Beginning May 2016, we began to pay feature writers and book reviewers. Each month, we set aside $300. All eligible contributors are able to opt in for payment at the end of the month, and the money is divided between those writers who opt in. We know that this amount is not enough, and we are always working toward being able to pay a standard industry rate to all feature contributors and book reviewers.

We are often overwhelmed by the breadth and quality of our submissions. To allow our volunteer editorial staff better handle the workload and respond to your work in a more timely fashion, we've instituted reading periods for certain sections of The Rumpus. 

Our regular reading periods for Essays are as follows: September 1 through October 31, January 1 through February 28, and June 1 through July 31. Timely essays can be sent directly to our managing editor Marissa Korbel at mkorbel@therumpus.net; all other essays should be sent through Submittable during our open reading periods.

Our Rumpus Original Fiction reading periods are January 1 through January 31 and July 1 through July 31.

Our Rumpus Original Poetry reading periods are January 15 through January 31 and July 15 through July 31.

Our reading period for the ENOUGH series is May 1 through June 30.

Please do not submit the same piece to multiple categories at the same time. All work must be previously unpublished. This includes personal blogs and social media. Please only send one submission to a given section at a time; when we've responded with a decision, you are welcome to submit to that section again.

Interview pitches and finished interview submissions are accepted year-round and should be sent directly to our Interviews team (interviews@therumpus.net). We are no longer using Submittable for interviews.Response time can vary from a few days to a few months. Please allow 3 months before sending status queries for essays, book reviews, and ENOUGH. Please allow 8 months before sending status queries for fiction, poetry, and our Funny Women column. Your patience is appreciated.

Please note: Submittable only displays categories that are open for submission. If you do not see a category, please reference the above reading periods for information on when you can submit.

The Rumpus supports and stands with Black Lives Matter. You can learn more, and access BLM-endorsed strategies to enact change locally and worldwide, at blacklivesmatters.carrd.co.

The Rumpus Original Fiction series runs twice monthly, and features original short fiction of a wide variety.

Please submit a short story between 1200–5000 words as a Word doc or PDF, accompanied by a brief cover letter and third-person bio. If you are sending flash fiction (under 1200 words), you’re welcome to submit up to three pieces for consideration as one submission.

Please only send one submission per reading period, and if you have a submission pending, please wait to submit again until you've received our decision on the pending submission. Work must be previously unpublished; this includes personal blogs/websites and social media.

We are interested in sharp, fresh, original work. We want writing that walks on a wire, questions conventions, conveys a vision. Show us something new. Challenge our definition of a story. Make language come alive on the page.

We encourage simultaneous submissions but request that this be noted in your cover letter. If your submission is accepted elsewhere, please withdraw it through Submittable.

We look forward to reading your work!

The Rumpus Original Poetry series features a suite of poems by a poet once a week. We consider previously unpublished work during our open submissions periods of January 15–January 31 and July 15–July 31. 

Please submit 4-8 poems (up to 12 pages) in one Word .doc or PDF, accompanied by a brief cover letter and third-person bio. Please only send one submission per reading period, and if you have a submission pending, please wait to submit again until you've received our decision on the pending submission. Work must be previously unpublished; this includes personal blogs/websites and social media. Please note that we do not take single poems for publication; keep in mind when choosing what to submit that we are looking to publish a suite of poems from each poet we publish.

While we embrace and consider poems with diverse page presentations, there may be situations where we are unable to accommodate poems with special formatting as seen on the page.

We encourage simultaneous submissions but request that this be noted in your cover letter. If poems in your submission are accepted elsewhere, please notify us through Submittable.

We look forward to reading your work!

Ends on

Our regular reading periods for Essays are as follows: August 1 through October 31, January 1 through February 28, and June 1 through July 31. Timely essays can be sent directly to our managing editor Marissa Korbel at mkorbel@therumpus.net; all other essays should be sent through Submittable during our open reading periods.

We welcome essay submissions between 1500-4000 words in length. In addition to personal narrative-driven essays we are interested in non-traditional forms of nonfiction. Essays should explore issues and ideas with depth and breadth, illuminating a larger cultural context or human struggle. Regardless of topic, we are looking for well-crafted sentences, a clear voice, vivid scenes, dramatic arc, reflection, thematic build, and attention to the musicality of prose. 

Because the volume of submissions is so high and it takes time to read work carefully, it is generally not advisable to send time-sensitive work. Essays that deal with current events in ways that do not rely on timeliness are very welcome. 

Essays must be previously unpublished. This includes personal blogs and social media. Please submit only one essay for consideration at a time; we ask that you wait until a decision has been made on that essay to submit again.

A cover letter is also welcome. Tell us a little bit about yourself, why you chose The Rumpus, where your work has appeared before, or anything else you think might be important for us to know. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but do withdraw your submission if your essay is picked up elsewhere.

Thank you for taking the time to proofread your submission. Double-spaced text is appreciated. If you have not heard a decision from us after three months, feel free to check in.

If you are interested in submitting a review of a poetry collection, please only do so in our Poetry Book Reviews category on Submittable. Do not submit poetry reviews here.

We're interested in thoughtful, engaging book reviews between 1200-2500 words. Please submit a finished draft of your review rather than a review pitch.

Reviews should be single-spaced and paginated. Please provide the following information in your cover letter and at the top of your review: Title of book, author's name, name of press, publication date, and your name and email address. In your cover letter, please also include your contact information and a brief bio that we would use should your review be accepted.

We prefer not to publish negative reviews, but it’s fine to discuss a specific weakness, lack, or question you have related to the book. Please disclose any relationship you have to the author of the book you’re reviewing if one exists; we do not accept reviews where a conflict of interest exists.

All work must be previously unpublished—this includes personal blogs, websites, and social media.

Publishers seeking to submit finished books for review consideration should not use this Submittable account; instead, please send a description of the book to our Books Editor at chelsea@therumpus.net. For poetry collections, please reach out to poetry@therumpus.net.

This section is for poetry book reviews and submissions for our “Last Poem I Loved” and “Last Book of Poems I Loved” series.

The Rumpus has two reading periods for unsolicited original poetry: January 1–January 31 and July 1–July 31. Unsolicited poetry can only be submitted during those reading periods to our Rumpus Original Poetry category. Please do not submit unsolicited poetry here; the submission will be discarded.

We’re focused on reviews of full-length poetry collections and chapbooks by both emerging and established poets. We accept drafts of completed reviews only; please do not submit pitches.

We’re eager for reviews that embrace the traditional form as well as those that challenge or experiment convention, that welcome the “I” and a reader’s personal relationship to a text, and that engage with the form beyond our own imaginations. Please disclose any relationship you have to the author of the book you’re reviewing, if one exists, so we may determine any conflict of interest.

Your review should be accessible to a general audience. We're more interested in the reader's experience of the poems, subject matter, arc, and the poet's use of craft than we are in scholarly criticism or theory. We love reviews that address how the collection interacts with poetic tradition, the current landscape of poetry, and that speaks to what the collection brings to our shared discourse as readers and writers.

Formatting details:

  • Reviews should be between 1200–2500 words for full-length collections, 1000-1500 words for chapbooks.
  • Please provide the following information at the top of your review: title of book being reviewed, author of book, name of press and publication date, reviewer's name and email address
  • Reviews should be single-spaced and paginated.
  • Poem excerpts of more than three lines should be formatted exactly as they appear on the page, and set off in the text of the review. Please include at least 1–2 excerpts of more than three lines. Shorter excerpts should be quoted within the text of the review using quotation marks and virgules ( / ), with one space ahead and behind the virgule to indicate line breaks. Poems cannot be reprinted/quoted in their entirety. When excerpting poems, spaces at the front of the line and within lines should be done using the space bar rather than the tab key.
  • There is no need to cite page numbers within the review, but please check excerpts and quotes carefully to ensure they are free of errors and formatted correctly.
  • In your cover letter, please include: your contact information and a brief bio that we would use should your review be accepted

We are also always interested in entries for our "Last Poem I Loved" and "Last Book of Poems I Loved" series, which should be 1500–4000 words.

All work must be previously unpublished—this includes personal blogs, websites, and social media. We do allow simultaneous submissions; please withdraw your review from Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere. Please wait at least three months from date of submission before querying about submission status.

To learn more about specific collections we are interested in seeing reviewed, check out our wish list below, which we’ll aim to update monthly. To inquire about available review copies, please email Brian Spears at poetry@therumpus.net.

Poetry review wish list:

Rick Barot, During the Pandemic (Albion Books, 2020)

Rosebud Ben-Oni, If This Is the Age We End Discovery (Alice James Books, March 2021)

Destiny O. Birdsong, Negotiations (Tin House, October 2020)

Ali Black, If It Heals at All (Jacar Press, November 2020)

Armen Davoudian, Swan Song (Bull City Press, October 2020)

Tyree Daye, Cardinal (Copper Canyon Press, October 2020)

Krista Franklin, Too Much Midnight (Haymarket, April 2020)

Joanna Fuhrman, To a New Era (Hanging Loose Press, January 2021)

Hafizah Geter, Un-American (Wesleyan University Press, September 2020)

Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Migrant Psalms (Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize/Northwestern University Press, April 2021)

Ghinwa Jawhari, BINT (Radix Media Own Voices Chapbook Prize, March 2021)

Javon Johnson, Ain’t Never Not Been Black (Button Poetry, October 2020)

Taylor Johnson, Inheritance (Alice James Books, November 2020)

Yi Lei, My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree (Graywolf Press, November 2020)

Aditi Machado, Emporium (Nightboat, October 2020)

Aditi Machado, Rhapsody (Albion Books, January 2020) 

Jasmine Mans, Black Girl Call Home (Berkeley Publishing Group, March 2021)

Khaled Mattawa, Fugitive Atlas (Graywolf Press, October 2020)

Tiana Nobile, Cleave ( Hub City Press, April 2021)

Joy Priest, Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, September 2020)

Arisa White, Who’s Your Daddy (Augury Books, March 2021)

JinJin Xu, There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife (Radix Media Own Voices Chapbook Prize, November 2020)

Already Felt: Poems in Revolt and Bounty (A Chapbook Centering Queer & Trans Black Poets & Poets of Color, 2020)

Publishers seeking to submit finished books for review consideration should not use this Submittable account. Instead, please send a description of the book to Brian Spears at poetry@therumpus.net.

We’re looking for essays that live at the intersection of music and culture, and especially those written from a personal perspective. We want to why you love the music you love, why it affects you and shapes your life. We welcome essay submissions between 1500-4000 words in length. 


Below are criteria for our recurring columns, but we also accept essays that don't fit under these headings. Essays should be previously unpublished (this includes personal blogs). If you have not heard a decision from us after three months, feel free to check in.

Songs/Albums of Our Lives:

Whether it’s focused on a memory, or abstractly connected to an emotion, or woven into an author’s whole life, the “Songs of Our Lives” and “Albums of Our Lives” essays relate the significance a particular song or album has for the author. We rarely publish about a song, album, or artist more than once, so please consider that before submitting.

Sound Takes:

While we want the highly personal, we also love the highly technical. "Sounds Takes” are the collision of both. If you have a knack for telling us why an album deserves a listen, we want to know!

Dear Writers,

So, you’ve decided you’re a woman or non-binary writer and would like to submit to Funny Women. Out of all decisions, this is the best one you can make.

Submit:
Direct your entry below. Then immediately follow me on Twitter.

Length:
The ideal piece is finished/polished, revised at least 3x, and between 650 and 1,000 words. I do not accept pitches or sexts.

Content:
While humor is grounded in truth, we do not accept personal essays/stories/anecdotes.

Send evergreen over timely pieces (holiday themes, weather, politics, etc.) because it often takes months to read a submission after you've written, revised, and submitted it.

Also, no pop culture (celebrities, TV shows, top 40, etc.), as much as I enjoy it. 

Note: "short conceptual humor" is different than "short fiction." Please, no short stories.

My favorite submissions are literary and feminist at the same time. 

Cover letters:
Not necessary, but why not tell me a little about yourself and throw some compliments the column's way? The Rumpus aims to create a community of writers, and that means getting to know each other.

(You should know it's 10x harder to pass on your submission if your cover letter is super nice and exudes confidence + evidence you've read/loved the column.)

Formatting:
No tricked-out formatting that tells me something about your soul. Keep it simple and readable.

To include in your submission:
Title of submission, your name, email address, website (if you have one), and favorite piece of writing by someone who is not a straightwhitecisman.

Author bios:
Please! Even if you've never been published (and who cares if you haven't), you can still reveal the city where you live and if you have any pets.

Previously published work:
Nope. Send original pieces—not archived blog entries.

Payment:
Confirmation that you have in some way changed the world’s mind about who’s funny. (You'll get a little money, but keep your expectations low. Lower than that.)

Response time:
I have anxiety dreams and lifelong guilt that I don’t get back to you when you think I should. Please understand I receive hundreds of submissions and have a day job. Response time varies—between two minutes and eight months. I know. Forgive me. Have patience. I care about you.

Assistant Regional Funny Women Sarah Garfinkel & Jennie Egerdie read submissions before I do, which has transformed the submission process. 

Reasons you might not hear back:
None. I’m not heartless. If you don’t hear back after eight months, then I didn’t get to your submission. Follow up with me.

How many pieces may I submit at once?

One. Wait until you hear back on one piece to submit another, and (this is me helping you) don't submit a new piece the moment after a non-acceptance (instead reflect on why your first piece wasn't a fit for the column and how to improve the second).

Some reasons I might not choose your piece to appear on Funny Women:
--You wrote a poem.
--You wrote a personal essay or short story.
--You submitted a list or a piece eerily resembling a list.
--You submitted an illustration/comic/piece under 10 words.
--You satirized in the wrong way.
--You began: “This is not a love story.”
--You began: “This is a love story.”
--You had five or more grammatical mistakes.
--You thought you wrote something feminist, but you really wrote something racist.
--You didn't read or adhere to the submission guidelines.
--Maybe I am heartless.
--Your submission wasn't a short humor submission.
--You believe feminism = hating cis men or anything other than political, economic, and social equality for all people and cute animals.
--You don’t believe in yourself and your dreams.

If your piece is not published at this time:
Do not take it personally, which is something I'd do.

Help:
Here are some writing tips. Here are some writing prompts

Please direct any additional questions or snide remarks to: funnywomen AT therumpus.net.

Visit elissabassist.com if you're interested in what I look like or want to take a humor writing class with me.

I look forward to our future friendship.

Submit comics and graphic essays/poems/stories here!

Thank you for sending your work to the Rumpus. We look forward to reading it. Please note we can only consider work that is previously unpublished—this includes personal blogs, websites, and social media.

We receive many submissions, and we appreciate your patience in waiting to hear from us. If you haven't received a decision within 8 months of submitting, please feel welcome to query us regarding the status of your submission.

We allow simultaneous submissions; please do let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere by withdrawing your submission through Submittable.