Our story continues
Happy anniversary MuddyUm! Thank YOU for being here on this journey with me. Thank you for helping us all laugh during some very challenging times.
There was a time I did all the editing myself. I promised to publish within 24 hours. We ran some of the first independently funded paid contests for writers on Medium. We were the first to recommend writers stop using the same stock photos over and over. We were also among the first to start teaching writers to focus on becoming a top writer, and we wrote posts about why that mattered. We were quietly teaching Medium skills before it was popular to do so. Now the 1000x top writer moniker is de rigueur.
Today, we have an editorial team of 16, and we are continuing to grow. We include on our laughter payroll, funny writers from around the world, a little over 900 of them. We have about 7300 followers on Medium, and steadily growing each day.
We have what I consider some of the finest writers and editors on Medium. We are the Mudditors — the editors of MuddyUm.
Susan Brearley and friend
Rachael Ann Sand, Anu Anniah, T. Kent Jones, Gary Chapin, Andrew Rodwin, Amy Sea, Carol Lennox, Betsy Denson, BOFace, Lucia Siochi, Holly J See, Nanci Arvizu, Sara Zadrima, Stephanie Wilson, Toni Crowe, and me. Esteemed past editors include Marie T Smith, Sarah Paris, Walter Bowne, Aimée Gramblin, Dražen? Dražen!, Greg Prince, Gwenna Laithland, and Brenda Mahler.
There are some things we do that make our publication unique. So unique in fact, that other editors, writers, and publications emulate us. We’re flattered. Co-Editor Toni Crowe reminds me that it’s not pie. This thing that society teaches us, that tells us there is a limited source of something, and you should hoard it, creeps slowly into our psyches if we aren’t ever vigilant. Things like money, skills, talent, and laughter. She reminds me that when we shine a light brightly, others will want to come along, stand next to you and shine a light too, making the original light even brighter. Just the way Fresnel intended.
So YAY us. We are the premier place for funny on Medium, and delighted to be your comedy guardians.
Happy anniversary to MuddyUm. Thank YOU for being on this journey with me, and with our editorial team. Thank you for helping to bring more laughter into the world.
What do we do that’s so special?
We edit well
Our volunteer editors are all brilliant writers with wickedly delicious senses of humor, and passionate about our mission to bring more laughter into the world. We want all our writers’ work to shine.
We publish fast
Gone are the days when you need to wait for weeks, or months, for someone to engage with you. Our goal is 24 hours, but of course, if you as a writer are busy and can’t engage with your editorial team, we’ll go do our other life duties until you can get back to us.
We have a weekly Mudditors meeting
Many Mudditors call this meeting the highlight of their week.
measures its success by the level of pain in her face at the end of the meeting. Those laughter muscles get a serious workout on Mondays!
We maintain a strong editorial culture
We are global
Having been born in and lived in North America most of my life, I can say on good authority that we North Americans tend to be overly North American centric. The truth about MuddyUm is that our editors and writers come from every continent. What makes people laugh on one continent may not resonate on another. For that reason, we rely on editors to keep us straight and only punching up, never down. We take speedy action if we miscalculate. And we’ve got eyes on the entrance queue pretty much 24/7.
We attract new readers to Medium
This is one of our proudest accomplishments. I field emails daily from accomplished humor writers who are brand new to Medium, and discovered Medium because of our reach and range in the humor writing space. This is something any organizational leader aspires to, and something that
should consider as the next version of Medium is crafted.
We have a MuddyBot
It’s a piece of AI that our technocomic
is patenting, and it does a lot of the heavy lifting, and light joking, to assist our live human editors. It doesn’t have a name yet. But it will. Oh, it will.
We have a college internship program
We just completed our first summer internship program. Three youthful, energetic and enthusiastic college students became Mudditors for a few months and continue to write comedy for the publication. They successfully created the momentum our old editors needed to continue our social media program. Kudos to
for his dedication and focus in instituting this program which will serve young writers for years to come. If you haven’t read or followed these promising young writers, you should!
Speaking on Andrew, he does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to stats analysis for the team. Thanks Andrew! But he’s not the only one who has tech savvy, and everyone who does pitches in when it comes to spreadsheets and tracking and project management. It’s a total team effort that has us demystifying the used-to-be mostly mysterious Medium. Now Medium is only partially mysterious.
We’ve loosened our punctuation guidelines
While we still frown on excessive parenthetical and ellipses use, we have found that in some situations it’s important to the writers’ piece to leave them in. And we do still jump for joy when we see em-dashes!
We have an organized social media team
We choose pieces DAILY and promote them on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube. Our followers in these spaces are growing, providing new outlets and support for our active MuddyUm writers. We sift through all the daily submissions for the best pieces to push out into the social media world. We have a team who weekly takes turn identifying funny and favorite daily pieces from all we published that day, and posting to our media channels.
We have a newsletter team
We have been publishing a weekly newsletter with no interruptions for over a year! That’s some amazing dedication from this devoted team, which includes
We host never-ending humor prompts
We are the exclusive host for Granny Mary!
We have a Bootyque where you can get the coolest swag
Don’t believe me. Just ask
. Her MuddyUm hoodie photos are classics.
We give selected feature writers their own omnibus page
Featured writers and editors so far include Gary Chapin, Amy Sea, Carol Lennox, T. Kent Jones, Toni Crowe and John Werth. Their MuddyUm feature pages are evergreen — available forever. Or until Medium implodes. This honor goes to our most prolific and funniest writers. The two featured writers are chosen in our weekly Mudditors meeting by the collective.
We run a live Comedy Camp! As described elsewhere on this site.
We are editors who believe we all can learn to be funnier
Our editing is designed to improve the writers’ comedic voice — never to replace it. We even recently loosened our punctuation policies.
Our editors host writing retreats
The next retreat will be in May, 2023, in the Mid-Hudson Valley, New York. Co-editor
is our point person for this one. Reach out to her if you are interested in joining us. Space is limited, so don’t wait too long to decide.
We host an exclusive private Facebook page for our writers — the MuddyUm Outlaws
Are you in that group yet? It’s only for MuddyUm and sister publications. Leave a note if interested.
We are launching the first MuddyUm best-selling anthology
Destined to become a classic, it’s entitled, “Wouldn’t You Rather Be Laughing?” Everyone will want a copy. You’ll want it because — who wouldn’t want to boast they had the first edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul? Or purchased Amazon stock in that first year? Yeah, you’ll want this. Launch date is planned for end of October. Watch the MuddyUm home page for stories from our editors about this work of art. And this is just the beginning. We have plans for many more publications. There will be opportunities for all our writers to contribute, so watch for future calls for submissions. If you are interested in becoming an early reader/reviewer for us, leave me a note.
We have BHAG
We admit to having Big Hairy Audacious Goals. We own that every day.
We set out on a piratical takeover plan to positively infect every corner of Medium. We certainly have succeeded so far in influencing many of the writers, editors, and publications here. Whether our future is closely tied to Medium, or independently off of Medium, our intention is to create the finest humor and comedy publication available on any platform in the multiverse.
A final word
MuddyUm is so much more than the daily funny stories and comics that grace our front page. There is a camaraderie here, one that has over the months and years, created strong relationships between us. We consider ourselves family. We think of our writers as an extension of our family, and we’re all here to bring humor back to the world. We are each so grateful for Medium. It is highly unlikely that all of us would have come together in any other way.