Most magazines and other publications are receptive to humorous fiction and nonfiction, whatever their area of focus may be. If you can write a good humorous story, you stand a pretty good chance of selling it somewhere. However, there are also specialized markets that look only for humor - be it a funny short story, a silly poem, or a satirical essay. Here are some markets for humor writers:
- Erma Bombeck Writing Competition
This is an annual contest with two categories: humor and human interest. Only unpublished essays or stories of 450 words or less may be submitted, and each writer can submit one entry. There is no fee to enter. The 2010 contest ended January 31st, but the contest reopens each year. A global and local winner will be declared in each category, and the four winners will each receive $100, as well as free admission to the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop.
- Funny Times
The Funny Times is a monthly humorous newspaper that covers such topics as politics, business, news, food, death, and plenty more. Humorous fiction should be between 500-700 words, and contributors are paid $60 as well as a free subscription. (Cartoons are bought for $25-40.) The editors ask for 5-10 stories at a time, and reprints will be considered.
Light is a quarterly journal of "light and occasional verse." They seek poems, essays, reviews, and cartoons, and while the magazine only pays its contributors in copies of the issue they appear in, it is good exposure - especially for up and coming writers.
In addition to Light, there are many other publications (both online and in print) that are happy to publish your humorous writing, but unfortunately can't pay more than a contributor's copy or exposure for the rights to print it. Nuthouse is a small journal of humorous fiction and poetry, and AsininePoetry.com is a website devoted to, well, asinine poetry.
Humor writers might also consider writing greeting card copy, or writing slogans for bumper stickers and other novelty items. These markets can pay extremely well; Kalan LP pays $100 for a greeting card idea, and Ephemera pays $50 for each slogan they buy.
For more humor markets, look up Ralan.com's humor page, or check print resources such as Writer's Market and Novel & Short Story Writer's Market.