FUNNY WOMEN: Submission Guidelines You Wish You’d Read Earlier


Dusty Jake is an online literary publication featuring personal essays, conceptual short stories, poetry, and obnoxious compositions that purposefully defy conventional categorization.

Before​ ​Submitting

Please spend at least ninety minutes familiarizing yourself with the content featured on our website to determine if your piece would be a good fit. Failure to do so will be blaringly obvious by your writing, and your submission will be discarded immediately.

Before submitting, we advise you to read Roger Sloane’s 1999 instructional essay “Why We Write; How We Write; What To Write; Write, Write, Write” before listening to Sloane’s 2011 TED Talk “Hang On, I’ve Completely Changed My Entire Philosophy on Writing.”



Dusty Jake does not accept personal opinion pieces, topical items, or picture-based stories. Nor do we accept fiction based on the themes of war, love, grief, crime, romance, education, poverty, addiction, innocence, beauty, religion, fulfilment, economics, feminism, technology, perseverance, or anything to do with society in general.

The words “behoove,” “cordially,” and “bedpan” are not looked upon favorably by the Dusty Jake staff. The same can be said of the passive voice and the inability to appreciate a grammar joke.

Anyone who goes by the name of “Jake” is strictly forbidden from submitting to the Jake, as is anyone born after 1981 or during a full moon.

Please note that we have hit our quota for confessional essays about accidentally overdosing on mint toothpaste and cannot accept more at this time.


Submitting​ ​Process

Due to cyber security we can no longer accept submissions as email attachments. Nor do we accept submissions pasted into the body of the email—our editors are distracted by Google Hangouts, and the only way to protect their productivity is to restrict their time on email. While we are aware that there is a way to turn off the Hangouts feature, the only guy in our office who says he knows how to do it is currently on medical leave for gaming addiction. So until Tyson completes his program of self-reclamation, any submissions received as part of the body of an email will not be read.

It is often speculated on various writing forums that we accept postal submissions. We do not.

Do not call. If you try to call us, you will be banned from submitting in the future, and we will report you.

If it’s your heart’s desire to submit your writing to us, then it is up to you to find a way to do so that does not violate the above restrictions, break any legal or social code, or involve a fax machine.



The Jake vehemently rejects the practice of pseudonyms. Should your submission manage to be accepted, you will be required to provide up to six points of ID verification to prove you are who you say you are and you’re not just Stephen King trying to commit global literary domination.


Response​ ​Time

Response time at the Jake falls between eighteen months and thirty-six years from the two-to-four months after the date of your submission receipt. If you haven’t heard back from us by the time you marry and divorce the person you’re currently dating, we invite you to begin pitching your submission elsewhere, though we will hold this against you.


Selection​ ​Process

When your submission is not accepted, please do not be disheartened. We receive trillions of submissions every week, and as such, we need to be extremely selective about what we choose to publish and what we choose to shred into hundreds of tiny paper pellets and use as kitty litter.

We advise you to view your guaranteed rejection not as a personal affront, but rather as the inevitable conclusion of trying to force your rudimentary writing onto one of the most esteemed literary websites in this here cosmos.

While there is no right formula for getting your work accepted, the Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2008 of the common traits shared among our returning contributors. These include:

  • Eating a balanced diet of vegetables, tree nuts, and duck fat.
  • Chalking your submission onto the bitumen surface of an inner city street, and then paying one of the neighborhood youths to transcribe it.
  • Having been raised on a cattle farm.
  • Developing a writing reward system (for instance: 1 sentence = one swig of orange juice; 2 sentences = a piece of cheese on a cracker; 1 paragraph = nap).
  • Owning an exotic animal but not bragging about it.


Dusty Jake wishes you the best of luck with your submission and asks that you keep any questions you have about our submissions process to yourself.

The Dusty Jake Team


Rumpus original art by Kaili Doud


Please submit your own funny writing to our Rumpus submission manager powered by Submittable. See first: our Funny Women Submission Guidelines.

To read other Funny Women pieces and interviews, see the archives.

Claire Cooper is a struggling freelance writer but doesn’t like to brag about it. She currently resides in New York City. More from this author →