Alyson Sinclair is the new owner of online literary publication the Rumpus, acquiring it from Marisa Siegel, its former managing editor and owner since 2017. Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn has been named editor-in-chief.
Sinclair will oversee business operations at the publication, working to grow its Book Club and Poetry Book Club subscriptions and Letters in the Mail and Letters for Kids programs in addition to seeking new revenue streams and "meaningful ways to collaborate with the wider writing community." Sinclair—whose work as a publicist included stints at McSweeney's, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, and City Lights Publishers—will continue her freelance publicity work at Nectar Literary, a firm she founded in 2019; the two institutions will otherwise remain unconnected.
Siegel is headed to Northwestern University Press, where she will serve as senior acquisitions editor for trade books. She will remain an editor-at-large at the Rumpus.
"I’m honored Marisa Siegel is allowing me the opportunity to build on her legacy. I’m in awe of the great content and community she’s built with the help of the publication’s editors, contributors, and submissions readers," Sinclair said in a statement. "We’ve all seen outlets for book reviews and thoughtful attention to authors (especially risk-taking writers) shrink or disappear over the years. My main goal is to make the publication more sustainable by focusing on ways to bring in revenue through the existing Book Clubs, the Letters in the Mail subscriptions, as well as by calling on readers to support The Rumpus directly."
Sachwyn, formerly senior features editor, already led editorial operations at the publication, which is mostly volunteer-run. Under her auspices, the Rumpus will relaunch its We Are More series and more regularly feature work by emerging and established comics artists curated by new comics editor Colleen Kolba.
"I’m looking forward to The Rumpus’ future, and we’ll be continuing the magazine’s mission of promoting diverse and emerging voices," Sachwyn said in a statement. "This year, we’ve restarted the We Are More column, a space for SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) and SWANA diaspora writers, and brought on a new comics editor to curate monthly features, and we’ll be promoting themed issues and other exciting collaborations come summer and fall."
The Rumpus was founded in 2009 by Stephen Elliott, and is part of a generation of online literary publications—among them Electric Literature, now helmed by Rumpus alumna Denne Michele, and HTMLGIANT, which shared with the Rumpus a prominent contributor, Roxane Gay—that came out of the literary blogosphere in the late 2000s, following in the footsteps of such blogs as Bookslut and the Millions (which PW purchased in 2018).