Ruminate is a contemplative literary arts magazine committed to slowing down, paying attention, and encountering heart-awakening storytelling and art so that we can live more fully awake to ourselves and our world.


  • General magazine submissions are always free.
  • We currently pay $17/page for poetry (with a maximum of $68 per poem), $17/400 words for prose, and $17/image for visual art. Ruminate firmly believes in paying our contributors, and we are working hard to increase the amount we pay them.
  • We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished (a piece that has had a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, is considered previously published).
  • We do accept simultaneous submissions, however, please notify us right away if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • If you are interested in receiving poetry feedback from the Ruminate staff, please review our writing critique sessions.
  • If you agree to allow Ruminate to publish your work, we will receive first serial rights and all rights revert back to you.
  • We only accept online submissions, as our readers are spread across the country. Any submissions made by postal mail or email will not be considered.
  • Please wait for a response to your submission before sending us more work.
  • Before submitting, we strongly recommend ordering a copy of the magazine in order to better understand the type of work we publish and to tailor your submission accordingly.
  • Our response time is approximately 3-4 months. 
  • If you need to make a correction to a submission, such as removing your contact info or withdrawing a poem from a batch of poems submitted, please use the "Allow Edit Requests" function in Submittable. 

Ruminate is seeking new volunteer board members for our board of directors. Board members can serve from any location. In your statement of interest letter, please tell us about your experience and background as well as why you think you'd be a good fit for the Ruminate board of directors. If you know your Enneagram type and your StrengthsFinder top five strengths, please include that info as well. 

Please send us an email to if you know someone you think would be a good fit for Ruminate's board. 

We strongly encourage people of color, women, LBGTQ folks, formerly incarcerated, and differently-abled people to apply.

About our board:

Our board's gift, service, and function is to lovingly oversee and support Ruminate's finances and fundraising efforts from a holistic and contemplative posture. Together, our board members will live out the invitation they are asking of our donors by investing resources God has given them—their energy, prayers, and money—in the work of Ruminate to which we've been called. We join Henri Nouwen in understanding fundraising as a place where “those who need money and those who can give money meet on the common ground of God’s love."

On a practical level, the board lives this out together by holding Ruminate in their prayer life, participating in board meetings twice a year (can be done remotely), participating in quarterly email check-ins, working on smaller fundraising committees, and by making an annual personal financial contribution to Ruminate at a level that is meaningful to them. We also invite our board members to gather for an annual retreat—a time to grow and be nourished together. Board members serve for a three-year term with a one-time option to renew.

On an organizational level, our board helps us integrate our contemplative spiritual approach into the organizational context, including our finances and the function of our board. We are cultivating methods and processes that create a mindful, attentive, curious, compassionate, and listening organization that is more effective in serving our community, and this is also true for our board.

On an individual level, we're looking for board members who are passionate about our contemplative mission to help readers encounter stories and art that awaken their hearts by growing more compassion, curiosity, and creativity in their lives. We are working toward building a board whose diversity of thought, ideas, life experience, and skills broadly reflects our readers, artists, and patrons. The ideal board candidate is inspired by the sensibility and spirit of our publication and understands that Ruminate is more than just another arts magazine and that this is more than just another nonprofit board.        


  • Commitment to Ruminate's mission
  • Informed, available, and engaged
  • Personally practicing Ruminate's mission of living awake with more compassion, curiosity and creativity
  • Previous nonprofit or board experience a plus

We accept all styles of creative nonfiction—essays, short memoirs, literary journalism, etc—only requiring that it be in prose form (no line breaks). We only accept pieces that are under 5,500 words. You may only submit one nonfiction piece per reading period. We currently pay nonfiction contributors $17 per 400 words and in contributor copies.

Writing for the Ruminate Blog:

Please take a look at some posts here to get an idea of what we're looking for. Currently we are not paying our guest bloggers, however, you will receive a complimentary copy of one of Ruminate's back issues. We are also looking for regular blog columnists. If you are interested in becoming a regular columnist, please note that in your submission. 

We welcome submissions by people from all walks of life and from all faith traditions, from seekers and doubters and people exploring the big questions and the human condition. 

Ruminate is a nonprofit magazine and online community and our vision is to inspire and nourish the creative and contemplative in all of us. Your submission should be grounded in a contemplative and/or creative posture. 

Ruminate Blog Post Submission Guidelines

  • The Ruminate Blog publishes posts on topics including (but not limited to): 
    • the writing/artist life
    • the contemplative life
    • topical issues surrounding art and/or faith (see Sophfronia Scott’s piece:
    • narrative/personal essays
    • spiritual/contemplative prayer practices 
    • our earth
    • slowing down and paying attention
    • playfulness/wonder
    • discipline/rituals
    • place
    • compassion/kinship
    • social justice and activism
    • ordinary sacredness
    • hospitality
    • mystery
    • the body
    • a short reflection on a poem, quote, or book that inspires or nourishes you
  • If you have any photos to include along with the post, please make sure you have permission or that the photo is under the Creative Commons license. 
  • In general, we prefer submissions that are 1000 words or less, however, we will consider longer submissions
  • Please submit a 100 word or less bio (including relevant publications) and a headshot to be published with your submission if accepted
  • Any relevant or helpful links should be included in the body of your submission

Our blog editor, Charnell Peters shares these words about her vision for the blog: 

     "As a part of Ruminate’s contemplative and imaginative space, the Ruminate blog seeks work that embraces inquiry and process over answers and destinations. In all dimensions of our lives—spiritual, creative, physical, emotional, mental, relational—we sojourn from one stage to another and rarely in linear form. I am looking for work that contends with the winding, convoluted ways in which the many dimensions of our lives unfold and pieces that speak to common the inquiry and struggle of wayfinding in those journeys. 

     The Ruminate blog is a place for work that queries, shares, and relates with open palms, with tension, and with the breadth and depth of your experience, not work that presents oversimplified answers or didactic anecdotes. Some good questions to ask of your submission are: Is this work generous in that it shares honestly with others? Does this work make space for inquiry or contemplation? Is this work accessible? We seek work that honors the diversity of our lives and welcome work from writers of all faith backgrounds. We especially welcome work from people whose voices have been historically marginalized. The best way to understand what the Ruminate blog is looking for is to read a few pieces for yourself."

We only accept short stories that are under 5,500 words. Please do not submit again until you've received a response regarding your current submission. 

Ends on September 18, 2018$15.00

We invite you to enter Ruminate's Kalos Art Prize. 

If  you haven't read Ruminate and would like to get a better feel for the type of visual artwork that we publish, you can order a PDF for $5 of Issue 46: A Way Through, featuring the 2018 Kalos Prize recipient. We also offer a discounted bundle of past print issues featuring the Kalos Visual Art Prize recipients. 

  • We are pleased to announce that award-winning artist Betty Spackman will be serving as our final juror.
  •  The submission deadline for the visual art contest is September 15th, 2018. Note – there is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on Sept. 18 will be entered into the contest.
  • The entry fee is $15 (includes a complimentary digital copy of Ruminate).
  •  You may submit up to five images per entry fee–please submit a sampling of images from a larger body of work.
  •  $500 cash prize and publication will be awarded to the winning artist. $200 and publication will also be awarded to the second-place artist.
  •  A reviewing of all entries will be conducted by a Ruminate panel, who will select 15 artists as finalists. The final juror will then select the winning artists.
  • Close friends, family, and students (current & former) of the final juror are not eligible to compete. Nor are Ruminate blog contributors or close friends or family of the RUMINATE staff. Previous 1st place winners of the Kalos Art Prize and previous Kalos Art Prize jurors are also not eligible to compete. 
  • We do not accept work that has been previously published in print with a circulation of over 500 copies. 
  • Artists must have print-quality images available upon request (a minimum of 300 dpi).
  • You may submit multiple entries.
  • We will be notifying all entrants of submission status in late December, 2018.
  • If you need to make a correction to your submission, such as  removing your contact info, please use the "Allow Edit Requests" function in Submittable. 


Please Note: Ruminate adheres to the following Contest Code of Ethics, as adopted by the Council of Literary Presses and Magazines, of which Ruminate is a proud member. This Contest Code of Ethics was developed with writing contests in mind, but we apply the same integrity to our visual art contests. “CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”