Submitting to Ruminate: Lauren Schmidt's Story

November 24, 2009

Ruminate contributor Lauren Schmidt recently wrote us a letter. She shared that in 2008 Ruminate was the first magazine to accept her poetry for publication. Since then, Lauren’s poetry has appeared in New York Quarterly, Rattle, Nimrod, Audemus, and Slab. She was a finalist for The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and Scott Cairns selected her poem “From Wall to Wall: A Walk Beneath Goldfinches” as runner-up in our 2009 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize.

Lauren writes:

"When I began submitting my work—a little less than two years ago—it was important to me to identify literary magazines that I considered quality. I came across Ruminate on the online literary magazine database,, and I was immediately taken with the work found in the magazine and online. The first time I submitted, I was rejected. Later that year I saw the advertisement for the Poetry Prize and, despite all the rejection I'd faced in those first months, I submitted again. When I saw an email from Ruminate, I in NO WAY expected anything but a rejection. Instead, how excited I was to have earned my first publication!

I am extremely thankful that Ruminate acknowledged my work before anyone else did because it gave me the gumption to aim high in my most recent submissions. The editors of Ruminate really took a chance on me, a no-namer, and I am honored to be able speak the magazine's praises. (I know I am not the only one whom you have been the first to recognize. The young lady who won this year's contest was also a first-timer.) I believe that your commitment to finding quality work regardless of publication history is an honest one and, I must say, refreshing.

I have also very much appreciated each of my interactions with the staff. I was so touched that they remembered I was a finalist in the 2008 contest and am even in awe that they remember that I teach—we have never even met! Such things separate them from other editors I've dealt with in the past year.

I know Ruminate is in its early stages, but I think it is doing all the right things. The quality work the editors select will continue to draw readers. You say on your website somewhere—or was it an issue—that it is truly a 'labor of love'. Well, it is obvious to me that you care about your work!

I am very grateful for your recognition. In fact, I just recently completed my first full-length manuscript and am proud to tell you that both poems Ruminate selected for publication are featured in the collection. Keep your fingers crossed as I enter this next very daunting step!!" Peace, Lauren Schmidt

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