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The Waking's Flash Prose Prize

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.

Contest Deadline: July 1, 2022. All entries submitted by 11:59pm PST will be considered for both the prize and general publication.

Publication of the Winner, Runner-Up, and Select Finalists: Online AND in Ruminate's annual print prize anthology 

Final Judge: Cherie Nelson (she/her/hers) is a teacher and writer in Colorado. She is editor of Ruminate Magazine, and her essays appear in or are forthcoming from Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, Hobart, EcoTheo Review, and elsewhere. Her essay "But for our Words: a redaction" was selected as a finalist for Best of the Net 2020. She can be found online at cheriennelson.com and @cher_nel.


  • Please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit.
  • You may send up to TWO flash pieces (fiction or nonfiction) per entry.
  • Word limit: 1,000 words (per piece)
  • $500 and publication online AND in Ruminate's annual print prize anthology will be awarded to the winner. The runner-up will also receive publication. In addition, all finalists will be considered for general publication. Winners and finalists will also receive a free print copy of the prize issue.
  • The entry fee is $7.50 and includes a free digital copy of the prize issue. For an additional $7.50, you can opt for a print copy at a 50% discount from our regular single-issue price.
  • 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, Cherie Nelson, 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 info@ruminatemagazine.org for more information about entry scholarships.
  • 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.