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 $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. One way we are working toward this is by launching a new Membership program in June 2022. 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 regularly receive 500-1,000+ submissions within a couple of weeks.
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 All work must be previously unpublished, which includes personal blogs and social media.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.
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 reading periods are February 1 through February 28 and August 1 through August 31.
Rumpus Original Poetry reading periods are January 15 through January 31.
Our reading periods for Essays are January 1 through February 28, June 1 through July 31, and September 1 through October 31.
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.
Interview pitches and finished interview submissions are accepted year-round and should be sent directly to our Interviews team (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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."
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When I was three-months-old, I was placed in the arms of an American soldier returning from the parallel that divides Korea. We boarded a plane bound for the United States and my new parents. Raised on Long Island by Irish Catholics, I grew up being reminded how blessed and how lucky I was to have been adopted. Relatives, friends, and strangers assured me the life I led in New York was better than anything my biological parents could have given me.
The dominant adoption narrative that my parents had spared me from a terrible fate, that my birth mother had relinquished me out of love, that I had been saved . . . that narrative was a third parent—guiding me, shaping me, informing me.
Nineteen years after I arrived in the US, my abuser left me on the side of the road with no shirt and no shoes. The subsequent years yielded even less desirable paramours, all in the pursuit of hoping someone would choose me as I had never been chosen before. I’ve often heard the refrain, “The baby you have is the one you were always meant to have.” As an adoptee, though, I knew that if I hadn’t been available, my parents—who had hoped, had prayed, had sacrificed for a child—would have simply adopted the next available baby.
I wasn’t blessed, and my life wasn’t necessarily better than it would have been . . . it was different. For me, being a transracial adoptee has been a purgatorial existence—forever in the in–between. In between my loyalty to my adoptive parents and my curiosity about my biological parents, in between the life I have and the life I almost had, in between how the world sees me and how I see myself.
Novembers past have been dubbed “National Adoption Awareness Month.” But this November, and next, we are reclaiming the month as National Adoptee Awareness Month. For too long, that dominant adoption narrative, that third parent, has shaped our understanding of a practice which, for many, is rooted in loss and trauma.
We are looking for stories beyond a rescue, stories that complicate gratitude, stories that might label the teller “another angry adoptee.” We want to read about how relinquishment has shaped your understanding of self-worth and how your identity has evolved because of your adoption. For a population who always seems to be searching, what has that search cost us? How is the quest for who you are defined so much by whom you might have been? We want you to explore how adoption, and its expectations, has touched your lives—and then to send us your best writing about what you discover.
We welcome essay submissions between 1,000-4000 words in length. Essays must be previously unpublished. This includes personal blogs and social media. Please submit only one essay for consideration at a time. 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. Publication will be in November 2023.
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.
Direct your entry below. Then immediately follow me on Twitter.
The ideal piece is finished/polished, revised at least 3x, and between 650 and 1,000 words. I do not accept pitches or sexts.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 email@example.com.
Poetry review wish list:
Albert Abonado, Jaw (Sundress Publications, February 2020)
Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Migrant Psalms (Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize/Northwestern University Press, April 2021)
Raymond Antrobus, The Perseverance (Tin House, March 2021)
Sean Avery Medlin, 808s & Otherworlds: Memories, Remixes, & Mythologies (Two Dollar Radio, September, 2021)
Phillip B. Williams, Mutiny (Penguin Poets, September 2021)
Rosebud Ben-Oni, If This Is the Age We End Discovery(Alice James Books, March 2021)
Ali Black, If It Heals at All (Jacar Press, November 2020)
Sumita Chakraborty, Arrow (Alice James Books, September 2020)
Rohan Chhetri, Lost, Hurt, or in Transit (Kundiman Prize Winner/Tupelo Press/ HarperCollinsIN, 2021; UK edition from Platypus Press, 2022).
Armen Davoudian, Swan Song (Bull City Press, October 2020)
Diane Exavier, The Math of St. Felix (The 3rdThing, November 2021)
Ian Felice, The Moon Over Edgar (Sibling Rivalry Press, February 2022)
Joanna Fuhrman, To a New Era (Hanging Loose Press, January 2021)
Hafizah Geter, Un-American (Wesleyan University Press, September 2020)
Javon Johnson, Ain’t Never Not Been Black (Button Poetry, October 2020)
Cortney Lamar Charleston, Dopplegangbanger (Haymarket Books, February 2021))
Shayla Lawz, speculation (Autumn House Press, October 2021)
Yi Lei, My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree (Graywolf Press, November 2020)
Ananda Lima, Mother/land (Black Lawrence Press, October, 2021)
Jasmine Mans, Black Girl Call Home (Berkeley Publishing Group, March 2021)
Julie Marie Wade, Skirted (The Word Works, March 2021)
Khaled Mattawa, Fugitive Atlas (Graywolf Press, October 2020)
Rena Mosteirin, Experiment 116 (Counterpath Press, October 2021)
Shreela Ray: On the Life and Work of an American Master(Unsung Masters Series, 2021)
Solmaz Sharif, Customs (Graywolf Press, March 2022)
M. Soledad Caballero, I Was a Bell (Red Hen Press, September 2021)
Christine Shan Shan Hou, The Joy and Terror are Both in the Swallowing (After Hours Editions, March 2021)
Divya Victor, Curb (Nightboat Press, April, 2021)
Devon Walker-Figueroa, Philomath: Poems (Milkweed Editions, September, 2021)
Blake Z. Rong, I Am Not Young And I Will Die With This Car In My Garage (Atmosphere Press, August, 2021)
Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its Diaspora(Green Linden Press, September 2021)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. For poetry collections, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.