We invite you to enter Ruminate Magazine’s annual short story contest, the 2016 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. We will announce the finalist judge in the coming weeks.
As with all our submissions, we highly recommend reading a copy of the magazine to better understand what we are looking for. The 2015/2016 winning story “Maybelline in the Tower” by Doug Cornett appears in Issue 37: Being Known. The 2015 winning story “Nesting Doll” by Tori Malcangio appears in Issue 34: Keeping Things Whole. The 2014 winning story “Legacy” by Lori Vos appears in Issue 31: Always we begin again. The 2013 Short Story Prize winning story “Saturdays He Drove the Ford Pickup” by David Brendan Hopes appears in Issue 27: Glimpses. The 2012 Short Story Prize winning story “Stories My Mother Told Me” by Nahal Suzanne Jamir appears in Ruminate’s Issue 23: The Stories We Tell. We also offer a discounted bundle of past issues of the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize.
- The submission deadline is April 15, 2016, and we offer a 3-day grace period after the deadline.
- The entry fee is $20 (includes a free copy of the issue in which the winning pieces appear, international entries will receive a complimentary PDF copy).
- 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.
- $1500 will be awarded to the winner and publication in a future Ruminate issue. $200 will be awarded to the runner-up story and publication in a future Ruminate issue.
- An anonymous reading of all entries will be conducted by a panel of Ruminate readers, who will select 10 short stories as finalists.
- Close friends and students (current & former) of the finalist judge, Shann Ray, are not eligible to compete. Nor are past winners of the Van Dyke Short Story Prize, past judges of the Van Dyke Short Story Prize, Ruminate blog contributors, and close friends or family of the Ruminate staff.
- Winners will be announced in a future Ruminate Issue.
- We will be notifying all entrants of submission status in mid-October, 2016.
- Please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit.
- As a magazine whose tagline is “chewing on life, faith, and art,” 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.
Please Note: Ruminate adheres to the following Contest Code of Ethics, as adopted by the Council of Literary Presses and Magazines, of which Ruminateis a proud member: “CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”
Ruminate Magazine sponsors four annual writing contests: our art contest, poetry contest, short story contest, and nonfiction contest. We are one of the few spiritually-minded literary magazines to sponsor short story contests, poetry contests, and nonfiction contests, and art contests. And while our contests–just like our magazine–are not defined as Christian or religious poetry contests or spiritual short story contests or nonfiction contests, we do strive to provide a forum for the conversation between art and faith to exist and continue. Past winners from the Ruminate Magazine writing contests have been recognized by Poets & Writers Magazine and have received notable mention awards in The Best American Short Stories anthology and Best American Essays anthology. Past finalist judges of our contests include Walter Wangerin, Jr., Bret Lott, David James Duncan, Luci Shaw, Vito Aiuto, Greg Wolfe, Brian Doyle, Al Haley, Stephanie G’Schwind, and Leif Enger. It is our hope our writing contests provide a significant venue for talented writers to receive the support and recognition they deserve.