth Ellen came on as a coeditor of the print journal. Web editors over the years have included Matt Bell, Jensen Beach, Elle Nash, Jac Jemc, Caleb Curtiss, Andrea Kneeland, Ben Gross, Brandi Wells, Matthew Simmons, and Elizabeth Ellen, among others.
Stories and essays from the website and print journal have frequently appeared in such compilations as O’Henry, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Essays and Best American Short Stories, with Roxane Gay’s story “North Country” and Mike Meginnis’s story “Navigators” both from Hobart 12 featured in BASS in 2012.
Over the last fifteen years, Hobart has been a home for up and coming writers (and for some a first publication!) such as Stephany Aulenback, Lauren Groff, Blake Butler, Stephen Elliott, Mary Miller, Claire Vaye Watkins, Amelia Gray, Lindsay Hunter, Tao Lin, Maile Chapman, Matt Bell, Jac Jemc, Jeff Parker, Brian Allen Carr, Tod Goldberg, Paul Crenshaw, Melinda Moutzakis, and Lydia Conklin.
In 2006, Elizabeth Ellen founded the book division, Short Flight / Long Drive Books, which has published books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction by Michelle Orange, Mary Miller, Adam Novy, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Jess Stoner, Jason Phoebe Rusch, Chelsea Martin, Mira Gonzalez, Tao Lin, Uzodinma Okehi, Elizabeth Ellen and Chloe Caldwell.