-We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished.
-We do accept simultaneous submissions for all of our categories, including the contests.
-We are currently able to pay contributors $15 per 400 words, $15 per poem and image, and in contributor copies.
-If you agree to allow Ruminate to publish your work, we will receive first serial rights.
-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.

Visit our website for info on our reading periods

Ruminate is excited to announce that we will now be accepting guest bloggers to post for the Ruminate blog on our website! Feel free to 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 a complimentary copy of one of Ruminate's back issues. 

Ruminate Blog Post Submission Guidelines

  • The Ruminate Blog publishes posts on topics including (but not limited to): 
  • Submissions are limited to 400-800 words
  • Please submit a 100 word or less bio (including relevant publications) to be published with your submission if accepted
  • Any facts/statistics/claims should be cited using MLA style
  • Any relevant or helpful links should be included in the body of your submission

Best Practices for Blogging

In our experience, blog posts that solve a problem, answer a question, or discuss a topical issue are the most successful. Web readers read differently on than print readers; web readers skim. There are a few best practices we’ve found to help web readers click on and stay engaged with your article.

  • Use a clear, unambiguous, engaging title. (E.g. How to Give Helpful Feedback to an Artist)
  • Use bulleted lists
  • Bold important sentences/text 
  • Use engaging headers
  • Short paragraphs (3-5 sentences max)
Ends on 8/14/2016

We only accept short stories that are under 5,500 words. You may submit only one story per reading period. Please include your name within the document that you submit, preferably at the top of the first page. Please title your file(s) being submitted with your last name, first name, and the genre of your work: (Doe_John_Essay.doc).

Ends on 11/15/2016$ 20.00
$ 20.00

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 35Issue 32, Issue 28, and Issue 24 all feature our nonfiction prize winners from past years. 

  • The submission deadline for the prize is November 15th, 2016.
  • The entry fee is $20 (includes a free copy of the Spring 2017 Issue, which will include the winning piece).
  • 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 the Spring 2017 Issue will be awarded to the winner. The runner-up will receive $200 and publication in the Spring 2017 Issue.
  • An anonymous reading of all entries will be conducted by a panel of RUMINATE readers, who will select 8 nonfiction finalists. Those 8 finalists will then be read for our final judge who will select a winner.
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of the final judge are not eligible to compete, nor are Ruminate blog contributors or close friends of the RUMINATE staff. Previous 1st place winners of the Nonfiction Prize and previous judges of the Nonfiction Prize are also not eligible to compete. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Winners will be published in the Spring Issue.
  • We will be notifying all entrants of submission status in mid-January, 2017.
  • Please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit.

Ends on 12/14/2016

Submit 3-5 poems with no more than 60 lines per poem. Please make sure to include them all in the same document and type your name at the top of each poem, as you will only be allowed to upload one document.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed; please add a note to your submission if you need to withdraw a piece. Multiple submissions are not allowed. Please submit no more than once every six months.

Please wait 3-4 months before inquiring about the status of your submission.


Below is the editorial vision of our poetry editor, Kristin George Bagdanov:

Ruminate’s mission is to chew on “life, faith, and art.” The emphasis on process in this digestive metaphor is central to my own vision for Ruminate’s poetry. I do not seek poems that are fully digested or those that have been carelessly spit up. Poems suitable for Ruminate are those that enact this churning meditation, that break open their own fibrous structure to ask whether they can do anything other than ask, repeatedly, what they are for. To that end, I’m not interested in poems that leave the reader at peace—only a precarious peace at best—or poems that postulate and prove their premise by the end of the fourth stanza, that know what form they will take before they begin. I’m wary of these poems for the same reason I’m wary of any faith that can exhibit such unrelenting confidence. I am interested in poems that listen to their own chewing—the humming inside their bodies charted by the line of the poem in whatever form that demands. I’m interested in poems that reach toward God, toward mystery, toward “other” not by naming them as such in the poem, but through the gesture of that reaching. To publish poems that do otherwise, poems that want us believe that the bread has been broken rather than is breaking, that all has been consumed and finished, are not poems that match the yearning in Ruminate’s mission. Rather, we need poems that exist in the space between the crumbs of hope that keep us writing and reaching, poems necessitated by gnawing stomachs that tell us there is so much left to devour, that there is so much left we cannot.
Ends on 9/6/2016$ 15.00
$ 15.00

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 39: Magnificent Frailty featuring the 2015/2016 Kalos Prize recipient, Issue 33: Artist as Seer featuring the 2014/2015 Kalos Prize recipient, Issue 30: The Body featuring the 2013 Kalos Prize recipient, or Issue 26: In the Margins featuring the 2012 Kalos Prize recipient. We also offer a discounted bundle of past print issues featuring the Kalos Visual Art Prize. 

  • We are pleased to announce that award-winning artist Scott Kolbo will be serving as our final juror.
  • The submission deadline for the visual art contest is September 6th, 2016
  • The entry fee is $15 (includes a complimentary copy of the Spring 2017 Issue).
  • You may submit up to three 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 judge 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 previously published work.
  • 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, 2016.
  • 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.”