Thank you for your interest in The American Bystander! We are a reader-supported, creator-friendly publication committed to preserving the classic print humor experience. We publish material in the tradition of the great humor magazines like The National Lampoon, SPY, The Realist, MAD, Punch, Private Eye -- you get the point.

We accept submissions year-round on a rolling basis.  Due to our small staff and the massive volume of submissions we receive, we cannot respond to individual submissions; we will get in touch if a piece fits.  

The best way to increase your chance of success? Familiarize yourself with past issues.


General Submission Guidelines

  • The American Bystander accepts simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if you need to withdraw a piece because it has been accepted elsewhere.
  • We do NOT accept multiple submissions within a month. This is designed to keep us from being flooded, and to encourage submitters to submit their best work. Multiple submissions will result in all submissions being rejected.
  • Authors of work under consideration may receive editorial feedback and requests to revise prior to final acceptance.
  • All submissions should include a brief cover letter that includes a short author bio.
  • For all submissions, please include the following information in your cover letter and in the top left corner of the first page of all documents:

Name
Email address
Title of the work
Word count (or page count, for poetry)

  • Pages should be numbered and include the author’s name on every page.
  • All text submissions must be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf file format.  Images may be submitted in .jpg, .tiff, .gif, or .png.
  • Use 12pt. Times New Roman font unless there is a stylistic reason to do otherwise.

Payment varies with size/type of material. In addition to payment, contributors receive three print copies of the issue in which their work appears, and the opportunity to appear before a highly selective audience, many of whom work in comedy, entertainment, and media.

This is our Short Prose category. These kinds of pieces will be featured in our front-of-book section "Gallimaufry," and in the one-pagers at the front and back of the magazine.

We accept essays, first-person accounts, memoir, and premise-driven humor pieces. We review material on a rolling basis, but ask that you please not submit more than once a month. Owing to the size of our staff and the volume of material that we receive, we cannot respond to each submission. We will get in touch if your work fits.

We are most interested in original, unpublished work. We will consider work that has appeared elsewhere (this includes websites and personal blogs) if, in our estimation, our audience is unlikely to have read the work before.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, provided that you notify us promptly if a piece has been accepted by another publication. NOTE: If you need to withdraw individual pieces from consideration, please click on the title of your submission; click on the "Activity" tab; and leave a note detailing which work(s) should be withdrawn. Please only use the "Withdraw" function if you intend to remove all material from consideration.

Thank you for sorting your material; proper sorting will streamline our process and give you a better chance of acceptance. And thank you for your interest in contributing to The American Bystander! We look forward to reading your material.



This is our Long Prose category. These kinds of pieces will be considered mainly for our feature well.

We accept essays, first-person accounts, memoir, and premise-driven humor pieces. We review material on a rolling basis, but ask that you please not submit more than once a month. Owing to the size of our staff and the volume of material that we receive, we cannot respond to each submission. We will get in touch if your work fits.

We are most interested in original, unpublished work. We will consider work that has appeared elsewhere (this includes websites and personal blogs) if, in our estimation, our audience is unlikely to have read the work before.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, provided that you notify us promptly if a piece has been accepted by another publication. NOTE: If you need to withdraw individual pieces from consideration, please click on the title of your submission; click on the "Activity" tab; and leave a note detailing which work(s) should be withdrawn. Please only use the "Withdraw" function if you intend to remove all material from consideration.

Thank you for sorting your material; proper sorting will streamline our process and give you a better chance of acceptance. And thank you for your interest in contributing to The American Bystander! We look forward to reading your material.



This is our Single-Panel Cartoons category. We review material on a rolling basis, but ask that you please not submit more than once a month. Owing to the size of our staff and the volume of material that we receive, we cannot respond to each submission. We will get in touch if your work fits.

We are most interested in original, unpublished cartoons. We will consider work that has appeared elsewhere (this includes websites and personal blogs) if, in our estimation, our audience is unlikely to have read the work before.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, provided that you notify us promptly if a cartoon has been accepted by another publication. NOTE: If you need to withdraw individual cartoons from consideration, please click on the title of your submission; click on the "Activity" tab; and leave a note detailing which work(s) should be withdrawn. Please only use the "Withdraw" function if you intend to remove all material from consideration.

Thank you for sorting your material; proper sorting will streamline our process and give you a better chance of acceptance. And thank you for your interest in contributing to The American Bystander! We look forward to reading your material.



We publish single and multi-page comics and illustration. We also occasionally publish photojournalism with a whimsical bent.

We review material on a rolling basis, but ask that you please not submit more than once a month. Owing to the size of our staff and the volume of material that we receive, we cannot respond to each submission. We will get in touch if your work fits.

We are most interested in original, unpublished material. We will consider work that has appeared elsewhere (this includes websites and personal blogs) if, in our estimation, our audience is unlikely to have read the work before.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, provided that you notify us promptly if a work has been accepted by another publication. NOTE: If you need to withdraw individual pieces from consideration, please click on the title of your submission; click on the "Activity" tab; and leave a note detailing which work(s) should be withdrawn. Please only use the "Withdraw" function if you intend to remove all material from consideration.

Thank you for sorting your material; proper sorting will streamline our process and give you a better chance of acceptance. And thank you for your interest in contributing to The American Bystander! We look forward to reading your material.