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

Beginning May 2016, The Rumpus began to pay feature writers and book reviewers. Each month, we set aside $400. 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. Please note that we are currently only able to pay contributors via Paypal, international ACH payments are not possible. 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. One way we are working toward this is by through a new Membership program. We hope to build enough ongoing support to increase the funding pool for contributors sooner than later.

We are often overwhelmed by the breadth and quality of our submissions. To allow our volunteer editorial staff to 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. Please note, that during our open reading periods, we've regularly receive 500-1,000+ submissions within a couple of weeks and over 6,000 submissions total every year. We are beginning to set submissions caps on genres where our teams are often flooded, so we can be more timely with our responses. 

Please do not submit the same piece to multiple categories at the same time. All work must be previously unpublished, which includes personal blogs and social media.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.

Response time can vary from a few days to a few months. Please allow 3-4 months before sending status queries for essays, fiction, book reviews, and ENOUGH. Please allow 8 months before sending status queries for poetry and our Funny Women column. Your patience is appreciated. Please note if you are an annual Rumpus member you should've received a link to a "magic" portal via a Member welcome email that ensures a 1 month initial response time. Please use that link to submit to any of the open calls below OR to submit to specific genres (poetry, fiction, essays) outside of our usual open reading periods. 

Agents and publicists: we strongly prefer that writers submit their own work to us. The Rumpus has an exceptional and diverse editorial team; bypassing Submittable results in fewer readers and editors looking at your work.

Rumpus Original Fiction open reading periods are February 15 through March 15 and August 15 through September 15. 5,500 words max.

Rumpus Original Poetry open reading period is August 15-30 OR until we reach 500 submissions.  

Essays open reading periods are January 1 through February 28, June 2 through August 1, and September 1 through October 31.

Comics open reading periods are Aug. 1 through Oct. 31 and Jan. 1 through March 31.

ENOUGH open reading period is February 1 through February 29, 2024

We Are More open reading period is March 15-April 15, 2024

If you'd like to submit Fiction, Poetry, and Essays up to an additional 4 x a year outside of the the open reading periods, become an annual Rumpus Member. *Please note this perk does not apply to monthly members.

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. 

Book review submissions are accepted year-round and should be sent through Submittable. Reviews of poetry collections should be directed to "Poetry Book Reviews" and all other reviews should be directed to "Book Reviews."

Sign up for our e-newsletter here.

If you're a beginning author, we also offer a 5-week asynchronous course called The Writer's Welcome Kit, to help support folks at the start of their writing journeys. 

Edited by Aram Mrjoian, Editor-in-Chief
 

The Rumpus seeks rolling submissions (no end date) for two new columns, Collaborative Criticism and Close Read, edited by our editor-in-chief, Aram Mrjoian. Submissions for both columns can be submitted as full drafts or pitches.

For pitches, please provide a paragraph about what you want to write and how you’ll execute it, a short author bio, and links to two pieces of recent criticism you admire.

These columns will be published on a rotating basis based on availability on our editorial calendar. Rumpus members are also welcome to submit drafts or pitches for both columns through the members submission portal. 

Collaborative Criticism column

The Rumpus seeks critical work co-written or produced by two or more people. Submissions should be 1000-5000 words, but flexibility will be given to longer projects. Such works can take a variety of forms and could include:

  • Literary or artistic debates between two writers as mini-essays or complementary reviews.
  • Critical essays co-researched or co-written.
  • Interviews or conversations that focus on a larger critical or cultural conversation rather than a forthcoming book.
  • Hybrid collaborative criticism.

Close Read column

The Rumpus seeks short essays exploring a specific page, paragraph, or sentence from a book, film, piece of music, or other media. As opposed to a review, this is an opportunity to really dive into a tiny sample of writing, regardless of whether it was published last week or a hundred years ago. Submissions may range from 500-5000 words with some flexibility.

We are looking for essays on parallel practices, the things we do that are not writing but that inform and illuminate how we create. Submissions should be between 1,000-4000 words in length. Essays must be previously unpublished. This includes personal blogs and social media. This is a monthly column, so submissions will be read on a rolling basis. 


Please read the full call before submitting. 

Ends on

Our regular reading periods for Essays are as follows: January 1 through February 28, June 2 through August 1, and September 8 through November 8*.

We welcome essay submissions up to 4,000 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.

*extra few days to compensate for a lag in opening! Apologies!

Dear Writers,

So, you’ve decided you’re a woman or nonbinary 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 or Instagram.

Length:
The ideal piece is finished and polished, revised 3-100x, and between 650 and 1,000 words. I do not accept pitches or sexts.

Content:
While humor/satire is grounded in truth, we do not accept personal essays/anecdotes. We publish fiction. But not short stories, which are different from short conceptual humor and satire. For examples, please read our archive or other sites like ours (Daily Shouts, McSweeneys.net, The Belladonna, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Points in Case, Flexx, Little Old Lady Comedy, Awf Magazine, etc.)

My favorite submissions:

Are literary and feminist at the same time. Usually they make fun of/ridicule writing, reading, publishing, and sexism.  

Note that publication is about "fit." Many pieces aren't published on a certain site NOT because they're bad but because they're not a FIT for THAT SITE. <3

Timely vs. timeless: 

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

Cover letters:
Not necessary, but you should know it's 10x harder to pass on your submission if your cover letter is super nice and exudes confidence and evidence that you've read and loved the column/me.

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, 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 day jobs. 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 via email: funnywomen AT therumpus.net.

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. (I love poetry but am not qualified to edit it.)
 --You wrote a personal essay or short story.
 --You submitted a "top 10 list" or a listicle. (McSweeney's Internet Tendency has a special section for lists; try them. Note: I do love lists that consist of 5-9 paragraphs, like "Buddhist Num Rewrites the Classics," or a wish list, like "A Literary Agent's Manuscript Wish List," that coheres to tell a story.)
 --You submitted an illustration/comic/piece under 10 words.

--You submitted something pop culture-y about celebrities, reality TV, etc. (As much as I enjoy it, this is not the column for it.)

--You pitched your own column within this column or something serialized. (This is the only column, and we publish a different writer every month or so.)
 --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. Out of all the reasons why your piece was not accepted, very few have anything to do with your writing or you as a writer. Still, "rejection" is information, and before you submit elsewhere, I suggest revising and ensuring the piece fits the specific elsewhere. 

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/satire writing class with me.

I look forward to our future friendship.

This section is for poetry book reviews.

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

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.

Publishers seeking to submit finished books for review consideration should not use this Submittable account. Instead, please send a description of the book to Leena Navani at leena@therumpus.net. Please also contact Leena to inquire about available review copies.


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 michael.barron@therumpus.net. For poetry collections, please reach out to poetry@therumpus.net.

The Rumpus