Ruminate is a community of creators cultivating authentic selves, nourishing conversations, and spiritually sustaining life together through action and art.


Ruminate Magazine is our quarterly print journal that invites slowing down and paying attention. We love laughter. And we delight in deep reading, contemplative activism, telling stories, asking questions, and doing small things with great love, as Mother Teresa said. We are particularly excited about sharing stories, poems, and art from voices that aren't often heard.

The editor of Ruminate Magazine is Rachel King. Michael Mlekoday and Hope Wabuke are the poetry editors; Joe Truscello and Emily Woodworth are the fiction editors; Madison Salters is the nonfiction editor; Carolyn Mount is the art editor; and Josh MacIvor-Andersen is the notes editor. 


The Waking is our online publication that is interested in reviews, interviews, and short form prose that, as Bernard Cooper says, magnif[ies] some small aspect of what it means to be human.

The editor of The Waking is Cherie Nelson. Josh MacIvor-Andersen is the interview/book review editor.


More FAQs: 

  • General submissions are always free. 
  • Ruminate Magazine currently pays $20/page for poetry (with a maximum of $80 per poem), $20/400 words for prose, and $20/image for visual art. Ruminate Magazine firmly believes in paying our contributors, and we are working hard to increase the amount we pay them. 
  • 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  • We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished (a piece that has had a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, is considered previously published).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 do accept simultaneous submissions; however, please notify us right away if your work is accepted elsewhere. 
  • If you agree to allow Ruminate Magazine or The Waking 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.
  • To help keep our queue moving, please submit no more than once every six months and wait 3-4 months before inquiring about the status of your submission. 
  • Before submitting, we strongly recommend ordering a copy of Ruminate Magazine or reading The Waking to better understand the type of work each publication accepts and to tailor your submission accordingly.
  • 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 support@submittable.com.

We look forward to reading your work!

Deadline: May 1, 2021. Note–there is a grace period for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on May 4th will be entered into the contest.

Final Judge: To be announced

Guidelines:

  • The entry fee is $20 and includes a complimentary PDF copy of the prize issue featuring the winning work.
  • All submissions must be previously unpublished work. 
  • You may submit up to two poems per entry, no longer than 40 lines each. You may only upload one document, so please make sure to include both poems in the same document.
  • There is no theme or topic for the poetry prize. 
  • $1500 and publication will be awarded to the winner. $300 and publication will be awarded to the second-place winner. All submissions will be considered for publication.
  • All entries will be removed of identifying information before being read by our panel of readers who will select thirty poems as finalists. Our final judge will review the fifteen finalist poems and select the first place and second place and honorable mention poems. 
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of the final judge are not eligible to compete. We define student as someone who has taken one semester-long course or more with the final judge; those who have only studied under the final judge for week-long workshops and the like are still eligible. Also not eligible to compete are: friends or family of the Ruminate staff, regular Ruminate blog contributors, past 1st-place winners of any Ruminate prize, and past judges of any Ruminate prize. 
  • All submissions must be submitted via our online submission manager. We will not accept mail or email submissions.
  • We do accept simultaneous submissions. However, please withdraw your entry or notify us immediately via the Submittable "note function" if a poem is accepted elsewhere.
  • Please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit. 
  • All entrants will be notified of their submission status by early August. 
  • As a contemplative magazine, we are sometimes asked if Ruminate Magazine is seeking or only accepts "spiritual" poems. The answer to that question is no. We are simply looking for good writing and there are no restrictions on the subject matter or content for submissions. The best way to understand the work we publish is to read a past issue
  • If you have any trouble using this online system, please email support@submittable.com.

 

(Looking for nonfiction/hybrid submissions? Go here.)


The Waking is Ruminate's online publication space. We’re looking for short-form fiction that questions, that shakes off easily won meaning, that is rooted in image, specific moment or memory, that, as Bernard Cooper says “magnif[ies] some small aspect of what it means to be human.” We seek to publish work that invites us into the moment: a pause, an in-between, an opening. 


Editor of The Waking: Cherie Nelson


  • We prefer submissions that are less than 1500 words but won’t rule out work that's a tad longer. You can send up to 3 micro pieces in the same document if the total word count is under 1500. 
  • We are particularly excited about sharing voices that aren't often heard (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other historically marginalized groups). If this is you, feel free to let us know!
  • If your work is declined, we ask that you wait three months before submitting again to the same genre unless an editor requests more work from you.
    • Please send your piece as a Word doc.
    • Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please withdraw your piece on Submittable if it has been accepted elsewhere. 


If your work is accepted: 

Part of the ethos of our magazine is working collaboratively with our writers to illuminate their lovely work! Most pieces we accept go through a revision process beyond line editing. 

We are also excited to now offer our published writers an honorarium of $10 and a complimentary back issue of our print magazine (normally $15 each)! 

(Looking for fiction submissions? Go here.)

The Waking is Ruminate's online publication space. We’re looking for short-form work that questions, that shakes off easily won meaning, that is rooted in image, specific moment or memory, that, as Bernard Cooper says “magnif[ies] some small aspect of what it means to be human.” We seek to publish work that invites us into the moment: a pause, an in-between, an opening. 

What do we mean by nonfiction/hybrid work? In addition to traditional nonfiction, we're looking for your:

  • lyric essays
  • flash essays
  • prose poems
  • image/text hybrids
  • ruminations (formerly our blog post category)
  • etc.


We prefer submissions that are less than 1500 words but won’t rule out work that's a tad longer. You can send up to 3 micro pieces in the same document if the total word count is under 1500.

We are particularly excited about sharing voices that aren't often heard (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other historically marginalized groups). If this is you, feel free to let us know!

If your work is declined, we ask that you wait three months before submitting again to the same genre unless an editor requests more work from you.

Please send your piece as a Word doc.

Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please withdraw your piece on Submittable if it has been accepted elsewhere.


Editor of The Waking: Cherie Nelson


If your work is accepted: 

  • Part of the ethos of our magazine is working collaboratively with our writers to illuminate their lovely work! Most pieces we accept go through a revision process beyond line editing. 
  • We are also excited to now offer our published writers an honorarium of $10 and a complimentary back issue of our print magazine (normally $15 each)! 

Ruminate’s book reviews/interviews seek to highlight books from small, independent publishers and university presses as well as books from new and emerging writers. In general, we avoid promoting books that already receive a lot of attention (publishers like Penguin, etc.). We also prioritize books by past Ruminate contributors as part of our mission to support our writers well after they have left our pages. When selecting books by noncontributors, there should be a clear link between the book and Ruminate’s emphasis on contemplative living

We are also particularly excited about featuring reviews and books from voices that aren't often heard. 

All accepted book reviews will be published on the Ruminate's online space The Waking. Currently we are not paying; however, you will receive your choice of two complimentary copies of Ruminate's back issues (normally $15 each).


In general, we encourage reviews/interviews that:

  • tell a story by connecting the book to the reviewer’s own life
  • that put the book in conversation with other contemporary books or broader artistic movements
  • are themselves contemplative pieces or interesting narratives, using personal style and flair to make the review a piece of art in and of itself
  • use of personal pronouns to convey an invitation to the reader of the reviewer’s own experience with the book without being overly idiosyncratic 
  • blend summary and analysis


In general, we avoid:

  • reviews that are mixed/critical. We see reviews as a way to share and promote authors. There are plenty of platforms for dissecting where and how a book fails, but for the purposes of our readership and aims, we like to focus on what the book is doing well. This does not mean book reviews should be hyperbolic and overly enthusiastic. Rather, we seek reviews that describe the “moves” of a book on its own terms in order to give readers a taste of that book.
  • overly academic book reviews. While it’s great to bring in some outside references or theories to frame a book, we prefer reviews that use such sources minimally, as this isn’t intended for an academic audience. Successful reviews often begin with an anecdote from the reviewer’s own life, or a reference to our present social / political / popular context to frame the conversations that this book is engaging in. 


Format

  • We prefer submissions that are 1000 words or less; however, we will consider longer submissions.
  • We follow Chicago Manual of Style for all quotations, etc. 
  • Please triple check quotations as we likely won’t have a copy to check it against.
  • Any relevant or helpful links should be included in the body of your submission.

    

Thank you for considering Ruminate Magazine as a potential home for your work. We welcome submissions from both emerging and established writers and are looking for creative nonfiction that engages the contemplative spirit of our journal. 

Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please add a note to your submission if you need to withdraw a piece. 

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. We currently pay nonfiction contributors $20 per 400 words and in contributor copies.

We only accept previously unpublished work. 

To help keep our queue moving, please submit no more than once every six months and wait 3-4 months before inquiring about the status of your submission. We look forward to reading your work!

We invite you to enter the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize 2021. Kelli Jo Ford is the final judge.

As with all our submissions, we recommend reading a copy of the  magazine to better understand what we are looking for. The 2020 winning story appears in Issue 56: Expression. We also offer a discounted bundle of past print issues featuring the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize.

Guidelines:

  • The submission deadline for the short story contest is February 1, 2021. Note – there is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on February 3rd will be entered into the contest.
  • The entry fee is $20 and includes a complimentary PDF copy of the prize issue featuring the winning work.
  • You may submit one story per contest entry fee and it must be 5500 words or less. There is no limit on the number of entries per person.
  • Entries must be previously unpublished (if it has a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, we consider it previously published).
  • We do allow simultaneous submissions, but if it is accepted elsewhere please withdraw it immediately. 
  • $1500 will be awarded to the winner and publication in Ruminate Magazine. $300 will be awarded to the runner-up story and publication in Ruminate Magazine.
  • All entries will be removed of identifying information and then read by a panel of Ruminate Magazine readers, who will select 10 short stories as finalists. The finalists will then be reviewed by our judge.
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of the judge are not eligible to compete—we define "student" as someone who has taken one semester-long course or more with the judge; those who have only studied under the judge for week-long workshops and the like are still eligible. 
  • Also not eligible to compete are: regular The Waking contributors, past first-place winners of any Ruminate Magazine Prize, past judges of any Ruminate Magazine prize, and friends or family of the Ruminate staff. 
  • We will be notifying all entrants of submission status in May of 2021.
  • Please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit.
  • As a contemplative magazine, we are sometimes asked if Ruminate is seeking or only accepts "spiritual" stories. The answer to that question is no. We are simply looking for good stories, and there are no restrictions on the subject matter or content for submissions. The best way to understand the work we publish is to read a past issue. You can also sign up for our emails and receive a free copy of Issue 38. 
Thank you for wanting to submit to Ruminate. We welcome visual art submissions of any medium. We know that sharing your art is a brave act--we look forward to seeing your work! 

Visual artists may submit the following:
  • Professional quality digital images in TIFF or JPG formats (if JPG, saved in “baseline” or “standard” format at the highest quality possible). Images must be Mac and PC compatible. Note: Please do not submit PPT or PPTX presentations; minimum of 320 dpi and between 1200 and 2400 pixels in the longest dimension.
  • Please include an artist statement as well. 
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