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 delight in laughter, 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 Jen Stewart Fueston. 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 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.
The editor of The Waking is Cherie Nelson. Josh MacIvor-Andersen is the interview/book review editor.
- 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- We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished (a piece that has had a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, is considered previously published).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 email@example.com.
We look forward to reading your work!
The Waking'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 Magazine or The Waking contributors as part of our mission to support our writers. When selecting books by noncontributors, there should be a clear link between the book and an 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 Waking. Currently we are not paying; however, you will receive your choice of two complimentary copies of Ruminate Magazine'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.
- We prefer book review submissions that are 1000 words or less and interviews that are less than 3000 words; 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.
Ruminate Broadside Poetry Contest 2021
2021 Judge: Hope Wabuke
Contest Deadline: August 15, 2021 (with a 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 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 last year’s winner, Michael Dechane’s poem, Gladiolus, here.
Final Judge: Hope Wabuke is a Ugandan American poet, essayist, and writer. She is the author of the poetry collection The Body Family, (forthcoming from Haymarket Books) the nonfiction book Please Don't Kill My Black Son Please (forthcoming from Vintage Books) and the chapbooks her, The Leaving, and Movement No.1: Trains. She writes literary and cultural criticism for NPR, is poetry editor for Ruminate Magazine, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A former contributing editor for The Root, her work has been published in The Guardian, The Paris Review online, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She has won awards from the National Endowment from the Arts, Fulbright, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers, VONA Voices, and others.
- $12 entry fee (includes a digital copy of Ruminate's upcoming issue featuring the winning poem)
- The submission deadline for the prize is midnight August 15, 2021 (with a 3-day grace period).
- 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, Michael Dechane, Janine Certo, and Jamaica Baldwin. 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, 2021.
- Close friends and students (current & former) of the final judge, Hope Wabuke, 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 first-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.
Deadline: Oct 15th, 2021. Note – there is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on Oct. 18th will be entered into the contest.
Final Judge: TBA
- The entry fee is $20 and includes a complimentary digital copy of the Summer 2022 Issue featuring the recipients of this prize.
- 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 $300 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, and the judge will select a winner.
- Close friends and students (current & former) of our finalist 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 Submittable, our online submission manager. We will not accept mail or email submissions.
- All submissions must be previously unpublished.
- There is no theme or topic for the nonfiction prize.
- We do accept simultaneous submissions. However, please withdraw your entry or notify us immediately via the Submittable "note function" if your piece is accepted elsewhere.
- You may submit any type of creative nonfiction—personal essay, short memoir, literary journalism, etc.
- All entrants will be notified of their submission status by late January 2022.
- 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 weekly email newsletter, and your first email will include a free downloadable PDF of Issue 38. Find the email sign-up form here.
- If you have any trouble using this online system, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.