How to Submit Cartoons to the New Yorker

January 2, 2016 UPDATE: The New Yorker now only accepts cartoon submissions through their online system. They  no longer accepted mailed or emailed cartoon submissions. Submit cartoons to the New Yorker.

If you’re looking for instructions on submitting cartoons to the New Yorker, this is it. You already know it’s one of the best markets for gag cartoonists… Whether or not you like their voice, it pays to have a cartoon published in the New Yorker–not just a nice check, but a sense of recognition and bragging rights… lots and lots of bragging rights.

This is the ultimate step-by-step guide to submitting gag cartoons to the New Yorker.

1. Before You Submit Cartoons

Cartoon Similar to Cartoons in the New Yorker

All New Yorker cartoons summed up in one.

The New Yorker buys first rights for black and white gag cartoons. Gag cartoons are single-panel cartoons, usually with a caption. First rights means they get to be the first ones to ever publish the cartoon, so cartoons that were previously published are not qualified.

It’s important to understand that the only things that get considered are your cartoons. Don’t expect any special treatment for knowing someone at the New Yorker, having lots of money, or being famous. It simply doesn’t matter.

In general, the New Yorker does not buy cartoons about toilet humor, puns, celebrities, or politicians. Popular themes include business and presentation cartoons, among others.

2. Format your cartoons

January 2, 2016 Update: It is no longer necessary to print your cartoons. Just save them in JPG or PNG digital format. See update at top.

Print or copy your cartoons on letter-sized paper in black-and-white. Do not send originals–you may not get them back or they will be damaged in transfer. Editors will assume you’re sending copies, so they may discard or scribble on them.

3. Prepare your cartoons and submission

January 2, 2016 Update: It is no longer necessary to include a cover letter with your online submission. See update at top.

Collect a batch of 5 – 10 cartoons.

Write a simple cover letter. It should include the following information:

  1. Your name and contact information.
  2. Confirmation that these cartoons have never been published anywhere else.
  3. A statement about how frequently you plan on submitting cartoons. Being a consistent contributor will improve your odds.
  4. Optional: A sentence about yourself.

Write or print your name and contact information on each cartoon, because they will be separated from your cover letter and envelope.

4. Submit Cartoons by mail or email online

January 2, 2016 Update: The New Yorker no longer accepts cartoon submissions by mail or email. You can only submit cartoons through their online submission system.

How to submit cartoons to the New Yorker by email:

Send your completed cartoons as a single PDF attachment (with one cartoon per page) to

What you need if you’re submitting by mail:

  1. Two 9×12″ envelopes
  2. Postage for two “large 1st class envelopes” up to 3.0 ounces. As of this writing (2013), the postage is $1.32 for each.

Take one envelope and address it to yourself and apply the postage. This is called a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, or SASE. The New Yorker cartoon editor will use this envelope to mail back any rejected cartoons. (More on that later.)

Place the SASE, your cartoons, and your cover letter into the second envelope, and address it to the New Yorker:

Cartoon Editor
The New Yorker
38th Fl.
One World Trade Center
New York, NY 10007

5. Your Cartoons Are Received

January 2, 2016 Update: With their new online submission system, I do not know exactly what is the screening process, though I imagine it is similar.

The cartoon editor’s assistant will screen all submissions, and separate properly formatted cartoons from everything else. Next, the editor will review your cartoons and separate them into two piles: maybe and rejected. The rejected pile either gets mailed back, filed in a cabinet, or discarded.

The next day, all cartoons in the maybe pile are reviewed with the New Yorker’s editor-in-chief, and the final selections are made. The rest of the maybe pile gets mailed back, filed, or discarded.

If you do get an answer, it’s going to be within two weeks. Don’t wait for it. Continue to submit as often as you can, but no more than once per week. Do not follow up–they get thousands of cartoon submissions every week and may not follow up with each one of them.

6. Your Cartoons are Accepted or Rejected

Getting a cartoon published in the New Yorker.

Getting a cartoon into the New Yorker is a long journey.

January 2, 2016 Update: Now that they are only accepting online submissions, I do not know how they notify cartoonists of rejections. One thing remains, though: You are very likely to be rejected.

One of three things will happen:

  1. If you included a SASE, your cartoons will be returned with a small rejection note.
  2. You won’t hear back, in which case it’s safe to assume your cartoons were not accepted.
  3. You will be contacted within two weeks about one of your cartoons being accepted. Congratulations!

Remember the maybe pile? You’re not going to be told if any of your cartoons made it into the maybe pile, so although you get rejected you may actually be getting closer than you think!

Rejection is as much a part of magazine cartooning as the cartoons themselves. Expect it, accept it, and keep moving forward.

Continue drawing and growing as a gag cartoonist. Getting a cartoon published in the New Yorker–as nice as that would be–should not be the ultimate goal of your gag cartooning career; it’s entirely out of your hands and there are many successful cartoonists who never got published in the New Yorker.

7. Rinse and repeat

Whether or not you received a response after two weeks, continue to submit as frequently as you wish but not more than once per week month. The New Yorker, like any regular magazine, wants consistent contributors.

Good luck with getting your cartoons published in the New Yorker. You’re going to need it!

91 thoughts on “How to Submit Cartoons to the New Yorker

  1. Question for the New Yorker. “Confirmation that these cartoons have never been published anywhere else.” What is YOUR definition of published? Does presenting the images throughout social media or in blogs classify as being “published.”

    Kind regards,

    Jennifer R. Cook

    1. Jennifer, I can’t speak on behalf of the New Yorker, but here’s how I see it: Showing your cartoons in an online portfolio (like your blog) is not considered publishing. Sharing it on social media is a bit of a gray area, because it may have been shared (distributed) by other people.

      Best bet is to submit it to the New Yorker first, and only after it’s been rejected you can share it on social media and elsewhere.

  2. ASCAP, the music performing rights company, considers published songs, and recorded songs. They consider online postings, like ReverbNation and Youtube, to be publishing of songs.
    On that basis, I would only submit art to magazines first, before posting elsewhere, and trying to sort out what “publishing” means.

  3. Question:
    when you say letter sized paper, do you mean 8.5X11? Also, how should the cartoons caption be displayed. I have noticed that in the published new yorker, most of all of the cartoons have an italicized quotation. Should our cartoons include the quotation right on the image, or added separate?

    Thanks for posting all this info!


    1. Mason, yes I do mean 8.5×11″ paper. Some people submit on larger bristol sheet, but that would require larger envelopes and more postage.

      The caption can be typed or written below the cartoon in any style you like. If the cartoon gets chosen for publishing, the magazine’s graphics department will typeset the caption in their preferred style anyway. Good luck!

  4. Hi! Do you know what size the actual image should be when printed on the letter-sized paper? And is it one cartoon per page? Thank you so much for posting this!

    1. The exact size doesn’t matter, because their graphics department will adjust it to the size they want. It should be large enough to easily see the cartoon and its details; I’d say 4″ wide at least.

        1. Alfonso, they can be any size when you’re just sending submissions. If they accept a cartoon for publication, they’ll let you know what size they need for printing. Good luck!

          1. I’ve been sending 3-7 cartoons per week since Aug 31, 2014. The first 3 weeks I’ve included a SASE, beginning Aug 31. I’ve not had any SASE returned, and have stopped sending them in, as it seems it does no good. No rejections, no nothing. Has ny mag changed policy on returning SASEs? Any comment would be helpful, if you know. Thanks.

          2. Don, sounds as though they’ve stopped bothering with returning cartoons. They used to at least mail back the cartoons with a rejection slip, but maybe they’re getting too many submissions these days to even do that. It’s up to you, but it’s probably safe to stop including the SASE and just make sure you have your contact info with your submission, in case they do need to reach out to you. Good luck!

          3. Thanks for your response. I’ll check this out further. If I get any clarity, I’ll post what I find out.

          4. I wrote a personal /confidential letter to bob mankoff on October 1, 2014 asking him if the SASA policy had changed in that I have received no SASE provided in 3 batches of cartoons beginning Aug 31, 2014. You guessed it, no response to this letter, either, as of this date. I don’t think they want any unsolicited cartoons other than from their own stable of cartoonists. As these people retire through attrition, they will then, once again, open the golden gates and provide SASE rejection slips. Just my opinion.

            The other course, the Tuesday meetings with bob, may still be open if you want to travel to NYC and have a few minutes with him. Seems like a very long shot. Anybody else have any comment, or rebuttal?

          5. Sometimes it takes weeks/months for me to get a batch back, and often they come all at once. I imagine all of the unsolicited mail goes through several layers of interns, admin people and junior editors before they even reach Bob, so I would advise against writing him directly like that.

          6. Tom,

            Thanks for your comment/instruction.

            I hope you’re wrong about several layers, intrerns, etc. This isn’t the pentagon, it’s a magazine. By the way, just today received my SASEs (2 of them) with a rejection and a sticker with an Email address for submissions. Feel like I’m making progress (yeh right). Possibly the letter to Bob Mankoff did some good – who knows. However, I don’t have 7 to 25 yrs to devote to this “Hard” to get in – first time cartoon acceptance, per James Sturm’s blog at and cartoonist Sipress’ experience of selling his first cartoon to the New Yorker after 25 years of submissions.

            Good luck with your efforts. Have you sold any as yet?

  5. Once a photocopy version of the gag cartoon is approved, I assume the magazine
    will ask to have the original sent for printing. Can a high quality scanned image
    be sent instead of the actual artwork? What does the New Yorker pay for publishing
    a first rights cartoon?

    1. Dave, if they choose to publish your cartoon(s) they’ll tell you their requirements, but I believe a high-resolution copy would work.

      They keep their pay information private, but it starts in the high $XXX’s per cartoon, and goes up if you become a contracted cartoonist.

  6. 1. I get the impression that emailed submissions are somewhat frowned upon. True? Is it better to stick to hard copy?
    2. Is it okay to re-submit a favorite cartoon that has once been rejected in a new batch for a second look? If okay, is it a good idea, actually?
    3. You say that “knowing someone” doesn’t help. Yet, “known” cartoonists under contract must get more consideration than unknowns. True?
    4. Thanks so much for posting this website. It’s extremely helpful.

    1. Dan,

      1. It differs by magazine, but the New Yorker prefers mail or fax submissions. (Ask them for fax instructions and number.)

      2. Sure, it’s okay to resubmit cartoons, but don’t do it often. The New Yorker cartoon editor (Bob Mankoff) has a remarkable memory, so if you resubmit too often or too soon then he will surely notice.

      3. If you mean cartoonists who are under contract with the New Yorker, then yes, they certainly get more consideration. But having contracts with other magazines doesn’t help much. What I meant was that it doesn’t matter if you’re a movie star, or if you’re best friends with Sally from their accounting department.

      4. You’re welcome!

  7. Thanks for the clear guidelines for cartoon submittals – can you advise on how to submit
    “cover” artwork to F. Mouly and/or N. Speigelman at the New Yorker?

    I appreciate your “helping hand” to those of us interested in joining the fray.
    Best Regards, Ned

    1. Ned, I don’t have any experience with submitting cover art, so I am not sure what’s the answer. I think your best bet would be to mail your submissions (copies, not original work) to the above address and address them to “Cover Art Editor.” Include a small note with your submission asking for guidelines so you can continue submitting weekly. If you get any new info, please come back and share with us!

    1. Cristi, I don’t know much about submitting poems to the New Yorker. You can try their online contact form (, or mail your poems to the above address, and address it to “Poetry Editor”. Include a note with your poetry submission asking for their poem submission guidelines. Good luck!

  8. Regarding posting your cartoon on a blog and whether or not that means “publishing,” it sounds like best practice is to submit it, and then post after rejection. But what if I already have cartoons on my blog and am not sure about the “published” status? One of your criteria was “confirmation” that these cartoons have never been published anywhere else. I’m not clear on how that can be provided.
    Thank you very much for your information!

    1. Scott, as you may have guessed this is sort of a gray area. These publishing guidelines–like almost everything in the publishing world–were created long before the Internet came about. My understanding is if you can consider your blog to be your portfolio, then your cartoons would not be considered published. On the other hand, if your blog is very popular and has a large audience, the New Yorker (and other magazines) may not want to publish that cartoon again.

  9. Can I submit “rough” artwork, the idea being if they buy my idea I will be given time to ink and “color” the completed the final cartoon? Or do I need to submit a copy of the artwork that is as close to the final look as possible?


    1. Husky, that privilege is only given to very few people, who have been contributing and selling to the New Yorker for many, many years. The editors know what their finished work looks like and can trust it to be consistent, so they are OK with just seeing sketches. For everyone else, it’s best to send finished work.

  10. I won the captioning contest once in 2012. I placed second once in 2010. I would like to submit my panels to The New Yorker by email. Is there a specific email address to submit just cartoons to Bob M. and his staff?
    thank you,

    1. Hi Pete, congrats on the win! As far as I know, they prefer mailed or faxed submissions. Next time you mail a submission, include a note asking whether you can email cartoons, and to which address. Unfortunately there’s no shortcut to Bob M, even for the veterans. Otherwise he would just be flooded with submissions. Good luck!

    1. Kaleido, I’m not sure when you get paid, but the amount is upwards of $700 from what I heard. More for contracted cartoonists.

  11. Several years ago I read an account by an amateur cartoonist who was determined to get published in the New Yorker. After numerous rejections, he made direct contact with the editor and some of the regular cartoonists. He got quite familiar with them, was invited for coffee etc. They told him he was getting “better” meaning that his work might be accepted fairly soon. He finally decided not to continue, claiming that since he was driven by primarily by ego and not financial need, he did not want to compete with cartoonists who relied on the New Yorker for their livelihood. I also got the impression that the regulars were really a cult and that outsiders had almost no chance of getting published..

  12. Thanks for posting this forum. A question, in case you know: once they accept a cartoon, do they own rights? If not, can you reprint your cartoon elsewhere?

    1. Helen, if I am not mistaken, like many magazines they pay for “first rights.” This means they just want to be the first ones to ever publish the cartoons, but once they do then you can have them published elsewhere. They may specify a time limit, such as some number of months before you can publish it anywhere else.

  13. Do the cartoons need to have a caption?
    I personally create my comics with a single image and leave it to the viewer to interpret the message delivered.

    1. There are many cartoons that are funny with just the image itself, without a caption. So a caption is not required. However, the cartoon should be funny and stand alone, without needing extensive interpretation.

      1. Thank you for your response. I have one additional question as well. Do the comics have to be hand drawn, or are vector graphics also accepted?

        1. They don’t need to be hand-drawn. Some artists — such as Alex Gregory — draw theirs entirely on computers.

    1. Irene, just to be clear I have no connection to the New Yorker magazine, and I do not work for them. I do know they mostly prefer single-panel cartoons, since that is the traditional format. Occasionally they do have multi-panel cartoons, but not often. For example, look at cartoons from Roz Chast — they are often multi-panel.

  14. Hello there.

    Please clarify statement in guide line number 3: author is expected (required)
    to submit a BATCH of 5-10 cartoons; so 1 will not do? Please clarify.

    With thanks,

    John Starrels

    1. John, submitting a group (a “batch”) of cartoons is preferred because it gives the editors more choice and gives them a better sense of your humor and drawing style. Additionally, it gives you better chances of selling a cartoon, because you’re more likely to sell 1 out of 10 (10% success rate) than 1 out of 1 (100% success rate — very uncommon). Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from sending just one or two at a time.

  15. Does The New Yorker provide illustrators? I have single panel cartoons that I have drawn and captioned myself but I need them to be re-done by a professional illustrator. Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Wendy, the New Yorker does not provide illustrators, so the cartoons you submit need to be in a finished state. If you’d like to leave the drawing to someone else, you can pair up with an artist and have them draw your ideas, then you would split any revenue you earn from selling those cartoons.

    2. That’s an interesting proposition Vendella. I draw cartoons in a few different styles. I would be interested in talking about pairing up. Perhaps Grigoriy could exchange our email addresses.

  16. Hi Greg,

    Thanks for this clear and helpful guide, and also for kindly turning your comments section into a bit of an FAQ section! Definitely interesting info for veteran and new cartoonists alike.

  17. What if you haven’t hear back for several weeks? Can you send the same cartoon to another publishers? If the New Yorker decides to buy, do they sent a purchase order and ask for an exclusive? How long do they hang on to cartoons without publishing?

    1. Kaleido, if you haven’t heard back for several weeks it’s safe to assume the cartoons did not get selected, and you can safely submit them to other magazines or publications.

      They usually publish cartoons quickly, a week or two after purchasing them.

      I’m not certain about their ordering process, but I’m sure they would provide instructions at the time of purchase.

      Good luck!

      1. this is the reason people include the self addressed envelope for return. if you have them sent back, you get a rejection slip. then you know you can submit them elsewhere.

        1. I’ve been sending 3-7 cartoons a week to ny mag as per instructions in this blog. The first 3 weeks I’ve included a SASE beginning August 31, 2014. I’ve not had any SASE returned, and have stopped sending them in as it seems it does no good. No rejections, no nothing. Has ny mag changed policy on returning SASEs? Any comment would be helpful. Thanks.

  18. Hello! I have a series of cartoons I would like to submit but my illustrations are colorful. Should I submit them in their original color or turn them black and white first? I also have them with the dialogue or writing directly on the art or I could remove it and type it below. Would it be best not to have the dialogue on the artwork?

    Thank you for your information.


    1. Julie, might as well submit them in color to save time. You can always turn them into black and white if they request it. As for the cartoon caption: In most magazines (including the New Yorker), the caption is written by the design/layout department to fit the magazine style. So it does not matter how it’s typed beforehand — hand-written is okay.

      To be clear, all the information I’m sharing on this page is from my own experience and understanding. I am not affiliated with the New Yorker in any way.

      Good luck!

  19. Thanks for the guidelines Grigoriy these are most helpful.

    I am based in Scotland I’m assuming that wouldn’t make a difference when submitting?
    I certainly plan to submit to the New Yorker using these guidelines but can you suggest other publications that would be interested in similar work if I should have my submissions rejected?

    Thanks again (can’t stand the ‘another shark in the tank’ attitude)

  20. I just sent my first batch of 7 ‘toons, with a cover letter, bio., SASE, and have the second batch ready…
    Question: Do I continue to include a cover letter, bio. in future submissions? It seems like I should but you never know…
    Many thanks, this page has been a great help!

    1. One year later, submitted 7 pieces every two weeks by mail for a couple of months then NY asked for email submissions. Today, batch 28, I got an auto response, the NY takes only via “Submittable” uploads, this is defined on NY website. So this is how its done now, as of July 2015. thanks for keeping this blog going!

  21. I’m a WWII vet, 90 years old. Enjoyed New Yorker cartoons for years…Think throwing out all hose rejects is a huge waste of talent and humor. Why not publish a popular, profitable cartoon magazine NYM Jr. quarterly with runner up “almost made it” cartoons from that rich barrel of rejects. Seems most really creative cartoonist would see life a “little” off kilter and find NYM rules and regulations awfully constraining. I’m sending a cartoon in on a napkin and kissing it goodbye. Cheers!

  22. I’ve been sending 3-7 cartoons per week since Aug 31, 2014. The first 3 weeks, I’ve included a SASE beginning Aug 31. I’ve not had any SASE returned, and have stopped sending them in, as it seems it does no good. No rejections, no nothing. Has ny mag changed policy on returning SASEs? Any comment would be helpful, if you know. Thanks.

  23. Your blog has motivated me to submit cartoons. I’m up to 60 submissions so far. I send in four/five per week. I watched the 60 Minutes special on Bob Mankoff a few months ago. Very interesting. If seems they reserve a day each week for cartoonists to come in to personally pitch their ideas directly to Bob who provides critical feedback at the time. I dare say with that type of face-time being provided to local cartoonists there doesn’t seem to be much of a chance for a West-coaster with no funds for a trip to NY to get to get much of a jury. But I’m a bit of a pessimist at heart.

    1. Dan, don’t be discouraged if you’re not able to make the face-to-face visit. Many of the magazine’s regular cartoonists are *not* New York locals. With that said, showing up often doesn’t help that much. Good luck!

    1. Debbie, from my understanding the in-person submissions are by invitation only. However, many years ago I was invited to come by just because I asked, so I think you can do the same. I recommend reaching out to the cartoon editor, Bob Mankoff, with some information about yourself and a request to come by. Can’t guarantee that it’ll work, but it’s worth a shot!

      1. Thanks for responding. I thought you were supposed to drop the batch off – like at the front desk or something – and then return the following week with a new batch. Then your rejected batch would at that time be handed over – OR IF something sold, HE would want to see you. So, this is not the way it works? I have no idea where I got my info from, by the way.

        Thanks again!

        1. Here’s a recent segment of 60 Minutes where you get to “see” the entire process:

          Bob Mankoff (the cartoon editor of New Yorker) sits down with each cartoonist one-on-one as he looks through their cartoons for the first time. Some people do come in just to drop off a batch, but if you already made it in then you might as well sit and wait to be rejected personally!

  24. Thanks for the good wishes. Haven’t sold any, no. I got a batch back today with the same sticker.

    I noticed they updated their contact page with instructions on how to submit and include that email address.

  25. After reading this I am convinced I am more confused as to one set of rules for both digital and hard copy instructions. NY please just define digital submissions: pdf, resolution, page size per resolution, black and white, ( gray scale, RGB,) what needs to be said in message, and body content???? One picture per PDF page, do you want one per email or multi in a PDF format, or one email with separate PDF’s per email????
    Hard copy, SASE, size of the copy of the original? Completed.
    Note of practice, NY you are the big guy, respect to the contributors, who also are your readers, is appreciated, by rejection or congratulation. The task takes less time with an email rejection. PDF files can be rejected on the spot of opening by replying immediately.
    I don’t feel that posting one set of rules for both email and hard copy is that difficult. I view lack of accurate info sloppy, an attitude which reflects directly on the rest of the mag.

  26. Thank you for these very helpful tips!

    A question : Quebec residents (Canada) cannot submit captions for New Yorker’s weekly Caption Contest. But can they submit cartoons to the magazine?

    Thanks again!


  27. What themes of cartoons other than business and presentations themes do Mankoff want to see?

    Also, does he like cartoons about husband/wife at home, not at the office?


  28. I’m getting ready to send a batch in. I have one cartoon that uses the word ‘Sh-t’ in it.
    As in ‘get your sh-t together’ should I change to another word?

    1. From what I know they avoid obscenities and toilet humor, so it might be a good idea to change it. On the other hand you can submit it as is and if they really like it they may suggest an alternative caption. Note that I don’t work for them and can’t give an accurate answer on their behalf. Good luck!

  29. I’ve sent 3 batches of cartoons in. The first 2 were well over 5 weeks ago and have heard nothing. The 3rd batch I sent came back only a little after a week I sent them out with no rejection slip but just the cartoons. I’m confused. Do you think they will respond to the first 2 batches I sent?

  30. From the New Yorker website:

    “As of July 23, 2015, we no longer accept submissions via mail or e-mail; instead, please upload your work via Submittable.”

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