The American Bystander

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

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:

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.