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$6.30 USD

The Waking's Flash Prose Prize - Nonfiction

2021 Judge: JJ Peña
Contest Deadline: July 1, 2021
The Waking is an online literary magazine and part of the Ruminate creative community that houses high-quality literary writing about what it’s like to be human. This art can be beautiful, it can be strange, we just ask that it feels true.

Final Judge: JJ Peña (pronouns: he/they) is a queer, burrito-blooded writer living & existing in El Paso, Texas. JJ is the winner of Blue Earth Review's 2019 flash fiction contest, Cutbank's 2019 Big Sky, Small Prose contest, & Mythic Picnic's 2020 Postcard Prize. JJ's work is included in the Best Microfiction 2020 anthology & Wigleaf’s Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions (2020). JJ is a 2021 Periplus fellow, holds a BA in both English and Anthropology, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. JJ's stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Washington Square Review, Cincinnati Review, Massachusetts Review, & elsewhere. JJ serves as a flash fiction reader for Split Lip magazine


  • $6.30 entry fee (this means 5 dollars for The Waking after Submittable's cut). 
  • Word limit: 1,000 words (per piece)
  • You may send up to TWO flash pieces in the same genre per entry.
  • The submission deadline for the prize is midnight July 1, 2021
  • You may only upload one document, so please make sure to include both poems in the same document.
  • $500 cash prize and publication on The Waking will be awarded to the winner of each genre (nonfiction and fiction).
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in The Waking.
  • 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.
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of the final judge, JJ Peña, are not eligible to compete. We define student as someone who has taken one semester-long course or more with the judge. Also not eligible to compete are: friends or family of The Waking staff, past first-place winners of any Ruminate Prize, and past judges of any Ruminate prize. Writers who have been previously published in The Waking are welcome to enter.
  • If cost is prohibitive, please email cherie@ruminatemagazine.org.
  • All funds raised from the tip jar will be used to sponsor contest submissions or pay our contributors.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.