In 2020, Santa had to take a test before delivering his presents with care. To all the good writing girls and boys, he gave them humor publishers that were in despair.
They needed submissions, you see, to tickle their reader’s funny. But amidst the coughs, sniffles, and tears, a light tried to appear. It came within memes, jokes, and satire from far and near.
So check out these literary magazines hungry for a jest. Or this list of humor book publishers, and this list too. Make sure you check each name twice. We only submit to good publishers as we try to shed some light.
17 Humor Publishers Seeking Submissions
All joking and bad rhyming aside, here are some publishers that accept humor writing. Some pay their contributors, and most (I think) don’t charge a submission fee. Not all of these publishers are currently looking for submissions.
With that said, please do your research into each publisher to make sure your work is a good fit. That means you need to read and follow their guidelines.
McSweeney’s is a household name in the literary community for many reasons. But did you know that they have a humor branch? If not, now you know! They accept nonfiction, so please do not send in short stories, poetry, and personal essays.
Their submission guidelines are very detailed, so please read them. They’re not boring like most guidelines. McSweeney’s pays its contributors an unspecified amount.
The New Yorker: Shouts & Murmurs
Next to McSweeney’s, Shouts & Murmurs is probably the next most significant market for humor authors. They have been around for a long time and accept humorous fiction only. No first-person essays will be considered for publication. They usually want things that aren’t topical.
To learn more about submitting to Shouts & Murmurs, click here.
The Morning News
The Morning News (TMN) is an online magazine of essays, art, humor, and culture published weekdays since 1999. Here’s what the editors have to say:
At TMN, we believe in good writing, tight editing, wit, curiosity, making mistakes, and solving them with tequila. We speak through what we publish.
To learn more about submitting, click here. They pay their contributors.
Here’s what the MAD Magazine editors have to say about what they want:
“We welcome all humor submissions and the best way to know what we’re looking for is to take a look at what we’re doing now! Originality and visual humor are especially prized! We’re interested in material focusing on evergreen topics, such as dating, family, school and work, plus topical material about celebrities, sports, politics, news and social trends. In addition, we will consider submissions for our Fundalini Pages and annual MAD 20 (The Dumbest People, Events and Things of the Year). We also welcome submissions for our Strip Club (artist-writers or artist-writer teams preferred).”
Click here to check out their submission guidelines.
The Funny Times
The Funny Times is a monthly magazine of humor and satire “in a world gone totally insane.” This humor publisher has been around for almost 35 years and features 100 comics and a dozen written articles in each issue. Here’s what the editor’s of The Funny Times want:
“Our print publication pokes fun at politics, news, relationships, food, technology, pets, work, death, environmental issues, business, religion (yes, even religion) and the human condition in general. Not much is off limits, so do your best to make us laugh.”
Writers can send in between five to ten cartoons or three to five stories. They pay $30 to $50 per cartoon based on reproduction size and $60 for each story. To learn more, click here.
Cracked touts itself as “America’s Only Humor Site.” They publish various nonfiction articles that are related to current affairs and pop culture. They are not currently open to submissions, and if they are, they publish a blog post to let people know.
To submit your work, you must have an account with them, making their process a bit convoluted. Here’s a link to the article Cracked published last year so you can get a sense of what they are looking for. Articles pay between $100 and $250, based on the length and the number of pieces you’ve written, but I’ve seen differing amounts in other places.
Here’s what the editors have to say about Glossy News:
“If you write satire, or you’ve just always wanted to, consider submitting your story to Glossy News. Our stories are regularly picked up by HumorFeed and Google News as well as many other leading news aggregators, so if you think you’ve got the chops there’s no better time. No more must you limit yourself to enraged letters to editors or mere blog posts, now you can put your brain where your mouth is… and that’s as sexy as it sounds.”
To learn more about this, click here.
Saturday Evening Post
For nearly 200 years, The Saturday Evening Post has chronicled American history in the making — reflecting the distinctive characteristics and values that define the American way. The Post is also known for publishing such literary greats as Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, J.D. Salinger, and Kurt Vonnegut. It continues to seek out and discover emerging writers of the twenty-first century.
They accept nonfiction, fiction, and cartoon submissions. They do not accept any poetry outside of their limerick contest, which is accepting submission until February 25, 2021. For all other submissions, please click here to check out their guidelines. They pay their contributors between $25 and $400 per article.
Suddenly Senior is a humor outlet for a senior audience. They post guest posts and weekly columns on their website. Here’s what they are looking for:
“We are seeking excellent guest columnists — you must write well, with humor and wit, and wisdom — to be published for Suddenly Senior’s large and attentive audience.”
To find out more, click here.
I’m going to let Imperfectly Parent explain what they are all about:
“The main focus of The Imperfect Parent is to provide a world view from a parent’s perspective. Our main criterion is that the writing either makes people think, laugh, or both. Our objective is to get parents to think about social issues, politics and parenting methods through humor or unique prospectives. Submissions should generally fit into these main categories: humor, parenting methods and choices, political and societal issues, features, book reviews, and new summaries.
Imperfect Parent’s submission guidelines are relatively long, so make sure you give them a thorough going-over before sending in your work. They pay their contributors.
Reader’s Digest also likes to tickle its reader’s funny bones. They accept jokes, gags, funny quotes, and true funny stories for their print edition. They also pay writers handsomely for their contributions ($25 for jokes, gags, and funny quotes, and $100 for any true funny story). You can find out more by clicking here.
I’m sure we’ve all read a listicle before, and Listverse has this down to a science. The good thing about them is that they like to publish listicles with a humorous twist. They pay their contributors $100 and have a handy author’s guide for you to follow.
Here’s what they have to say about what they want:
“The lists that our readers love the most (and the ones we will most likely pay for) are lists that are offbeat and novel—lists that are looking at something normal in an unexpected way (ways college makes you dumb, for example), unsolved mysteries, hidden knowledge (things most people don’t know), misconceptions, and just really astonishing general knowledge about anything—science, for example. What we don’t want to see are lists on sports, self-help, personal stories, or gaming. We don’t publish opinion lists.”
To learn more, click here.
If you love America’s breathtaking beauty, then Country magazine may be a good fit for you. They share “authentic stories about the life and land we love from the people who live it.” You can find out more by clicking here.
The Rumpus – Funny Women
The Rumpus publishes Funny Women, a humor column for womenfolk and gender non-conforming writers. They accept short nonfiction with exceptions (i.e., no personal essays, stories, or anecdotes). Click here to learn more about Funny Women’s mission and check out their submission guidelines.
The Offing – Wit Tea
The Offing is an online literary magazine publishing creative writing in all genres and art in all media. They publish work that “challenges, experiments, provokes — work that pushes literary and artistic forms and conventions.” They accept fiction, cross-genre work, poetry, and nonfiction.
Wit Tea is the humor arm of the magazine. The Offing pays contributors $25 to $100, depending on donations and department. To learn more, click here.
Defenestration is a humor magazine that doesn’t worry about “the particulars of genre, style, or form as long as the work is funny.” They try to “publish a wide range of humor, from the ridiculous to the satirical, and everything in between.”
They do not accept simultaneous submissions. However, they try to respond within four weeks of sending in your work. Defenestration’s submission guidelines are lengthy, so please give them a thorough reading before submitting.
They publish poetry, short stories, nonfiction, “fake” nonfiction, and visual art. Defenestration is not a paying market.
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest
As the name suggests, the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest is a contest for poets with mirth in their souls. The contest is currently looking for submissions for its twentieth year. There is no fee to enter, and the first-place prize is $2,000 plus a two-year gift certificate from Duotrope (a $100 value). Twelve poems will be selected overall, and each winner gets a monetary prize.
To learn more, click here.
- Value: $3,500 ($2,000 for first place; $500 for second place; $100 for honorable mentions)
- Deadline: April 1, 2021
- Open to humor poets
Good luck to all of you who choose to submit. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.
And if you are accepted at any of these humor publishers, please let me know! I’d love to read your work and pass it along to a friend.
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(Psst. Send your thanks to The Misfit Farmer for asking me to write this post. Check out the wonderful farm-based humor that awaits for you there. I always leave with a chuckle.)
Stay safe, everyone.
Until next time.