What Is The Rumpus?

Book Club
Writer’s Guidelines
Who Are We

At The Rumpus, 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. We strive to be a platform for marginalized voices and writing that might not find a home elsewhere, and to lift up new voices alongside those of more established writers we love. We work to shine a light on stories that build bridges, tear down walls, and speak truth to power.

The Rumpus launched in 2009. In January 2017, The Rumpus was purchased by Marisa Siegel, who had previously served as Managing Editor from 2014–2017.

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, and media that will make you look deeper. We believe that literature is community—and if reading The Rumpus 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, and Letters for Kids—each of these programs helps to keep The Rumpus in existence. And please sign up to receive our free overly personal newsletter, too!

We also hope you’ll contribute to The Rumpus by submitting your writing (check our Writer’s Guidelines) to keep our pages filled with goodness. The Rumpus is a literary barn-raising, where our writers, editors, illustrators, and readers are all indispensable to who we are.

The Rumpus supports and stands with Black Lives Matter. You can learn more, and access BLM-endorsed strategies to enact change locally and worldwide, at blacklivesmatters.carrd.co.

You can find our TOS and privacy page here.

Where did you get the name The Rumpus? 

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

Do you run original fiction and poetry? 

We do run original fiction and poetry, and you can find our reading periods for both here. Please note that we do not accept unsolicited fiction and poetry outside of those reading periods.

How do I submit my work?

We accept submissions through our submissions manager powered by Submittable. Please read our Writer’s Guidelines before sending us your work.

Interview pitches and finished interview submissions should be sent directly to our Interviews team ([email protected]).

Does The Rumpus pay for writing?

The Rumpus is a lean organization with only one paid part-time employee. But being able to pay writers is one of our most important goals. Beginning May 2016, we began to pay feature writers and book reviewers. Each month, we set aside $300. All eligible contributors are able to opt in for payment at the end of the month, and the money is divided between those writers who opt in. Payments average $10-25 per writer each month. We know that this amount is not enough, and we are working toward being able to pay a standard industry rate to all feature contributors and book reviewers. We also hope to be able to pay our bloggers, illustrators, and volunteer editorial staff one day.

Is Dear Sugar ever coming back?

Did she ever leave? The advice columnist Sugar, aka Cheryl Strayed, has had some of the most exciting years of her career with the publication of her memoir Wild and subsequent film adaptation, a collection of her Dear Sugar columns from The Rumpus, Tiny Beautiful Things, and her newest book, Brave Enough. Her books have spent several simultaneous weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and we couldn’t be more proud of her. And, Cheryl is now a member of our new Advisory Board. Sugar will always be part of The Rumpus family.

What is the Rumpus Advisory Board?

The function of the advisory board is to help when we have questions or need a sounding board for new ideas, to serve as role models for us, and to support us as we try to achieve our goals: a commitment to ongoing resistance of the Trump administration, a commitment to continuing paying writers and to increase those payments to a standard industry rate, a commitment to increase our coverage of small presses and indie authors, and to continue giving a platform to new voices who might not otherwise find one. The nine members of the board include Mary-Kim ArnoldMelissa FebosRoxane Gay, Julie Greicius, Kima Jones, Lyz LenzCeleste NgCheryl StrayedClaire Vaye Watkins.

Where do I buy Rumpus swag?

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


Beginning May 2016, we began to pay feature writers and book reviewers. Each month, we set aside $300. All eligible contributors are able to opt in for payment at the end of the month, and the money is divided between those writers who opt in. We know that this amount is not enough, and we are always working toward being able to pay a standard industry rate to all feature contributors and book reviewers.

Submissions must be directed to our submission manager powered by Submittable. Please submit to the appropriate category. Please note the draft you submit is considered final, excepting suggested changes by our editorial staff. Submittable only displays categories that are open for submission. If you do not see a category, please reference the below reading periods for information on when you can submit.

Please do not submit the same piece to multiple categories at the same time. All work must be previously unpublished. This includes personal blogs and social media. Please only send one submission to a given section at a time; when we’ve responded with a decision, you are welcome to submit to that section again.

We are often overwhelmed by the breadth and quality of our submissions. To allow our volunteer editorial staff better handle the workload and respond to your work in a more timely fashion, we’ve instituted reading periods for certain sections of The Rumpus.

Our regular reading periods for Essays are as follows: September 1 through October 31, January 1 through February 28, and June 1 through July 31. Timely essays can be sent directly to our managing editor Marissa Korbel at [email protected]; all other essays should be sent through Submittable during our open reading periods.

We will not be opening for our September-October essay reading window in 2021. Our next reading period for essays will be January 1 through February 28, 2022.

Please note that at The Rumpus “timely” means the essay will be published within a few weeks. Timely essays are those that are tied to a specific date (e.g. an upcoming holiday or anniversary); we are not considering essays about the pandemic through inbox. Agents and publicists: we strongly prefer that writers submit their own work to us. The Rumpus has an exceptional and diverse editorial team; bypassing Submittable results in fewer readers and editors looking at your work.

Our Rumpus Original Fiction reading periods for 2022 are February 1 through February 28 and August 1 through August 31.

Our Rumpus Original Poetry reading periods are January 15 through January 31 and July 15 through July 31.

The ENOUGH series is on hiatus and not currently accepting new submissions. We will reopen submissions again in the future, and will run already-accepted submissions as soon as possible.

Interview pitches and finished interview submissions are accepted year-round and should be sent directly to our Interviews team ([email protected]). We are no longer using Submittable for interviews.

Book review submissions are accepted year-round and should be sent through Submittable. Reviews of poetry collections should be directed to “Poetry Book Reviews” and all other reviews should be directed to “Book Reviews.”

Response time can vary from a few days to a few months. Please allow three months before sending submission status queries for essays, reviews, and ENOUGH, and eight months before sending queries for fiction, poetry, and our Funny Women column. Your patience is appreciated.


If you would like The Rumpus to consider a forthcoming or recently published book for possible review or other coverage, you may query us at [email protected] with a full description of the book. For poetry collections, please query [email protected].


For editorial concerns and general inquiries, please contact [email protected]. For customer service issues, please contact [email protected].

Owner and publisher  Marisa Siegel: [email protected]
Editor-in-chief – Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn: [email protected]
Managing editor  Marissa Korbel: [email protected]
Deputy editor – Ian MacAllen: [email protected]
Book reviews – Chelsea Leu: [email protected]
Poetry reviews – Leena Soman Navani: [email protected]
Fiction – Rebecca Rubenstein: [email protected], Vonetta Young: [email protected]
Interviews – Elizabeth Gonzalez James: [email protected]
Comics – Brandon Hicks: [email protected]
Funny Women – Elissa Bassist: [email protected]
Notable Online: [email protected]

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