We’re always looking for good content at The Rumpus, but we’re focused on publishing good writing. Good writing and good ideas are not always the same thing. A topic for an essay might sound horrendous but if a writer is in love with the idea enough she’ll often render something beautiful. We try to maintain high standards even though we don’t have any money and can’t pay for writing.

We’re interested in seeing finished essays that intersect culture. We realize it’s a lot to ask for people to to write something without knowing if it will be published. On the other hand if you aren’t driven by the story so much that you have to write it then it’s probably not a good fit for The Rumpus.

It’s okay to pitch interviews, book reviews, and film reviews, otherwise we’re really only interested in finished pieces until we get to know you. 

Response time can vary from a few days to a few months. Please allow 3 months before sending submission status queries. Your patience is appreciated.

We're interested in thoughtful, engaging book reviews and book-related essays. Submit your pitches or finished reviews and essays here.

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 books@therumpus.net.


Submit comics here. 

Thank you for sending your work to the Rumpus. We look forward to reading it.


Since we receive many submissions, we unfortunately can't reply to everyone. If we're interested in your work you'll hear from us, otherwise we thank you and wish you the best of luck in all your creative endeavors.
Paul Madonna
Comics editor

The Rumpus is looking for essays on digital / electronic / new media literature. Especially desired are:

1. Short reviews of or essays about dig / e / NM literature, especially new works, but we will consider new perspectives on older works. 

2. Interviews of or first-person accounts from creators of dig / e / NM literature that provide insight into the writing and creation of particular works, especially those which expose the humanity inherent in technology-mediated forms. 

3. Feature-length essays on dig / e / NM literature that challenge assumptions about the genre(s) – work that borders on manifesto-building encouraged.

Additional guidelines:

Read the pieces we've published up to this point (below), but don't limit yourself to things of this type—we're just getting started with dig / e / NM literature, and we're open to new and different approaches.

Improvising a Bone Graft by Nikki Reimer

Open the Pod Bay Doors, MAL: The Rumpus Interview With Lori Emerson

anhedonia and Hypertext by Maddox Pratt

Essays should be appealing, intriguing, and comprehensible to a general audience of smart, literary- and tech- aware but non-expert readers. No need for academic-speak, but no need to dumb it down. 

Send queries to: amy@therumpus.net

We welcome essay submissions between 1500-4500 words in length. We are particularly interested in personal narrative-driven essays that 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. Self-reflective essays that deal with current events but do not rely on timeliness are welcome. 

Essays should be previously unpublished.

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 please let us know 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. 

We are devoted to showcasing thoughtful, nuanced essays on film, television, media, and culture. We're interested in reviews, features, and personal essays that explore how various forms of media shape who we are as individuals, as a culture, and as a community.

Dear Writers,

So, you’ve decided you’re a woman and would like to submit something funny to Funny Women, the Rumpus column that will alter the landscape of comedy, enhance cup size, and cure frigidity. Out of all the decisions in the world, this is the best one you can make.

Direct your entry to our Rumpus submission manager powered by Submittable. Then immediately follow me on Twitter.

Keep in mind this is the Internet, so make it short, sweetheart. By “Internet” and “short,” I mean the ideal piece is between 650 and 1,000 words. I do not accept pitches or sexts.

No personal essays/stories/anecdotes, please; humor pieces are different than funny stories about your life (unless you’re Tina Fey or the late, great Nora Ephron). Also, just because you are a woman and I am asking for funny women, this does not mean that you need to write an ironic women’s issues piece. I encourage you not to follow the familiar scripts. We’re starting a revolution after all, so that means change.

Also–and this is me helping you–I discourage timely pieces (holiday themes, election coverage, natural disasters, etc.) because it often takes a few months to read a submission after you’ve sent it. And another thing: no pop culture (celebrities, TV shows, top 40, etc.), as much as I enjoy it.

Cover letters:
Not necessary, but why not tell me a little about yourself and throw some compliments my way? I’m in this for more than the submissions; I aim to create a community of women writers, and doing so 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 thoughtful.)

Please don’t do any tricked-out formatting with fonts that look like handwriting or that tell me something about your personality. Keep it simple and readable.

To include in your submission:
Title of submission, your name, email address, website (if you have one), and favorite book written by a person of femininity.

Each submission should look like this:

“This Is Hilarious”
By Elissa Bassist
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (no, wait, no: Anagrams by Lorrie Moore)

Author bios: 
Please, please! Even if you’ve never been published (and who cares if you haven’t), you can still tell me/your imminent audience where you live and if you have any pets.

Previously published work:
NOT ALLOWED. Send original pieces over archived blog entries, etc.

The compensation is extravagant: pride in knowing you contributed to the diverse canon of women’s writing + changing the world’s mind about who’s funny. Your heart will swell with accomplishment and all cellulite: gone. (N.B.: My mission is to one day pay writers, but right now we must accept we’re not always going to get paid for what we do, while what we do is valuable work. Fuck you, Internet/status quo.)

Response time:
I’ll have anxiety dreams if I don’t get back to you soon-ish. But please understand I receive hundreds of submissions and have a day job-ish. The response time will vary–between two minutes and eight months. In some cases, it’s taken me over a year to respond. I know. I’m the worst. Forgive me. Have patience. I care about you, girl.

Reasons you might not hear back: 
None. I’m not a bitch. If you don’t hear back after three-eight months, then I didn’t get your email. Send it again, won’t you? (Currently I’m embarrassingly behind on reading submissions. Don’t take it personally, which is something I do frequently.)

Some reasons I might not choose your piece to appear on Funny Women: 
You write a poem.
You send me a list. These are funny, I agree, but it’s just not the right time.
You send me an illustration/comic/piece under 10 words.
You use irony in the wrong way.
You begin: “This is not a love story.”
You begin: “This is a love story.”
You have ten or more grammar mistakes.
You are overly graphic and inappropriate. Talking about vaginas is cool, but there is a line, you know? Use your judgment.
You are overtly sexist. (I know, I know, but taking down men to uplift women is the wrong way to go about things.)
You think you are saying something feminist, but you’re really saying something racist.
You don’t adhere to what I’ve said above.
Maybe I am a bitch.
Your submission is not a humor submission.
You believe feminism = hating 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.

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.

I look forward to our future friendship.

We are looking for thoughtful interviews (the kind that go beyond say, process) with the most interesting writers, artists, thinkers, musicians, and excellent humans around. Submit pitches and interviews here. 

We’re looking for essays that meet the intersection of music and culture, and most significantly those from a personal perspective. We want to know you, the author, as much as we want to know about the music you love, the music that affects you, that shapes your life. All essays should be in the general range of 1,200 words.

Below are criteria for our recurring columns, but we are also accepting music essays that don't fit under these headings. Feel free to pitch and submit those essays here, too.

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 in these featured essays, 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 uswhy an album deserves a listen, we want to know! Submit to us here or e-mail Patrick@TheRumpus.net to find out if he has something to review.

The Rumpus is not currently accepting unsolicited poetry.

We are, however, interested in entries for our Last Poem I Loved and Last Book of Poems I Loved series, interviews with poets, and essays on poetry/poetics. Please submit those here.

If you are interested in reviewing poetry collections, please contact Brian Spears at poetry@therumpus.net for book availability and guidelines. 

How long should my submission be?

There are no set minimum or maximum word counts. We want stories that feel complete without padding or showing off or lily-gilding. Sometimes that happens in 1,000 words, sometimes it takes 5,000 or 6,000. Any longer than that and it better blow our minds. Any shorter, and we’re talking about microfiction, in which case feel free to send two or three of those in the same submission.

Do you accept novel excerpts?

Yes, if it reads as a stand-alone narrative – i.e. needs no introduction, has a beginning, middle, and end, etc.

Can I submit previously published work?


How often can I submit?

Twice a year.

What kind of stories are you looking for?

We are interested in sharp, fresh, original work that grapples with life as it is really lived and felt in the world today. We want writing that walks on a wire, questions conventions, conveys a vision. Show us something new, even if the subject matter is old.

If I know one of the editors, can I submit to her directly?


Simultaneous submissions?

No problem. But if your story gets accepted elsewhere, do the polite thing and let us know.

Any last tips or words of wisdom?

Don’t send first drafts, toss-offs, or unfinished experiments. Use punctuation. Indent paragraphs. Proofread. Be honest with yourself. Read your work aloud. Now imagine reading it aloud to a room of strangers and then ask how many of them are checking messages on their smartphones. Speaking of which: throw out your smart phone. Get off Facebook and Twitter. Get offline once in a while.  Live a little. Eat lots of vegetables. Concentrate. Write like a motherfucker.

Please Note: Rumpus fiction appears monthly in our Monthly Book Report (http://therumpus.net/2014/04/the-monthly-book-report/). We will also choose select pieces to run on the site. You will be notified when your story is accepted as to whether it will run on the site or in the Book Report.

Is there a story The Rumpus should know about? Let us know right here!