We Need 600 Members by Dec. 31

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Dearest Readers,

Today we’re asking you to show your support for The Rumpus by becoming a Member or gifting a Membership to a favorite writer in your life. This summer we launched The Rumpus Membership program, a relatively low-cost way for our readers to support the work we do (while getting some great perks in return). Thanks to our initial member drive, we’re exactly halfway to our end-of-year goal of 600 members. We need your help to make up the remaining 300 memberships by December 31st to safely (and thoughtfully) plan for next year. Will you keep The Rumpus going AND help us increase our contributor pay next year?

The Rumpus has been an independent (non-university, non-publishing conglomerate) literary magazine for 13 years. As we move into our adolescence, our priorities are to continue publishing excellent work while providing more support for our contributors and editorial staff

Frankly, our current funding sources don’t cover what we need to get our mostly volunteer-run magazine to a sustainable place. To us, that means keeping the lights on (basic operating costs like office supplies and keeping our also-thirteen-year-old-website from imploding), a few editorial stipends, and—finally—increasing contributor pay. Having 600 members will allow us to double our contributor funding pool for 2023.

Here’s the thing: So many people read The Rumpus. 600 members is less than 1% of our monthly readership, and once we reach that goal we’ll stop incessantly asking for your support. (Do you also have childhood memories of your parents refusing to change the radio dial from NPR even though their membership drive lasted forever?)

We’re now offering 2 different types of Memberships (both with monthly an yearly options!):

Digital-only memberships are available for $7 a month or $77 a year (that’s one month free, for us English majors)

Alternatively, if your only remaining source of dopamine is receiving IRL mail, we have a Membership + Letters in the Mail option for $15 a month or $150 dollars a year (and that’s a 21% discount, for us non-Mensa members).

 

A membership makes an excellent gift, as the recipient is thus reminded twice a month how lucky they are to have such a generous and loving and altruistic partner/friend/sibling/parent/relative/coworker/goldfish’s-uncle’s-friend’s-pet-sitter. Select the “This is a GIFT” checkbox and add the recipient’s email for the digital subscription or the email + mailing address if you’re gifting the Membership + Letters in the Mail option.

A note on timing: Digital Memberships begin same day, Letters Members will receive their 1st letter in the mail at the beginning of Dec. (sign up by Nov. 30), mid- Dec. (sign up by Dec. 14), or 1st of Jan. (sign up by Dec. 31) and so on!

If none of those options seem appealing, you can also just give us money 🙂

Memberships are more useful for financial planning, but one-time (or recurring!) donations are greatly appreciated. Bonus: Now that we have fiscal sponsorship through Fractured Atlas, all donations are tax-deductible.

Publishing is not known for its transparency, and it’s not always obvious what’s going on behind-the-scenes at a literary magazine. For that reason, here are a few things we’ve accomplished this year that we’d like to share:

  • Received over 5,600 poetry, fiction, and essay submissions during our open reading periods for which we do not charge a reading fee, with each submission read by at least 2-3 Rumpus readers and editors
  • Curated themed months on the topics of Mental Health Awareness, Disabilities in Education, and National Poetry Month
  • Published over 400 writers, with over 90% coming through Submittable
  • Increased magazine readership by 18% from last year (1.28 Million vs. 1.08 Million), with new vs. returning readers up by 17% (over 200,000 new readers vs. 2021!)
  • Secured fiscal sponsorship with Fractured Atlas, so that we can apply for select grants and accept tax-deductible donations
  • Removed Amazon affiliate links (we lost a little money but sleep better by only sending readers to Bookshop.org, which supports independent booksellers)
  • Hosted and/or partnered on six IRL readings with amazing authors and over a dozen virtual author-editor conversations
  • Started an Instagram account where we interview authors and host editor AMAs
  • Did we mention that we remained independent and not paywalled? The Rumpus is one of the very few literary magazine that’s not connected to a larger institution like a university or publishing conglomerate

 

PHEW.

Thank you, we love you. We hope you love us back.

— alysia