What Is The Rumpus?



Book Club


Writer’s Guidelines


Who Are We

Welcome to TheRumpus.net. We don’t say that lightly—we’re thrilled you’re here. At The Rumpus, we’ve got essays, reviews, interviews, advice, music, film and poetry—along with some kick-ass comics. We know how easy it is to find pop culture on the Internet, so we’re here to give you something more challenging, to show you how beautiful things are when you step off the beaten path. The Rumpus is a place where people come to be themselves through their writing, to tell their stories or speak their minds in the most artful and authentic way they know how, and to invite each of you, as readers, commenters or future contributors, to do the same. What we have in common is a passion for fantastic writing that’s brave, passionate and true (and sometimes very, very funny).

Founded by Stephen Elliott, The Rumpus launched on January 20, 2009. Since then, our community has grown but we’ve kept our core: we want to change the conversation. We want to introduce you to authors you’ve never heard of before and to provide perspective on books, films or media that will make you look deeper. What’s meaningful to our writers and readers doesn’t usually fall in step with marketing schedules, breaking news or what’s trending on the Internet; at The Rumpus, we care about what moves people. We believe that literature is community—and if reading our site makes you want more, we’ve got more: sign up to participate in the Rumpus Book Club, Rumpus Poetry Book Club, Letters in the Mail, Letters for Kids, and, to receive Stephen Elliott’s overly personal email, The Daily Rumpus.

We also hope you’ll contribute to The Rumpus, either by submitting your writing (check our writer’s guidelines) to keep our pages filled with goodness, or by submitting your donation to help keep us in business. The Rumpus is a literary barn-raising, where our writers, editors, illustrators, and readers are all indispensible to who we are. Thanks for coming.


Where did you get the name The Rumpus? 

It was Katie Crouch’s idea. Rumpus is the name of the dog in her novel Men and Dogs. After launching the Rumpus, we were informed there is also humor magazine at Yale called Rumpus Magazine. You can check them out here.

Do you run original fiction? 

Very, very rarely. Although we might in the future sometime. Stay tuned.

What is your comments policy? 

At The Rumpus, we want to foster a conversation, not a cage match. Your first comment on the site is moderated. After that, your comments are posted automatically. However, we may still delete a mean posting, but not always. For example, you are welcome to disagree with an author, but not to attack an author. Comments that are well thought out and the poster identified will usually stand. But if an anonymous poster leaves a mean, destructive or harassing comment we will delete it.

How do I submit my work?

We accept all submissions through our submissions manager powered by Submittable. Please read through our Writer’s Guidelines, Fiction submission guidelines, or Funny Women submission guidelines before sending us your work.

Why don’t you pay for the writing you publish?

The Rumpus is a small site run by a lot of volunteer editors who are incredibly enthusiastic about beautiful writing. In an effort to keep advertising minimal and keep our site free to readers, we pay only our managing editor, assistant editor, and a small fee to writers who read at our events. Writers who publish their work on our site retain the copyright, and many have had their work discovered by agents or publishers who found them here.

Is Dear Sugar ever coming back?

Did she ever leave? The advice columnist Sugar, aka Cheryl Strayed, has had the most exciting year of her career with the publication of her memoir Wild and a collection of her Dear Sugar columns from the Rumpus, Tiny Beautiful Things. Both books have spent several simultaneous weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and, gosh darn it, we couldn’t be more proud of her. This has taken some time away from her column, but she’ll always be a part of the Rumpus, publishing Dear Sugar when time allows.

Where do I buy Rumpus swag?

We got your swag right here, honey. If there’s something you don’t see that you wish we sold, please let us know.


We’re always looking for good content at The Rumpus, but we’re focused on publishing good writing. Good writing and good ideas are not always the same thing. A topic for an essay might sound horrendous but if a writer is in love with the idea enough she’ll often render something beautiful. We try to maintain high standards even though we don’t have any money and can’t pay for writing.

We’re interested in seeing finished essays that intersect culture. We realize it’s a lot to ask for people to write something without knowing if it will be published. On the other hand if you aren’t driven by the story so much that you have to write it then it’s probably not a good fit for The Rumpus.

All submissions should be directed to our submission manager powered by Submittable. Please submit to the appropriate category. If you’re unsure, submit to General Inquiries/Tips and we’ll sort you out.

Send Morning Coffee links to Dan Weiss — morningcoffee@therumpus.net


For customer service contact Brian@therumpus.net

Editor – Stephen Elliott
Managing Editor – Marisa Siegel: marisa@therumpus.net
Books – Brian Hurley: books@therumpus.net
Poetry – Brian Spears: poetry@therumpus.net
Fiction – Jessy Goodman: jessy@therumpus.net
Music – Katy Henriksen: katy@therumpus.net
Film, TV, & Media – Arielle Bernstein: arielle@therumpus.net
Digital/Electronic/New Media Literature – Amy Letter: amy@therumpus.net
Comics Paul Madonna: comics@therumpus.net
Funny Women Editor – Elissa Bassist: funnywomen@therumpus.net
Essays Editor – Mary-Kim Arnold: marykim@therumpus.net
Interviews Editor – Matt Tanner: matt@therumpus.net
Dear Sugarsugar@therumpus.net

Subscribe to The Rumpus Dailythe-daily-rumpus+subscribe@googlegroups.com