Funny Women Submission Guidelines

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Dear Writers,

So, you’ve decided you’re a woman or gender non-conforming writer and would like to submit something funny to Funny Women, the Rumpus humor column that will alter the landscape of comedy and cure frigidity. Out of all decisions, this is the best one you can make.

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

Length: 
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.

Content:
While all good humor comes from a truthful place, no personal essays/stories/anecdotes, please. Short conceptual humor is different than funny stories about your life (unless you’re Tina Fey et al.). Also, you need not write an ironic women’s issues piece.

And another thing–and this is me helping you–I discourage timely pieces (holiday themes, election coverage, weather, etc.) because it often takes a few months to read a submission after you’ve sent it. And no pop culture (celebrities, TV shows, top 40, etc.), as much as I enjoy it. Pop culture takes up plenty of space/precious energy already. Exits to the echo chamber are to the left.

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 writers, and doing so means getting to know each other. (You should know that it’s 10x harder to pass on your submission if your cover letter is super nice and thoughtful.)

Formatting:
Please no 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
[email protected]
elissabassist.com
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–not archived blog entries.

Payment:
The compensation is extravagant: pride in knowing you contributed to the diverse canon of writing + changing the world’s mind about who’s funny. Your heart will swell with accomplishment and all cellulite: gone. (On the serious, you’ll get a little money, but keep your expectations low.)

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 [a time that you decide is too long], 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’d do.)

Some reasons I might not choose your piece to appear on Funny Women:
You write a poem.
You write a personal essay.
You send me a list. These are funny, I agree, but it’s just not the right time or place.
You send me an illustration/comic/piece under 10 words.
You use irony in the wrong way.
You begin a piece: “This is not a love story.”
You begin a piece: “This is a love story.”
You have ten or more grammatical mistakes.
You are overly graphic and inappropriate. Talking about reproductive organs is cool, but there is a line, you know? Use your judgment.
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 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.

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.

 


Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. She teaches "That's What She Said: A Humor Writing Workshop" at the New School and Catapult. Follow her on Twitter, and visit elissabassist.com for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. More from this author →