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.

FAQs: 

  • General magazine submissions are always free. 
  • We currently pay $20/page for poetry (with a maximum of $80 per poem), $20/400 words for prose, and $20/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  • We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished (a piece that has had a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, is considered previously published).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 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.
  • 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!

  

The Waking is Ruminate Magazine’s online publication space. We believe, as Brian Doyle writes, that “stories are holy and nutritious and crucial. . . . They crack open hearts, they open minds.” We seek to publish work that invites us into the moment: a pause, an in-between, an opening. 

We’re looking for short-form prose that is holy, nutritious, and crucial. Work that questions, that shakes off easily won meaning. We want short-form fiction, nonfiction, and uncategorizable/hybrid work 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.” 

At Ruminate, we like to use the words contemplative and imaginative when talking about our magazine, but we also believe the work of creation and inquiry fits both of these criteria inherently. So send us your work that thinks about these things, explicitly or not. 

We are happy to consider narrative-driven pieces as well as less conventional forms like lyric essays and prose poems. 

We prefer submissions that are less than 1000 words, but won’t rule out longer work.

We are particularly excited about sharing voices that aren't often heard. 

In your cover letter, please designate the genre of your submission (fiction, nonfiction, or hybrid). Also include a bio, 100 words or fewer, to be published with your submission if accepted.

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

Currently we are not paying our writers; however, you will receive two complimentary back issues of our print magazine (normally $15 each). 


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.

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


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. 


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
  • Please submit a 100 word or less bio (including relevant publications) and a headshot to be published with your submission if accepted. 

    

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 creative nonfiction 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 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!

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. 

Short fiction must be previously unpublished and under 5,500 words. We currently pay contributors $20 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!

Ruminate Broadside Poetry Contest

2020 Judge: Kristin George Bagdanov, Ruminate Poetry Editor

Contest Deadline: September, 2020 (plus 3-day grace period)

Ruminate is a contemplative literary arts magazine helping you slow down, encounter poetry, stories, and art, and live awake. We invite you to enter our second annual broadside poetry contest! We will print the winning poem on a limited-edition letterpress broadside featuring an original image/design inspired by the text. Please see the broadside of our inaugural winner here.

Final Judge: Kristin George Bagdanov earned her MFA in poetry from Colorado State University and is currently a PhD candidate in English Literature at U.C. Davis. Her poems have recently appeared in Boston Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Puerto Del Sol, and other journals. Her collection of poetry, Fossils in the Making, was published in by Black Ocean, and her chapbook, Diurne, which won the 2019 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, was published by Tupelo Press. She was the poetry editor of Ruminate Magazine from 2014 to 2020. More at kristingeorgebagdanov.com or @KristinGeorgeB.

Guidelines

  • $12 entry fee (includes a digital copy of Ruminate's upcoming issue featuring the winning poem)
  • The submission deadline for the prize is midnight September 1, 2019. Note – here is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on August 18th will be entered into the contest.
  • Submit two poems (of any form) per entry. We recommend that poems be between 10 and 30 lines in length, counting each blank line used as a stanza break as well as the title line and the blank line following the title. Poems that are outside 10-30 lines are still eligible but may require smaller type to fit well on the broadside. Please only submit text; graphic elements will be added by a graphic designer after the winning poem is selected.
  • You may only upload one document, so please make sure to include both poems in the same document.
  • $500 cash prize, publication in Ruminate, and 15 copies of the limited-edition letterpress broadside will be awarded to the winner.
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in Ruminate
  • All submissions must be anonymous: please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit, including contact info in the file name.
  • 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.
  • First round of judging will be performed by our preliminary judges, Amy Sawyer, Rachel King, and Charity Gingerich. Finalists (approximately 15-20 poems) will then be forwarded to the final judge for the final round of judging.
  • Winner will be selected by November 1st along with honorable mentions at the judge's discretion.
  • Entrants not selected for the winning broadside or honorable mention will be notified of contest results and of the editors' decision about publication of their entries by mid-November, 2019. 
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of this year's final judge, Kristin George Bagdanov, 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: friends or family of the Ruminate staff, past 1st-place winners of any Ruminate Prize, and past judges of any Ruminate prize. Poets who have been previously published in Ruminate are welcome to enter.
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. 
Ruminate Magazine