Ends on

$20.00 USD

Deadline: Oct 27th, 2020. Note – there is a grace period of three days for this contest. Entries submitted by 11:59 PST on Oct. 30th will be entered into the contest.

Final Judge: Jasmine V. Bailey


  • The entry fee is $20 and includes a complimentary digital copy of the Summer 2021 Issue featuring the recipients of this prize.
  • You may submit one nonfiction piece per entry and it must be 5500 words or less. There is no limit on the number of entries per person.
  •  $1500 and publication in Ruminate will be awarded to the winner. The runner-up will receive $300 and publication in Ruminate.
  • An anonymous reading of all entries will be conducted by a panel of Ruminate readers, who will select 10 nonfiction finalists. Those 10 finalists will then be read for our final judge, and the judge will select a winner. 
  • Close friends and students (current & former) of our finalist 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 prizes, and friends or family of the Ruminate staff.
  • All submissions must be submitted via Submittable, our online submission manager. We will not accept mail or email submissions. 
  •  All submissions must be previously unpublished.
  • There is no theme or topic for the nonfiction prize. 
  • We do accept simultaneous submissions. However, please withdraw your entry or notify us immediately via the Submittable "note function" if your piece is accepted elsewhere.
  • You may submit any type of creative nonfiction—personal essay, short memoir, literary journalism, etc.
  • All entrants will be notified of their submission status by late January 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" writing. The answer to that question is no. We are simply looking for good writing 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 weekly email newsletter, and your first email will include a free downloadable PDF of Issue 38. Find the email sign-up form here
  • If you have any trouble using this online system, please email support@submittable.com.
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.