Ends on February 18, 2018

$20.00 USD

We invite you to enter the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. 

As with all our submissions, we highly recommend reading a copy of the magazine to better understand what we are looking for. The 2017 winning story appears in Issue No. 44: Small. We also offer a discounted bundle of past print issues featuring the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize.


  • The submission deadline for the short story contest is February 15, 2018. Note – there is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on February 18th will be entered into the contest.
  • The entry fee is $20. (Early bird rate—enter by Jan. 15th and receive a complimentary physical copy of the prize issue featuring the winning work. All international entries and entries received after Jan. 15th will receive a complimentary PDF copy of the prize issue featuring the winning work).
  • You may submit one story per contest entry fee and it must be 5500 words or less. There is no limit on the number of entries per person.
  • Entries must be previously unpublished (if it has a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, we consider it previously published).
  • We do allow simultaneous submissions, but if it is accepted elsewhere please withdraw it immediately and make a note in the "notes" section of the entry. 
  • $1500 will be awarded to the winner and publication in Ruminate. $200 will be awarded to the runner-up story and publication in Ruminate.
  • A blind reading of all entries will be conducted by a panel of Ruminate readers, who will select 10 short stories as finalists. The finalists will then be reviewed by our finalist judge.
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of the final 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 1st-place winners of any Ruminate Prize, past judges of any Ruminate prizes, and friends or family of the Ruminate staff. 
  • We will be notifying all entrants of submission status in mid-April, 2018.
  • 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" stories. The answer to that question is no. We are simply looking for good stories, 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.
Sign up form

Please enter a valid email address.

Your password must be at least 6 characters.