If you have a sense of humor, why not use it to make some money instead of wasting your talent on graffiti? There are ample economic opportunities for people who can see the lighter side of life, or skewer the darker side with a well-aimed quip.
The publications below want to make their readers grin, chortle, guffaw, smile knowingly, and sometimes take you seriously until the last possible moment. Satire, sarcasm, revolting college humor, one-liners, witty bon mots, sentimental slop, whatever you're good at, some magazine on this list will pay you for it.
(Note: You can find more paying markets on this page: Paying Markets.)
This is one of the most popular, and, in my opinion, funniest sites on the web. (Feel free to disagree.) (But you'll be wrong.) Chances of acceptance are remote, but it doesn't hurt to try. The Quarterly pays on acceptance, but in keeping with their "no rules" policy, they don't say how much. The Internet Tendency may pay in "unusual" currency or not at all. It's hard to tell.
The Morning News
"The Morning News (TMN) is an online magazine of essays, art, humor, and culture published weekdays since 1999. In addition to our features, each day includes our headlines, with links to the most interesting news items, articles, and oddities around the web. At TMN, we believe in good writing, tight editing, wit, curiosity, making mistakes, and solving them with tequila. We speak through what we publish."
"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)."
The Funny Times
"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. Plus we’re advertising free, so whatever we like, we use. We pay upon publication, not acceptance, and the rates are $25-$40 per cartoon based on reproduction size and $60 each for story."
Happy Woman Magazine
"Happy Woman is a parody publication. We are looking for articles that spoof items one might read in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Glamour or Good Housekeeping, O or any publication of that sort."
"Part feminista part fashionista our mission is to publish a monthly magazine that speaks to all sides of a women’s personality - their work, their play, their families and their creativity, through one of kind content and effective advertising." Themed issues. Note: Open to local Charleston-area freelance writers only.
"If you are a funny/smart/creative person, Cracked.com is the single best opportunity you will ever come across in your life. No experience necessary. We will pay you if it's good. You talk directly to the editors — no form letter rejections. Your work could be seen by millions of people. We need articles, photoshops, infographics and videos. Take your pick." Pays $50 per article for your first four articles, then $150 afterwards
"Salon welcomes article queries and submissions. The best way to submit articles and story pitches is via email with the words “Editorial Submission” in the subject line. Send your query or submission in plain text in the body of your email, rather than as an attached file." Topical and political humor. No fiction.
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." Offers prizes.
"Wanna write articles for CollegeHumor? One of the biggest comedy sites on the internet? A site that generates millions of pageviews per day and once bought a stuffed banana for like $4 grand? Well guess what - YOU CAN! All you have to do is send an email to Articles@collegehumor.com with your pitch, and our editors will work with you to craft the perfect article. Even better? If your article submission gets accepted, WE’LL PAY YOU MONEY. For a single page article, we’ll pay you $35. For a larger multi-page article, we’ll pay you $50."
Dorkly (Obviously related to College Humor)
Saturday Evening Post
"We accept humor submissions for the Lighter Side. Submissions must be between 1,000 and 3,000 words in length and previously unpublished. Please send articles as Microsoft Word or PDF attachments to email@example.com with Attn: Lighter Side in the subject line. If sending a pitch or query, writers should include one or two writing samples of their work as Microsoft Word or PDF attachments. Please include contact information: name, address, phone number, email address, and Twitter handle (if applicable). In lieu of email, see hard-copy guidelines above." Pays $25-$400 per article.
Imperfect Parent"Anything that deals with any aspect of the lighter side of parenting — parody, humorous takes on parenting, satire, an “open letter”, take your pick. And if you are questioning if your humor crosses the line, then definitely send it in — we don’t want “safe.” We are a gloriously independent site that doesn’t answer to a board of directors or a huge corporate sponsorship. Use that to your advantage. We certainly aren’t afraid of offending some people, and you shouldn’t be, either." Pays $25 per article.
Reader's Digest"Everybody’s got a funny story. What’s yours? Send us your joke, quote, or a funny true story—if it’s selected for the magazine, you’ll be paid $100!"
This is an interesting site that capitalizes on the Internet craze for lists. You will find lists for just about everything on Listverse. They are looking for offbeat, unexpected, little-known facts, all written with a sense of humor. Check out some of their lists to see what they prefer. 1500 words minimum. Payment is $100 via Paypal only.
Write for The Haven
See Your Work in Our Esteemed Publication
What Content Will The Haven Publish?
The Haven wants to publish your humor! We’ll take all types of humor writing — essays, fake news, lists, short stories, poetry, cartoons — as long as it does not contain misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, violence or other demeaning content. The Haven especially hates ageism because the Founder is old-ish. And cranky. So stay off her lawn.
The Founder is also generally not into gross humor, shock humor or potty humor. Unless it’s done completely with emojis. Because who doesn’t love this? 💩 In addition, the Founder does not have an unlimited appetite for super dark humor — although she sometimes thinks it’s hilarious. OTOH, snark and swearing are encouraged.
Also, please keep in mind that the Founder is a middle-aged, straight, white, cis-woman, so she may not immediately identify content that others deem problematic. If you have concerns about the content of this publication, please email the Founder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Can I Submit to The Haven?
Medium recently decided to make things more difficult for publications by eliminating the option for us to request work that has been published. That means that you will have to submit to The Haven. We cannot ask you. So no more sending us a link and then waiting for us to request it. (Boo!)
If you have previously been published on The Haven, you can submit by clicking the “…” in the upper right hand corner on a desktop/laptop and selecting the options to submit to a publication. On mobile devices, there’s no “…” but you will be given options to submit to a publication.
If you have not previously been published on The Haven, please send an email with your Medium handle to email@example.com. We’ll add you as a writer so that you can submit. Please note that adding you as a writer does not mean that you will be published on The Haven; it just means that you have the ability to submit.
WE STONGLY PREFER THAT ARTICLES NOT BE SUBMITTED IN DRAFT FORM. I know this is different than most other publications, but the Founder has been having some technical issues accepting submissions in draft form. Although it may be the Founder’s incompetence, there seems to be a Medium problem with accepting draft submissions on mobile devices, and the Founder works from a mobile device more often than not.
So please publish your article, then submit through Medium. If you submit in draft form, we’ll get to your submission eventually, but it will take longer than if you publish then submit.
Is There Anything You Will Not Publish?
In addition to the topics mentioned above, The Haven does not publish links to articles elsewhere. Please put the full content in your submission. Also, The Haven only publishes the original work of the submitter. We will not publish articles where the copyright is in doubt. The Haven is not the copyright police, but The Haven has received some articles/photos that are obviously not the work of the submitter or have clear copyright issues (e.g. compilations of funny stuff found elsewhere on the Internet). We will not publish that material. And don’t send us articles using photos that are watermarked as stock photos. We will reject your article if you do that. Lastly, we don’t publish one liners or super short articles/poetry. Minimum 100 words with limited exceptions.
Will You Edit My Submission?
No. If you want your humor writing edited and are a woman (cis or otherwise), go to the awesome website, The Belladonna Comedy. Those ladies know their stuff and are great to work with. In fact, go to them first. Come back here if your content is not a good fit for The Belladonna.
If your piece is accepted by The Haven, it will go up as submitted (with the possible exception of some formatting changes and, possibly, some obvious typo corrections), so you might want to spellcheck your work first. Also, speaking of checks, you might want to check with your mother, significant other, best friend, children, employer and/or anyone else who may be offended. Except members of the Trump administration. Go ahead and offend them without checking.
Also (pro tip), The Haven strongly encourages you to include at least one photo/drawing in your submission. Submissions without photos tend to get overlooked by readers more than those with photos. Please try to make it a photo that you have the right to use. If you use something that has watermarks or is otherwise clearly a stock photo you have cribbed from elsewhere, your article will not be published. The Haven loves unsplash.com as a source of legit photos.
How Quickly Will You Publish My Work?
We aim to get pieces published within 24 hours. But sometimes life intervenes, so it may take longer. Also, the Founder is still getting the hang of this publishing thing, so if you are not published, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s very likely your piece was unintentionally overlooked. Or the Founder was drunk. Possibly both.
Who Owns My Work?
You own your work. In fact, by submitting to The Haven, you are representing that you own the rights to the material you have submitted and have the right to publish it at The Haven. You are giving The Haven a license to publish your work for as long as you and The Haven mutually agree. You are solely and exclusively responsible for the content of your pieces.
You may remove your work from The Haven at any time, and The Haven reserves the right to de-publish your work for any reason or no reason at all. Because the founder is like that — she enjoys the occasional power trip. You are also agreeing to idemnify The Haven for any costs incurred by The Haven as a result of material you publish on this site.
Will You Publish Previously Published Pieces?
As long as you own the right to republish previously published work, The Haven will accept previously published pieces. If The Haven gets a cease and desist letter from someone claiming a copyright violation, the Founder will be supremely pissed. World class pissed. And fair warning — the Founder is a lawyer, so she knows how to make your life miserable.
Will You Pay Me for My Work?
Ha ha ha ha ha! That’s hilarious! Of course we will not pay you for your work. We are not Melinda Gates. Or Oprah. Or even one of The Real Housewives.