The 2016 Nonfiction Prize is now open–we invite you to submit your essay to our nonfiction contest.
Our VanderMey Nonfiction Prize has gained national recognition, with our 2013 recipient receiving a Pushcart Prize and appearing in the 2013 Pushcart Prize anthology. The winner of the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize will receive $1500 and publication in the Fall 2016 issue. The runner up will receive $200 and publication. The finalist judge for the nonfiction contest will be announced in the coming weeks.
We strongly recommend ordering a past copy of Ruminate to better understand the type of work we are looking for. You can order a nonfiction bundle of print issues featuring our nonfiction prize winners from past years, Issue 35, Issue 32, Issue 28, and Issue 24. PDF versions of the magazine are also available for $5 each.
- The entry fee is $20 (includes a free copy of the Spring 2017 Issue, which will include the winning piece, international entries will receive a complimentary PDF copy).
- 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 Spring 2017 will be awarded to the winner. The runner-up will receive $200 and publication in Spring 2017.
- An anonymous reading of all entries will be conducted by a panel of Ruminate readers, who will select 8 nonfiction finalists. Those 8 finalists will then be read for our final judge who will select a winner.
- Close friends and students (current & former) of the final judge are not eligible to compete, nor are close friends of the RUMINATE staff.
- All submissions must be submitted via our online submission form manager. We will not accept mail or email submissions. We do not accept previously published entries.
- All submissions must be previously unpublished.
- You may enter simultaneously submitted work.
- You may submit any type of creative nonfiction–personal essay, short memoir, literary journalism, etc.
- Winners will be announced in the Spring of 2017.
- We will notify all entrants of submission status in mid-January, 2017.
- Please remove your name, bio, and any contact info from the file that you submit.
Please Note: Ruminate adheres to the following Contest Code of Ethics, as adopted by the Council of Literary Presses and Magazines, of which Ruminate is 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 five annual writing contests: our art contest, poetry contest, short story contest,spiritual nonfiction contest, and general nonfiction contest. We are one of the only faith-minded literary magazines to sponsor short story contests, poetry contests, nonfiction contests, and art contests. And while our contests–just like our magazine–are not defined as Christian poetry contests or Christian fiction contests or Christian essay 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 appeared in The Pushcart: Best of the Small Presses anthology and have received notable mention awards in The Best American Short Stories anthology and The Best American Essays anthology. Past finalist judges of our contests include Brian Doyle, Mark Richard, Bret Lott, Leslie Leyland Fields, David James Duncan, Luci Shaw, Vito Aiuto, Greg Wolfe, Al Haley, Stephanie G’Schwind, Walter Wangerin, Jr., and Leif Enger. It is our hope that our writing contests provide a significant venue for our talented contributors to receive the support and recognition they deserve.