Ruminate is a community of creators cultivating authentic selves, nourishing conversations, and sustaining life together through action and art. We are particularly excited about sharing work from voices and perspectives that aren't often heard. 

Ruminate Magazine is our print journal that explores and reexamines the most pressing themes, myths, and issues that connect us as humans. We are interested in literary poems, short stories, and essays that ask questions and make connections—whether about the environment, human nature, or topics beyond our comprehension. 

The Waking is our online literary magazine that houses high-quality literary writing about what it’s like to be human. We are interested in short-form prose and visual-text hybrid work. This art can be beautiful, it can be strange; we just ask that it feels true.

Editors: Jess Jelsma Masterton and Cherie Nelson

Development Coordinator: Emily Woodworth

Volunteer Notes Editor: Josh MacIvor-Andersen

A Note: We are a very small, part-time team who takes great care as we read and respond to your many emails and submissions. Please be patient as you wait to hear back from us.

More FAQs

  • Ruminate Magazine currently pays $20/page for poetry and prose.
  • The Waking offers an honorarium of $10 and a complimentary back issue of Ruminate Magazine (normally $15 each).
  • We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished (a piece that has had a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, is considered previously published).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 encourage simultaneous submissions; however, please withdraw your work right away if it has been accepted elsewhere.
  • If you agree to allow Ruminate Magazine or The Waking to publish your work, we will receive first North American serial rights. After publication, 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.
  • You may submit to more than one category. However, to help keep our queue moving, please wait to resubmit in a specific genre until you've received a response and wait 6 months before inquiring about the status of your submission. 
  • Before submitting, we strongly recommend reading sample pieces from Ruminate Magazine or The Waking to better understand the type of work we tend to accept.
  • 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. 
  • If you have any trouble using this online system, please email

We look forward to reading your work!

The Waking's Flash Prose Prize

The Waking is an online literary magazine and part of the Ruminate creative community that houses high-quality literary writing about what it’s like to be human. This art can be beautiful, it can be strange, we just ask that it feels true.

Contest Deadline: July 1, 2022. All entries submitted by 11:59pm PST will be considered for both the prize and general publication.

Publication of the Winner, Runner-Up, and Select Finalists: Online AND in Ruminate's annual print prize anthology 

Final Judge: Cherie Nelson (she/her/hers) is a teacher and writer in Colorado. She is editor of Ruminate Magazine, and her essays appear in or are forthcoming from Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, Hobart, EcoTheo Review, and elsewhere. Her essay "But for our Words: a redaction" was selected as a finalist for Best of the Net 2020. She can be found online at and @cher_nel.


  • Please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit.
  • You may send up to TWO flash pieces (fiction or nonfiction) per entry.
  • Word limit: 1,000 words (per piece)
  • $500 and publication online AND in Ruminate's annual print prize anthology will be awarded to the winner. The runner-up will also receive publication. In addition, all finalists will be considered for general publication. Winners and finalists will also receive a free print copy of the prize issue.
  • The entry fee is $7.50 and includes a free digital copy of the prize issue. For an additional $7.50, you can opt for a print copy at a 50% discount from our regular single-issue price.
  • All submissions must be submitted via Submittable. We will not accept mail or email submissions. 
  • We do not accept previously published entries. 
  • You may enter simultaneously submitted work as long as you notify us immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of the final judge, Cherie Nelson, are not eligible to compete. We define student as someone who has taken one semester-long course or more with the judge. Also not eligible to compete are: friends or family of The Waking staff, past first-place winners of any Ruminate Prize, and past judges of any Ruminate prize. Writers who have been previously published in The Waking are welcome to enter.
  • If cost is prohibitive, please email for more information about entry scholarships.
  • All funds raised from the tip jar will be used to sponsor contest submissions or pay our contributors.

Ruminate Magazine