Cartoon Rejection Rates at ‘The New Yorker’

By Jason Boog Comment

How many times have you been rejected? The average cartoonist who works with The New Yorker magazine could get rejected up to 15 times every single week.

Cartoon editor Bob Mankoff shared some advice about humor writing in a recent TED talk (embedded above), sharing some eye-popping statistics about cartoons as well. You can read Mankoff’s musings on cartoons every week at The Cartoon Bureau blog. Here’s an excerpt from the video:

My job is to look at 1,000 cartoons a week. But The New Yorker only can take 16 or 17 cartoons, and we have 1,000 cartoons. Of course, many, many cartoons must be rejected. Cartoonists come in through the magazine every week. The average cartoonist who stays with the magazine does 10 or 15 ideas every week. But they mostly are going to be rejected … Now I know all about rejection … from 1974 to 1977 I submitted 2,000 cartoons to The New Yorker, and got 2,000 cartoons rejected by The New Yorker.

Open Culture has more about Mankoff’s humor and career:

Frequent contributor Matthew Diffee’s short  satirical film Being Bob suggests Mankoff editorial selections owe much to gut response (and a jerking knee). Such intuition is hard won.