Rejection? You Should be a Cartoonist at The New Yorker

Cartoon Rejection Rates at ‘The New Yorker’

If you’re a writer or other creative type, rejection is a way of life — we’ve all collected those rejection slips and it can be a bit depressing after a while. But if you think you've got it bad, you should be a cartoonist for The New Yorker. In a recent TED talk, the magazine’s cartoon editor Bob Mankoff talked about the numbers involved in his job.

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.

Wow. Just ‘wow’. I like to think I’ve got a thick skin, but 10-15 rejections a week? How do you keep going against those kind of odds? This does give me a bit of pause and a bit more appreciation for my cartoonist friends out there.

You can see the video from his TED talk here

Image of The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker (Book & CD)
Author:
Price: $35.00
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal (2006)
Binding: Paperback, 672 pages
Image of The Best of the Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for The New Yorker
Author: Matthew Diffee
Price: $15.48
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 320 pages
Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories July 3, 2013 - 8:47am

And then most of the world just ends up rolling their eyes at the New Yorker cartoons.  :-/