Ruminate is a contemplative literary arts magazine committed to slowing down, paying attention, and encountering heart-awakening storytelling and art so that we can live more fully awake to ourselves and our world. We are particularly excited about sharing stories, poems, and art from voices that aren't often heard.

FAQs: 

  • General magazine submissions are always free. 
  • We currently pay $20/page for poetry (with a maximum of $80 per poem), $20/400 words for prose, and $20/image for visual art. Ruminate firmly believes in paying our contributors, and we are working hard to increase the amount we pay them. 
  • We only accept submissions that are previously unpublished (a piece that has had a circulation of 500 or greater, in print or online, is considered previously published). 
  • We do accept simultaneous submissions; however, please notify us right away if your work is accepted elsewhere. 
  • If you agree to allow Ruminate to publish your work, we will receive first serial rights and all rights revert back to you.
  • We only accept online submissions, as our readers are spread across the country. Any submissions made by postal mail or email will not be considered.
  • To help keep our queue moving, please submit no more than once every six months and wait 3-4 months before inquiring about the status of your submission. 
  • Before submitting, we strongly recommend ordering a copy of the magazine in order to better understand the type of work we publish and to tailor your submission accordingly.
  • If you need to make a correction to a submission, such as removing your contact info or withdrawing a poem from a batch of poems submitted, please use the "Allow Edit Requests" function in Submittable. 
  • If you have any trouble using this online system, please email support@submittable.com.

We look forward to reading your work!

(Looking for nonfiction/hybrid submissions? Go here.)


The Waking is Ruminate Magazine’s online publication space. We’re looking for short-form fiction that is holy, nutritious, and crucial. Work that questions, that shakes off easily won meaning, that is rooted in image, specific moment or memory, that, as Bernard Cooper says “magnif[ies] some small aspect of what it means to be human.” We seek to publish work that invites us into the moment: a pause, an in-between, an opening. 

We prefer submissions that are less than 1500 words but won’t rule out work that's a tad longer. 

We are particularly excited about sharing voices that aren't often heard (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other historically marginalized groups).

Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please withdraw your piece on Submittable if it has been accepted elsewhere. 

If your work is accepted: 

Part of the ethos of our magazine is working collaboratively with our writers to illuminate their lovely work! Most pieces we accept go through a revision process beyond line editing. 

We are also excited to now offer our published writers an honorarium of $10 and a complimentary back issue of our print magazine (normally $15 each)! 

(Looking for fiction submissions? Go here.)

The Waking is Ruminate Magazine’s online publication space. We’re looking for short-form work that is holy, nutritious, and crucial. Work that questions, that shakes off easily won meaning, that is rooted in image, specific moment or memory, that, as Bernard Cooper says “magnif[ies] some small aspect of what it means to be human.” We seek to publish work that invites us into the moment: a pause, an in-between, an opening. 

What do we mean by nonfiction/hybrid work? In addition to traditional nonfiction, we're looking for your:

  • lyric essays
  • flash essays
  • prose poems
  • image/text hybrids
  • ruminations (formerly our blog post category)
  • etc.


We prefer submissions that are less than 1500 words but won’t rule out work that's a tad longer. 


We are particularly excited about sharing voices that aren't often heard (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other historically marginalized groups).


In your cover letter, please designate the genre of your submission (flash nonfiction, lyric essay, ruminations, etc.). 


Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please withdraw your piece on Submittable if it has been accepted elsewhere. 



If your work is accepted: 


Part of the ethos of our magazine is working collaboratively with our writers to illuminate their lovely work! Most pieces we accept go through a revision process beyond line editing. 


We are also excited to now offer our published writers an honorarium of $10 and a complimentary back issue of our print magazine (normally $15 each)!

Ruminate’s book reviews/interviews seek to highlight books from small, independent publishers and university presses as well as books from new and emerging writers. In general, we avoid promoting books that already receive a lot of attention (publishers like Penguin, etc.). We also prioritize books by past Ruminate contributors as part of our mission to support our writers well after they have left our pages. When selecting books by noncontributors, there should be a clear link between the book and Ruminate’s emphasis on contemplative living

We are also particularly excited about featuring reviews and books from voices that aren't often heard. 

All accepted book reviews will be published on the Ruminate's online space The Waking. Currently we are not paying; however, you will receive your choice of two complimentary copies of Ruminate's back issues (normally $15 each).


In general, we encourage reviews/interviews that:

  • tell a story by connecting the book to the reviewer’s own life
  • that put the book in conversation with other contemporary books or broader artistic movements
  • are themselves contemplative pieces or interesting narratives, using personal style and flair to make the review a piece of art in and of itself
  • use of personal pronouns to convey an invitation to the reader of the reviewer’s own experience with the book without being overly idiosyncratic 
  • blend summary and analysis


In general, we avoid:

  • reviews that are mixed/critical. We see reviews as a way to share and promote authors. There are plenty of platforms for dissecting where and how a book fails, but for the purposes of our readership and aims, we like to focus on what the book is doing well. This does not mean book reviews should be hyperbolic and overly enthusiastic. Rather, we seek reviews that describe the “moves” of a book on its own terms in order to give readers a taste of that book.
  • overly academic book reviews. While it’s great to bring in some outside references or theories to frame a book, we prefer reviews that use such sources minimally, as this isn’t intended for an academic audience. Successful reviews often begin with an anecdote from the reviewer’s own life, or a reference to our present social / political / popular context to frame the conversations that this book is engaging in. 


Format

  • We prefer submissions that are 1000 words or less; however, we will consider longer submissions.
  • We follow Chicago Manual of Style for all quotations, etc. 
  • Please triple check quotations as we likely won’t have a copy to check it against.
  • Any relevant or helpful links should be included in the body of your submission.

    

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.

Guidelines:

  • 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. 
Thank you for wanting to submit to Ruminate. We welcome visual art submissions of any medium. We know that sharing your art is a brave act--we look forward to seeing your work! 

Visual artists may submit the following:
  • Professional quality digital images in TIFF or JPG formats (if JPG, saved in “baseline” or “standard” format at the highest quality possible). Images must be Mac and PC compatible. Note: Please do not submit PPT or PPTX presentations; minimum of 320 dpi and between 1200 and 2400 pixels in the longest dimension.
  • Please include an artist statement as well. 
Ruminate Magazine