Funny Women Submission Guidelines

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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.

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

Length: 
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.

Content:
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.)

Formatting:
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
funnywomen@therumpus.net
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 over archived blog entries, etc.

Payment:
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 a piece: “This is not a love story.”
You begin a piece: “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.


Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. Follow her on Twitter, and visit elissabassist.com for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. More from this author →