Punchnel’s is a general-interest web magazine written for a smart, discerning audience of adults around the world. We publish continually, with new material appearing as often as every weekday. We don’t have a specific editorial focus. We buy what we like. And what we like includes lively writing about:
- Books/literary pursuits
- Business and technology
- Famous and infamous and interesting unfamous people
Also, we want:
- Travel/photo essays
- Political and social commentary
- Fiction/serialized novels
- Serialized graphic novels
- Short film/video
We don’t care about your politics, gender, religion, or specific stance on any issue. Have something to say and say it beautifully, and you’ll find a home for your work here.
At this time (12/29/14), Punchnel’s is accepting submissions. We are always looking for intelligent, charming new voices. Most pieces we buy are between 400 and 1,200 words.
In addition to general submissions, we’re also looking for material for several ongoing special features, including:
Punchlists. This is the best way to break in to Punchnel's. Make a list of five (or so) things you love or hate or wish everyone knew about. Write it well, link it up, and submit it. We plan to publish a Punchlist every Monday.
The Story of That Song. Tell us a story about a song you love and what it means in your life. Also, tell us about the significance of the song to the writer and/or performer. We love seeing how these things collide in the world.
Second Chance. Take a book or film or work of music you don’t like—or didn’t like when you were exposed to it the first time. (Classic works of literature—Moby-Dick, for example—come to mind.) Now, some years after your first exposure, engage the work again. Has your opinion changed? Tell us about it.
What I Should Have Said. Here’s your chance to right a wrong, clarify a position, or reveal your true feelings. You said one thing; upon reflection, you should have said something else. What was it? We want to know.
Bet You Don’t Know. You love a certain film, a song, a book, a work of art, a singer—and you feel as if you’re virtually alone. What’s the little-known performer or work of art or enterainment you love and want to share with everyone? Share it with us.
Yes. We’re a little persnickety about poetry. Please keep in mind:
It’s a poem, not a short story or an installment of your novel. While there aren’t exact line count specifications, if it’s going to be long, those first 10 lines had better be the best writing we’ve seen in three months.
Be tasteful and responsible in what you submit—we’re interested in your bleeding heart only if you actually have something meaningful to say. Not because we’re mean, but because we’re a publication, not your therapist. (If you’d like to pay us $100/hour to read your poem, we might reconsider.)
If you send us something sing-songy (overt use of meter and/or rhyme), we’ll assume it’s supposed to be funny, and we’ll treat it as such. Doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t publish it, though. We like funny.
Punchnel’s pays $10.00 American, on acceptance, for first electronic rights to your work, unless otherwise specified. We request that you not republish or repost this work on any other website for six months from the date of publication at Punchnel's. You retain all other rights. Punchnel’s is not responsible for material misrepresented by contributors as their own. If you don’t own the rights, don’t sell it to us.
Your work will be archived indefinitely at Punchnel’s so it’s available for public consumption. In addition, Punchnel’s reserves the right to discuss and/or read portions of your work in audio and/or video podcasts. We may also be interested in anthologizing your work in the future, per separate negotiation.
Submitting to Punchnel’s is easy—and practically hassle-free. All you need to get started is a Submishmash account. Which costs you nothing and only requires your name and email address. So, pull together your best stuff in a Word, text, or PDF document and click here.
Please, don’t send other kinds of attachments unless they have been requested. And query us about video, photographs, and other visual material.
Simultaneous submissions are okay; we do not accept snail mail submissions at this time.
Instructions for a photo essay submission:
Put your content in a Microsoft Word document and include the images in between the text. If you have your images hosted on Flickr or another photography website and you know how to create HTML image source code, include that code where the images will go.
img src="Full link to where your photo is hosted" alt="The alt text of your photo" width="630" height="418" />
Make sure all of your photos are 630 pixels wide.
If you do not know how to include the image code, no problem. Put your content in the Microsoft Word document and in between the content, put each photo file name where it should go. Make sure the file name you place in the text corresponds with the file name of the images so we don't confuse your photos.
Compress the Microsoft Word document and photos. Upload the zipped file to the Photos/Photo Essay option in Submishmash.
We’ll review your work and respond to you at our first opportunity, usually within six weeks. But please be gentle with us. This is a part-time labor of love, and we all have straight jobs.
We reserve the right to edit your piece or request edits from you. A solicitation of your work is not a promise of publication.
Simultaneous submissions are okay (please inform us); multiple submissions are discouraged, expect for poetry. Please don’t submit any more than five poems at a time.
We’re happy to consider it. Please let us know if the work you’re submitting has been published elsewhere, even if it’s on your blog.
You will receive a byline for every piece you sell to Punchnel’s. We will also ask you for a very brief bio for use on our Contributors page.
Of course. Send your query via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you sell to us…
We hope you will actively promote your work, and Punchnel’s in general, through your own online networks. We also believe that lively comment threads can add interest that draws readership, so we hope you’ll please take a moment when you can to respond to comments on your work and to comment on the work of other contributors. (Please: no swooning, swanning, or fawning. Say something smart.)
We believe your support is critical to our ability to grow a dedicated following; the more people visit our site, the more attractive we are to advertisers—and the more we can afford to pay contributors. We want people coming here every day to read your work and look forward to your next new piece. We also invite you to use Punchnel’s to promote your own work elsewhere online (and vice versa), and we believe Punchnel’s will be an ideal environment for promoting your own books and other works. In fact, if you have a book to publish and promote, let’s talk.