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 our Essays category. Our regular reading periods will be as follows: March 1 through June 1 and September 1 through November 1. Timely essays can be sent directly to our Managing Editor at email@example.com.
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. Please keep in mind that essays often won't appear on the site for 2-3 months once accepted.
Essays should be previously unpublished. This includes personal blogs.
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 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.