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Issue 17
Spring 2009

Helping America procrastinate since 1636

January 28, 2021

Submission Deadline For Fall 2009 (Issue 18)
Monday, October 12, 2009

send submissions to:


HSP accepts submissions from both Harvard graduate and undergraduate students. Submissions will not be accepted from Harvard faculty, postdocs, and staff, or from individuals outside the Harvard community, unless, of course, you happen to be friends with one of our staff members, in which case, please send us your stuff! We'd offer to ghostwrite things for you, but with our policy for Author Credit, that kind of formality isn't even necessary. Harvard Graduate students who are eligible to submit include students in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences along with non GSAS students in Harvard's other graduate and professional schools (Law, Education, Design, Business, Divinity, Medicine, Government).

Expected Content of Submissions

The Harvard Satyrical Press is primarily a news format, satire magazine, and the topics that we write about include a wide spectrum amongst various social, political, economic, religious, sexual, scientific, intellectual, and even banal human issues. See our purpose (Article Two of the Constitution).

For articles with topics which are likely to be offensive or controversial to a large percentage of our readership, while we feel comfortable publishing them in principle, and consider it a duty to do so in upholding freedom of speech, we also take seriously the idea that the bar for humor is raised in these cases. For example, while articles dealing with, say, race, ethnicity, sexuality, politics, terrorism, domestic violence, abortion, genetic engineering, and religion are certainly encouraged, we do hold fast to the notion that these articles will be better if they are, in our humble opinion, both written tactfully, and are simply ridiculously, laugh-out-loud funny.

While satirical articles are our main focus, we are open-minded to submissions of funny graphics, stills with captions, comics, or anything that's just meat and potatoes comedy. We are always willing to consider publishing new content, but as with purely satirical articles, our editorial rights and goals will be the same.

Submission and Format Guidelines

Minimal text submissions (.doc, .txt, etc...) must be sent via e-mail to

Other graphics which supplement the text, (and are hopefully, also funny) are encouraged but not required. If not included, we will create them for you. If included, JPEG image files are preferred, already prepared at web resolution (72dpi). For images created in Photoshop, please also include the original Photoshop Documents (300 dpi or higher). Fairly large images can usually be sent over e-mail , or if they are too big, other options may include FTP, ssh, downloading from a web page, or providing us with a disk. These file transfers can be worked out on a case by case basis.

Sometimes we also need a picture of each author, which will be displayed at the top of the article along with a fake name of the author's choosing. These pictures, which can be digital photographs or digital scans, are preferred in JPEG format, prepared at web resolution (72dpi, 100-200 pixels in width). In the case where the author does not have a digital picture, we are prepared to take the digital photographs ourselves or scan a print photograph provided to us. This will be worked out on a case by case basis.

Final Article Formats

In the end, from your text and the graphics, we create a .php web page, and a .pdf file for download. The full color .pdf files will be downloadable from the site for readers who wish to print or view the article in a more printable format. Sometimes words and pictures show up jumbled in different web browsers (i.e. Netscape/Mozilla vs. Internet Explorer), since there is no universal standard. It is almost impossible to ensure that the website shows up clearly in every web browser, so we include .pdf files, at least one of which most Windows/Mac/Unix/Linux users can read.

When formatted pdf files are provided to the authors for perusal, we still reserve the right to make any formatting changes we deem necessary to ensure continuity over the whole site. These include minor changes like font face and size, or adding our own topic banner, but can include repositioning of text and graphics.

Ideally, we hope that any format changes we make, or formatting of bare text files will end up looking professional, and in keeping with the design principles of the rest of the site. In the best case scenario, we hope that the finalized web page will be what the author expects to see, and that they will be happy to see has become of their article.

Editorial Procedures

The Editorial Staff at the Harvard Satyrical Press seeks to maintain high quality standard for the articles we accept for submission. To that end, we reserve the following rights.

We reserve the right to deny publication on any grounds concerning comedic merit or consistency with the purpose of the organization.

For articles that we feel might only require minor revision, the HSP editorial staff may make any changes we deem necessary to the text of the submitted article. However, we hope that many articles will require precisely zero content changes, since that would make our lives much easier.

If images are not provided, we reserve the right to, and will create original images that we deem suitable for the article. Basically, we do not expect every author to be familiar with creating digital graphics, and we are willing to do that work for you. All articles will contain at least one or two images and probably more.

If images are provided, we reserve the right to replace or modify any or all of the images. They are subject to editorial review just as much as the text. This is why the inclusion of original Photoshop documents would help us a great deal if we feel we need to make any changes to the images.

For articles we do wish to accept for submission, after making editorial changes to the article, if any, we will make an online or pdf version available to the writer, and they have final say as to whether or not it gets published. If they do not approve of the editorial changes we have made, they can withdraw it from submission, but this withdrawal will make them ineligible to resubmit the same article with their own changes, or to submit that article, with our editorial and formatting changes, to any other magazine. Once we have edited and formatted it, we consider it joint intellectual property. However, if the submitter ultimately changes their mind and gives us the OK, we will usually be happy to still publish the article as of our first round of editorial revision.

If authors simply approve of the article after it has passed through the editorial sieve, we will publish the article at an undetermined future time when we feel its content would fit in with the current issue.

The Editor in Chief has final say on anything published in the magazine, including articles and their graphics, and reserves the right to make any editorial changes they deem necessary before publication at a the time of their dsicretion.

It is our hope that authors will be willing to consider the possibility that the editorial process has the potential to make their work better.

Author Credit

Many online and printed humor magazines, such as The Onion ( have a policy of group responsibility and credit for the publication of any articles or other site content. The idea is that the magazine has an editorial staff which writes the articles, but no individual writer actually attaches their name to any particular article. Most often the articles will come with a fake picture, and a fake name for the author (or neither), and occasionally, certain fake authors or personae may have recurring columns, which can at times be written by many different writers. In many ways, this author anonymity arguably gives them great freedom to explore their comedic creativity. This shared credit philosophy is especially the case in magazines where many staff writers share in the creative process. In this case, staff writers are listed by name in the official list of staff/contributors, but they do not get specific credit for individual articles.

In the Harvard Satyrical Press, since we are accepting outside submissions in addition to submissions from our regular writing and editorial staff, we take a slightly different approach. We will sometimes ask for fake names to accompany individual articles, but we would prefer people's real pictures (preferably, appropriate, funny, self-deprecating ones) to accompany each new article they submit. This is a way of giving author credit while still acknowledging the group creative process, and allowing authors to have a degree of anonymity at the moment when people are actually reading their article, at least as far as their name goes. Authors, however, are not required to include their real picture if the do not wish to for whatver reason. For some articles, for example, one written by "Mr. T", your own picture may not be appropriate anyway.

People's real names will, of course, be printed on website's staff/contributors page, and if people make the effort to match up real names and faces to those they've seen in the articles, they'll be able to find everything in the archives. We actually prefer different photos for each article, to spice things up. This is the sense in which we will give author credit. It is a compromise between complete anonymity and reasonable author credit in the context of a group editorial and creative process.

Submissions to HSP are essentially just for fun. We do not pay for articles. As a non-profit organization with limited funding, we simply don't have the money. As such, it should be understood that compensation for published articles is limited to author exposure in an accesible comedic forum and the satisfaction of a job well done. Also, your friends will think its cool if you write comedy.




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