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. We are particularly excited about sharing stories, poems, and art from voices that aren't often heard.
- 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- We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished (a piece that has had a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, is considered previously published).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.
- 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 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.
We look forward to reading your work!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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."
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
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 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.”
Ruminate’s book reviews 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 non-contributors, 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. As with all our submissions, we highly recommend reading past Ruminate book reviews to get a sense of the work we publish.
We pay $17/400 words, and all accepted book reviews will be published on the Ruminate website.
In general, we encourage:
- reviews that tell a story by connecting the book to the reviewer’s own life
- reviews that put the book in conversation with other contemporary books or broader artistic movements
- reviews that 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
- reviews that 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.
- 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
- Please submit a 100 word or less bio (including relevant publications) and a headshot to be published with your submission if accepted.
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 two complimentary copies of Ruminate's back issues (normally $15 each). 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: http://www.ruminatemagazine.com/2015/06/for-roxane-gay-notes-from-a-forgiving-heart/)
- narrative/personal essays
- spiritual/contemplative prayer practices
- our earth
- slowing down and paying attention
- social justice and activism
- ordinary sacredness
- 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."
Thank you for considering Ruminate as a potential home for your work. We welcome submissions from both emerging and established writers and are looking for fiction that engages the contemplative spirit of our journal and embraces curiosity and discovery rather than resolution. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please add a note to your submission if you need to withdraw a piece.
We only accept pieces that are under 5,500 words. We currently pay contributors $17 per 400 words and in contributor copies.
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!
Thank you for considering Ruminate as a potential home for your work. We welcome submissions from both emerging and established writers and are looking for poems that engage the contemplative spirit of our journal, that aren't afraid to take risks, and that treat the poem as a space for discovery rather than resolution.
Please send us 3-5 poems for consideration (in one document). Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please add a note to your submission if you need to withdraw a piece.
To help keep our queue moving, please submit no more than once every six months and wait four months before inquiring about the status of your submission. We look forward to reading your work!
We strongly recommend ordering a past copy of Ruminate to better understand the type of work we are looking for. You can order a nonfiction bundle of print issues featuring our nonfiction prize winners from past years. PDF versions of the magazine are available for $5 each. Issue 40, Issue 35, Issue 32 all feature our nonfiction prize winners from past years.
- The submission deadline for the prize is November 15th, 2018. Note – there is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on November 18th will be entered into the contest.
- The entry fee is $20. (For US residents, the entry fee includes a complimentary hard copy of Ruminate if you enter by August 15th. After August 15th, the entry fee includes a complimentary digital copy of Ruminate. For international residents, the entry fee includes a complimentary digital copy.)
- You may submit one nonfiction piece per entry and it must be 5500 words or less. There is no limit on the number of entries per person.
- $1500 and publication in Ruminate will be awarded to the winner. The runner-up will receive $200 and publication in Ruminate.
- An anonymous reading of all entries will be conducted by a panel of Ruminate readers, who will select 10 nonfiction finalists. Those 10 finalists will then be read for our final judge who will select a winner.
- Our final judge will be announced in the coming weeks.
- 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 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 Ruminate blog contributors, past first-place winners of any Ruminate Prize, past judges of any Ruminate prizes, and friends or family of the Ruminate staff
- All submissions must be submitted via our online submission form manager. We will not accept mail or email submissions. We do not accept previously published entries.
- All submissions must be previously unpublished.
- There is no theme or topic for the nonfiction prize.
- You may enter simultaneously submitted work, however, please withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.
- You may submit any type of creative nonfiction—personal essay, short memoir, literary journalism, etc.
- We will be notifying all entrants of submission status in mid-February, 2019.
- 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" writing. 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. You can also sign up for our emails and receive a free copy of Issue 38. Find the email sign-up form at the bottom of the page here: https://www.ruminatemagazine.com/pages/submit