SOME INITIAL NOTES
We are always eager to receive good work from writers known and unknown for possible inclusion on our Web site. Later on there may also be opportunities to help write freelance work with us as well, but that is later on, so why bring it up now? Basically, we want to see your work, and will make every effort to respond to it quickly and personally.
Giving it to us in the right format will make it much easier for us to get back to you in a timely fashion. Here’s how we like to see things.
All submissions to TheBigJewel.com must be sent via email. Please do NOT send word processing documents of any kind. Paste your submission into the body of the email. Use regular fonts and keep the color black. Do not attempt to do funny things with typefaces…unless, of course, your piece is about the humor of typefaces, a rich mother lode of hilarity, we freely admit. Avoid “smart quotes” (use straight quotes) and em dashes (use two dashes or hyphens), and when ellipses are needed use three simple dots (use three simple dots). Using both your spell checker and your eyes before you submit will save us all a lot of embarrassment. Especially you.
Our length limit is usually 1,000 words — roughly, what someone can read onscreen without scrolling all the way to China. We will look at longer pieces, but after we have looked at them we will delete them and deny ever having received them. Unless they are really, really good. Then we will print them.
Somewhere, preferably at the top of your submission, please include your name, address, email address, phone number, and the title of the piece. No cover letter or further information is needed or desired. We honestly don’t care who you are or what else you have done, nor are we looking to find out where you went to school or how many cats you own or who you know, even if they work in our IT department. Actually, especially if they work in our IT department. Your material should speak for itself. By the same token, there is no need to query before sending a piece. Just send it.
We do not pay writers at this time. If you know of anyone online that does pay, please let us in on the secret and we will migrate to that site immediately and stop wasting our time on this labor of love.
Do not contact us to ask us what we think of your submission or where it is in the pipeline. Okay, if you haven’t heard from us in a month, THEN contact us. But please, not before then. Also, do not necessarily expect personal comments on your work. You may get them, or you may well get a “form” rejection email. If hearing the word “no” is a terribly painful and degrading experience for you, then you should get out of humor writing now before it tears at your soul, and burns the once-bright spirit of life within into a small pile of grey ash that fits inside a teacup.
THE STUFF DREAMS ARE MADE OF
We are not interested in previously published work, no matter how obscure the original venue. Other things we are not interested in:
* Fake news pieces.
* Rejected desk bits for late night talk show hosts.
* Post-modern, self-consciously cute pieces…unless you feel you have a different kind of post-modern, self-consciously cute slant, in which case by all means send it on.
* Anything that could easily have appeared in any other highly visible outlet.
One more thing: Blatantly scatological, obscene or profane work is not welcome here. If it’s cleverly scatological, it probably belongs in another publication or on cable TV. And if it’s not clever, what’s the point?
Our working hypothesis is that there should be at least one place on the Web where humor is both of high quality and family-friendly. Unlike the staff writers on certain late night television shows and men’s magazines, we do not believe that inserting the word “ass” into every other joke is pushing some kind of envelope — unless there is an “ass-joke inserting envelope.” That a piece can be clean and still very original and challenging is evidenced by the work of the great 20th century humorists, all of whom somehow managed to get through their careers without writing stuff that reads the way Ozzy Osbourne talks.
In other words, we are trying to carve out a niche. This means not trying to compete with those who are already doing something as well as it can be done, and not imitating those doing things we don’t want to be doing.
What we are looking for is smart, funny stuff with staying power: Literary humor that will make us, and our readers, laugh out loud. Think Robert Benchley, James Thurber, Dorothy Parker, and S.J. Perelman. Or if you’re into later 20th century humorists, think classic National Lampoon, Ian Frazier, Veronica Geng, George W.S. Trow, Woody Allen and Steve Martin. Or, from across the pond, P.G. Wodehouse or Stephen Fry. Of people making their mark now, we like David Sedaris, Neal Pollack, Dave Eggers and Ben Greenman, among others. But please don’t take this as an invitation to submit watered-down versions of their work. If you try this, you will be cast into the outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
However, if you can write bright, hilarious pieces that will have us rolling on the floor with something other than stomach cramps, you’re in. Aside from the above exceptions, we are open to just about any style, genre or approach. We should add, we are not looking for reviews, real or fake. Also, no cartoons, Flash animations or other graphics, or MP3s of your funny songs.
Simultaneous submissions are welcome, so long as you let us know that’s what they are. Multiple submissions are okay as well. However, please send each submission in a separate email.
Topical things are fine…again, so long as they don’t obviously fit into some other existing venue. But we would be just as happy to see pieces with no topicality whatsoever. We are not slaves to the moment.
Send all submissions to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Happy writing, and good luck!