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.
- 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.