At The Rumpus, we’ve got essays, interviews, book reviews, music, film, original fiction, original poetry, and 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. We strive to be a platform for marginalized voices and writing that might not find a home elsewhere. We want 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.
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?
Interview pitches and finished interview submissions should be sent directly to our Interviews Editor Monet Patrice Thomas ([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. 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 Arnold, Melissa Febos, Roxane Gay, Julie Greicius, Kima Jones, Lyz Lenz, Celeste Ng, Cheryl Strayed, Claire Vaye Watkins.
Where do I buy Rumpus swag?
At the Rumpus, 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 much. Accepted contributors maintain all copyrights to the work we publish.
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 working toward being able to pay a standard industry rate to all feature contributors and book reviewers.
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.
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.
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: August 1 through October 31, January 1 through February 28, and June 1 through July 31. Timely essays can be sent directly to our Editor-in-Chief at [email protected]; all other essays should be sent through Submittable during our open reading periods. [Note: reading periods were updated June 2019. Our next open reading period begins August 1. The first June-July reading period will be in 2020.]
Our Rumpus Original Fiction reading periods are January 1 through January 31 and July 1 through July 31.
Our Rumpus Original Poetry reading periods are January 1 through January 31 and July 1 through July 31.
Our reading periods for the ENOUGH series are April 1 through May 31 and October 1 through November 30.
Interview pitches and finished interview submissions are accepted year-round and should be sent directly to our Interviews Editor Monet Patrice Thomas ([email protected]). We are no longer using Submittable for interviews.
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 and poetry. Your patience is appreciated.
GUIDELINES FOR PUBLISHERS
If you would like The Rumpus to consider a published book for possible review or other coverage, you may query us at [email protected] with a full description of the book.
For customer service issues, editorial concerns, or general inquiries, please contact [email protected].
Editor-in-Chief – Marisa Siegel: [email protected]
Deputy Editor – Ian MacAllen: [email protected]
Books – Chelsea Leu: [email protected]
Poetry – Brian Spears: [email protected]
Fiction – Karissa Chen: [email protected]
Interviews – Monet Patrice Thomas: [email protected]
Features – Christine H. Lee: [email protected], Robbie Maakestad: [email protected], Lisa Mecham: [email protected]
Comics – Brandon Hicks: [email protected]
Funny Women – Elissa Bassist: [email protected]
Notable NYC: [email protected]
Notable Los Angeles: [email protected]
Notable San Francisco: [email protected]
Notable Portland: [email protected]
Notable Chicago: [email protected]
Notable Twin Cities: [email protected]
Notable Philadelphia: [email protected]