Ends on

$20.00 USD

We invite you to enter the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize 2021. Kelli Jo Ford is the final judge.

As with all our submissions, we highly recommend reading a copy of the  magazine to better understand what we are looking for. The 2020 winning story appears in Issue 56: Expression. 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 1, 2021. Note – there is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on February 3rd will be entered into the contest.
  • The entry fee is $20 and includes 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  • Entries must be previously unpublished (if it has a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, we consider it previously published).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. 
  • $1500 will be awarded to the winner and publication in Ruminate. $300 will be awarded to the runner-up story and publication in Ruminate.
  • All entries will be removed of identifying information and then read by a panel of Ruminate readers, who will select 10 short stories as finalists. The finalists will then be reviewed by our judge.
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of the 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 first-place winners of any Ruminate Prize, past judges of any Ruminate prize, and friends or family of the Ruminate staff. 
  • We will be notifying all entrants of submission status in May of 2021.
  • 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. You can also sign up for our emails and receive a free copy of Issue 38. 
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.